In the course of my time writing for this fine site I’ve commented on numerous research studies about tea. Most of them appeared to me – a layperson – to be well-thought out and fairly sensible, for the most part. But as I was doing a little research of my own recently, I ran across a few that you could say were a little bit unusual, to say the least.
Rather than save the best for last, let’s flip the pattern and go with the one about Chinese black tea promoting hair growth. Yes, really. But that’s only if you’re a mouse, apparently. The study was carried out by Chinese researchers, and the abstract makes for dense reading, but the gist of it seems to be that, “Chinese black tea extract (CBTE) fermented with Aspergillus sp. significantly promoted hair growth after 2 weeks of topical application in shaved 6 week-old male C3H/He mice.” What more can I say?
Is it possible to tell whether milk or tea was added first to a cup simply by tasting it? It’s an experiment that was carried out by British statistician R.A. Fisher and reported on in his 1935 book, The Design of Experiments. It was referenced more recently in a study by contemporary researchers and the “lady tasting tea” experiment is apparently so well-known that it has its own Wikipedia page. Apparently, in at least one case, the answer to the question was “yes” – eight times out of eight.
But what about The Effects of Bathing in Hot Springs on the Absorption of Green Tea Catechins? If it sounds like a good title for a research study, that’s because it is. Not coincidentally, the study was carried out in Japan, where they grow a lot of green tea and where they’re also apparently quite fond of bathing in hot springs. The result? It seems that bathing in hot springs actually does allow you to absorb more of the health-giving catechins in green tea.
But what to do with those green tea leaves after you’ve used them to make tea? Well, as everyone knows, you could always use them for the “decolourisation of raw textile industry wastewater.” The abstract for this one also makes for tricky reading but the moral of the story seems to be summed up by, “green tea leaf waste is an attractive alternative for decolourisaton of textile wastewater.”
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