Tea is made from the dried leaves of a shrub called Camellia sinensis. Historically, India, China, Japan, and Thailand have been drinking its brew for thousands of years. Because ancient sages realized the health benefits of green tea, it became part of their rituals and ceremonies. Tea drinking is inculcated in the culture of most Asian countries. India and China were the first cultivators of tea and still are today, the largest producers of tea.
Chemical Composition of Green TeaGreen tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, the most important of which are flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, and proanthocyanidins). Out of these flavonoids, Epigallocatechin gallate is the most significant active compound. Dried green tea leaves generally contain from 8-12% total polyphenols, caffeine (3. 5%), theanine (~4%), lignin (6. 5%), organic acids (1. 5%), protein (15%), and chlorophyll (0. 5%). Green tea contains B-vitamins and ascorbic acid, which are destroyed in the process of making black tea. The essential oil contains more than 300 components including aldehydes, phenylethyl alcohols, phenols, hexenal, linalool, dihydroactinidiolide and p-vinylphenol.
Traditional UsesTraditionally, Chinese and Indian medicine used green tea as a stimulant, diuretic (to promote the excretion of urine), astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating flatulence (gas), regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.
Health Benefits of Green TeaExtensive medical research on the benefits of Green Tea is showing positive results. Studies indicate:
Two to three cups of green tea per day (for a total of 240 to 320 mg polyphenols) is recommended. It is best to get green tea concentrate from its natural form, green tea itself. But if you don’t like the flavor, or don’t have the time, and would like to make sure your body is benefiting from green tea antioxidants you may want to try Green Tea Extracts or Green Tea Drops. Green Tea Plus is a heavily concentrated form of green tea. It has an antioxidant value of 7800 units. Green Tea Plus has added trace minerals to aid in regular body functions. It can be added to any beverage, even water.