Tea Shop as Pharmacy?

With all of the claims for health benefits from tea flying around online and just about everywhere else, tea shop owners are being besieged by people demanding the latest tea fad. When the shop personnel say “I’m sorry we don’t carry that tea,” the customer treats them as some horrible ogres who are personally responsible for their suffering. It’s a real rock and a hard place. Sigh!

Teashop ... uh, no... Pharmacy ... uh...
Teashop ... uh, no... Pharmacy ... uh...

Some of the tea fads out there are:

  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) tea, which is supposed to help relax you and lower your blood pressure and increase oxygen in the blood.
  • Wuyi Slimming Oolong ― very iffy. Some swear by it while others declare it dangerous. “Wuyi” is just the name of the mountains in China where this tea originates from. The tea is supposed to contain a significant amount of polyphenols which speeds up metabolism to help you lose weight.
  • Kombucha tea (made from a yeast culture also called “kombucha mushroom” mixed with black tea). It is supposed to be a miracle beverage, but there are few studies to support this. Some benefits attributed to drinking kombucha tea are: digestive aid, hypertension easer, and relief from chronic fatigue and arthritis.

Every time articles come out about these and other claims of health benefits from one kind of tea or another tea vendors get slammed with people almost clamoring to buy some. Not only do tea shops not always stock these things, they are also not in the pharmaceutical business.

Homeopathy, where you dose yourself with something that somebody swears will help your asthma, clear the congestion from your lungs, help that pizza make its way through your system, improve your hair’s shininess, etc., is really out of the purview of most tea shops. They focus on taste and aroma of teas, endeavoring to bring you a wonderful experience in both.

Next time you’re all excited about the latest hot new thing in tea curatives, beware that hundreds and possibly thousands of others are looking for these, too. So, if the tea shop doesn’t have a particular item in stock, be patient with them. Many are willing to special order these things for you.

As always, I also say that consulting your physician first is a good idea. Many of the claims are little more than hearsay and jumping to conclusions based on the experiences of a few users.

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