White tea is a minimally processed delicate tea originating from the Camellia sinensis plant. The bud and leaves are picked earlier than other teas – while they're still covered in fine white hairs (where white tea gets its name from).
Because white tea is so minimally processed – antioxidant levels are higher than other teas (black, green, etc.). This is one reason why many studies believe white tea is fantastic for heart health, skin health, weight loss, and more.
We've curated five science-backed benefits of white tea.
1) Loaded with antioxidants
White tea is loaded with antioxidants – more so than other teas. The primary antioxidant, called catechins, are potent antimicrobial and antioxidant agents with positive effects on human health.
Antioxidants help fight something called a free radical. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage cells – causing illness and aging.
2) White tea is excellent for your teeth!
You've probably heard of fluoride, that mineral that your dentist probably raves about. When Camellia Sinensis grows, it absorbs fluoride from its soil. Fluoride is excellent at strengthening tooth enamel, your tooth's primary defense against cavities.
While white tea doesn't contain the most fluoride compared to other teas, it contains enough fluoride to benefit. Especially when paired with another naturally occurring substance called tannins.
3) White tea is excellent for your skin
A 2014 study found that oxidative stress plays a significant role in the progress of acne. Oxidative stress is defined as "an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage." A 2011 study conducted by Kingston University in England found antioxidants in white tea had protective properties on skin cells, explicitly reducing oxidative stress.
4) White tea can help with weight loss
A 2009 study found white tea inhibits the development of fat-laden cells and stimulates fat-burning activities. A separate study conducted in 2021 focused on two groups of twelve mice, all fed a fatty diet. The control group did not receive any tea, while the second group did receive tea (all varieties of the camellia sinensis plant, including white tea). The study found tea did, in fact reduce fat cells – specifically with the help of catechins, a product of the camellia sinensis plant.
5) Reduces inflammation – effective for minor headaches and muscle soreness
Catechins, a product of the camellia sinensis plant, are abundant in white tea. Catechins have also been found to suppress muscle inflammation post-workout. Another product of white tea is EGCG, a compound known to help fight inflammation. While green tea and its EGCG content are more researched, it's worth noting white tea also contains EGCG.
- Villines, Z. (n.d.). Free radicals: How do they affect the body? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652.
- Almajano, M. P., Carbó, R., Jiménez, J. A., & Gordon, M. H. (2008). Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of tea infusions. Food Chemistry, 108(1), 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.10.040
- Peng, C.-yi, Cai, H.-mei, Zhu, X.-hui, Li, D.-xiang, Yang, Y.-qiu, Hou, R.-yan, & Wan, X.-chun. (2015). Analysis of naturally occurring fluoride in commercial teas and estimation of its daily intake through tea consumption. Journal of Food Science, 81(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.13180
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- MediLexicon International. (n.d.). What is oxidative stress? Effects on the body and how to reduce. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324863.
- Thring, T. S. A., Hili, P., & Naughton, D. P. (2011). Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea, rose, and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells. Journal of Inflammation, 8(1), 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-9255-8-27
- Söhle, J., Knott, A., Holtzmann, U., Siegner, R., Grönniger, E., Schepky, A., Gallinat, S., Wenck, H., Stäb, F., & Winnefeld, M. (2009). White tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous (pre)-adipocytes. Nutrition & Metabolism, 6(1), 20. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-6-20
- Mao, Q. Q., Li, B. Y., Meng, J. M., Gan, R. Y., Xu, X. Y., Gu, Y. Y., Wang, X. H., & Li, H. B. (2021). Effects of several tea extracts on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice fed with a high‐fat diet. Food Science & Nutrition, 9(6), 2954–2967. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2255
- Ohishi T, Goto S, Monira P, Isemura M, Nakamura Y. Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2016;15(2):74-90. doi: 10.2174/1871523015666160915154443. PMID: 27634207.
- Haramizu S, Ota N, Hase T, Murase T. Catechins suppress muscle inflammation and hasten performance recovery after exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Sep;45(9):1694-702. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828de99f. PMID: 23470311.