TAXIS. The replacement of parts by the haud.
TEA. hea tiridis. A plant belonging to the camelliacea,, and known wherever civilization extends as the source of the green and black tea of commerce. It is indigenous to many portions of China and is reported to have been introduced to Japan by a Buddist priest in the sixth cen tury. Its native country is unknown, the only country where it has certainly been found wild is Assam. Tea ha,,s been grown in the Southern States, in a stnall way for many years, the leaves being gathered for the family beverage, and said to be superior to that imported. Within the last few years its cultivation has been attempted under the patronage of the government, large quantities of plants having been propagated and sent out (20,000 in 1876) with a view of making it a national industry. This, however, will hardly be accomplished until machinery can be invented to compete with cheap East Indian and Chinese labor. Tea was first imported to Europe by the Hollanders in the seventeenth century. In 1661 it was introduced into England, and came to America as soon as the wealth of the settlers enabled them to buy it. The Chinese tea-plant viridis, Linn. ; Camelia thenfera, Griff. (Chinese, Ch,ak; Assamese, Phalap) is described by botanists as a polyandrous plant, of the natural order Ternstnemiacece. The flowers, which open early in the spring (appearing upon the plant about a month), are smaller in size and much less elegant than those which render some species of the Camelia so attractive. They are slightly odorous, and of a pure white color; they proceed from the axils of the branches, and stand on short foot-stalks, or at the most two or three together, but usually solitary. There are five or six imbricate sepals or leaves supporting the blossom, which fall off after the flower has . expanded, and leave from six to nine petals sur rounding a great number of yellow stamens that are joined together in such a manner at their bases as to form a sort of floral coronal. The numerous branches bearing a very dense foliage, and in its general appearance not unlike the myrtle, though not so symmetrical as that plant. The wood is light-colored, close-grained, of great comparative density, and when freshly cut or peeled gives off a strong smell resembling that of the black currant bush. The leaves are alternate, on short, thick, channeled foot-stalks; coriaceous or leathery, smooth and shining; of a dark green color, and a longish elliptic form, with a blunt or notched point, auctserrated except at the base.
seeds are enclosed in a smooth, hard capsule, of a flattish triangular shape, which is interiorly divided into two, three, and even five cells, each containing a firm, white, and somewhat oily nut, from the size of a pea to that of a hazel-nut, of a nauseous and bitter taste. They ripen in some localities as early as October; in others not until January. The stem is generally bushy, with The black and green teas of commerce are pro duced from this plant. The opinion was at one time quite prevalent that there existed several species of Thea, but it is now 1Known that the different sorts in market are indebted to artificial manipulations for much of their apparent variety and distinctive qualities. 1VIany of the nanies attached to teas are merely descriptive of the locality or country where they are produced, the condition of the leaves when gathered, and the mode of preparing them tor market. Thus there is Java tea, Japan tea and Assam tea; bohea tea, from coarse leaves; gunpowder tea, made from the small, close-curled young leaves; and green tea, colored to suit its name. In.the preparation of black tea, the freshly gathered leaves, being partially dried by brief exposure in the open air, are thrown into round, flat iron pans,' and exposed to a gentle fire heat for five minutes, which renders them soft and pliant, and causes them to give off a large quantity of moisture. They are then emptied into sieves, and while hot they are repeatedly squeezed and rolled in the hands to give them their twist or curl. They are next placed in the open air, in the shade, for a few days, and finally they are completely dried in iron pans over a slow fire. Green tea, when genuine, is prepared in a -similar manner, except that it is dried with rnore •care, and by a slower process, but the greater part of the greeu tea consumed in Europe and America is colored by the Chinese to suit the demands of foreign trade. There are about a 'dozen varieties of tea in commerce, but, besides the preceding distinction of color, they consist merely of different sizes obtained by siftiug. 'The active principles in tea are theine and a volatile oil, to the latter of which its flavor and odor are due, and which possesses narcotic and intoxicating propertie,s. It also contains fifteen per cent. of gluten or nutritious matter, and more than twenty-five per cent. of tannin. On page 932 will he found a cut of the young plant and root. Every civilized nation, and soine barbar ous tribes, have plants the infusion of which is .drank. Amtmg the more noted of these we find the following: Paraguay tea, or Yerba de mate, Rex Paraguagensis, (Aquifoliacece.)—The leaves of this South American tree are used in furnish ing the beverage, yerba mate. They yield the same active bitter principle called theine which is found in the leaf of the Chinese tea plant, and form a commercial product that occupies the same irnportant position in the domestic econ omy of South America as the famed China plant -does in this eountry, and is consumed to the -extent of several thousand tons annually. The leaves are prepared by drying and roasting, not in the fashinn of inaking Chinese teas, but by -cutting large branches from the trees, which are placed on hurdles over wood fires, and kept there until the leaves are sufficiently roasted, when they are removed and placed on a hard floor, and the dried leaves knocked off by beat ing the branches with sticks. The leaves are
then gathered up, reduced to powder in wooden mills, and packed for market. This tea is often packed in sacks made of raw hides, which are sewed together in a square form. The powdered leaves are pressed into the sacks with great force, and when full they are sewed up and exposed to the sun, where the hide dries and tightens over the contents, forming a package nearly as hard and heavy as stone. There are several grades or sorts of mate tea in the South American mar kets, valued according to the age of the leaf and the modes of preparation. It is prepared for use by placing a small quantity of the powder in a cup, and pouring boiling water over it ; the decoc tion is quaffed or sucked through a bambilla, or tube having a bulb perforated with minute holes. It has an agreeable, slightly aromatic odor, rather bitter to the taste, but very- refreshing and res torative to the body after undergoing great fatigue. It is highly relished by travelers, and it is almost impossible for those who become accustomed to its use to discontinue it. It acts in some degree as an aperient and diuretic, and, if taken in over-doses, it occasions diseases simi lar to those produced by strong liquors. It is .supposed that there are several species of Ilex, the leaves of which are gathered for tea; Rex .the,ezaas, Ilex gangonha, and Ilex amara are known to be used in Brazil and other places The Yerba, produced by, and known to the Bra zilians as Herva de Palmeira, is specially re nowned for its excellent qualities. The plant yielding Faham or orchid tea is Angrcerom fra _grans, an epiphytal orchid of the Island of Bour bon, where it is used under the name of Faharn. It has been ititroduced and used as a beverage in France and other European countries. In taste it differs greatly from that of the Chinese tea, having an aroma of great delicacy, and produc ing quite an agreeable perfume similar to that of the tonka bean. It has tonic and digestive qnalities: and it is recorded that in the aromatic principle of the plant there is a diffusible stimu lant capable of deadening nervous sensibility; in the bitter principle an excellant stimulant to revive the strength of the nutritive organs; and in the mucilage a demulcent to relax the tissues. Jesuit,s' tea, is the leaf of Psoralea glandulosa, (Leguminosce,) a native of Chili, a small shrubby plant. The infusion of the leaves is slightly aromatic, and is valued rnore for its medicinal qualities than for its agreeable flavor. It is used as a vermifuge, and is pronounced to be a good remedy for asthma. The leaves are used in Chili for making poultices for wounds, and an infusion of the roots is emetic and purgative. The leaves are also dried and smoked like tobacco. Arabian tea is prepared from the leaves of Gotha edulis, (Celastracece,) a small tree or shrub, seldom growing over eight feet in height, native of Arabia. Under the narne of cafta, small branches of this plant, with leaves still attached, form a considerable article of com merce among the Arabs, who cultivate the plant to a great extent in the interior of the country. A decoction of the leaves produces effects simi lar to those following the use of strong green Chinese tea, only that they are more pleasant and agreeable. The leaves are also chewed when in the green state, and are said to have a tendency to produce great hilarity of spirits, and also to act strongly as a preventive of sleep. The use of cafta in Arabia is supposed to be of great antiquity, and to have preceded the use of coffee. Beneoolen tea is a beverage prepared from the leaves of Glophyria (Mrtacece,) a native of the Malayan Islands, where it inhabits high elevations and attains a great age. The leave,s are eagerly sought for uoe in the preparation of a kind-of tea. Brazilian tea is prepared from the leaves of Staehytarpha Jamairensis. (Verbe nae,ece.) it is not knnwn that any peculiarly favorable result attaches to the use of this as a tea, but it is known that Chinese tea is frequently adulterated by mixing with the leaves of this ver vain. The green leaves are used as an applica tion to ulcers. Bush tea is an infusion of the leaves of Cyclopicc genistoicle, (Leguminosa,) a small bush, native of South Africa. Its use seeins to partake of a medicinal character, and is recom mended in cases of consumption and chronic catarrh ; it has an agreeable tea-like smell, with a sweet astringent taste. Theezan tea is prepared from the leaves of Sageretiatheezans,(Rhamnacece,) a Chinese plant of shrubby growth, having smooth shining-green leaves, somewhat resem bling those of the true tree, and is employed as a substitute for it by the poorer classes in South ern China. Labrador tea.—A preparation of the leaves Ledum palustre, (Ericoe e,ce,) a small spread ing shrub, native of Labrador. Mexican tea. — A name applied to the infusion of the young shoots and leaves of Ambrina ambrosioicles,(Chen opodiacece). It is entirely medicinal, having antispasmodic, vermifuge, and carminative prop erties. A. altar? mintica is much used as a ver rnifug,e. Mountain tea is the leaf of Oaultheria proeumbens, (Erieocece,) a small creeping plant familiarly known as winter green in the United States and Canada. All parts of the plant pos sess a pleasant peculiar aromatic odor and flavor, due to a volatile oil, which, when separated by distillation, is known as wintergreen oil. The leaves are used either as a flavor to genuine tea, or an infusion alone, which partakes of an astrin gent character, and is useful medicinally.