Since ancient times, green tea has been valued in traditional Chinese medicine because of its health benefits, and there are many legends as to how it was discovered. Green tea, prepared from the leaves of Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) is currently one of the most widely consumed beverages, and the number of its enthusiasts in the west is constantly increasing, despite the fact that nobody remembers who and when prepared the first brew from its leaves. Green tea has been studied extensively in many studies on animals and humans , and the results of these studies have repeatedly confirmed its positive effect on our body and mind.
The leaves of the Chinese tea tree contain caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system, as well as theophylline, which blocks the effects of adenosine to adenosine receptors and probably affects the metabolism of catecholamines in cellular ends.1
Unlike caffine, the presence of Theanine in green tea has a calming effect, which in turn balances out the anxiogenic qualities of caffeine. Above all, it lowers the level of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, and facilitates alpha brain wave generation, which are associated with a state of relaxation and awareness of one's surroundings.2 Studies on rats have shown that theanine supplementation increases the capacity for learning and memory.3 This effect may be the result of neurogenesis stimulation in the hippocampus, which is the structure responsible for the transmission fo information from short-term memory to long-term, which in turn, is susceptible to intense stress.4
Green tea, because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helps in the treatment of bacterial infections of the digestive tract, as well as inhibits the development of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Above all, the brew from the tea leaves contains quite a bit of fluoride, which protects teeth from decay.5
A recommended daily dosage is 2-3 cups of tea, dependent on the brand. This may calculate as an equivalent to 240-320mg of polyphenol or 100-750mg of the standard extract.
Green tea leaf extracts synergize well with extracts of grain vine seeds, tannic fruit, pomegranate and fragrant cinnamon bark and leaves of ginkgo biloba (suggested proportions are 5:3:3:3:3:3).9
Green tea as well as its extracts should not be used by individuals taking the following medication without first consulting their doctor:
Anticoagulants - green tea contains vitamin K, which can reduce the effect of these drugs.
Chemotherapy - green tea increases the effectiveness of doxorubicin and tamoxifen. On the other hand, there are reports of the decline in the effectiveness of chemotherapy in patients with prostate cancer.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) - Green tea can cause a significant increase in blood pressure in combination with antidepressants.
Birth control pills may prolong the retention time of caffeine in the body and intensify its stimulating effect.
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