What’s the Deal with GABA Tea?


What is GABA?
GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, that naturally occurs in the brain and it helps ensure that information reaching your brain cells moves efficiently and accurately.What do people say GABA can do?
GABA has been credited with contributing to lower stress levels, improving sleep, and reducing depression and anxiety.

What does it have to do with tea?

Some teas, such as oolong, have high levels of GABA. Some processors are creating “GABA tea” by oxidizing tea in a high-nitrogen, oxygen-free environment instead of oxygen during oxidation. This process was introduced in Japan in the 1980s when Dr. Tsushida Tojiro discovered that anaerobic conditions encourage the conversion of glutamate to GABA. That country sells many GABA-enriched foods and beverages like rice, soy milk and cookies.

In Japan, to be called GABA tea the beverage must have 150 mg of GABA per 100 grams of tea.



What does the research say about GABA?
GABA as a tool to support better sleep has been well documented by researchers. Data about the work of GABA receptors to help with rest have been used to develop a range of sleep-supporting drugs.

The journal “Biofactors” presented two studies where GABA was introduced to humans to examine how it impacts relaxation.  One examined the effect of GABA on brain waves and the other put the GABA recipients in stressful situations and monitored their immunoglobulin A levels. Together the studies showed that GABA can have a positive impact on reducing anxiety and encouraging relaxation.

Does “GABA tea” have these effects?
While GABA is shown to have great effects on the body, it is not clear that much of it is introduced through the drinking of tea. Researchers at the Langone Medical Center of New York University stated that “when GABA is taken orally, GABA levels in the brain do not increase, presumably because the substance itself cannot pass the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system.”

There are also potential negative effects from too much GABA.

It is interesting to note that the L-theanine that is also present in tea can impact the brain, encouraging the production of more GABA.


Dr. Tsushida

 GABA tea (other names: Gabaron, Jia Wu Long cha, Jing Bai Long cha, 佳叶龙茶) has underwent special oxygen-free fermentation process, and as a result it has accumulated GABA in tea leaves. This technology has been created in Japan. Dr. Tsushida and his collaborators at the former MAFF National Research Institute of Tea began developing GABA-rich tea in 1984 and successfully produced a new type tea in which almost all glutamic acid has been converted to GABA without changing the content of catechin or caffeine. The GABA content of green, oolong and black tea made under anaerobic condition and found that GABA accumulated in all teas. Japanese scientists have shown great interest and attention to this new technology and in the late 1980s in Japan, this GABA tea was actively distributed as a commercial product for people with hypertension. It was found that the chemically synthesized GABA reduces blood pressure in experimental animals[and humans. Further research demonstrated that GABA tea was also able to reduce the blood pressure in experimental animals and humans.



What They’re Saying

“At first, I used to drink the store brand teas and stuff I would find at the local coffee shop, I discovered GABA tea through Espirita, and I noticed a significant change in my mood and overall mental well being. I was more relaxed, focused in thought and generally more emotionally balanced. I prefer the heavier GABA teas such as DIamond or Ruby, I love the deep rich oaky flavor. I'll never go back to store bought tea after discovering medicinal teas!”

Eddie FariaTea Newb

“I used to suffer from eczema all over my body, before I moved to Taiwan and learned about Tea and mindfulness. I discovered GABA Oolong Tea in Taiwan and it helped heal my skin and other health problems by becoming more mindful and developing the habit of drinking GABA tea everyday.”

Drasko SabanAge 31

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