A few hundred years before the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation forced Internet users to practice wits on the topic of renaming non-patriotic American coffee, our compatriots composed a recipe that can rightfully bear the proud title of "Rusian" - and this is not coffee, but lemon tea . Yes, this way of drinking is ours. According to one version, citizens who traveled by horseback and suffered from motion sickness began adding lemon to tea; in the second, a certain aristocrat free from gastronomic stereotypes and prejudices asked for fashion; tea leaves and lemons were brought from the east at about the same time period. Anyway, they came up with tea with citrus in Russia - “and all other countries envy us”. This habit really puzzles representatives of other nations, but when did Russians care about the harm and benefit of this or that drink?
Tea with lemon: the benefits and harm
Opponents of adding lemon to tea insist that citrus kills the delicate tea aroma. There is a grain of truth in this, that is why the absolute right of every gourmet is to drink properly brewed tea in its pure form. For all others, astringency and light bitterness of the drink are perfectly complemented by citric acid. It can be perceived as a separate, self-sufficient drink, which has unique taste, as well as many of its own beneficial properties. What is useful lemon tea?
The main weapon of a lemon is, of course, vitamin C. Ascorbic acid neutralizes the action of free radicals, slows the aging process, boosts immunity, stimulates metabolism, thins blood and strengthens the walls of blood vessels. In addition, vitamin C has a powerful antiseptic effect. Lemon can be added to both black and green. In any case, the beneficial properties of lemon are complemented by bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and protective effects, for which tannins contained in tea are responsible - but in green tea these substances are about 2 times more. And, of course, the combination of tea and lemon contains more vitamins and minerals than each of the products separately.
Lemon tea is tasty and healthy.
Moreover, tea contains the bioflavonoids of the vitamin P group, which, in cooperation with ascorbic acid, participate in redox processes, increase the concentration of hyaluronic acid and reduce the permeability and fragility of blood vessels. These P vitamins prevent the oxidation of ascorbic acid. “Aggravating” the green drink with a piece of lemon, we get a drink that has no equal antioxidant properties: the concentration of organic substances from the group of flavonoids - catechins - will increase 6-7 times. Thus, lemon and tea are not just well combined, but also enhance the effect of each other.
Lemon tea contains polysaccharides - including pectins, which rid the body of cholesterol, toxins and slags, as well as alkaloids (for example, caffeine), stimulate the nervous system and improve digestion with catechins. When is a drink bad? Like any other product - with abuse. The recommended daily intake is 700 ml, that is, 3-4 standard cups.
Russians love stronger and hotter
It is widely believed that lemon reduces the strength of tea. This misconception is based on the fact that when you add a lemon, the drink brightens. But a change in shade is only a visual effect, caused by the fact that citric acid destroys pigments. Citrus fruits do not affect the caffeine content, so you should not increase the dose of tea leaves by planning to add a slice of lemon.
But another common point of view - that tea with lemon juice, especially when treating a cold, should be as hot as possible - cannot be definitely called erroneous. Scientists are still arguing at what temperature ascorbic acid is destroyed, in particular its isomer L, which has biological activity. Even if boiling reduces the benefit of the product by a small percentage - in any case, more vitamin C is contained in citrus fruits that have not been subjected to heat treatment, so it is advisable to add the lemon already in the brewed, slightly cooled.
The tea becomes lighter, but its strength does not change.
There is one more thing: for ascorbic acid, not so much the temperature as the contact with oxygen and light is destructive. That is why the lemon must be cut just before eating - in our case, before adding to tea.
Tea, lemon, blood pressure - arrange in the correct sequence
Information on the subject, lowers or increases the tea with a slice of lemon blood pressure, is sometimes quite contradictory. Let's take it in order. Let's start with the main thing: one cup of tea with a slice of lemon will not have a decisive influence on the pressure, therefore neither hypertenders nor hypotensors have nothing to worry about. Further, lemon has the ability to thin the blood and, accordingly, reduce the pressure. Strongly brewed, especially black, contains more B vitamins, including nicotinic acid, so the pressure increases. And in weak tea, there is more routine to lower pressure. But, again, all this matters only at high dosages of the drink. But the so-called red tea - Karkade - lowers the pressure quite strongly, and in combination with lemon, this drink is literally created for people suffering from hypertension.
Lemon from tea - eat or not eat?
There is a legend about how the famous composer Shostakovich surprised Elizabeth II and her entourage by eating a slice of lemon from his cup during a tea party. The legend says that the royal endurance and tact were enough to repeat Dmitri Dmitrievich’s actions as if nothing had happened - although this was contrary to the rules of etiquette.
Lemon itself is rich in vitamins.
To demonstrate the refined manners there is lemon from tea, maybe not the best habit, and for health this is very useful. The fact is that the peel of citrus contains even more essential oils, flavonoids and phytoncides than in the pulp.
What diseases helps
- Flu and cold.
Hot lemon tea is a method of treating catarrhal diseases known to us since childhood. How effective is it? An unshakable rule in case of illness is to drink as much as possible. And as a drink (and preferably also with honey) - a good recipe. In addition to the immunostimulating properties of ascorbic acid, the drink enhances perspiration, has a diuretic effect, promotes the dilution and elimination of sputum.
- From sore throats.
During the acute phase of the inflammatory process, doctors do not recommend tea with lemon, because citrus fruits irritate mucous membranes. At the same time, at the initial stage of the disease and at the stage of recovery after a sore throat, the drink will be quite useful: the drink helps to fight infection, increase body resistance and eliminate edema.
- From cough.
Drink with lemon and ginger, in addition to its tonic effect, has an expectorant effect and helps to eliminate pain symptoms with a strong cough.
- At a temperature.
The main thing to be understood is: temperature is the reaction of the body to the causative agents of a disease. And it is necessary to fight first of all with pathogens. But to eliminate unpleasant sensations and reduce the risk of dehydration, it is perfect.
- With elevated and reduced pressure.
As we have said, lemon and tea separately have different effects on blood pressure. Moreover the decisive factor is the strength of the tea. Thus, weak green with a large number of citrus fruits will help reduce pressure, and strong black with a small slice of citrus will help raise it.
- From the hangover.
Rescue the drink and the next morning after alcoholic libations - thanks to all the same ability of vitamin C to thin the blood, as well as the tonic effect of caffeine. And in this situation, it is useful to sweeten the tea with sugar or honey: glucose will give the body energy and help to cope with the effects of dehydration.
- From "seasickness".
This is a favorite drink of those who love to travel, but does not tolerate travel. The tool not only helps to overcome nausea, but also gives strength to survive the trip.
- From fatigue and bad mood.
Tea with a slice of lemon for breakfast, especially green, invigorates, warms and helps to cope with stress.
- When gastritis.
Lemon drink increases acidity in the stomach, so the drink is contraindicated for people who have gastritis and so is excessive gastric secretion. Conversely, if gastritis is caused by low acidity, lemon tea is the right remedy.
- With diarrhea and poisoning.
The bactericidal and astringent effect of the polyphenols contained in tea makes the drink an indispensable aid in food poisoning and diarrhea. These substances interact with "bad" proteins, metals and acids, forming safe compounds. Citrus kills harmful bacteria and microbes, and also contributes to the rapid elimination of toxic substances from the body. The easiest way is to brew strong tea, add a small slice of lemon.
- When vomiting.
A cup of chilled green tea with plenty of lemon and sugar-free will help stop vomiting.
And with diarrhea and vomiting, it is necessary to establish the cause of the indisposition. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor immediately.
- For weight loss.
First, it is a low-calorie drink that can be drunk in unlimited (in terms of excess weight) quantities. Secondly, citric acid contributes to the breakdown of fats and accelerate metabolism. The ideal drink in terms of weight loss is tea with the addition of lemon and ginger. In all the above situations, it is an excellent means of adjuvant therapy that can alleviate the symptoms of the disease and support the body in the fight against the disease. The main treatment should be prescribed by a doctor.
For each type of tea there is a recommended method of preparation. Black and red are brewed with water at 90 ° C ... 100 ° C, green and white tea - 75 ° C ... 85 ° C. Water quality is important. Do not reuse boiled water. The best crockery is a ceramic teapot, many experts advise rinsing it with boiling water before pouring tea leaves. During brewing, water should not be poured into the kettle, up to a maximum of 2/3 volume. Depending on the variety, the drink is infused for 3 to 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, the drink becomes unsuitable for consumption, therefore, after the prescribed time, the tea must be poured into cups or poured into another vessel. Lemon, as we have said, is optimal to add just before the start of the tea ceremony.
- Classic black tea with lemon
Brew tea leaves with boiling water at the rate of 1 teaspoon per cup, let stand for 5-7 minutes, add 1 slice of lemon per serving.
The maximum water temperature for brewing green tea is 85 °, the maximum infusion time is 5 minutes. Connoisseurs of tea culture argue that the first brew should be poured, and the second should be consumed inside. Lemon is added before drinking tea.
- With zest.
Remove peel from lemon, dry in the sun or in the oven. Grind the zest with a coffee grinder and mix with leaves of black or green tea in a ratio of 1: 5.
- Puer with lemon.
This is not the most traditional combination, but such a recipe also has a right to exist - especially as a method to quickly charge the body with energy. Pu-erh is brewed at the rate of 1-1.5 teaspoons per 100 ml of water. The younger Puer, the lower the water temperature (starting from 80 ° C). The first brew is poured in 15-20 seconds, then brewed again, and after 3 minutes the drink can be consumed.
- With ginger.
Ginger root is a well-known means for speeding up metabolism, fighting infections, as well as getting rid of extra pounds. Tea with lemon and ginger has a pronounced diuretic effect. The most common recipe for ginger-lemon tea requires pouring 1 liter of boiling water on the ground ginger root in shredded form and boil on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Strain the mixture and use to brew tea leaves. Add lemon at the end when the drink has cooled slightly.
- With mint.
Peppermint has a soothing effect. 1-2 leaves of fresh or ½ teaspoon of dried mint brewed with tea, a few minutes later add a slice of lemon.
- With cinnamon and cloves.
Spicy spices will not only diversify the taste of lemon tea, but also enhance its therapeutic effect, since both cinnamon and clove themselves have a pronounced bactericidal effect and a positive effect on metabolism. At 0.5 liters of tea, add 1 stick of cinnamon and 2-3 umbels of cloves.
- With honey.
Known remedy for the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Honey does not tolerate high temperatures, so if you are preparing a drink for medicinal purposes, add honey when the tea has cooled (up to about 40 ° C).
- Cold with lemon.
Not quite the usual for Russian cuisine, but a very interesting way to make a refreshing drink. Tea with lemon effectively quenches thirst, and also protects the body from dehydration, contributing to the absorption of nutrients. Therefore, the drink is useful and pleasant to use on hot days. You can simply cool the green tea and add lemon slices to it before serving. There are more intricate recipes: for example, brew 2 teaspoons of green tea with 200 ml of water, let it brew, add ½ lemon in cut form and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Then the mixture is filtered and diluted with 150 ml of carbonated mineral water.
- Citrus ice tea.
Finely chop the lemon, put in a freezing form and pour water (it can be sweetened). Add to tea as needed.
- Additional ingredients.
The drink can be diversified with additional components of plant origin, which both improve the taste of the drink and contribute to its impact on health. Such ingredients can be thyme, linden, jasmine, chamomile, anise, lemon balm.
Is it allowed during pregnancy and breastfeeding
If there is no individual intolerance, a lemon for pregnant women is an excellent source of ascorbic acid and a way to strengthen the immune system. In addition, the sour taste of tea with lemon will help the expectant mother to cope with toxicosis. At the same time, the caffeine content in tea can lead to an increased uterus tone, therefore tea with lemon during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters, should be used with caution, not more than 1 cup per day.
Drink tea with lemon and during pregnancy
Another option is to replace the usual varieties of tea with herbal or white. The drink should be drunk in strictly limited dosages when breastfeeding: any tonic drinks should not be drunk in large quantities during lactation because of the high probability of a negative effect on the nervous system of the baby, and lemon in breast milk can become a strong allergen for the newborn.
Contraindications and side effects
An obvious contraindication to drinking tea with lemon is an allergy to citrus fruits. In addition, the drink has the ability to increase the acidity of the stomach, so people suffering from excessive secretion of gastric juice, it is recommended to drink it with caution. Contraindications include colitis, pancreatitis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer. People who have problems with sleep, it is better not to drink tea with or without lemon in the afternoon. Even for healthy people there are restrictions on the dosages of tea - the maximum amount per day is 5 cups. We already know that any tea is a good drink for diarrhea - but for constipation, doctors do not recommend drinking it. Due to the high concentration of caffeine, it is contraindicated in patients with glaucoma.
At the beginning of the article we mentioned the story that the invention of tea with lemon was the merit of the postal station workers who offered drink to the tired travelers as a means of rocking. So, the full version sounded like this: do you have a lemon or a towel for tea? In the second case, the traveler was asked to drink a few cups of hot herbal tea to thoroughly sweat. And this option was chosen most often - lemons were an expensive pleasure. Today, fortunately, lemons are available to everyone, so you can enjoy yourself with a cup of citrus tea at any time. But here you need to know the measure: stick to the recommended dosages and listen to your body.