Fascinating, delicious and definitely addictive! Tea, to many people, is one of the most interesting addictions in the world which has infact loads of benefits. Whether you come back hell tired from office or you are enjoying a match at home there is nothing more refreshing that you would expect than a cup of tea and hence there is no doubt that is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. According to popular belief Tea originated as a medical drink in China from the Shang dynasty and by the time it is the seventeenth century drinking tea has been hugely popularised in Britain. There has been a lot of research that goes into finding the right flavour and aroma of teas and the interest towards this beverage are all the more enhanced by the several myths and stories that had originated around this wonder drink.
The Mythical Story Of the Chinese Emperor
It was believed that around 5000 years ago, there was a Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung who was very popular because he could detect the properties of different herbs. According to legend, he was boiling his drinking water one day when due to a sudden light breeze some dried leaves from a nearby shrub fell into the cauldron in which the water was boiling. The leaves started reacting with the boiling water and gradually turned it brown. Shem Nung, out of curiosity tasted it and infact felt it was quite refreshing. He also urged others to try it. It was known that the shrubs from where the leaves blew were actually tea plants and the rest is history.
The Story of Bodhidharma- The Japanese Legend
The name of this Buddhist monk is usually associated with religious propaganda as he is credited for spreading Buddhism to China and Japan. But besides that there is a mythical story that has developed around him. According to this story, Boddhidharma had vowed to stare at a wall for a nine-year long meditation. But he felt extreme fatigue at the end of five years and as a result one day he fell asleep. He was disappointed at his failure and in anger towards himself he cut off his eyelids and threw them away on the ground. It is believed that the place where Bodhidharma’s eyelids fell on the ground; the first tea plant grew from there. He consumed the tea plant extract and committed to himself to finish the meditation this time. He did finish it successfully and from there developed the notion that tea has the power to eliminate sleep and exhaustion for long hours.
Other Popular Stories About Tea
It has been known that an agricultural god was eager to find out health solution and healing properties of all herbs and plants. He made himself the subject of his experiment and went about eating leaves of plants. If any of those plants had ill-effects or turned out to be poisonous, he used to drink tea to cure himself. This myth actually throws a light on the benefits of having tea.
The Story Of The Woodcutter
One day a woodcutter was chopping trees in the hills when some monkeys caught his attention. They were plucking and chewing the leaves of a tree. The woodcutter after a day’s work was hungry and he too grabbed some of the leaves. He quite liked the taste and took some samples back to his village. Gradually the villagers started adding them to their drinks and tea as a beverage was evolved.
The popularity of tea does not depend on these myths because through several lab tests and experiments the benefits of consuming tea has been well established through the ages. But reading from these exciting myths is very interesting for it only adds to the flavour and the addiction of having tea each day, every day!