Green tea originated in China around 2737 BC and later became popular in other East Asian countries. It is made from “Camellia Sinensis” leaves when they go through minimal oxidation during processing. Interestingly, not just green tea but all tea variants are made from leaves of “Camellia Sinensis”. Green tea provides many health and beauty benefits as they are loaded with essential nutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients, etc.
Health Benefits Of Green Tea
Some major health benefits of green tea are as follows.
(1) Controls HIV Spread
As per some Japanese studies, green tea may help control HIV spread as epigallocatechin gallate in green tea stops the HIV cells from binding to healthy immune cells of the body, and prevents them HIV from destroying our immune health.
When our immune system is stronger, our body can fight off various microbial infections and diseases at ease.
(2) Reduces Allergies
Epigallocatechin gallate in green tea is a natural anti-allergen that blocks the key cell receptors responsible for producing histamine and immunoglobulin. These compounds trigger most allergic reactions in our bodies.
By blocking their production, green tea prevents our body from reacting to most allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust.
(3) Relief From Stress & Depression
Unmanaged stress can lead to poor physical, mental and emotional health.
As per research conducted by American Botanical Council, polyphenols in green tea helps in providing a steady supply of glucose to the brain and reduces stress and depression.
Theanine and other essential amino acids in green tea act as a natural anti-depressant and provide relief from stress and anxiety.
Green tea has less caffeine in comparison to other caffeinated beverages, and this also contributes to anti-depressant properties.
(4) Prevents Teeth Decay And Bad Breath
Because of its antimicrobial properties, green tea inhibits the growth of bacteria and viruses responsible for tooth decay, dental diseases, and bad breath.
To get rid of bad breath, green tea mouth wash can be prepared by mixing one green tea bag in one cup of water.
The anti-inflammatory compounds in green tea reduce gum inflammation and prevent plaque.
For this, mix concentrated green tea liquid with a teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste and gently apply it to the gums.
(5) Green Tea For Weight Loss
Natural antioxidants like catechin and polyphenols in green tea promote weight loss and help in getting rid of extra pounds.
Epigallocatechin gallate in green tea increases metabolic rate and accelerates the rate at which our body converts food to calories, and helps with weight loss.
(6) Cholesterol Reduction
Tannins in green tea reduce LDL cholesterol from our body and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls and is the leading cause of several cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
(7) Controls Diabetes
Green tea helps in controlling type-2 diabetes as natural antioxidants and relevant compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids in green tea hinder the secretion of alpha-glucosidase.
Alpha-glucosidase is an enzyme that aids the digestion of dietary carbohydrates and starch to produce glucose for internal absorption, which in turn, leads to increased blood glucose.
Green tea controls the secretion of this enzyme and thus regulates diabetes.
It also improves glucose intolerance in healthy individuals.
(8) Prevention Of Platelet Aggregation
Flavonoids in green tea prevent platelet aggregation ( an important factor for cardiovascular disease and formation of blood clots in arteries).
This is beneficial for people suffering from coronary heart diseases.
(9) Managing Blood Pressure
Caffeine in caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee elevates blood pressure levels.
However, green tea has less caffeine in comparison to other tea variants.
Because of its low caffeine level, green tea helps in managing diabetes, reduces cholesterol, and controls high blood pressure.
If you are still concerned with “Caffeine” in it, you can opt for decaffeinated green tea.
(10) Effective Against Genital Warts
Applying Sinecatechins green tea extract helps in treating genital warts and perianal warts.
(11) Effective In Pregnancy
Green tea also provides other benefits like recovery from cellular damage, regulating blood sugar, and regulating high blood pressure.
It reduces the risk of gestational diabetes often experienced by pregnant women during 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.
However, green tea is diuretic and forces our body to excrete water ( and nutrients) from our body.
It increases the risk of dehydration.
Loss of nutrients during pregnancy is bad and should be avoided.
For a safe side, eat green tea moderately, and after consulting with your doctor.
(12) Prevention Of Arthritis
Vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory compounds in green tea block the production of chemokine enzymes in our bodies.
Chemokine promotes inflammation in the body and destroys the flexibility of cartilages.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea reduces pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, and rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
(13) Prevents Skin Cancer
Green tea is effective against skin cancer as polyphenols inhibit the growth of two proteins- the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and the Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF).
These proteins promote the growth of tumor cells.
Green tea blocks cancer-promoting actions of carcinogens and ultraviolet rays of the sun.
It also helps in healing keratosis ( a precancerous skin ailment caused by chronic and unnecessary exposure to the sun).
(14) Strengthens Immune System
Green tea strengthens our immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that helps in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, infections, injuries, and wounds.
Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like flavonoids, and phytonutrients in green tea protect our immune cells or the white blood cells from free radical damage and strengthens our immunity.
Vitamin C further strengthens immunity by enhancing the production of white blood cells in our body.
When we have stronger immunity, we are less likely to get caught by a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
The anti-microbial properties of green tea protect us from various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, and potassium, etc in green tea also play a significant role in strengthening immunity.
(15) Improves Respiratory Health
Theophylline in green tea relaxes muscles that provide support to bronchial tubes, and thus reduces the severity of asthma.
As Green tea is anti-Allergen, it protects our respiratory system from various allergens and allergic reactions.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces lung inflammation and minimizes the risk of asthma and bronchial asthma.
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds in green tea protect our respiratory system from free radical damage.
(16) Promotes Liver And Kidney Health
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients etc in green tea protects our vital organs like the liver and kidneys from free radical damage and improves their efficiency.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
Green tea is an excellent detoxifier that removes toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from our system.
By helping with the detoxification, it reduces the burden of detoxification from our vital organs like the liver and kidneys and allows them to focus on other functions they need to perform.
The diuretic properties of green tea reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and keep the kidney healthy.
(17) Strengthen Bones
Fluoride in green tea improves bone density, strengthens our bones, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which our bones become weak, and are prone to damage and fracture.
(18) Improves Digestive Health
Green tea improves our digestive health as antioxidants like vitamin C and other relevant compounds protect our digestive system from free radical damage.
Because of its antiseptic properties, green tea protects our stomach from bacterial infections and common ailments like stomach infection, food poisoning, etc.
However, drink green tea in moderation as otherwise “tannins” in green tea may increase the secretion of acids in the stomach, and may cause acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
(19) Good For Brain
Green tea is good for the brain as phytonutrients, flavonoids, and other relevant antioxidant compounds protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson\s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Other nutrients like vitamins and minerals etc in green tea improve cognitive functions like a sharper memory, better focus, less confusion, etc.
Beauty Benefits Of Green Tea
Following are the major beauty benefits of green tea.
(1) Provide Anti-Aging Benefits
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc in green tea protects our skin cells from free radical damage and keeps various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc at bay.
(2) Promotes Healthy Skin
Green tea promotes healthy skin as the antioxidants and relevant compounds like phytonutrients, etc them protect our skin cells from free radical damage.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and while doing so, it causes oxidative damage to them.
This reduces the risk of various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc.
Both drinking green tea and applying green tea paste on the skin are equally beneficial for the skin.
For this, mix 100 grams of green tea powder with half a liter of water, and keep it at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
Remove excess water from the mixture, and store it at a cool temperature for future use.
(3) Green Tea As A Skin Toner
Green tea paste is a wonderful skin toner and is a better alternative to commercially available skin tones.
For this, refrigerate freshly brewed green tea leaves, and gently rub these ice cubes on your skin.
Regular use refreshes our skin and keeps it healthy.
(4) Green Tea For Healthy Hair
Green tea keeps our hair healthy as it inhibits the growth of DHT ( Dihydrotestosterone) which is known for hindering the growth of hair and for causing hair fall.
DHT is formed when the testosterone in the blood reacts with five alpha-reductase.
Green tea reacts with testosterone and keeps testosterone at a balanced level. It prevents the testosterone from reacting to five alpha-reductase.
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea protect the scalp from microbial infections and reduce inflammation.
It provides relief from hair problems like dandruff and psoriasis.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds in green tea protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and provide natural shine and strength to the hair.
Nutrients like vitamins and minerals in green tea nourish our hair follicles and scalp and keep them healthy.
Rinsing hair with green tea water smoothens them.
(5) Green Tea As Sun Screen
Green tea can be used as an effective sunscreen as phytonutrients, flavonoids, and other antioxidant compounds protect our skin from harmful UV rays from the sun.
It reduces the risk of keratosis, wrinkles, and leathery skin.
To use green tea as sunscreen, boil half a cup of green tea leaves in two cups of water for 5-10 minutes on medium heat.
Remove the leaves, and let the solution settle down, and come at room temperature.
Apply this solution on the face, neck, and other affected areas using a cotton ball.
(6) Strengthen Nails
Applying green tea essential oil on nails removes the yellowness of the nails, and strengthens them.
Applying once or twice a week is recommended.
(7) Reduces Dark Circles And Puffiness Of Eyes
The astringent properties of green tea reduce dark circles and puffiness of the eyes.
For this, put two damp green tea bags in the refrigerator ( until they get cold), and put them on your eyes for 10-15 minutes.
Other Uses Of Green Tea
Some other uses of green tea are as follows.
(1) Effective In Minor Rash, Cuts, And Acne
Green tea paste ( prepared by boiling 100 grams of green tea powder with half a liter of water for 5-10 minutes, and removing excess water) is effective for treating minor rashes, cuts, and blemishes.
This mixture clears off acne and rejuvenates our skin.
(2) Minimizing Bug Bites
Because of its antiseptic properties, applying damp green tea bags to the infected area reduces pain and inflammation caused by insect bites and stings.
(3) Relief From Foot Odor
Soaking feet in boiled ( but cool) green tea leaves water provides relief from foot odor as tannic acid in it has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
(4) As An After Shaving Agent
Green tea bags can be used as an after shaving agent as the tannins in green tea reduces redness, itchiness, and razor burns.
(5) Humidity Reduction
Green tea leaves absorb excess moisture and reduce ambient humidity.
For this, hang a thin cloth bag ( full of green tea leaves) in a room or other areas of the room where there is too much humidity.
(6) For Carpet Cleaning
Scattering green tea leaves on carpet make cleaning more effective as green tea leaves attract dust, and make vacuuming twice more effective.
(7) Plant Water
Because of its antioxidant properties, green tea water can be used for fertilizing plants.
For this, soak some green tea leaves in a good amount of water for a couple of days, and use it for fertilizing plants.
(8) Freshening Of Undergarments
Put some green tea leaves in a thin cloth bag, and place them in the cloth drawer.
This removes odor from clothes like undergarments.
(9) As A Deodorant
Green tea extract ( liquid) can be used as a deodorant for providing relief from smelly underarms.
(10) As An Ice Cream Flavor
In some Japanese restaurants, you can get a green tea flavored ice cream.
It is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world.
Side Effects Of Green Tea
Green tea provides many health and other benefits, but overconsumption is bad and should be avoided.
Some side effects of green tea are as follows.
(1) Caffeine in Green Tea
Green tea has less caffeine in comparison to other tea variants. However, if you are hypersensitive to caffeine, it may cause insomnia, upset stomach, diarrhea, and frequent urination.
In such a case, opt for decaffeinated green tea.
(2) Not So Good For Pregnant And Lactating Women
Flavonoids, phytonutrients, and other antioxidant compounds in green tea benefit during pregnancy as they protect the fetus from free radical damage.
However, excessive consumption of green tea may increase the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy-related complications.
Because of its diuretic properties, excessive intake of green tea may increase the loss of essential nutrients during pregnancy.
To ensure safety, pregnant and nursing women should drink green tea only after consulting with a doctor and in limitation.
(3) Interference With Medications
If you are taking any medication like diabetes medication, blood pressure medication, or other medication; drink green tea only after consulting with your doctor to avoid any food-drug intolerance risk.
(4) Not Suitable During Fasting
Avoid green tea during fasting as the tannin in it may cause increased stomach acid and cause upset stomach, nauseous feeling, and burning sensation.
It may even increase the risk of gastrointestinal, renal, and, liver toxicities.
(5) Weaken Bones
Fluoride in green tea strengthens bones.
However, drinking too much green tea should be avoided as the diuretic properties of green tea may increase the loss of calcium (during urination) from our bones.
Calcium is an essential mineral for the growth and development of bones, and deficiency of it may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
P.S- Consider sharing this post, if you find it useful and/or interesting.