Centuries ago people in the far east started steeping and brewing leaves of Camellia sinensis and drinking the hot beverage for its good taste and exceptional health benefits. That one plant, Camellia sinensis, is known as the tea plant because its leaves and leaf buds are used for producing many different sorts of teas. White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh tea and black tea are all made from this plant but the production process is different for every one of them.
First written records of using green tea date back to China's Han Dynasty (206-220), when it was used mainly for medicinal purposes. However, the first notes about people using it for pleasure are written almost five hundred years later, around 600AD.
But why is green tea so popular throughout the world even now, millennium and a half later? What are those health benefits that make green tea being called ''The miracle beverage''?
Prevents heart diseases
High blood pressure or cholesterol are serious conditions that can lead to even bigger problems if not treated. Studies show that consuming green tea on a regular basis can make your blood pressure lower and blood vessels stronger. Green tea can also lower the risk of heart attack by preventing the formation of clots.
The substance found in green tea called polyphenol is responsible for increasing our metabolism. It speeds up the processes of fat oxidation and turning food into calories.
Fighting Alzheimer's disease
Studies conducted at the University of Newcastle in 2004 and Japan in 2008 showed that green tea has enzymes that positively affect our brain's memory and that it can significantly decrease and slow down the process of memory loss. Furthermore, tests conducted on rodents showed a notable difference between deficits in memory of “green tea” rodents compared to the ones that hadn’t been given green tea treatment.
Lowers the risk of cancer
As a great source of strong antioxidants, green tea can have a positive effect on oxidative damage that can add to the development of cancer. There are studies that show green tea has the most powerful effect against breast cancer (women drinking green tea had lowered the risk of getting breast cancer by 20-30%) and prostate cancer (men drinking green tea had lowered the risk of getting prostate cancer by almost 50%). There are more studies about this subject but officially there is still no concrete evidence to support the benefits of green tea against cancer.
Helps with fighting skin diseases
Green tea contains polyphenols which are significantly rich in anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have proven that green tea consumption has a positive impact when it comes to skin inflammatory disorders, such as psoriasis and dandruff. Furthermore, it is beneficial for fighting skin problems with symptoms such as red, dry or flaky skin. These conditions are mainly caused by overproduction of skin cells. The studies have been conducted on animals with these symptoms. Those animals that were treated with green tea have indicated slower skin cell growth.