Green Tea – A Tea for Life

For more than thirty years, Western researchers have known that the occurrence of solid tumor cancers is far less in countries where populations consume large amounts of green tea. Cultures that are endowed with a long tea tradition have much to contribute to individual and global health. However, this applies only to green tea. Regular black tea, now very popular almost everywhere, has not much to do with real tea . Real tea is derived from the tea plant Thea sinensis or Thea asoncica, not to be confused with herb teas such as peppermint, chamomile or fennel.

Both black and green teas originate from the same tea plant, but their methods of processing are different. The breaking of the leaves of the plants and exposing them to the oxygen of the air produces black tea. The resulting natural fermentation process destroys the most important biological ingredients of the tea – the tannins. By contrast, during the production of green tea, the leaves are stabilized through exposure to both humid and dry heat. This eliminates fermentation-producing enzymes and safeguards the nutrients.

Due to fermentation, black tea collects drug-like qualities. Since tannins and other important nutrients are no longer present in the tea, its caffeine appears in free and unbound form. The stimulating effect of the quickly released caffeine causes the addictive effect of black tea. It triggers a 'fight or flight' response in the body. Since the body treats the ingested caffeine as a nerve toxin, the adrenal glands naturally respond by secreting the antidote adrenaline . This defense response by the body has a stimulating and enlivening effect. However, as the effects of the caffeine and adrenaline diminish, the body starts feeling tired and may end up exhausted.

Green tea works in a different way. The large amounts of tannins in green tea make sure that the caffeine is taken to the brain in only small and well-washed amounts, which actually harmonizes the energies in the body. Unlike black tea, the original green version of the tea makes the body's own energy-use more efficient. This helps the consumer of green tea improve his vitality and stamina without having to experience the 'up and down' effect so often accompanied with the consumption of black tea.

The value of tannin has been studied for centuries all over the world. Besides its ability to bind caffeine, it also has healing properties. Green tea is particularly helpful with intestinal disorders and high blood pressure. It has been shown to be 20 times more effective in slowing the aging process than vitamin E. Studies have demonstrated that the success rate of green tea in reducing oxidants in the body (considered responsible for aging) is 74 percent compared to 4 percent with vitamin E. The vitamin C content of green tea is four times higher than lemon juice and it contains more B-vitamins than any other known plant. This makes green tea useful for facial skin conditions such as rosacea / acne. Apart from drinking green tea, you may apply it directly to the skin before bedtime and after washing your face in the morning.

Since green tea is high alkaline it naturally helps combat hyperacidity. People who drink green tea also suffer less from arteriosclerosis. It also keeps the blood thin and prevails coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, researchers from the University of Osaka, Japan, have been able to prove that green tea kills microbes responsible for cholera and tooth decay; it also destroys salmonella germs before they even have the chance to enter the stomach. A substance called 'EGCG' has been found to retard tumor growth. The Botikin Hospital in Moscow reported that green tea is more effective against infection than antibiotics, without producing any harmful side effects.

Green tea has over 100 ingredients that have been found useful for a number of conditions, it inhibits cell mutations leading to cancer, reduces blood fats, balances serum cholesterol levels, prevents high blood pressure, increases heart efficiency, improves brain functions, gains metabolism, improves visions, supports secretion of saliva, increases growth of hair, reduces body fat and weight, stimulates digestion and helps clear urinary tract obstruction.

In a study testing the preventive action of green tea, a team of researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) found that green tea predated breast cancer in women by 30 percent if they consumed about half a cup per day. If they drank more than that, their risk of developing breast cancer was further reduced. Women who regularly drank black tea, on the other hand, did not have a reduction in their breast cancer risk. The good news is that this study revealed that you do not need to drink buckets full of green tea to benefit from it.

The best green tea comes from the Shizuoka area in Japan; it grows organically and has no additives. People living in this area have a much lower cancer rate than those living in other areas of Japan. A reliable brand is Sencha sold by Kurimoto Trading Co., Japan. With over 130 ingredients, it is the richest of all green teas. Other brands are Ocha or Bancha ; you should be able to find at least one of them at a good health food store.

Note : The effectiveness of green tea depends on how you prepare it. Take 1 te teaspoons of green tea for 2 cups of tea. Bring water to a boil and turn the heat off. Put the tea into a pot and pour the boiled water over the tea as soon as the water has stopped bubbling. After no longer than 35-45 seconds, pour the tea through a sieve into a teapot, otherwise the tea loses much of its effectiveness. You may use the same leaves a second time by applying the same procedure.

Does Green Tea Contain Toxins?

Some web sites on the Internet claim that tea is very high in fluoride content. Fluoride in tea is supposedly much higher than the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set for fluoride in drinking water. Another site confirms that information, adding that the typical cup of tea exceeds one milligram of fluoride, which is well over the recommended amount for fluoridated drinking water. On yet another site, it says that fluorine and its compounds in food are entirely different from chemically-produced sodium fluoride. It states that once an element is extracted from the soil and incorporated into plant life, its properties change greatly. All this can be very confusing for those concerned about fluoride poisoning.

Yes, fluoride is found in tea and also in mother's milk. This applies also to areas where there is no fluoride in the drinking water or air. Numerous plants contain naturally occurring fluorine or fluoride compounds. The hideous version of fluoride that is added to drinking water in so many parts of the world is the poison weought to protect ourselves against. "Fluoride, once touted as an osteoporosis treatment, is, in fact, toxic to bone cells," says John R. Lee MD Thankfully, the American Dental Association, which has for many years been one of fluoride's biggest advocates, changed course when it alerted its members in 2006 that parents of infants younger than a year old "should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride" when mixing baby formula.

If the naturally occurring fluoride in green tea were even remotely toxic (like the fluoride added to drinking water), it would not have shown to have such a wide range of preventative and curative effects. The body's immune system would reactively respond to it and became weakened in the process, yet quite the opposite is true. Green tea inhibits cell mutation, stimulates digestion and enhancements brain functions. Synthetic fluoride has the exact opposite effects.

The fluoride – or fluorine – that occurs naturally in tea and other foods is so volatile that most of it evaporates in the heating process. The synthetic sodium fluoride added to water, on the other hand, remains stable when heated. So the sodium fluoride in your cup of tea is of much greater concern than the natural fluoride in the tea itself. Excessive fluoride intake can lead to hyperthyroidism. If you have been diagnosed with this disorder you should consult with a doctor of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine or an ND (doctor of naturopathic medicine) who is knowledgeable about nutrition and its effects on the body's endocrine glands.