Veterinarian Reviewed on June 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
There are so many benefits of Green Tea as it has been endorsed in the media for the past several years. It seems that the health benefits of Green Tea continue to grow to the point that many of the claims are untrue, such as massive weight loss, which Green Tea was never used for traditionally. Does this mean there are no benefits to Green Tea? Absolutely not, Green Tea has medicinal benefits that have been enjoyed by ancient cultures for many years, but it must be used the way it was intended in order to reap its full benefits.
Green Tea is actually the tea leaves that are unfermented. It is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant and undergoes very little oxidation during the processing. The difference between black tea and Green Tea is the processing and oxidation, Green Tea is immediately heated or steamed once the leaves are picked.
History and Origin of Green Tea
Green Tea comes from China and India, but many other Asian countries have used the tea medicinally for thousands of years. Many Asian countries have not only used the tea as a medicine throughout the years, but it was also drunk because many people simply enjoyed it. In recent years, Green Tea has made its way to the West, where many benefits have been realized such as a powerful antioxidant and it can help with some amount of weight loss.
Ancient Uses of Green Tea
Green Tea was used originally as a tea that people in Asia drank daily. It was discovered that it helped with various ailments, which then caused it to become part of the Chinese traditional medicine. It was used for many different ailments including speeding up the healing process for wounds, controlling bleeding, promoting proper digestion, controlling blood sugar levels, and to reduce fevers.
Modern Uses of Green Tea
When Green Tea made its way to the west it was further studied to show its antioxidant effects, but unfortunately, those trying to sell the product to consumers began making wild claims about Green Tea, which is often the case since herbs are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, scientific data does prove that Green Tea can help with the following if it is used in conjunction with a healthy diet:
• Reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increase the good HDL, while lowering triglycerides
• Can help burn up more calories; though the research showed that the weight loss came from drinking at least five cups of Green Tea each day, which helped to burn approximately 70 calories per day.
• There have been many studies to show that the extract could neutralize the free radicals and prevent or at least limit cell replication, which is associated with cancer. This means that it does indeed have some anti-cancer properties.
Side Effects of Green Tea
Green Tea is typically well-tolerated though drinking the tea is an acquired taste for most people. Those that are sensitive to caffeine may have some side effects since Green Tea does have naturally occurring caffeine in the leaves. This can lead to insomnia, irritability, frequent urination, gas, and nausea. Stop drinking the tea if you suffer from any of these side effects.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan