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Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring boiling hot water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many people enjoy.
Consumption of tea (especially green) is beneficial to health and longevity given its significant antioxidant, flavanols, flavonoids, and polyphenols content.
Consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of diseases that cause functional disability, such as “stroke, cognitive impairment, and osteoporosis” in the elderly.
Tea contains L-theanine, and its consumption is strongly associated with a calm but alert and focused, relatively productive (alpha wave dominant), mental state in humans. This mental state is also common to meditative practice.
The phrase herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea or chamomile tea. Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with "tea" as it is construed here.