Kermit the Frog often laments that it’s not easy being green, but perhaps he hasn’t tried green tea yet. Any beverage as delicious and healthy as green tea makes it easy to be green!
I love green tea, and drink it regularly with rose hips for an added antioxidant boost. If it tends to be too bitter for you, try to reduce the steeping time (3-5 minutes is plenty) or add a bit of natural sweetener like stevia or honey. Green tea also pairs well with mint, ginger, and citrus flavors. You even can add a splash of pomegranate juice to it. It’s delicious both hot and iced, and brewed green tea adds an interesting flavor to most smoothies.
Green tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Black tea comes from the same plant, but it undergoes more processing so it’s not as strong an antioxidant for you; black tea however may help raise dopamine in people dealing with Parkinson’s, or atrophy of the caudate nucleas or putamen (the center of the brain where dopamine is made). Since today’s article is not about dopamine, but you may be curious, you can CLICK HERE to read my other article: Have you stopped enjoying life, it could be low dopamine.
GREEN TEA is one of the most popular beverages in the world and in parts of Asia, green tea is considered medicine. It contains powerful and healing compounds. The one that researchers talk about most is epigallocatechin gallate, but there are hundreds of other compounds that occur in the plant (both Matcha and Green Tea).
Don’t spend your time memorizing that term “epigallocatechin gallate,” just remember green tea is a powerful source of antioxidants, so strong they can turn off cancer growing genes. As you know, antioxidants delay the aging process because of their ability to vacuum free radicals from the body, reducing your risk for disease. All hype? Definitely not. Green tea is the most well-researched beverage in history and it’s been enjoyed since at least the 12th century.
Green tea does contain caffeine but typically less than black tea or coffee, so if you’re trying to wean yourself off your daily coffeehouse habit, green tea is a good transitional beverage to help you do so.
Green tea is a natural herbal diuretic, which helps with weight loss. It even speeds up your metabolism! This will help support your quest to lose weight, especially if you are struggling with low thyroid. You may not realize this but I am pretty smart when it comes to thyroid illness, and I have a custom-made a formula to support healthy thyroid function.
Over the years, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published many articles on green tea, discussing its anti-cancer potential and its heart-protective benefits. Green tea can cause cell death in cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In 2015, there was a scientific paper in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Nov 2015) that helped elucidate one mechanism of action for green tea’s effect on breast cancer.
I know it’s probably enough to know that green tea may support breast health (as well as ovarian, prostate, testiculular and other reproductive organs), however some of you really like science and that’s why you stick with me. I’m going to give it to you now becuase very little is known about the biochemical effects of green tea, we know some things, but not all. Just recently I read a research paper that got deep into the science.
In a nutshell, it is likely that compounds in green tea bind to a “G protein coupled receptor” that then hits a switch in your body to turn on “G protein-mediated” and calcium-dependent pathways, thus resulting in tumor cell death. In fact, the authors of this paper mentioned other antioxidant supplements and compounds which you may be familiar with such as quercetin, resveratrol, and piceatannol (a resveratrol cousin). These compounds offer women a natural option (if approved by your doctor(s))…. which is comforting since chemotherapy from other naturally-derived drugs often come with terrible side effects (drugs such as paclitaxel, etoposide, vincristine and doxorubicin). Of these, I think paclitaxel is the most famous chemotherapeutic drug derived and morphed from a natural source, the bark of the Pacific yew tree.
There is also evidence that green tea can lower blood pressure because it acts similar to pharmaceutical drugs known as ACE inhibitors. If you’re not impressed yet, how ’bout this:
Green tea can slow the buildup of LDL (bad cholesterol) that clogs your arteries. Studies show it can lower your risk for a heart attack. There’s no miracle cure for anything, but green tea may also help control blood sugar levels and improve your outlook if you have diabetes.
So sip more green tea! Make sure it’s a high quality brand and organic if possible. It can’t hurt you and it tastes pretty good …for being green. Some of you are problably wondering if Matcha can do the same. I think that common sense would support the answer as YES since these are basically the same beautiful green thing!
Simply put, the leaves are crushed and powdered to form Matcha so when you consume Matcha, you are drinking the whole entire plant (all ground up). When you steep green tea bags, or leaves… you are just getting an infusion of water that was soaked in the leaves… you’re not drinking the plant. So you can see why it’s common sense if you can get benefits from green leaves, it seems to me that Matcha would be even better even though I don’t have a study at my fingertips to confirm it.
Some Pakistani researchers carried out an interesting antimicrobial study and published their results in November 2015, in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Thier researchers looked at various extracts of GREEN and BLACK tea (Camellia sinensis) as well as LEMONGRASS (Cymbopogon citrates) and tried to determine the antimicrobial activity against common (bad) pathogens. These were the bugs they wanted to see if the 3 teas would kill:
1. Escherichia coli
2. Pseudomonas aeuroginosa (P. aeruginosa)
3. Staphylococcus aureus
4. Salmonella typhi
5. Candida albicans
Which is better, green or black tea? Or Lemongrass?
It turns out that P. aeruginosa was most susceptible to all three different tea varieties, although the other pathogen strains did demonstrate prominent sensitivity, just not as much as the Pseudomonas which went down fast! Now, if you noticed “Staph aureas” in that list and it’s on your skin, you can always make a poultice, or possibly boil a tea bag for a minute or two and apply it after it’s cooled.
Black tea extracts was the way inferior compared to Green tea and Lemongrass, and this was seen across the board, including the Candida albican strain. So if you’re going to drink tea, and you are worried about these pathogens listed above, I’d go for green or Lemongrass. Hope this was helpful! Share me with your loved ones 🙂
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.