For centuries in China, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, green tea has been a popular drink. In the past few years and has become popular in the United States and continues to grow around the world. Part of this ever growing popularity is because of the scientific data supporting the health benefits of this herb.
Many Americans ask the question, what makes this herb better than black tea; they both come from the same plant? The leaves are harvested fresh and steamed. Black tea is harvested in the same way but the leaves are left to age and oxidize, this oxidation creates chemical compounds that are good for cholesterol among other health benefits, but does not exhibit the cancer fighting benefits of the green variety.
Green tea unlike black tea is high in polyphenols, which have powerful cancer fighting antioxidant properties. These beneficial compounds will vary from season to season along with the climate the plant is located in so not all green tea supplements are the same. Also, harvesting processes will determine how much healing polyphenols are left in the herb at time of encapsulation. Many studies have come out on the benefits of this herb and a few on black teas, with all this research, scientists still believe this herb is better than black tea as an antioxidant and cancer prevention herb.
With all the research pointing to the positive benefits of this herb, more than 4 times the amount of black tea is consumed in the United States and around the world as apposed to green variety. With in the next few years this herb is expected to grow in popularity by leaps and bounds. Many gourmet coffee shops have added green tea to their menu, along with grocery stores. At gas stations, bottled green tea can be purchased as well in the United States.
Ninety percent of all the research done on green tea has been done on its ability to fight cancer. Green tea has a greater Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) then both vitamin C and vitamin E, this means green tea can fight free radical damage better than either vitamin. This herb not only has a great ORAC value, it also helps improve the body’s natural antioxidant activity as well. Studies have shown that this herb inhibits the creation of nitrosamines and carcinogens that cause cancer in the body, as well as helps detoxify other cancer causing agents. This herb has shown to be effective against breast, colon, lung, pancreas, stomach, and small intestine cancers.
Another recent study suggested that this herb can protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Green tea, when ingested or rubbed on the skin externally in both tea or extract form, showed skin protection from the sun. This herb is good for sensitive skin and can help sooth irritations offering relief to those individuals with sensitive skin. Many cosmetic companies are adding green tea as their main ingredient to help reduce fine lines. This herb can safely be used with facial steaming and herbal baths to help sooth the skin.
This tea does contain small amounts of caffeine, but the caffeine does not exhibit the same stimulating effects as other caffeinated beverages. To date, there have not been any significant side effects reported so daily consumption is safe for most individuals. Some individuals need to stay away from all caffeinated products; supplement manufactures now offer caffeine free version.
For centuries third world countries have been benefiting from the consumption of this tea, don’t you think its time we start to as well? Herbal tea in regular or decaf can be found at your local or internet health food store.