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          Front Page  food

All Teas Contain Healthful Benefits

By Polly Summar
Journal Staff Writer
    Tea connoisseur Frank Murphy says all teas— white, yellow, oolong, green, black (which the Chinese call red) and Pu-erh— have antioxidants. "They're all detoxifers, all cholesterol-lowering, and they're all digestive aids," he explains.
    But white tea is purported to have even more antioxidants than green tea. "The less a tea is manipulated by man, the more potent its healthful benefits and curative properties," says Murphy.
    White tea is the most natural form of tea, he says, as it's picked and then sun-dried. "Green tea is picked, brought to the factory and thrown into a wok and pan-fried," says Murphy, "to arrest the oxidation process to seal in the juices."
    Oolong teas are known more for being "fat-cutters," as a dietary aid. "Pu-erhs are known specifically for their fat-cutting, cholesterol-lowering aspects and heavy digestive qualities," he says.
    When Murphy feels the need to counteract caffeine, he takes an amino acid called L-Theanine. "L-Theanine is the relaxing agent from green tea that has been synthesized by the Japanese," he explains. It's sold in pill form or as part of herbal concoctions.