Earl Grey Tea Benefits and Side Effects - 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
Popularized by Charles Grey, earl grey tea is a tea blend flavored with bergamot oil and is in the same family of black teas. The fragrant bergamot oil gives earl grey it's unique flavor profile, smell, and color tint.
Usually containing a blend of flavored teas such as oolong, darjeeling, irish breakfast, and english breakfast tea leaves.
Similarly to other white, black, and green teas. Earl grey derivatives are flavored with either spices, other oils and extracts, flowers, and/or fruits.
It's one of the world's most recognized beverages, traditionally used as part of a complete english breakfast. Loose leaf english tea bags are brewed in a hot kettle or in teapots and are typically served with milk and sugar.
Earl grey and Darjeeling teas both have a similar amount of caffeine content per cup, at around 50mg per cup. If you re-use the same tea bag afterwards, the caffeine content drops down significantly to about 15mg per cup.
To make an earl grey loose leaf tea you'll need the following ingredients and basic teaware:
1. Teabags or Sachets
2. A tea infuser
3. A teapot
4. 1 Cup of good quality organic tea leaves (black or oolong tea leaves)
5. 1 Container of bergamot essential oil
6. A mason jar or pint jar
Now here's how to brew all of the ingredients together, you'll need to:
1. Pour around 14-16 drops of bergamot essential oil in the mason jar, covering and shaking it well to cover the entire inside of the glass jar.
2. Add in your organic black tea leaves in the car, cover and shake well for about 30 seconds to properly cover each leaf. You can either use this mix right away, or let it cure for a few days to deepen the flavor.
3. When ready, add cold water to your kettle and heat until boiling.
4. Pour the hot water into the mason jar and let the hot tea steep for as long as you want, giving the mix at least 5 minutes to properly blend.
Break Down and Background
Earl grey is one of the most popular, recognized tea beverage in the world, and hailed for its list of health benefits, ranging from the heart to digestive health.
It boasts an intriguing history that marks the intersection of the Far East and the western empires. What truly makes earl grey unique is its blend of bergamot essential oil and black tea.
Black teas didn't make their way to England until the early 17th century.
The tea is reportedly named after Charles Grey - known as Earl Grey the 2nd - who was the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. The story of its inception in London isn't well documented. Some say a Chinese mandarin who was saved by Lord Grey's men from drowning delivered the tea as a gift.
Others say that he was given a black tea flavored with bergamot as a diplomatic gift. Regardless of the true story's origin, the popularity of black teas were solidified through its consumption by the royals, rich, and elites. Lady Grey served the tea during political and diplomatic meetings with a host of nations.
Charles Grey family worked with chinese tea experts to create a special blend designed specifically to offset the flavor of lime that was present in the water near their Howick Hall estate.
This recipe was eventually sold to Twinings and the same recipe was used in their tea blends until 2011. Packed in either tea bags or in sachets.
For the majority of flavored teas, their tea leaves are infused or blended with fruit, herbs or spices. The rind of the bergamot is dried and added to black tea leaves to produce earl grey tea.
Part of the blend of herbs are derived from a plant called Camellia sinensis which contains strong antioxidant properties which makes it a great drink for improving your overall health.
The dried leaves are harvested and undergo a production process that goes through withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying.
For black teas made with green tea leaves- better known as earl green tea - uses leaves that are not oxidized. Most of them are usually flavored just after the drying process is completed, depending on the flavour profile the company wants to go for.
The earl grey tea health benefits and nutritional values come to fruition mainly because it’s flavored in two ways. The tea leaves are sprayed or coated with bergamot essential oil or extracts to infuse flavor. Alternatively, dried bergamot rinds are added to the dried leaves for infusion in water.
Tea blends that are coated with fragrant essential oils tend to have a stronger citrusy flavor and are best used in iced tea mixes.
Out of the wide variety teas, it has some of the highest ratings in terms of its ability to calm you down and relieve muscular tension. That's an effect everyone could use a little more of within their daily lives.
Earl Grey Tea Health Benefits
1. Great for Oral Health
It contains very high levels of catechin, an antioxidant that fights oral infections. Especially when consumed through iced tea drinks.
Earl grey tea protects teeth from oral infections and tooth decay. It contains antioxidants known as catechins as well as fluoride. These compounds are used in toothpaste and mouthwashes to prevent cavities and the breakdown of tooth enamel.
Fluoride is a natural component of black teas, it’s even found in tap water. Fluoride is good for your teeth because it protects them from cavities, as well as fighting tooth decay. So if you’re not a fan of city or tap water, earl grey can be another natural way to get your daily dose of fluoride.
2. Improves Cardiovascular and Overall Heart Health
Drinking up to three cups of earl grey tea daily may help lower your risk for heart disease.
Earl Grey tea contains many nutritional enhancements and antioxidants that support heart health and prevent serious cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and high blood pressure. These antioxidants work to remove plaque buildup in blood vessels and the heart.
Antioxidants are used to prevent oxidative stress that causes cell damage. Earl grey tea reduces LDL cholesterol when consumed regularly.
A study published in 2012 in Preventative Medicine found that people who drank three cups of earl grey tea daily dramatically lowered their blood triglyceride levels and increased the ‘good cholesterol’ HDL after three months.
The participants also had increased levels of antioxidants, which, as we now know, fight against free radicals, harmful agents that damage your cells.
Further research conducted by the University of Catanzaro in Italy has also yielded positive results. A study of over two hundred patients with high levels of blood fats found that LDL (bad) cholesterol was reduced by 39% after a month of taking earl grey extract.
It also reduced blood sugars by 22% and raised ‘good’ cholesterol by 41%. The reduction in blood sugar also shows that it can be highly beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
3. Boosts Immune System Strength
It's no secret that citrus fruits are a key component in fighting off colds and flus. The effects of bergamot orange is no different than the citrus fruits.
The bergamot fruit extract found within earl grey blends is known to improve the immune system as well as cure fevers. As such, it’s considered to be a natural cold remedy.
It’s particularly popular in Europe and the United States during the winter months were colds and viruses are rampant.
It also helps the immune system fight off colds thanks to the presence of vitamin C. It also prevents fever and invasions of parasites.
4. Improves Digestion and Gut Health
These earl grey tea nutrition facts have been proven and shown to improve digestion and gut health. It aids in the digestive process and helps relieve painful indigestion, colic and nausea.
It’s also used to treat intestinal problems such as worms. Because it helps the digestive process, it can also help to keep you regular. It even boasts anti-inflammatory properties that help to alleviate gastric problems including constipation and bloating.
The tea works to soothe stomach muscles that cause cramping when constricted. It minimizes feelings of nausea when consumed before boarding a boat or plane.
5. Increased Metabolism and Aids In Weight Loss
When you consume ear’ grey, your layers of body fat are lightened by bergamot. It aids in breaking them down into energy to be used for the muscles. It also causes a large percentage of natural bodily waste to be released through the natural process of metabolism and urination.
According to research at a university in Italy, the citrus extract that gives earl grey its distinct flavor could play an important role in weight loss.
This extract is derived from the bergamot, which is a type of orange that is found in the Mediterranean. Bergamot contains natural ingredients that help in boosting metabolism and preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the stomach.
It’s a black tea that stimulates the process of fat burning. You can also use it as a part of your cleansing diet to get rid of harmful toxins from your body. Drinking this tea on a regular basis is a great way to lose weight without having to take drastic measures such as crash diets and other fad diets.
It is all-natural and comes with many nutrients and properties that give you a plethora of health benefits.
According to research, drinking 2 to 4 cups every day will help you lose weight and improve your health in many ways. However, you need to keep in mind that if you are trying to lose weight, the tea should be taken without milk or sugar.
Adding them will only defeat the purpose of burning calories. Since citrus is what helps boost metabolism and calorie-burning, add a dash of fresh lemon juice instead.
Earl Grey Tea Side Effects and Detriments
While earl grey tea is a great health promoting beverage that's safe for most people (in moderate doses) drinking too much may cause some negative side effects.
As a black tea, it has most of the same effects as a plain black brew. In addition, however, it is flavored with oil from the bergamot orange, which may lead to other side effects.
1. Bergamot Toxicity
Drinking large amounts of earl grey tea may cause you to ingest too much bergamot oil. According to Washington University Neuromuscular Disease Center the oil contains a toxin called bergapten, too much can be really detrimental.
It may affect potassium absorption in certain neurons and lead to muscle twitches, cramping in the hands and legs, may cause prickling or burning sensations, pressure in the eyes or blurry vision.
The center notes that these symptoms generally disappear within a week of discontinuing earl grey tea. If you experience any of these effects, however, see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.
2. Issues with Iron Absorption
Earl Grey Tea contains tannic and gallic acids, two compounds that interfere with absorption of the nonheme iron found in plant foods such as beans and leafy greens.
According to Marla Reicks, nutritionist at University of Minnesota states, "Depending on how much of these acids are in your cup, which varies by brand, strength, and steeping time, drinking tea with a meal may reduce iron absorption by up to 75 percent".
To ensure proper iron absorption throughout your meals, drink earl grey tea between meals, not with them.
3. Possible Overdose of Caffeine
Like all other (natural) teas, the earl grey caffeine levels are pretty significant. A stimulant that acts on the central nervous system, that kept at a low-medium dosage can prove really useful.
Up to 5 cups of tea per day is considered moderate intake, but you be too caffeinated if you consume tea ontop of everything else you eat throughout the day such as chocolate, coffee, or sodas (of which you shouldn’t be).
This can lead to anxiety, heart palpitations, tremors and sleeplessness (at high dosages) and some extrasensitive people may experience these effects after drinking smaller amounts. Over time, test your body’s tolerance to caffeine.
If drinking earl grey or any other teas is something you do on a dialy basis, you may also become dependent on the energy buzz and could experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability once you stop.
Rating and Recommendation
In summary, earl grey tea has a very wide range of health enhancements when consumed in moderation and has a minor set of side effects when abused and taken very often.
The improved heart health, immune system strength boost, digestive improvements, and weight loss effects are the main keypoints of earl grey tea’s nutritional information.
Drinking a few cups a day is a great way to maintain these health benefits without being close to the point of overdosing on the caffeine or bergamot oil.
If you enjoy black teas, they should be part of your daily diet, with moderation, without question.
Earl Grey Tea benefits and side effects are relevant at 2 to 4 cups per day.
Totaling between 60mg to 170mg of caffeine, depending on the blend, brand, and flavors.
2. BMC Plant Biol. (2018 Oct 12) Metabolite profiling and transcriptomic analyses reveal an essential role of UVR8-mediated signal transduction pathway in regulating flavonoid biosynthesis in tea plants (Camellia sinensis) in response to shading
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 2.5||Calories from Fat 0|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0 g||0 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||0 %|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 0 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 52 mg||2 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 0.8 g||0 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g||0 %|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A 0 %||Vitamin C 0 %|
|Vitamin E 0 %||Vitamin K 0 %|
|Calcium 0 %||Iron 0.1 %|
Calories per gram:
Fat: 9 | Carbohydrate: 4 | Protein: 4