Citron tea is delicious, you can often find me sipping a cup or two during the weekends to help me relax. It is even better to drink it during winter, I love to sip on a cup of warm citron tea while I read a book at night. It is a great herbal tea that has many health benefits for you.
What is Citron Tea?
Citron tea is a herbal tea that originates from Korea. In Korea, the name of the tea is called yuja cha or yuzu tea. In most cases, it is made with yuja-cheong, which is a type of marmalade made with yuja fruit with sugar or honey. You then scoop around 2 to 3 teaspoons into a cup of hot water and make the tea.
If you want to make the tea from scratch, you will need to slice up a yuja or yuzu and mix it in sugar or honey. Then you can scoop a bit of the mixture out and stir it into hot water. You can drink the tea and also eat the yuja.
What is a Yuja Fruit?
Yuja (is also known as yuzu in Japan) is one type of citrus fruit that originated from China and Tibet. Nowadays, it is cultivated in China, Japan and Korea. It is about the size of a tangerine and smells amazing, but is also super sour and can be tart. It kind of taste like a mixture of lemon and grapefruit with a hint of orange. When it is ripe, it gives off a powerful aroma and thereby makes it a good ingredient in both food and drinks.
Health Benefits of Citron Tea
The yuja fruit is know to be high in vitamin c, magnesium, manganese and sodium. It contains all the benefits you would get from a citrus fruit. It is high in phytonutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols.
When carotenoids and flavonoids are consumed it might be able to help neutralise the free radicals in your body. This are damages that you might get from the environment that will damage your cells. Over time, if you get too much free radicals, it creates oxidative stress and it might lead to a greater risk for developing chronic health issues. They are powerful antioxidants that help fight off the harmful molecules that might harm your body.
Polyphenols can help lower your blood sugar levels and thereby lowering your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. In addition, polyphenols might even help prevent starch from breaking down into sugar and spiking your blood sugar. Polyphenols also help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and benefit your digestion.
Vitamin C is also high predominant in the yuja fruit. Vitamin C is necessary for your growth, development and repair of all your body tissues. It is involved in many aspects of function in your body and is especially important for helping maintain your immune system and wound healing. In addition, vitamin C is also another antioxidant that can help protect your body from free radicals.
One of the most known benefits of vitamin C is to boost your immune system. Vitamin C has the ability to help encourage the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes and phagocytes) that help protect your body from infection. They also help your white blood cells operate more effective while protecting them from outside damage. Studies show that those who eat foods high in vitamin C when sick with colds or the flu have their risk of developing further complications reduced.
There has also been speculations that vitamin C can also help protect you from eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. There currently is not enough results to show consistent benefits but there seems to be a correlation between a daily intake of vitamin C and a decreased risk of cataracts.
Hesperidin and naringin are two compounds that are found in the yuja fruit that can help keep your platelets from sticking to the lining of your blood vessels. Although research is still limited, it is suggested that it can prevent blood clots and even inflammation of your blood vessels. One study suggested that regular hesperidia consumption might decrease your blood pressure and improve your blood vessel function. After 4 weeks of daily consumption, participants’ diastolic blood pressure was lower. Another study suggested that those who took hesperidin supplements had significantly decreased levels of heart inflammatory markers.
The smell of the yuja fruit has been known to be good at stress relieving. Compounds such as linalool and limonene are in charge of the scent of yuja. Studies have shown that yuji oil contains soothing properties and can help reduce tensions and anxiety. In fact, another study found that inhaling the scent for 10 minutes had decreased the participants’ heart rate and improved their nerve system activity.
This is one of the main reasons I enjoy drinking citron tea on a cold night while I relax from a day of work. The scent is amazing and it feels great to be sipping a cup of the herbal tea and relaxing. Not only does it taste good, the scent is really refreshing and I do think it does have a stress relieving effect on me.
How I Brew the Tea
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty lazy and therefore can’t really be bothered to buy yuja fruits and manually peel and soak it in honey or sugar water. Instead, I buy a jar of the honey citron marmalade and scoop it into my warm water. Usually, I would go for the Honey Citron and Ginger Tea as it includes ginger, which also has many health benefits.
But if you want to, it is pretty easy to make it from scratch. All you need to do is slice up the yuja fruit, soak the wedges in honey water and then store it for at least an hour before you drink it. Technically, you don’t need to wait that long to soak it, but I like to let it infuse a little before making it into a tea.
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