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Assam Tea: A Glimpse of Its Forbidden History and Incredible Health Benefits

The state with mesmerizing natural beauty with alluring greenery hills and river is also famous for its tea gardens and unique black tea.

Pronami Chetia
Working women in the field
Working women in the field

The state with mesmerizing natural beauty with alluring greenery hills and river is also famous for its tea gardens and unique black tea. This northeastern state is surrounded by the Northern Himalayas, Brahmaputra plains, and the Deccan plateau on three sides which makes it one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world. 

Recently, India ranked 2nd position in global tea production after China where Assam solely contributed 80% of the total country’s tea production after Darjeeling. There is a long and hidden history behind the Assam tea which is linked with British Colonial rule, but not properly recorded in mainstream Indian History. 

Let’s have a quick look at the history behind the famous Assam tea, followed by its health benefits:

The Journey and History of Assam Tea

Before the Assam, China was the one and only king in tea production which was exported to different countries across the globe. The whole world was addicted to this refreshing beverage including British India but people were hardly aware of this hidden gold within the northeastern state. There are many hidden stories lies within the green gardens which unfortunately Indian history is not able to record and recall. 

According to legend, Assam tea was discovered by Robert Bruce, a Scottish gentleman who was on a trading mission near Rangpur in the hills in 1823 when he noticed Assam tea plants growing wild. Maniram Dewan (a martyr of India's independence struggle) is said to have directed him to Bessa Gam, the local Singpho chief.

He showed Bruce how local tribesmen (known as the Singhpos) brew tea from the leaves of this bush. Bruce made an arrangement with the tribal chief to give him samples of these tea leaves with seeds, as he planned on having them scientifically examined. As luck would have it, Robert Bruce passed away a few years later, never having seen this plant being properly classified. 

assam tea

In early 1830, Robert Bruce’s brother, Charles, sent a few of these leaves to a botanical garden in Calcutta to be properly examined and it was then that this plant was officially classified as a tea variety. It is said that these leaves were classified as belonging to the same species as china tea plants. 

The first company that was set up for making and growing this tea was called the Assam Tea Company and started in the year 1839. In the coming years, Assam Tea kept spreading its realm and by 1862, the Assam Tea business comprised of over 160 gardens all owned by 5 public companies along with 57 private players. It was later that the government decided to appoint a special commission for enquiring about every aspect of this company.

Today, Assam Tea inculcates huge revenue amounts and is one of the most favored teas in the country. It produces quality tea that comes with incredible health benefits. 

Incredible Characteristics and Health Benefits of Assam Tea 

Assam tea is classified as black tea which is scientifically named  Camellia sinensis var. assamica. 

Keeps Your Body Warm

That’s the reason why you are much addicted to it during winter and monsoon. A cup of hot tea is enough to warm you up on chilling wintery days. That’s another survival technique for locals of hilly areas during the heart-chilling winter season. It helps you to get rid of fever and cold due to the frequent change of weather. 

It gives you healthier skin 

Assam tea contains Vitamin A and E which are good for the skin. It will purify your blood internally, and keep you away from a lot of skin problems. 

Develop Cognitive Function

Tea relaxes your mind and soul which on the other hand helps you to develop the cognitive function of the brain and gives a boost to mental health.  

Proven to Fight Infections and Inflammation 

It contains different minerals and antioxidant content which helps to boost your immune system and help to prevent different diseases. So, as soon as you feel the first symptom of the common cold or fever, go for a hot cup of Assam tea with honey which will help your body speed up healing the damage of your body. 

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