The medicinal properties of green tea have recently become renown in the west, however in Japan and China, green tea has been a regular staple for thousands of years, and has been enjoyed for both its pleasant taste as well as medicinal properties.
Green tea has historically been used internally and externally. Ingestion of the leaves, by infused tea and as powdered seasoning for confections has benefited the Asian culture in reduced heart disease, protection from developing various cancers, boosting the metabolic rate to prevent and treat obesity; and as an aid for digestion and regulating body temperature.
This tea has been used externally for the healing of wounds, cessation of bleeding, and in facials to maintain a youthful appearance of skin, remove blackheads, and as an effective remedy for problems with acne. Green tea skin treatments are also used to lighten the skin and blend and balance variance of skin tones on the face and body. One of the most common uses of green tea today is helping increase metabolic rate. Studies have shown that it can have a significant effect in those trying lose weight. There are a number of supplements that can be purchased over the counter like Healthy Trim Green Tea Extract that provide the same benefits without having to drink the actual tea.
The tea itself is made from the leaves, and sometimes other parts, of the Camellia sinensis plant. These leaves also produce most of the black teas that the west has enjoyed for years, but the leaves of green tea are processed differently.
Indeed, it is the growing and processing practices of Camellia sinensis that produce varying results even within the family of green tea varieties, but in the inherent chemical properties of the Camellia sinensis plant are present in greater or lesser degrees in all varieties of green tea. Scientific studies have isolated certain chemical properties of the Camellia sinensis plant that support the legendary benefits of green tea usage. It is is documented to contain polyphenols, phytochemicals, antioxidants, enzymes, carbohydrates, amino acids, sterols, lipids, and dietary minerals.
Scientific studies in Japan have demonstrated that the polyphenols in green tea have indicated the ability to both prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease, as polyphenols can protect dopaminergic neurons from malfunctioning. Japanese studies have also documented that ingestion of green tea brings a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as an effective component in treating the diseases.American scientists remain skeptical of the medicinal benefits and have implied that pharmaceutical concentrations of certain catechins contained in green tea compounds could actually be damaging to DNA. They implied the same for intense pharmaceutical concentrations of catechins in Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Scientific data also suggests a danger of ingesting large volumes of concentrated green tea extracts, which can lead to liver toxicity and oxidative stress.Obviously, these findings do not reflect on the amount of catechins ingested by drinking infusions of green tea.
As previously mentioned, Camellia sinensis plants are grown and processed in a variety of ways, and each mode of production produces a different type and grade of green or black tea. Gyokuro is a fine and expensive type grade of green tea. It is grown in shade, and produces a pale green color when soaked. Gyokuro green tea has increased Theanine amino acids, increased caffeine, and reduced catechins. Since catechins produce a bitter taste in teas, one of the benefits of Gyokuro tea is a naturally sweet taste and a distinguishing aroma.
In conclusion, the evidence of positive effects of ingesting green tea far outweighs any evidence of negative or non-effect. This ancient remedy has definitely withstood the test of time.