As you may know, green tea is one of the most popular types of Chinese tea. Many people, not only the Chinese, consider it as the most refreshing drink for sweltering summers. The primary reasons for this claim are the facts that green tea is cool to the tastebuds and defends against inflammation. Many people have also claimed that it relieves fever.
In fact, the health benefits of Chinese green tea have been known throughout the world. The Chinese have known about these medicinal benefits since ancient times, because they have used green tea to treat ailments ranging from headaches to depression. The writer Nadine Taylor in her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life suggested that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.
These days, numerous scientific studies conducted both in Asia and the West are providing conclusive evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. Notably, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study in 1994 indicating that drinking Chinese green tea regularly lowered the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by close to 60 percent. Also, it was recently reported by researchers of the University of Purdue that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
There are other medical conditions to which drinking green tea is said to have medicinal benefits. To summarize, these conditions include cancer, impaired immune function, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, and high cholesterol levels.
What Makes Green Tea Extraordinary?
The secret of Chinese green tea's benefits lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG essentially harms healthy body tissues. Studies also revealed that this antioxidant has been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and blocking the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter benefit takes on added importance because the formation of abnormal blood clots, medically known as thrombosis, is the main cause of strokes and heart attacks.
In addition, the effects of Chinese green tea and the "French Paradox" have a strong correlation. Researches were initially puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet high in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. Red wine was found to be the answer, because it contains resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that restricts the negative effects of smoking and a high-fat diet. However, in 1997 a study reported that EGCG is twice as beneficial as resveratrol. This discovery also explains the lower rate of heart disease among Chinese men even though approximately 70 percent are smokers.
New evidence that unveil further benefits of Chinese green tea are now emerging. One of those claims is that Chinese green tea can also help those people on diets. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more fat than those given only a placebo and caffeine.
Chinese green tea is also reputed to prevent tooth decay. Much like its bacteria-fighting abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also combat the bacteria that cause dental plaque.
Today, several skin products containing green tea, from deodorants to creams, are also available on the market. This is due to the fact that Chinese green tea is found to be powerful in fighting bacteria that cause skin imperfections.