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Herbs & Supplements «Green Tea Leaf Benefits and Information»

According to Chinese folklore, green tea was discovered, only by accident, nearly four thousand years ago. Today Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses green tea to treat aches, pains, headaches, minor gastrointestinal disorders, and depression. Green tea has also been used in detoxification, as an immune enhancer, as an energizer, and to prolong life.

Green Tea for Health and Longevity

Most tea products are derived from the same plant. The difference between tea products comes from how each specific tea is prepared. Unlike black and oolong tea, green tea is not fermented, so the active constituents remain in the herb. Green tea contains a variety of chemical compounds, minerals, vitamins, volatile oils and essential nutrients, but the primary compounds that is believed to provide green tea with its health and medicinal effects are polyphenols, particulary epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Among its arsenal of medicinal effects, preliminary studies suggest that green tea can lower cholesterol levels and reduce amounts of harmful LDL cholesterol. These same studies suggest that green tea may also increase cardiovascular health by making blood platelets less sticky.

Green tea has also been shown to be a strong blood antioxidant and detoxifier that can reduce oxidative damage to LDL that can lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

Still other studies have provided preliminary evidence that green tea may inhibit cancer. In a controlled study, the polyphenols in green tea effectively inhibited the spread of melanoma cells in test tube animals. The polyphenols in green tea may also reduce risk in other cancers in humans as well.

Green Tea contains caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system, and tannins, which combat diarrhea. Taken in moderation, green tea settles the stomach and has mild stimulant effects. However when taken in excess, it can cause insomnia and digestive problems.

Dosage and Administration

Although no conclusive dosage recommendations are available for green tea, most people take about 3 cups (750 ml) per day. However, some research suggests that up to 10 cups per day is needed to receive enough polyphenols to notice a marked increase in health.

To make green tea, simply combine 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves with 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 3 minutes.

Supporting Literature

Brown MD. Green tea extract and its possible role in the prevention of cancer. Alternative Medicine Review. 1999;4(5):360-370.

Bushman JL. Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature. Nutr Cancer. 1998;31:151-159.

Graham HN. Green tea composition, consumption, and polyphenol chemistry. Preventive Medicine 1992;21:334-350.

Kono S, Shinchi K and Ikeda N. Green tea consumption and serum lipid profiles: A cross-sectional study in Northern Kyushu, Japan. Preventive Medicine 1992;21:526-531.

Yang TTC, Koo MWI. Chinese green tea lowers cholesterol level through an increase in fecal lipid excreiton. Life Sciences. 1999:66:5:411-423.

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