At the core of The Tea Spot’s vision is the passionate desire to improve people’s health and longevity by making loose-leaf tea an everyday luxury.  Our company commitments statement is encapsulated in the mantra “Modern Brewing. Conscious Living.”  An increased understanding of the role antioxidants play in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease has brought tea to the forefront as a healthy beverage.  Because we are a for-profit philanthropic company actively supporting cancer wellness causes, we often get calls with questions about which tea to send someone when they’re diagnosed with cancer.
I personally know the energy that’s required to work through such a challenge, and the last thing anyone fighting cancer needs is a scam or misinformation.  First of all, there is no tea or other beverage, botanical, herbal supplement, fruit, or vegetable that can cure, treat, or prevent cancer.  When I was going through treatment, I was taught by medical professionals to avoid any caffeine and supplements.  Some oncologists say that caffeine as well as antioxidant supplements may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  There simply isn’t enough data yet to settle the major questions about antioxidant use and cancer treatment.
Therefore, no tea (because all true tea contains caffeine) and no antioxidant supplements when you are going through cancer treatment.  Some herbals, like Rooibos, may be fine to drink while you’re going through treatment, but this should always be cleared with your medical professional first.  It should be noted that Rooibos, and many fruits and vegetables, contain naturally occurring antioxidants, and these are not considered supplements.
That being said, however, there is evidence pointing to the protective benefits of tea, which inspired me to start a loose-leaf tea company.  Green tea is the most popular tea in China and Japan, where the lowest breast cancer rates are found.  The inhibitory effects of the polyphenol antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea on carcinogenesis have been investigated, documented, and published in numerous laboratory studies.  Specifically, consumption of green tea was positively associated with decreased numbers of axillary lymph node metastases among premenopausal patients with Stage I and II breast cancer.  The same study also found that increased consumption of green tea was correlated with decreased recurrence of Stages I and II breast cancer.*  But as you relish your tea, remember too much of anything can be harmful.  So moderate your intake, and skip the milk and sugar, as they’ll increase your daily calorie count!
So far this year, The Tea Spot has distributed over $100,000 in product donations to help the charitable community.  The organizations we have supported range from cancer rehabilitation efforts to health and wellness awareness organizations, including Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, Cancer Climber, Casting for Recovery, Boulder Community Hospital, Healthlinks Clinic, and Summit Cancer Solutions.  This month, we raise our teacups to our sisters who have fought and those who are on the road to breast cancer wellness with our Steep it Pink tea gift set.  This gift set with our Meditative Mind white tea and our limited-edition hot pink Tuffy Steeper is our gesture toward helping to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Month.
*  Reference: “Influence of drinking green tea on breast cancer malignancy among Japanese patients,” Nakatchi et al., Department of Epidemiology, Saitama Cancer Center Research Institute.

Credit for the photo goes to Katie Young of The Tea Spot.