Monday, September 21, 2009

Medicinal Benefits of Green Tea

Proponents of green tea note that its medicinal benefits have been described for over 1000 years. The Kissa Yojoki, or Book of Tea, written by Zen priest Eisai in 1191, describes how drinking green tea can have a positive effect on the five vital organs, especially the heart.

The book discusses tea's medicinal qualities which include easing the effects of alcohol, acting as a stimulant, curing blotchiness, quenching thirst, eliminating indigestion, curing beriberi disease, preventing fatigue, and improving urinary and brain function.

Part One also explains the shapes of tea plants, tea flowers and tea leaves and covers how to grow tea plants and process tea leaves. In Part Two, the book discusses the specific dosage and method required for individual physical ailments.

A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that elderly Japanese people who drank more than 2 cups of green tea a day had a 50 percent lower chance of having cognitive impairment than those who drank less or who consumed other tested beverages. The high amount of catechins found in green tea is thought to be the reason.

In May 2006, researchers at Yale University School of Medicine weighed in on the issue with a review article that looked at more than 100 studies on the health benefits of green tea. They theorized that the 1.2 liters of green tea that is consumed by many Asians each day provides high levels of polyphenols and other antioxidants. These compounds may work in several ways to improve cardiovascular health, including preventing blood platelets from sticking together and improving cholesterol levels, said the researchers, whose study appeared in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Specifically, green tea may prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" type), which, in turn, can reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries, the researchers wrote.

Green tea has also been claimed to reduce stress and produce alpha waves. This is thought to be due to high antioxidant levels and the presence of l-theanine, which is a glutamate analog present in green tea that can cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce glutamate excitotoxicity during stress and ischemia.

Have you heard of people who are determined to lose weight with green tea? Various studies conducted on this subject go on to prove that green tea helps a lot in reducing the fat in your body. It increases the rate of your body’s metabolism, and thus helps in burning excess calories. The substance present in the green tea called as Catechins activates the burning of fat and lets you lose weight with green tea.

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