Green tea is bitter, astringent, light and drying. It's a potent natural antioxidant that boosts metabolism and energy, improving its overall efficacy and contributing towards weight loss, cleansing and detoxification programmes.
Green tea, black tea and white tea are all produced from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, the common tea plant. There are, of course, different varieties that will attribute to the differences in taste and strength. Two varieties are recognised, the Camellia sinensis which is commonly known as Chinese tea and C. sinensis var. assamica which is known as Assam tea, Indian tea). It is an evergreen shrub native to locations in India, Vietnam and China which can grow to heights of 17metres. The leaves are a distinct bright and shiny green with a hairy underside. The flowers are a creamy white with a light scent and grow in clusters of two or four. The fruits of the tea plant are a brownish-green can contain up to four seeds. The Chinese variety of this plant (Camellia sinensis) is considered to be slightly more ‘hardy’ and its leaves are generally smaller and more narrow. It is primarily this variety that is used to produce Green tea from. It is thought that wild varieties of the tea plant no longer exist due to the excessive level of cultivation for consumption.
How it Works
Green tea contains a number of very special compounds. L-Theanine is an amino acid that works synergistically with other compounds present in the plant such as caffeine to increase serotonin, dopamine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, all of which significantly boost mood.
EGCG (epi-gallo-catechin-gallate) is a polyphenol with powerful anti-oxidant properties and is a tonic and protective to the vascular system. It is these properties that are responsible for the health benefits often attributed to green teas. Particularly, risks associated with cardiovascular disease. This group of polyphenols demonstrate the ability to trap free radicals, delay lipid peroxidation, prevent degradation of connective tissue structures and reduce atherosclerosis and the build-up of cholesterol by reducing serum cholesterol, triglycerides and high density lipoproteins (HDLs). Essentially it improves overall metabolic rate. Black tea also contains EGCG but those present in green tea have a significantly higher level of antioxidant activity. They increase the antioxidant activity of plasma, with the effect being relatively rapid, peaking at around 30 minutes after consumption. The antioxidant capacity of the EGCG’s display also anti-tumour properties.
Green tea is a natural source of caffeine. Caffeine is an alkaloid constituent present in many plants and is a central nervous system stimulant that enhances cognitive alertness and helps to overcome fatigue. Caffeine raises the metabolism through stimulating cardiac output and the heart rate and is a mild diuretic.
Into the Heart of Green Tea
Green tea is an example of a plant that is universally regarded as having medicinal benefits, even for those who are not familiar with the world of herbal medicine. Its medicinal properties are attributed to its antioxidant capacity which protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It thereby supports the functioning of the immune systems and the chronic damage that can be influenced by long-term degenerative conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. The presence of EGCG’s in the plant make it incredibly supportive to the cardiovascular system as a whole, protecting the integrity of the heart and blood vessels. They also support the metabolism, improving its overall efficacy and contributing towards weight loss, cleansing and detoxification programmes and in skin conditions. Green tea is bitter, astringent, light and drying. As black tea is fermented it is more stimulating in comparison to green tea which is steamed, making it more cleansing as opposed to stimulating, which is why it is better suited to seasonal cleansing and detoxification regimes.
Metabolic: Indicated where there is a slow or under-active metabolic rate that is contributing towards weight-gain, liver congestion and toxicity.
Immune: The antioxidant constituents in green tea protect the body from free radical damage which can be indicated in chronic degenerative conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
Cardiovascular: The EGCG’s present in green tea protect the integrity of the blood vessels and the heart indicating it in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol.
Skin: Indicated in skin conditions associated with liver heat and toxicity or hormonal imbalance.
Adrenal: L-Theanine increases serotonin, dopamine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, all of which significantly boost mood, indicating it in anxiety and depression.