Green tea Health Benefits

Green tea Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Green tea is a popular herb used as tea for its many health benefits
Green tea Health Benefits Green tea has been traditionally used to improve blood flow and to highthen alertness and as a general health tonic..

Gingko Biloba Tree
Green tea constituents. Green tea contains catechins polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Green tea Side effects and warnings. Green tea is considered safe at recommended dosages. May cause side effects such as dizziness, headache and many others. May not be safe for pregnant women and children in high doses.

What is Green tea

green teaGreen Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been traditionally used both as beverage and as a medicinal herb with many health benefits for over 2000 years in East Asia particularly from China.

Green tea is made from unfermented Camellia leaves unlike the common black tea that underwent fermentation. Green tea is said to provide many health benefits because it contain a more potent concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols and lower caffeine level as compared to black tea.

Camellia sinensis has long been cultivated to make tea. The parts used are the leaf, the stem and the leaf bud. To make green tea these parts are collected and steamed at high temperatures. This process ensures the active compounds to be retained and was said to be responsible for the health benefits acquired from green tea.

Camellia Sinensis is an evergreen flowering shrub in the Theaceae family. Camellia sinensis is native to China, South and Southeast Asia, but cultivated today in most tropical and subtropical regions.  Camellia sinensis is cultivated to grow up to 2 meters in height for the leaves to make green tea. It blooms a yellowish to white flowers about an inch to 1.5 inches in diameter. Oil can be extracted from its seeds while young shoots and leaf buds (tip) are hand picked and collected to make high quality green tea.

Nutrients and Chemical Constituents of Green tea

Chemical Constituents found in Green tea include:

Green tea contains catechins polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Green tea likewise contains minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium and zinc, and other phytochemical compounds.

Traditional Health Benefits of Green tea

Legend has it that once there was a monk that always falls asleep while meditating. In frustration, the monk cut out his eyelids to keep him awake and threw it to the ground. A plant grew there from with leaves similar in shape to an eyelid. They later found out that a green tea prepared from its leaves can be used as a stimulant that promotes alertness.

Green tea has long been used in traditional medicine to provide many health benefits. The Chinese and Indian traditional medical practitioners understood the stimulating benefit from green tea and used it to stimulate alertness and to cure sleepiness. Green tea is also used to benefit the body by removing excess fluids by promoting urination (diuretic).

Other traditional benefits from green tea include regulating blood sugar level and body temperature, treatment of stomach gas, as astringent, to improve heart function, and treatment for indigestion.  

Other claimed health benefits from green tea included treatment for beriberi, as tonic to combat fatigue, reduce anxiety and stress, treatment for arthritis, used to treat genital warts, treatment of cancer, kidney stones, bleeding gums, tooth cavities, sun damaged skin and to reduce puffiness of eye bugs.

Scientific Studies of Green tea Health Benefits

The polyphenols found in green tea has been found to possess anti inflammatory benefits and anti oxidant properties. These combined activities of green tea benefit the body by fighting free radicals that damage the cells that is the cause of aging and many health problems.

The antioxidant protective benefit of green tea is believed to prevent cancer and tumor formation.

Population based studies suggest that green tea posses anti cancer benefits. It has been observed that the rate of cancer from countries that consume green tea is lower than those that did not take green tea. Although it is not definitive that green tea is solely responsible but it has presented a curious occurrence that merited further investigation.

In the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer, 1998, an article was published entitled “Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature” that reported a review of researches that investigated the anticancer benefits of green tea. In their investigation, epidemiological and human studies have shown varying results. They have found out that among five studies on colon cancer, one reported a positive result while three found an inverse association. Among studies for rectal cancer, only one of four reported an inverse association while there are increased risks in the results of two of the studies. For urinary bladder cancer, two of two studies reported an inverse association. For stomach cancer, six out of 10 reported inverse while three reported positive association. For pancreatic cancer, two out of three reported inverse association. In lung cancer studies, there is a reported increased risk and another reported an inverse association. The review recognized the limitations of the studies done for the anticancer benefits of green tea and further studies was recommended to establish green tea anticancer activity..

Anti Diabetes Benefits of Green tea

Traditional medicine suggests that green tea benefits patients with diabetes. Green tea has long been used to control blood sugar levels and is thought to provide promising health benefits for diabetics. In a couple of animal trials, green tea may prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.

In Biofactors, 2007 an article entitled “Green tea, anti-diabetic or diabetogenic: a dose response study” has reported that clinical trials were done in Seoul National University in Korea to investigate the anti diabetic benefits of green tea extract.

The study was conducted to clarify whether lower or higher dietary dose of green tea have benefits for the reduction of risk of type 2 diabetes.  Three groups of male rats were fed with high fat diet; one group was given low concentration of green tea, the second, high concentration of green tea and the third as a control group. After 4 weeks feeding of experimental diets, serum fasting blood glucose was not decreased but relatively increased in both green tea fed groups compared to DBC group. Data of this study suggest that lower dose of green tea is insulinotropic when higher dose is hyperglycemic but hypolipidemic at least in this experimental condition.

Green tea prevents the development of Atherosclerosis

A study done in Atherosclerosis Research Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, CA, USA. That was published in the Circulation Journal May 2004 reported that oxidative stress has been implicated in vascular injury and atherogenesis, and antioxidant treatment has shown favorable results in preclinical studies. The study evaluated the benefits of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main antioxidant derived from green tea, on evolving and established atherosclerotic lesions in hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E-null mice. Gathered data showed that antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate differentially reduces evolving atherosclerotic lesions without influencing established atherosclerosis in the apolipoprotein E-null mice.

Other population based studies suggests that the antioxidant benefits of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease. These studies are based on statistics gathered from large groups of people in a particular period of time that have different cultural background and eating habits.

Green tea lowers LDL cholesterol level.

Population based studies suggests that green tea benefits regular drinkers with lowered LDL if compared to those who do not drink green tea.

In a study done in Cardiovascular Institute, FuWai Hospital, Beijing  China as published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2011, entitled “Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials” reported that research was done to identify the relevance of green tea benefits in lowering the serum total cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol in adults. The study concluded that the administration of green tea beverages or extracts provided beneficial reductions in serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, but no effect on HDL cholesterol was observed.

Other animal studies suggest that the polyphenols in green tea prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and are expelled out instead of being absorbed.

Green tea benefits for Weight loss

In a clinical study published in the International Journal of Obesity September 2009 entitled “The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis,” it was reported that catechins or an epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)-caffeine mixture found in green tea have a small positive effect on weight loss and weight management. The study further suggests that different outcomes of the effect of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance have been reported in studies with subjects differing in ethnicity and habitual caffeine intake.

Other clinical studies suggest that weight loss benefit of green tea is attributed to its effect in boosting body metabolism and burning of fat.



Green tea Availability and Preparation

Green tea is made from the. Green tea is made from unfermented Camellia sinensis plant It can be prepared as a beverage, which can have some health effects. Or an “extract” can be made from the leaves to use as medicine.

How to prepare and make Green tea

1. Heat fresh water in a glass or stainless vessel up to around 80 deg C.
2. Do not boil. If you cannot dip your pinky into the water it is too hot.
3. Mix 1 teaspoon of dried green tea for every cup of hot water.
4. Let it steep about 2 to 3 minutes (the longer the steeping, the stronger and bitter the taste)
5. Strain the leaves and enjoy your green tea while warm.

For commercially packed green tea, follow as instructed in the label.

How to buy loose green tea.

Determine your drinking preference. Green tea can be prepared from light refreshing tea to strong robust bitter taste.

Look for a locale tea store where you can see, smell, feel and taste the tea you're about to buy. Strong smell and darker color tends to offer stronger tastes.

Talk to the seller and ask for recommendations based on your drinking preference. Usual recommendations will be about 3 to 5 varieties.

Purchase 3 varieties that you’ll like in small quantities (trial quantity)

When you have established you taste preference you can buy larger packs for your regular consumption.

You can also buy a metal mesh strainer to strain green tea leaves during preparation.

Green tea is likewise available online in helaht sites or Organic Green Tea 100 Tea Bags in amazon

Green tea Side Effects and Warnings

Green tea is generally safe for most adults if taken at 2 to 3 cups a day. However, high intake at long term use can cause unfavorable side effects.

Green tea may cause unwanted side effects for pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and children. Green tea contains caffeine, tannin acids and catechins that can cause health risks in the development of children.

Small amounts of green tea as found in foods and other beverages may be considered safe for children’s consumption when taken moderately.

Green tea can have the following side effects due to caffeine content. Sleeplessness, restlessness, tremors, headache, nervousness, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, dizziness, ringing in the ear, confusions and convulsions.

Green tea can also cause serious side effects when taken at large amount (5 cups per day and above) that may include caffeine overdose that at times are fatal and/or may cause or aggravate liver damage due to elevated toxicity.

Another side effect of green tea is that it prevents the body from absorbing minerals and is associated in iron deficiency conditions. Green tea may aggravate anemia.

Green tea is also associated to reduce calcium absorption that can have unfavorable side effect for conditions such as osteoporosis (weak bones).

Green tea can cause elevated heart beat or palpitations for people with heart conditions.

Green tea can affect the blood sugar level for diabetics. Close monitoring is recommended.

Green tea can cause increased intraocular pressure side effect for people with glaucoma.

Other Related articles

Vitamins healthy benefits
Okra Medicinal Vegetable Health benefits include relief from upper respiratory problems, urinary problems, fever, arthritis and many toehrs
Dandelion Medicinal Herb flowering edible plant that is native from Europe and North America. It has many folkloric health benefits for kidney and liver problem
Flaxseed Health Benefits Flaxseed being high in fiber content making it beneficial for digestive problems. It is rich in alpha linoleic acid that has potential health benefits for heart related disease
Evening Primrose Health Benefits has long tradition that include pain and inflammation control, hormone control, sedative and many others.


blog comments powered by Disqus

disease category

alternative medicine vs. conventional medicine

Herbal Medicines