With a long history of human use
dating back to more than five thousand years, green tea is made from the dried
leaves of a small shrub botanically named as Camellia sinensis. It is believed that budhist monks during their
long meditative journeys in
Green tea is a potent anti oxidant and is rich in catechin polyphenol, a scientifically approved substance. Since green tea is in unprocessed form, it has more of the natural stuff which can neutralize free radicals and pathogens in the body. The traditional Chinese medicine views green tea as a freshening and mood stimulant agent having diuretic, digestive, anti viral and scavenging effects on the body. It counters the various toxins which arise in the body due to external and internal reasons.
Several clinical studies have shown that green tea helps prevent atherosclerosis, age related hardening of the arteries and in the long run lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. Green tea has been found to lessen the inflammation associated with Crohn's disease and the ulcerative colitis and it can also slow down the progression of diabetes, counteract the ill effects of alcohol and boost the metabolism to burn fat and loose weight.
Making a perfect tea and setting its proper dose is a question which cannot be easily answered. In Indian conditions one to three cups of tea in a day are considered normal and one tea bag should be put under boiling hot water for a minute or two to gain its maximum benefits. Though milk and sugar can be added to the green tea brew, its quantity should be as less as possible so that original aroma of the tea is not being lost. Ginger, tulsi, mint or cardamom can be added into this brew.
Green tea and black tea are derived from the same plant but the green tea contains a less amount of caffeine. People who excessively use caffeine containing substances, including green tea may experience irritability, palpitation, lack of sleep and certain amount of dependence on or addiction to it.
Indiscretion regarding the time and quantity of green tea may also cause acidity, gastritis, nausea, loss of appetite, excessive urination and headache. Green tea may have interactions with some of the antibiotics, anxiolytic and antihypertensive medicines.