A Different Kind of Rocky Mountain High
The Boulder media’s roaring with news tidbits surrounding the progressive marijuana policy in our mile-high state of Colorado. Food pairings, cooking with weed, herbal infusion blends – are all topics which you can find daily in the headlines of our local papers. As a tea company, it almost sounds all too familiar to us. You could substitute “premium tea” as an alternative in many of the headlines, and come up with something pertinent to loose leaf tea. Camellia sinensis, aka the tea plant, has long been known to help with mood and performance, as well as relaxation and concentration.
“Tea Drunk” is even a recognized term amongst tea fanatics, referring to a mildly ecstatic light-headed condition after drinking a new, or super high-end tea. In reality, this one may be something that’s brought on by plummeting blood sugar levels, when we drink too much caffeine on an empty stomach… something that’s easy to do when you’re faced with an amazing new tea!
Caffeine, which has even been referred to as the worlds most widely used psychoactive drug, has a host of benefits that contribute to its widespread use. Aside from the possibility of creating a mild drug dependence, medical studies, including one published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, have shown that one of these benefits is mood elevation. Another study, by D. Scott et al., ”The effect of drinking tea at high altitude on hydration status and mood” published in the April, 2004 European Journal of Applied Physiology studied climbers at Everest Base camp. They concluded that the men and women who drank hot brewed tea as a major part of fluid intake at 18,000 ft showed no evidence of increased dehydration from drinking the caffeinated beverage. In addition, the climbers reported feeling less fatigued when tea was included in their diets. Score one for the tea lovers!
Theobromine, also naturally occurring in tea, remains in the blood stream much longer than caffeine and is sometimes used as a mild antidepressant and aphrodisiac. A timely study by Suzanne Einother and Vanessa Martens released in the December 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, details the effects of “our” tea leaf, and its ingredients theanine and caffeine, on mood enhancement. Theanine, which occurs naturally only in the leaves of Camellia sinensis, is a mental and physical relaxant that does not induce drowsiness. Those of us who work will take that as a major benefit :) It is also is used for treating anxiety and high blood pressure.
So the next time you want to relax and let your imagination climb to new heights, there’s a new kind of “Rocky Mountain High” to get you soaring.