If you’re a tea drinker, then you’ve probably heard about Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is a black tea that contains bergamot oil, which gives it a pleasant citrus flavor.

Bergamot is a variety of fruit similar to orange, but with some lemony and grapey hints.

Earl Grey is popular around the world, but particularly in Britain as a breakfast tea. Nowadays, you can find green and oolong tea variations of Earl Grey tea, and not just black tea.

HISTORY OF EARL GREY TEA

Many different stories surround the history of Earl Grey tea, Camellia sinesis. Earl Grey is regarded as a tea reserved for the posh and high-class members of society and is even a favorite drink of Her Majesty,

The Queen of England. However, the most popular story relates to a one-time British Prime minister in the 1800s, who was the second Earl of Grey in Britain.

According to the story, Earl Charles Grey, who was a fan of teas at the time, got a present from a Chinese mandarin.

The gift was a package of a fragrant blend of teas that contained bergamot fruit, and it was formulated to counter the lime flavor of the water in the Earl’s residence.

This tea became more popular over time that is entered the market and became a favorite of many people.

Earl Grey tea initially gained fame because of its unique aroma and flavor, which came from the bergamot citrus.

And, although the fruit isn’t used as widely as before, bergamot extract is used in its place.

But now, with a little more research, other health benefits of Earl Grey have come to light, placing it as one of the most beneficial beverages known to man.

Fig1: Benefits of Earl Grey tea Source: Pinterest

BENEFITS OF EARL GREY TEA

1. Digestion

Have you ever had digestion issues that make you uncomfortable and nauseous?

Usually, you will need a pill or medicine to relieve you of the pain, but that may not be necessary when you hear of the effects of Earl Grey tea on digestion.

Yes, Earl Grey tea is a highly recommended remedy for various digestive issues, and it has been there since the Victorian era.

Nausea, gas, acid reflux, and even irritable bowel syndrome can be treated with black Earl Grey tea, alone or with a slice of lemon.

If you’re squeamish about medication, this is a perfect alternative for you. Tea, in general, is an antispasmodic, which means that it suppresses muscle spasms.

So, when this effect is applied to the tubes of the gastrointestinal system, it stops them from spasming (involuntary jerking of muscles), which in turn helps to calm them down and reduce your discomfort.

2. Dental Enhancement

Who would have thought that black tea of all things would help to improve our oral health and fight oral cancer?

Earl Grey tea contains anti-oxidants, one of which is quite effective at treating oral infections and diseases.

This anti-oxidant, catechin, is a natural flavonoid and anti-oxidant that is present in all kinds of tea and provides the body with several benefits.

Catechin helps to stop cell damage, prevent free radical formation, and protect your cells and tissues from damage and wear.

It also prevents plaque formation, eliminates bacteria in the mouth, and hinders the formation of cavities.

Although catechin is abundant in green tea primarily, you can get a significant amount of this compound in black tea.

Earl Grey also contains fluoride, which is one of the major compounds that maintain oral health. Fluoride also fights against cavities and decay, while removing unwanted bacteria.

You shouldn’t give up your toothpaste and toothbrush for Earl Grey tea, though; tea can only do so much.

3. Weight Loss

Talking about Earl Grey tea and not mentioning weight loss will be a huge error.

If you’ve ever been on a weight loss journey, you’ve probably seen countless posts advertising weight-loss teas and slimming teas.

Obviously, the only effective way to get rid of body fat is through dieting exercise. But, Earl grey tea can lend you a hand to help you along your journey.

Earl Grey tea can speed up your metabolism and make you burn fat faster because of its citrus content. Citrus can help you lose weight by making the calories in your body lighter and easier to metabolize into energy.

The citrus content of Earl Grey tea, bergamot, also has specific compounds that speed up your metabolic rate and absorb cholesterol from your stomach.

That’s not all Earl Grey does for weight loss too.

The caffeine in Earl Grey tea increases your body temperature, which then kick-starts your body’s metabolic process.

It works well with most diets because of the low-calorie content, as long as you don’t add sugar or milk – you can add some fresh lemon juice to speed up the process and to add more flavors.

You can incorporate the tea into your diet as a cleanser to get rid of the toxins in your body.

Next time you need a quick detox, try drinking 2 cups of Earl Grey a day instead of trying those harmful diets that are more harm than good.

4. Mental Health and Stress Relief

In the early days of Earl Grey’s popularity, the aroma set it apart from other teas that it was prescribed as a stress reliever.

In recent times, its use as a stress reliever has been researched and proven. Apparently, the bergamot flavor infused in the tea has a calming effect thanks to the natural aromatherapy characteristics it has on your body.

Also, the calming effect of Earl Grey can help out patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental-related conditions.

It may sound far-fetched to you, but Earl Grey tea and tea as a whole has been used for years by Asians, Europeans, and the rest of the world to calm down their nerves and help them relax. You can also take a cup after work to help you get rid of the tension from the workplace.

5. Heart Disease Prevention

If you take your heart health seriously as you should, then this is one benefit you will definitely appreciate. Earl Grey tea reduces bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in the body while increasing good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

Now, if you want a healthy heart, you should have less bad cholesterol and more good cholesterol to maintain a healthy balance.

Studies show that if you drink Earl Grey tea regularly, you have a chance of reducing your LDL cholesterol level by up to 39 percent, and increasing the HDL cholesterol by 41 percent. That is as amazing as it sounds because this is a low-energy way of maintaining your heart health. Earl Grey has been shown to free the arteries, preventing blockage and keeping them relaxed.

Earl Grey also contains anti-oxidants that do everything from eliminating the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels and heart to maintaining healthy blood pressure, to reducing your chances of developing heart disease.

The enzyme, hydroxyl methyl glutaryl flavanones (HMGF), destroys the proteins that are responsible for heart conditions.

And to top it all off, Earl Grey tea helps to lower and maintain your blood sugar. This is particularly welcome news for hyperglycemic and diabetic people.

6. Hydration and Fluid Balance

Well, Duh. Earl Grey is brewed in water in water, so drinking Earl Grey means you are taking in water too.

So, if you want to shake things up, you can replace some of your water intake with Earl Grey to satisfy any sweet cravings you may have.

But, apart from the obvious, Earl Grey contains potassium. Potassium is important in your body because it helps control fluid balance and maintains your body’s homeostasis.

Hence, you need to make sure you eat a lot of potassium-rich foods.

Fig 2: Chart showing different tea brews and strengths. Source: Daily Mail

7. Immunity

Not surprisingly, Earl Grey is at the top of the list of teas that boost your immune. Since it contains a large number of anti-oxidants, it is pretty effective at getting rid of the nasty free radicals that tend to accumulate in your body and cause all sorts of harm, like oxidative stress.

Those anti-oxidants plus the bergamot oil contained in the tea help to fight infections and fevers in your body.

The bergamot in this tea is the primary component responsible for these anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in Earl Grey tea.

In its pure form, you can use bergamot oil to disinfect areas and kill bacteria, so when you have it in your tea, the bacteria don’t have a chance.

8. Energy

Many people need their morning cup of coffee to face the world or get out of bed. I am not going to judge you if you’re one of those people, but did you know Earl Grey makes a better and healthier alternative?

Earl Grey contains caffeine, which is responsible for the burst of energy you get from drinking coffee.

But, tea has a far lower amount of caffeine than coffee does, so you’re unlikely to get the bad side effects of caffeine, e.g., the caffeine crash or hangover.

Also, tea won’t keep you up at night like coffee, even if you drink it a few hours before bed.

An added plus is the bergamot oil in Earl Grey that keeps you relaxed even with the extra energy, so you get a more balanced feeling.

Fig 3: Caffeine levels in different beverages including Earl Grey tea.   Source: Pinterest

9. Healthy Skin

Healthy skin starts from the inside and not from the outside, contrary to popular opinion. You can follow a 30 step skincare routine for months, but if you aren’t taking care of your skin from the inside out, you probably won’t get far.

Most of the causes of bad skin and premature aging are the free radicals that accumulate in the body and lead to oxidative stress that ends up attacking our cells, speeding up aging, and even leads to skin cancers.

These free radicals are attacked and removed by the anti-oxidants in Earl Grey tea, leaving your skin blemish-free. Earl Grey tea is also an anti-inflammatory food so that it can reduce inflammation from oxidative stress on your skin.

You can also use Earl Grey tea directly on your skin as an anti-bacterial salve for treating certain skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

So, why don’t you take advantage of the healthy anti-oxidant properties of Earl Grey tea and heal your skin inside out?

10. Cold Relief

Did you know that a cup of Earl Grey a day keeps the cold away? At least that is what the early drinkers of Earl Grey tea believed. Earl Grey tea was initially sold as a cold remedy during cold seasons, and there was a reason it became popular for that quality.

While there isn’t any cure for colds, some food can help reduce how often you contract them and relieve you of some of the symptoms.

Earl Grey tea has anti-viral properties that help to boost your immune system, which helps to reduce your chances of catching a common cold and also helping you get through it faster.

So, next time you feel the cold encroaching, boil some water and break out your natural remedy.

SIDE EFFECTS OF EARL GREY TEA

After hearing about the many benefits of Earl Grey tea, it may sound like the tea can’t possibly cause any harm, but that isn’t the case. Earl Grey, like most foods, is perfectly fine when you take them in moderation.

The problems usually start when you start taking them in excess.

Typically, drinking 2-3 cups of Earl Grey is a normal amount, but when you start drinking 5 cups or more, you might have a problem.

Also, you have to make sure that you aren’t on any special medications while drinking Earl Grey tea because it tends to interact with certain drugs, like anti-depressants and blood pressure medications.

Muscle Cramps

Perhaps one of the most popular cases of Earl Grey intoxication was that of a middle-aged man who switched from drinking 4 liters of regular black tea to Earl Grey.

He started noticing some persistent muscle cramps in his foot, and in a matter of weeks, the cramps spread to his other foot and hands. He went through several tests, and nothing was found wrong. Eventually, he switched back to black tea, and his symptoms cleared in a week.

As you know, Earl Grey tea is flavored with bergamot essence, which gives it its lovely smell.

Unfortunately, this oil contains some compounds that act as potassium blockers in the muscles.

These led to the muscle cramps in the above case. Four liters of Earl Grey tea is a lot, so the man was essentially overdosing on bergamot oil.

So, while you may not drink four liters (16 cups!) of tea daily, keep an eye open for any signs in your muscles.

Stains Teeth

Earl Grey is great for your oral health and dentition, but it is still a black tea, and black teas stain teeth, especially when you drink them too much.

All teas contain a substance called tannins, and these are responsible for staining the teeth.

But, darker teas, or black teas, contain a higher amount of them, so they stain your teeth much more than lighter teas like green tea and herbal teas.

If you want an alternative that won’t stain your teeth, you can try out the green tea variant of Earl Grey tea.

Caffeine Overdose

You already know that too much coffee can cause a caffeine overdose, but did you know that the same can happen if you drink too much Earl Grey tea?

Earl Grey tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee, but when you drink it in excessive amounts, you get similar effects.

If you’re lucky, you will only get mild symptoms like headaches, irritability, and heartburn.

But, you’re at risk of experiencing more serious symptoms like convulsions, insomnia, vomiting, and irregular heartbeat.

Tea that contains over 10g of caffeine is considered an overdose and can lead to even more severe side effects and possibly death.

So, make sure you keep track of your Earl Grey intake and limit yourself to 3 cups a day at most, and supplement with water. Caffeine overdose can lead to some of the following conditions, and aggravate some of them:

  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Glaucoma
  • Brittle bones
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Pregnant women and children

Fig 4: Image showing acceptable caffeine levels for children at different ages. Source: SciMoms

If you’re pregnant, you don’t need to drink more than 2 cups of tea daily.

Some studies have linked black tea to miscarriages, and in some cases, caffeine withdrawal in children.

Also, you shouldn’t give children high amounts of black tea because of the caffeine content.

Anemia

People with anemia may be negatively affected by the caffeine in Earl Grey tea if taken in excess.

If you have an iron deficiency, you should consult your doctor and limit yourself to a small amount of Earl Grey tea.

CONCLUSION

Whether you’re new to tea drinking, or you just want to try out a new flavor, Earl Grey is a good place to start.

Apart from its numerous health benefits, it tastes great and is a good alternative for unhealthy drinks, like sodas and alcohol.

Why don’t you get a good brand of Earl Grey so you can enjoy its benefits today?

10 Surprising Benefits of Earl Grey Tea You Never Knew (Backed by Science and Studies)

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