Mamaki tea has entered our line of sight in the last few months and has generated a lot of interest with our writers and editors as a result. Mamaki tea is relatively unknown and is said to be incredibly healthy, but it might not be as cut and dry as it seems.
If you’re new to Mamaki tea and you want to learn more about it, read on. If you want a truly extraordinary herbal tea that has a wealth of research backing it up, try Greek mountain tea from UK-based Shelgo Tea. They have a guide detailing all the amazing benefits, and they also have a few other great teas. Use the code “HAVE10ONUS” to get 10% off non-sale items (minimum order £10) and to support this site.
What is Mamaki Tea?
We’re going all the way to Hawaii for this herbal tea. Mamaki tea is a relatively unknown tea made from the pipturus albidus plant, which is native to the island of Hawaii. It is a plant that is said to be safe for human consumption, with the leaves being used to make a tea that is loaded with many beneficial compounds similar to the ones found in green tea.
As far as we can tell it’s only sold by a couple of tea companies and is far from a popular, well known tea, but the more we learn about it the more we realize that it should be.
Not since sideritis tea have we been this excited about a herbal tea and the potential benefits it has. But because Mamaki tea has had nowhere near as many studies done on it as the aforementioned Greek tea and because not many brands sell it, we’re still reserving judgement.
Is Mamaki Good for You?
We like to link to human studies when discussing the benefits of herbal teas. It’s what led us to pretty much dismiss teas like hops and many others, and in the past we have ignored most anecdotal evidence and animal studies.
In this case, however, we can’t ignore those studies because that’s pretty much all that we have to go off. There simply isn’t enough information out there concerning the health benefits of Mamaki.
As a result, everything listed below is based purely on anecdotal reports, as well as studies conducted by companies that actually sell this tea and therefore have a vested interest in promoting its benefits.
You should therefore take all of this information with a pinch of salt, using it as a basis for more research and not taking any of it as gospel. We will try to find the reason in these claims where possible, but that’s not always easy to do.
The Health Benefits of Mamaki Tea
The apparent health benefits of Mamaki tea include:
1. Cancer Prevention
Mamaki tea is loaded with antioxidants, including specific types of antioxidants known as catechins. Fans of green tea will recognize these as the same compounds that make green tea and matcha tea such powerful weapons in the fight against the Big C.
Not only are they effective at combating free radicals in the body, but they may also play a role in fighting cancer cells directly. These are the same magical compounds that make blueberries, dark chocolate and red wine such hot topics for nutritionists and cancer researchers.
We know that a diet rich in plant based antioxidants like this can play a major role in reducing the risk of cancer, and while no one can say for sure whether Mamaki tea and green tea can prevent or treat cancer, it’s certainly an interesting field of research and it’s well worth adding these antioxidants to your diet.
2. Aids with Digestion
Mamaki tea contains a compound known as cholorgenic acid, which can also be found in burdock and many root vegetables and may be able to sooth digestive disorders and alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, excessive flatulence, constipation and much more.
The catechins help here as well, as we know that these compounds can play a role in reducing digestive distress when consumed in the form of green tea.
3. Helps you to Detox
We don’t like the word “detox”. It is overused, linked with everything from laxatives to diuretics and fad diets. However, in terms of helping to support the liver and the colon Mamaki tea may actually be useful during a detox.
As a Hawaiian traditional medicine it is also believed that it can “cleanse the blood”, a term you will see claimed by many websites but one that you won’t find in scientific papers.
We wouldn’t go as far as to say that it can do that, but we’re happy to believe that it can help to support the liver (also a traditional belief) as we know that many herbal teas, including dandelion root and nettle root, can help in the same way. It’s not a stretch to believe that Mamaki tea can do the same.
4. Improves Brain Health
Traditionally Mamaki tea has been consumed for its stimulating effects. It doesn’t contain caffeine and there is nothing here that stands out as an obvious stimulant, but it’s possible that the catechin content could produce a clean energy boost, enough to help improve focus, but not enough to create any kind of tangible stimulation.
Mamaki tea may also help to decrease irritability and is said to be particularly useful in controlling stress and regulating mood. There are even claims that it can help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS.
What is in Mamaki Tea?
Mamaki tea has no caffeine and no cholesterol and it is naturally free of both of these. This is not unique as pretty much every herbal tea outside of the camellia sinensis plant ticks these boxes. But it’s worth mentioning nonetheless because these are the questions people interested in Mamaki tea want answers to.
Mamaki tea also has some vitamins and minerals, but not enough to make a huge difference and certainly not enough to draw attention away from the phytonutrients.
How to Make Mamaki Tea
You need to use Mamaki leaves to make Mamaki tea. Simply crush and chop the leaves and then add one teaspoon per cup of boiling water, leaving it to steep for 10 minutes. Once you make your first cup and taste it you can use that as a basis for all future cups, increasing or decreasing the dose to increase or decrease the strength as needed.
You can add honey or sugar to taste, but you should avoid adding milk. That’s pretty much the standard for all herbal tea, but us Brits have a habit of adding milk to tea so we feel that it is necessary to keep mentioning this.