CIDP and the Health Benefits of Jasmine Tea
If green tea isn’t an option for you, there may be something tastier and healthier out there: jasmine tea.
By Shiraz Abbas
If there is one drink I love, it’s green tea. We’ve written about the benefits of green tea and CIDP before. One of the troubles with green tea (unlike black tea) is that many people can’t stand the grassy taste of the drink. White tea is also beneficial (actually more so than green tea, maybe I should write about it?) but again it’s a taste that people need to get used to.
A great alternative for the rough taste of green tea is drinking jasmine green tea. Now don’t get me wrong, jasmine tea also has green tea in it, but it not only has the added benefit of greater taste, the jasmine itself has some added benefits for people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases like CIDP.
Jasmine itself is free of any calories. Jasmine tea has about 5% of the caffeine that coffee has. As we noted before, green tea contains compounds that help regulate inflammation in the body:
Scientists conducting this study found that EGCG found in green tea was responsible for a significantly higher number and frequency of regulatory T-cells found in the spleen and lymph nodes, helping to control the immune response. They found that EGCG did not directly affect the genetic DNA, but it did influence gene expression that determines how the genetic material is switched on or off as a response to food consumption. Epigenetic regulation is a rapidly emerging science that explains the extensive health benefits seen with a natural diet. Emily Ho, associate professor and research author from the Oregon State University Department of Nutrition, commented with reference to EGCG: “This appears to be a natural, plant-derived compound that can affect the number of regulatory T-cells, and in the process improve immune function.”
Researchers found a dual role for green tea polyphenols include boosting T-cell production and fighting cellular inflammation. Both mechanisms are critical in fighting conditions exacerbated by chronic inflammation such as cancer and heart disease as well as autoimmune disorders. Studies that involve regular consumption of naturally occurring foods and extracts are rapidly mounting to explain the importance of the foods we eat on our genetic health. Genes are expressed immediately following each meal and directly influence the progression of disease and the prevention of most chronic conditions.
In addition to EGCG that green tea contains, jasmine also has catechins that fight free radicals in the body that contribute to chronic inflammation.
Another benefit that jasmine has is that it helps fight diabetes. We know that diabetes can contribute to the development of diabetic neuropathy.
Jasmine can also help relieve stress. We saw in a previous article how stress can aggravate CIDP. Look at what the study said:
According to a 2008 article L. Stojanovich and D. Mariasavljevich showed that in 80% of patients with autoimmune diseases (the case studies they were dealing with), there was a report of “uncommon emotional stress” before the onset of the disease. A further problem was the vicious circular effect of the stress; the stress caused the disease to come out or become worse, but then the disease itself caused even more stress and made the disease worse in turn.
The good news here is that jasmine is also a stress reliever. It’s not the components in the jasmine that has this effect, but it is the odor of jasmine as it provides people with a form of aroma therapy. The smell of jasmine brings about a parasympathetic response to its odor and the body releases chemicals in the body that relieves stress.
Finally, and more directly relevant to CIDP patients, is that jasmine is in and of itself anti-inflammatory. Not only can it help reduce inflammation in the body, but it can also reduce the pain that is associated with chronic inflammatory responses.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.