Green Tea is one of those herbal remedies whose benefits are so numerous that they are hard to even list. It has been used as a traditional medicine for more than 4,000 years in Indian and Chinese culture, and is even more popular today.
Traditionally, green tea has been used to treat everything from headaches to depression. More recent studies have found it to be helpful in conditions like cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Green Tea comes from the shrub Camellia Sinensis, whose leaves and leaf buds are harvested and dried to make the tea. This shrub is native to Southeast Asia, but is now grown across the world.
Green Tea is most popular in Asia, where it acts both as a general tonic and a social drink. It is also drunk in large quantities in the Middle East and Morocco
Green tea contains very powerful antioxidants. These destroy the free radicals in your blood stream, preventing them from prematurely aging your skin and damaging your eyes.
In recent studies, it has been shown that chemicals in green tea can block molecules that play a key role in developing lung cancer. The antioxident 'EGCG', found in green tea, can inhibit or dramatically slow the growth of tumor cells. Asian, green tea-drinking communities do actually tend to have low rates of cancer.
Green tea has powerful anti-bacterial properties, helping to control dental plaque, stimulate the immune system cells and help fight off infection.
Diabetics can use green tea to regulate high blood sugar, while it can also help with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.
Green tea is now a common ingrediant in topical Skin products. It's potent antioxidant properties have proved to re-juvenate skin and help minimize free-radicalinduced sun damage. Green tea can even with the risk of the two most common forms of cancer, squamous cell and basal cell cacinoma.
Another popular use is as a diet aid. A 1999 study showed that Green Tea extract results in a significant increase in energy expenditure. This was not just as a result of the caffeine in the tea, because those who lost weight on Green Tea lost more than those who were given caffeine alone.
Green Tea is also used in various other drinks and food. For example Green Tea Liquor is becoming increasing popular, and Starbucks now sells Green Tea Frappucino as one of its favorite summer drinks. Green Tea ice cream is one other option.
Green Tea is almost always taken as just that, a tea. However there are green tea capsules available at your local herbal store.
Side effects of green tea are minimal and mostly related to its caffeine content. It may cause sleeplessness, and those with nervous disorders, insomnia or an overactive thyroid should be careful in taking it.
Always consult your doctor before starting a course of treatment, especially if you have kidney disease, heart problems or high blood pressure.