July 29, 2016

Oolong Tea

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What other names is Oolong Tea known by?

Brown Tea, Camélia Chinois, Camellia sinensis, Camellia thea, Camellia theifera, Dragon Noir, EGCG, Epigallo Catechin Gallate, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Épigallocatéchine Gallate, Té Oolong, Tea, Tea Oolong, Thé Oolong, Thea bohea, Thea sinensis, Thea viridis, Theaflavin, Théaflavine, Wu Long, Wulong, Wu Long Tea, Wu-Long Tea, Wu Yi, Wuyi, Wuyi Oolong, Wuyi Tea, Wu Yi Wulong Tea.

What is Oolong Tea?

Oolong tea is a product made from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant that is also used to make black tea and green tea. The difference is in the processing. Oolong tea is partially fermented, black tea is fully fermented, and green tea is unfermented.

Oolong tea is used to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. It is also used to prevent cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

Some people use oolong tea to treat obesity, diabetes, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol and skin allergies such as eczema; and to boost the immune system.

Likely Effective for...

  • Mental alertness. Drinking oolong tea or other caffeinated beverages throughout the day seems to maintain alertness and mental performance. Combining caffeine with sugar as an "energy drink" seems to improve mental performance better than either caffeine or sugar alone.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Preventing ovarian cancer. Women who regularly drink tea, including black tea, green tea, or oolong tea, appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study found that drinking 2 or more cups of tea daily seems to cut ovarian cancer risk by almost half.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Treating skin allergies (eczema). Developing research suggests that drinking about 4 cups (34 oz or 1000 mL) of oolong tea per day in 3 divided doses improves eczema that hasn't responded to other treatments. It may take 1 or 2 weeks of treatment to see improvement.
  • Treating diabetes. Some research suggests that drinking about 6 cups (50 oz or 1500 mL) of oolong tea for 30 days might lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, tea drinking doesn't seem to prevent diabetes.
  • Preventing high blood pressure. Some research in Chinese people shows that drinking 1 or 2 cups (4-20 oz or 120-599 mL) of oolong tea or green tea daily seems to prevent high blood pressure. Drinking more tea seems to lower the risk even more.
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis). There is some evidence that drinking oolong tea for 10 years is associated with stronger bones (increased bone mineral density).
  • Promoting weight loss.
  • Preventing tooth decay.
  • Reducing the risk of cancer.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of oolong tea for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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