The Earl Grey tea is born from the combination between black tea and bergamot orange extract. In fact, another name by which this infusion is also called is bergamot tea.
It has been consumed for hundreds of years and still today there are communities that take it daily. As for current medicine, it has been studied in some scientific trials to find healthy properties, and positive benefits for cardiovascular health have been found.
In this article we want to discover everything that Earl Grey tea offers us from the healthy point of view and for our diet.
What is Earl Grey tea?
The perfect combination between black tea leaves and bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia) results in the well-known bergamot tea or Earl Grey tea. The method to achieve this infuson is done by spraying with the extract of the citrus plant, its essential oil, on the leaves of black tea. This makes the leaves acquire a pleasant aroma of very interesting citrus flavors when infused and mixed.
The name Earl Grey is given by the nickname of the British Prime Minister (Earl Gray), so its origin is often confused. Thinking that it is English by name, reality tells us that Earl Grey tea really comes from Southeast Asia, although it is also grown in southern Italy.
Today it is quite well known and you can find specialized understandings and some supermarkets.
Both bergamot essential oil and black tea leaves have been studied separately and together to offer us some interesting benefits. However, more research is still needed to confirm its full healthy power.
Benefits of Earl Grey Tea
Once we know what exactly Earl Grey tea is and how it is obtained, we delve into the depth of its potential for health.
First of all, we must talk about bergamot, a citrus that has essential oils based on polyphenols, antioxidant substances represented by compounds such as flavonoids. Among them are mentioned naringin, neoherperidin and neoeriocithrin.
Currently, bergamot essential oil is used to make cosmetics, perfumes, foods and especially sweets.
We have already talked on our website about the potential of polyphenol antixoidants and their ability to reduce free radicals that cause cellular oxidation.
In addition, black tea provides us with several healthy effects from its catechin content. The sum of the properties of bergamot along with black tea increase the healthy potential of Earl Grey tea.
Improves cardiovascular health
Heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and it is absolutely conditioned by the diet we eat and, in general, by the low physical activity that many people carry.
Earl Grey tea may act on some cardiovascular risk factors. In a scientific trial it was shown that bergamot is able to reduce cholesterol levels. In turn, black tea acts against hypertension. [See study]
Read more: infusions to reduce hypertension
In bergamot are antioxidant substances such as flavonones, which have the ability to reduce cholesterol-related enzyme production.
This was demonstrated in a study of 80 people who previously started with high cholesterol. By taking bergamot essential oil, the level of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) was greatly reduced. [See study]
Read more: difference between good and bad cholesterol
There are also several studies that have confirmed these properties, including when combined with cholesterol-lowering medications.
Black tea, on the other hand, has more than demonstrated activity against hypertension. Patients who drank 3 cups a day of black tea for half a year significantly reduced blood pressure compared to the control. [See study]
Although the effect of both compounds bonded in Earl Grey tea has not been studied, their benefits are known separately. In any case, additional information of a scientific nature is necessary to obtain conclusions of greater veracity.
Promotes digestive processes
In addition to the antioxidant effect of flavonoids, they have been associated with the reduction of disease.digestive disorders and disorders, especially related to inflammation processes.
Bergamot juice has had a positive response in rats with inflammatory bowel disease, reducing proteins related to inflammation. In turn, it also contributed to reducing colitis. [See assay]
The citrus fruits present in bergamot also have a significant effect against the bacteria H. pylori , associated with the formation of stomach ulcers. These studies are in the primary phase and have only been seen in vitro. [See assay]
In black tea, an antioxidant compound known as teflavin is related to the prevention of stomach ulcers and various stomach problems [See study]
Finally, it is necessary to confirm and reproduce all these tests directly on humans, since they have currently only been carried out on animals (rats) and in vitro tests.
How to prepare Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey tea is available and sold in a large number of stores. For its preparation, we do not have to do anything different from how we could take any other infusion. Dip a bag of Earl Grey tea in boiling water and let all the active ingredients be released. We can take it alone or mixed with any type of honey or sweetener.
Are there any side effects with bergamot black tea?
Earl Grey tea is considered a safe infusion by food safety and the scientific community. However, there may be allergic processes derived from the presence of citrus compounds or present in black tea.
As a handicap, infusions such as green or black tea can reduce the correct adsorption of iron, so it is not advisable to take it if we have anemia. This is due to the presence of certain tannins that prevent the assimilation of this mineral.
Black tea, on the other hand, contains caffeine, so it will affect our concentration, mood and nervousness.