Fibromyalgia has been a mystery to most doctors and scientists as its causes are uncertain. The condition is characterized by chronic pain – mental, physical, or both. This means that anyone with fibromyalgia is extremely sensitive to physical or mental pressure, which can even worsen their symptoms.
There are several treatments available for treating fibromyalgia symptoms, but the latest findings show that drinking real tea (green, black, white, or oolong teas) can do you good. Here’s why.
Toxin Overload Can Worsen Fibromyalgia
Most people consider the exposure to low levels of environmental chemicals unproblematic. However, intolerance to low levels of chemicals have been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia.1 Long-term exposure may further cause adverse health effects and lifestyle limitations with social, occupational, and economic consequences.
Chemical intolerance affects the immune system, central nervous system, olfactory and respiratory systems, and metabolism, all of which can be related to fibromyalgia. Physical symptoms include stiffness, headaches, widespread pain, and fatigue accompanied by behavioral changes like increased anxiety, a lack of interest in daily activities, and depression. An increase in the levels of toxins thus affects the normal functioning of the body and mind and worsens fibromyalgia symptoms.
Doctors might prescribe medications like painkillers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotic drugs and therapies to reduce the severity of the symptoms. However, these medications do not cure the condition and long-term use can give rise to other complications. For instance, opioid therapy has been used in the treatment of chronic pain. However, findings do not support the long-term use of opioid medications for fibromyalgia patients due to their poor outcomes.2
Teas That Can Detox The Body
Natural remedies are your best bet to treat fibromyalgia symptoms as they come with negligible side effects. One such remedy is a cup of tea every day. But before we discuss how the teas work, know that only “real” teas, not herbal teas, can detox the body. By real teas, we mean green, black, white, oolong, and pu-erh tea, which are derived from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.3 These are not to be confused with herbal teas. Although herbal teas may have other benefits, research has not yet found positive results for their use in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
What Real Teas Do To Detox The Body
Real teas contain polyphenols and theanine, which reduce the toxins build-up in the body, preventing diseases and illnesses like fibromyalgia.
Real teas like green tea contain polyphenols in abundance. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties and are largely found in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and beverages. These help fight unstable free radicals that can damage the body cells and prevent infections and other illnesses. Typically, a cup of tea contains about 100 mg of polyphenols.4
Green tea contains polyphenolic compounds, which include flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds reduce the risk of heart diseases and other conditions like cancer.7 Among the different polyphenols, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been found to be responsible for much of the health-promoting ability of green tea.8 In addition, studies show that polyphenol-rich foods and beverages can lower pain and improve the quality of life in fibromyalgic women.9
Theanine, also known as L-theanine, is an antioxidant in real teas that has a calming effect on the brain. Studies have shown that theanine can reduce anxiety (a symptom of fibromyalgia) and protect the brain cells from neurotoxins that can damage the nervous system.10 11
A standard (200 ml) cup of black tea contains the most L-theanine whereas green tea contains the least.
All types of teas do not contain the same level of l-theanine. Studies have found that the brewing time is a major factor that affects the availability of this powerful antioxidant.12
Brewing Tips For Fibromyalgia Patients
While tea is a common beverage, there are some things to keep in mind while preparing a real tea for fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Choose the right tea: To relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, choose either green, black, white, or oolong teas instead of herbal teas. Green tea will give you the highest polyphenol content.
- Avoid milk and sugar: To enjoy the maximum health benefits of tea, avoid milk and sugar. If you cannot make do without them, add only small amounts.
- Keep a check on the steep time: The availability of antioxidants is affected by the time and temperature of steeping.13 Ideally, you should use water that is not quite boiling and pour it over the tea, letting the leaves steep for approximately 2 to 3 minutes.14
Before introducing tea to your daily diet, make sure you speak to the doctor to know how many cups of tea you can drink in a day and which tea is most suitable for your health condition.
|↑1||Bell, Iris R., Carol M. Baldwin, and Gary E. Schwartz. “Illness from low levels of environmental chemicals: relevance to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.” The American journal of medicine 105, no. 3 (1998): 74S-82S.|
|↑2||Peng, Xiaomei, Rebecca L. Robinson, Philip Mease, Kurt Kroenke, David A. Williams, Yi Chen, Douglas Faries, Madelaine Wohlreich, Bill McCarberg, and Danette Hann. “Long-term evaluation of opioid treatment in fibromyalgia.” The Clinical journal of pain 31, no. 1 (2015): 7-13.|
|↑3||Tea. Oregon State University.|
|↑4||Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. “Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2, no. 5 (2009): 270-278.|
|↑5||Anesini, Claudia, Graciela E. Ferraro, and Rosana Filip. “Total polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity of commercially available tea (Camellia sinensis) in Argentina.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 56, no. 19 (2008): 9225-9229.|
|↑6||Tadesse, Alemu, Ariaya Hymete, Adnan A. Bekhit, and Salahuddin Farooq Mohammed. “Quantification of total polyphenols, catechin, caffeine, L-theanine, determination of antioxidant activity and effect on antileishmanial drugs of ethiopian tea leaves extracts.” Pharmacognosy research 7, no. Suppl 1 (2015): S7.|
|↑7||Mukhtar, Hasan, and Nihal Ahmad. “Tea polyphenols: prevention of cancer and optimizing health.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 71, no. 6 (2000): 1698s-1702s.|
|↑8||Serafini, M., D. Del Rio, D. N. Yao, S. Bettuzzi, and I. Peluso. “Chapter 12: Health benefits of tea.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular, and Clinical Aspects, 2nd ed.; Benzie, IFF, Wachtel-Galor, S., Eds (2011): 239-262.|
|↑9||de Miranda, Renata Costa, Eduardo S. Paiva, Silvia Maria Suter Correia Cadena, Anna Paula Brandt, and Regina Maria Vilela. “Polyphenol-Rich Foods Alleviate Pain and Ameliorate Quality of Life in Fibromyalgic Women.” Int. J. Vitam. Nutr. Res 1 (2016): 10.|
|↑10||Alramadhan, Elham, Mirna S. Hanna, Mena S. Hanna, Todd A. Goldstein, Samantha M. Avila, and Benjamin S. Weeks. “Dietary and botanical anxiolytics.” Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 18, no. 4 (2012): RA40.|
|↑11||Cho, Hong-Suk, Seung Kim, Sook-Young Lee, Jeong Ae Park, Sung-Jun Kim, and Hong Sung Chun. “Protective effect of the green tea component, L-theanine on environmental toxins-induced neuronal cell death.” Neurotoxicology 29, no. 4 (2008): 656-662.|
|↑12||Keenan, Emma K., Mike DA Finnie, Paul S. Jones, Peter J. Rogers, and Caroline M. Priestley. “How much theanine in a cup of tea? Effects of tea type and method of preparation.” Food chemistry 125, no. 2 (2011): 588-594.|
|↑13||Hajiaghaalipour, Fatemeh, Junedah Sanusi, and M. S. Kanthimathi. “Temperature and time of steeping affect the antioxidant properties of white, green, and black tea infusions.” Journal of food science 81, no. 1 (2016).|
|↑14||Matthews, Carolyn M. “Steep your genes in health: drink tea.” Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center) 23, no. 2 (2010): 142.|