Traditional China has consumed medical herbs for centuries to promote the well being of one’s body, particularly green tea.
A worldwide traveler, green tea has become popularized in America and research suggests the herb may prevent or relieve illness.
Derived from the Camellia sinesis plant, green tea is made from the unfermented leaves and therefore have the highest antioxidant content and lowest caffeine content of all teas available.
Packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, it is this product that may have healing powers.
As the University of Maryland Medical Center says, “Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.”
It is these free radicals that contribute to the aging process and cause health problems like cancer and heart disease they say.
Some conditions green tea may prevent include atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease, type 1 diabetes by regulating glucose levels, liver disease, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, dental cavities, and hypertension.
Green tea may also protect against cancer, says UMMC.
“Researchers also believe that polyphenols help kill cancerous cells and stop their progression”
Similarly, “Studies have shown the populations that drink green tea have low rates of breast cancer,” says Boston University Medical Campus Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Research Center.
“Green tea drinking also associates with better treatment results with patients with early stage breast cancer,” they say.
Additionally, research suggests green tea may lower bad cholesterol while raising the good, decrease bowel disease inflammation, increase fertility, ease menopausal symptoms, and boost metabolism to increase weight loss, says Medline Plus in association with the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
While green tea can be beneficial, Harvard Women’s Health Watch says the best way to consume the benefits is with freshly brewed leaves.
As they say, “Decaffeinated, bottled ready-to-drink tea preparations, and instant teas have less of these compounds.”