White tea is an age-old elixir that has been forgotten with the rise of pharmaceuticals, and yet it is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories around, say researchers from Kingston University in London.
White tea was the most powerful of 21 herbal concoctions that the researchers tested on human skin cells to discover their ability to suppress rogue enzymes and oxidants that play a key role in inflammation, linked to cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
Two other herbal therapies - witch hazel and rose - were also very effective.
"It appears that drinking a simple cup of white tea might well help reduce an individual's risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or even just age-associated wrinkles", says lead researcher Prof Declan Naughton.
(Source: Journal of Inflammation, 2011; 8: 27).