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Green Tea



Camellia Sinensis is the botanical name given to what is popularly known as Green Tea. Basically we get a dry extract of this plant which is used as an decaffeinated tea. Green tea is a Chinese herb, known to the Chinese from hundreds of years. It is rich in Polyphenols (around 40 to 50% by weight) and Catechins
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Brief Summary of actions and properties of Green Tea:
  • Antioxidant activity and scavenging free radicals.
  • Stimulation of detoxification centers and systems.
  • Selective induction and modification of metabolic enzymes in such a way that greater amounts of metabolites are formed and excreted from the body.
  • Inhibition of factors that activate and develop the tumor.
  • Ability to induce severe apoptosis (cell death) of neoplastic cells alone. This has been proved in AML (a kind of blood cancer), Skin cancer cells and Prostate cancer cells.
  • Ability to stop abnormal cell growth- acting at the level of growth receptors and factors.
  • Inhibition of gelatinase which is responsible for angiogenesis (new blood vessels).
  • Inhibition of telomerases.
  • It has anti thomboxane A2 properties and inhibits Platelet Aggregating Factor (PAF) there by inhibiting clot formation (stroke, MI etc).
  • It protects the kidney- in particular by suppressing the production of Methyl- Guanidine (an uremic toxin).

Catechin in Green Tea InfusionCatechin Concentration
(mg/L)*
Catechin Concentration
(mg/8 fl oz)*
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)117–44225–106
Epigallocatechin (EGC)203–47149–113
Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG)17–1504–36
Epicatechin (EC)25–816–19

A team of scientists are Purdue university declared that Cancer cells just can not grow and multiply in the presence of EGCG. It is said that this EGCG is more powerful an antioxidant than Vitamin E or C. Researchers from University of Kansas in 1997 concluded that EGCG is twice as powerful as Resveratrol, the famous compound found in grapes which is a cancer cell killer. 

Green tea should not be fermented. If you ferment it, it becomes Black Tea and it is not as potent as green tea. Green Tea protects us from UV-B light. Furthermore, it stimulates detoxification enzymes like Glutathione S transferase and Quinone reductase and thus improves body's natural detoxification process. 

Green tea helps control sugar levels by its natural detoxification capabilities. It is good for hypertensive patients and for patients with allergies. It is very handy when you have caught an infection and fighting it.

Aluminum Scare: 

Some people who appose green tea, for reasons best known to them, scare people with the myth of Aluminum toxicity and accumulation. The Heavy metals present in green tea are in very insignificant, irrelevant and negligible amounts. Moreover these heavy metals are not bioavailable (i.e) the body does not absorb them at all. Here is what cancer.gov has to say about this issue;Aluminum can accumulate in the body and cause osteomalacia and neurodegenerative disorders, especially in individuals with renal failure (4). However, it is not clear how much of the aluminum in tea is bioavailable, and there is no evidence of any aluminum toxicity associated with drinking tea (4)." 

Researchers in China gave breast cancer patients going through radiation therapy, high doses of EGCG (green tea) 1200 mg / day. They compared this with those patients who were taking radiation but not taking EGCG. They found that patients taking EGCG had much lower levels of VEGF and MMP-9 (which stimulate and help in tumor metastasis). As suggested by many cancer researchers, EGCG dose required for anticancerous action is around 250 to 500 mg/day.




Precautions:
  • There are no serious side effects or adverse reactions with green tea. In a study, more than 1200 mg of green tea was given to a group over a period of 1 to 4 weeks and minor gastrointestinal upset was noticed.
  • Do not ferment green tea. It will turn into the Black Tea which is not as much potent.
  • Do not put the tea bag in water and boil. Keep the tea bag in a cup and pour hot water (around 95 degree Celsius). Dont take boiling water and pour on to the tea bag directly. Too much heat will destroy the essential ingredients in the tea.
  • Do not add sugar or milk.
  • Do not eat meals within an hour or before of taking green tea. It might interfere in Iron absorption (not established yet). You can have snacks, but avoid the main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).   
  • Do not drink Green Tea late evenings or night times. It may cause you lack of sleep. Green Tea is best taken entire day, especially early morning, mid day and early evening. The body is in detoxification mode early morning and green tea will help that process.

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