A brief history of Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants and other nutrients should probably begin with the Chinese Emperor Shennong (2737 BC) who stopped to rest under a tree. A few tea leaves fell into his cup of hot water. The Emperor drunk the light green brew, and found it incredibly refreshing and tasty.
The legend has it that from then on he asked his servants to prepare the drink for him by steeping fresh tea leaves in hot water.
We have no way of checking whether this story is true but we know it was first recorded by a Chinese scholar, Lu Yu in the first ever book on tea: ‘The Classic of Tea’. This work, compiled some 1,200 years ago is considered the first written record of green tea being brewed and consumed.
The Chinese have enjoyed tea for millennia
MS Guardio is writing a series of short articles about the healing properties some plants, flowers and foods at this time of pandemic and national crisis. In this article we give an overview of Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Marco Polo was probably the first person to bring tea to the West as he travelled to China in the 13th century. It is also possible that the Islamic traders introduced green tea to Europe even earlier. However, the first written records come from 1610 when ‘a shipment of a few jars of green tea for some elites’ arrived in Holland and Portugal.
Today, tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. In Britain alone we drink approximately 100,000,000 cups of tea every day, with green tea increasing in popularity due to its therapeutic properties.
Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants – Grow your own!
Green tea can be easily grown in the UK. The plant thrives in the British climate, it loves moisture and acidic soil. The Royal Horticultural Society provides an excellent guide to growing tea and published a list of tea plant suppliers.
Prepare green tea with water that is cooler than boiling and allow to steep for 3 minutes
The Camelia sinensis plant contains complex mixture of antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and caffeine.
While all these work in synergy, it is Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants, called catechins (epigallocatechin gallate, otherwise known as EGCG is considered the most significant ) that are responsible for tea’s most impressive medicinal properties.
Healing power of green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants
Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants and rheumatoid arthritis
While some research into green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants has been conducted, more human trials are needed, a recent research has clearly indicated that drinking green tea provides significant relief of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
This is welcome news to arthritis sufferers who have so far only relied on drugs which can have unpleasant side effects when used for a long time.
Green tea’s antifungal activity
The anti-fungal activity of green tea too has been well documented, especially against the opportunistic yeast, candida albicans.
One of the studies shows that when combined with standard medical treatment, the green tea catechins enhance its anti-fungal effect.
Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants help protects against flu
The catechins in green tea can also offer protection against flu. Since the 1990s, several studies have shown that green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants may decrease flu infection rates and some cold viruses. Gargling with green tea catechin may help protect against developing flu infection.
In addition, it boosts the antibacterial effectiveness of antibiotics used to treat skin infections and can prevent food-borne bacteria, like E.coli, and Helicobacter pylori from taking hold inside the body.
Can green tea help reduce Covid-related risks?
A recently published study looked at the ability of catechins in green tea to reduce overall risks related to COVID-19. The preliminary findings are exciting and show a striking difference between countries with high and low consumption of green tea .
A study by scientists from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and the Central Research Institute of Japan showed that bioactive compounds in green tea, oolong tea and black tea had a remarkable antiviral effect on the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of COVID- 19.
They found that the tea compounds, especially TSA and TFDG, significantly reduced the replication and release of SARS-CoV-2. There is much new research emerging on the importance of tea in the battle with COVID-19, but many of these studies have not yet been peer-reviewed and it is early days.
Sit back and partake of the simple pleasure of green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants for it is undoubtedly doing you a power of good in the process.
Carefully goes it!
Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants also contains caffeine which can boost alertness but can also have some (transient) side effects.
There is 35mg of caffeine in a standard 8oz cup (95mg in a cup of brewed coffee). This is a moderate amount but for people like myself, who are sensitive to caffeine, even this amount can cause dizziness, light-headedness, and occasionally a headache. To avoid this, I limit my intake of green tea to no more than 2 cups a day.
My preferred varieties are Sencha or Matcha (grown in the shade to boost its chlorophyll content). I have recently discovered decaffeinated green tea, which boasts similar properties to its caffeinated sister. I regularly drink Tetley and Clipper Organic brands to ensure I get all the benefits without the side effects of caffeine.
If you suffer from anaemia and iron deficiency, moderate your intake of all tea, including green tea. The tannins in tea can block the absorption of iron into your body.
Green tea can thin blood, so contact your doctor if you plan to start drinking it regularly and have bleeding disorder.
Enjoy green tea’s rich antioxidants!
Not only is green tea refreshing and tasty. Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants has also been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can enhance standard medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and can protect from flu and various bacterial and fungal infections.
Green tea’s rich brew of antioxidants may also hold the answer to why some countries are doing so much better in preventing COVID-19 and could minimise the associated risks.
Green tea leaves are not oxidised like black leaves and you should never use boiling water (100 degrees C) to make your cup of green tea. To enjoy the full delicate flavour of the tea you should use water at about 150 to 180 degrees Centigrade, well short of boiling. Then allow the tea to steep for about three minutes, before sitting down with a good book and your steaming cup of delicious green tea.
- Sweet Alyssum
– Alyssum has powerful health benefits
– Essential nutrients to the body
– Prevent kidney diseases
– Natural diuretic
– Prevent an excessive retention of water in the body
– Widening blood vessels
– Treating atherosclerosis
– Packed with nutrition
– High levels of vitamin C
– Improve the immune system
– tackling sore throats, coughs, and colds and
– bacterial and fungal infections.
– Immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties,
– Reduce alleviation of cold symptoms
- Day Lily
– Daylilies are edible, herbs for cooking purposes
– A treat to sight
– Helps in detoxifying and curing insomnia
- Garlic Chives
– Rich in vitamins C and A, potassium, iron, beta carotene
– Maintaining blood pressure
– Increasing immunity power
– Lavender oil has antiseptic properties.
– And anti-inflammatory properties
– Counteract hair loss
– Relieve toothache
Our kind planet supports many flowers and plants that offer completely natural medicinal properties.
Some foods are natural antiviral agents
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