Camellia Sinensis is an evergreen shrub, the leaves and buds of which are highly useful for the production of white tea. The plants are mainly found in various parts of Asia, but presently it is cultivated all over the world, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions. The plants are trimmed to below 2 metres in order to make their leaves viable for cultivation. The leaves are 4 to 15 cm long and 2 to 5 cm wide.
Fresh leaves contain a minimum amount of caffeine. Young leaves, light green in colour, having short white hairs on the underside, are preferably harvested for tea cultivation. The nomenclature "white tea" is derived from the aforementioned white hairs, which gives the plant a whitish appearance. Cultivation is feasible in areas having 127 cm of rainfall perennially. The plants require full or partial sunrays to grow, and can be cultivated in USDA climate zones 7 to 9. Two principal varieties of plants are principally cultivated, namely the Chinese variety plant and Assamese plant.
The seeds of Camellia Sinensis can be pressed to extract a particular type of oil, known as Tea seed oil, which is edible oil with a significant herbal aroma. The tea seed oil has a pale green colour.
Tea seed oil or Camellia tea oil is extracted using cold processing or solvent extraction methods.
Camellia Oil has the following composition:
Stearic Acid (1.1%)
Palmitic Acid (8.8%)
Palmitoleic Acid (1.5%)
Oleic Acid (82.3%)
Linoleic Acid (7.4%)
Besides, it also contains traces of Vitamin E, Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus. Some nutrients like Squalane and Saponins are also prevalent.
Medicinal Uses: Tea Seed oil prevents the spread of three kinds of cancer, namely colon cancer, uterus cancer and breast cancer. It also boosts our immune system, and acts as a stress reduction agent.
Household Uses: Camellia Oil is used for cooking, as machinery lubricant, and also as an agent to prevent rusting.