Botanist's Glossary

Tea Bush - Camellia sinensis

  • Description
    • The tea bush belongs to the same family as camellia (Theaceae). It is an evergreen bush that grows to a height of 1 to 2 meters when cultivated. In the wild, it can grow to 10 meters and live for a century or more. It has small, white, fragrant, single flowers. Native to the mountains of South East China and North East India (assamica variety) it has diversified into at least 2000 varieties, with many still cultivated today in their lands of origin.
  • Traditions
    • Known in protohistoric China, the discovery of tea is an almost legendary event since it is attributed to Confucius. At first, tea served as a remedy. It was drunk by all social classes in Eastern Asia and continues to have a very important medicinal role there even today. Many different teas are available on the market today. Their form depends on when the tea was picked (very young shoots, old tea leaves, etc.) and their preparation (green tea dried without fermentation, post-fermented black tea, etc.).
  • Properties
    • Tea has many applications in natural cosmetics. Very rich in polyphenols with antioxidant properties, it protects skin cells from free radicals. Its caffeine and theophylline content makes it a valuable ingredient for its stimulating and toning properties.