The relaxation elixir
Scientists discover how a cup of tea lifts mood and improves focus. Perhaps the popular drink could even counteract depression and dementia.
For many people, tea is more than just a thirst quencher: They attribute relaxing but also invigorating effects to the plant extract. The power of the drink brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis is now of increasing interest to researchers who are investigating which foods and beverages promote mental and physical he alth.
Demand for substances that could alleviate or even prevent anxiety disorders, depression and age-related cognitive decline is particularly high. Such common ailments put a strain on he althcare systems, and current therapies do not work for everyone affected. Around a third of anxiety and depression patients, for example, find no effective treatment. "If food could help, it would have a huge impact on preventive medicine," believes Andrew Scholey, a pharmacologist at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and consumption continues to rise. The United Nations estimates that green tea production will increase by an average of 7.5 percent per year. By 2027, it would thus reach around 3.6 million tons annually. However, given its popularity, we know surprisingly little about how the plant extract affects us…