A brief background into green tea
Traditionally, green tea has been used for its medicinal effects in Asia and it’s and Sub-continents since before records began. After water, tea is the most consumed liquid in the world. Out of the total global tea consumption, around one-fifth is the green tea. Green tea is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis.
In fact, almost every type of tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis but it is the oxidation level of leaves that makes the difference. In black tea, the leaves are oxidized to a great extent while in green tea; unoxidized or partially oxidized leaves are used. As green tea contains partially oxidized Camellia leaves so the green tea has a higher ratio of antioxidant compounds like polyphenols. Flavonoids are the predominant polyphenols found in green tea.
Uses of Green Tea
Although, green tea is particularly popular for its medicinal properties it has also other uses like green tea bags that are applied onto skin for minimizing the harmful effects of sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Extracts of green tea are used in mouthwash and gargling with green tea soothes toothache. After pulling out a tooth, green tea candy helps stop bleeding from gum, and green tea is also used to decrease puffiness under the eyes.
Green tea is also very famous for its weight loss properties and people from around the world incorporate it in their diets for losing some pounds of unwanted body fat. In addition to all these beneficial aspects, green tea is actually hailed for its health benefits and the following are some of the health benefits of green tea.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea helps fight cancers: Antioxidants like polyphenols present in green tea are found useful in limiting tumor growths in several laboratory experiments. Therefore it is no wonder that ratios of cancer in countries with high green tea consumption are lower as compared to countries where green tea consumption is low. Green tea is found effective in skin, breast, lung, skin, esophagus, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
Green tea lowers blood cholesterol level: There is evidence that green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level, it lowers down both total and bad cholesterol of the blood.
Green tea promotes heart health:
Green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level especially the LDL or bad cholesterol. Therefore, green tea promotes heart health and lowers the risk of cardiovascular complications.
Green tea helps lower risks of type 2 diabetes: Diabetes is one of the most prevailing health issues in the world today. Green tea has proved its effectiveness in lowering the risks of diabetes development. Not-sweetened green tea is a natural remedy for keeping blood sugar level in check.
Green tea helps treat skin inflammation: Green tea helps to relieve the symptoms of skin inflammation. It has shown positive results in the treatment of various skin inflammatory diseases like dandruff, red flaky skin, and psoriasis.
Green tea improves memory:
Various research studies indicate that green tea helps improve memory and therefore it is helpful in certain neuropsychiatric disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Side effects of Green Tea
Unlike its health upsides, little information is available on the potential negative side effects of green tea. However, the following are some of the risks which are associated with green tea. If you are caffeine sensitive then you may experience irritability, anxiety, or upset stomach.
Like aspirin, green tea has also shown some blood-thinning properties so be cautious if you are on a blood related medical therapy.
Finally, excessive use of green tea extracts or green tea-based mouth wash can lead to stomach problems like constipation, indigestion, etc.
Brief Overview of Available Studies into the health benefits of green tea
So far, a lot of studies have been conducting on exploring the nature, medical upsides, and downsides of green tea. The following is a brief overview of these studies.
In 2006, a study, ‘Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan’ published in Journal of the American Medical Association explored the effects of green tea on coronary complications.
In 2007, a study, ‘Green tea polyphenol induces caspase 14 in epidermal keratinocytes via MAPK pathways and reduces psoriasiform lesions in the flaky skin mouse model’ published online on PubMed proved the positive impact of green tea on reducing skin inflammations.
In 2011, an analysis of research studies, ‘Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials’ published online on PubMed showed that how green tea lowers down the blood cholesterol level.
In 2013, a study, ‘The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk of Stroke Incidence in Japanese Population’, published online on AHA Journals surfaced the positive impact of green tea on stroke.
In 2014, a study, ‘Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing’ published in the journal ‘Psychopharmacology’ suggested that green tea impacted memory positively.
As you can see, there has been extensive research into the effects of green tea, and the results all seem to be extremely positive at this time, more and more health benefits are being discovered all the time, switching from black tea to green tea could be an excellent idea after all.
In conclusion, we can safely infer that our ancestors were right in choosing green tea as a medicine. Modern research has only proved the assumptions of our ancestors. It is a high time to include green tea in our diet.
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