In Asia, green tea – tea from the unfermented leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis – has been popular for thousands of years, but it is also becoming more and more of a trend drink in Europe. In contrast to fermented black tea, it is one of the healthiest drinks, thanks to its special ingredients.
Green tea from the Ayurvedic point of view
The health effects are attributed to unfermented leaves and are scientifically recognized.
Unfermented tea is astringent and bitter in taste and has the qualities dry, light, cool and movable. Because of its bitter and astringent taste, it reduces Pitta and Kapha, and increases Vata Dosha.
- In summer, people with a Pitta-predominant constitution can sweeten their green or white tea with a teaspoon of Sharkara (raw cane sugar) and thus cool their inner heat.
- People with Kapha constitution can drink the largest amounts, but are advised to drink it unsweetened.
- People with elevated Vata, suffering from nervous ailments, sleep disorders and dryness problems, can also sweeten the tea, but they should limit their consumption and be careful not to enjoy the tea in the late afternoon.
Green tea can extend life
In a large long-term scientific study in Japan, data were collected of more than 40,000 healthy individuals aged 40–79. The results: by drinking 5 cups of green tea per day, life expectancy increased significantly. Mortality rate dropped by 16% and cardiovascular deaths by 26%. In women who drank a lot of green tea, the death rate due to heart attacks or strokes even decreased by 31%!
The various health benefits of green tea
The above-mentioned life-prolonging effect can be explained by the synergistic effect of the many positive individual effects of green tea that have already been scientifically verified today:
- The caffeine in green tea blocks the receptors of the adenosine neurotransmitter in the brain, so that that we feel more alert and clear.
- In addition to caffeine, green tea also contains theobromine. Both substances have an energy-boosting, metabolism-stimulating and fat-burning effect. Green tea helps converting body fat into free fatty acids and thus activates fat burning. The bitter substances and the phytochemicals reduce the appetite for sweets and thereby indirectly contribute to weight loss.
- The vitamins A, C, and E contained in green tea, as well as the minerals calcium and zinc support the immune system.
- The polyphenols found in unfermented tea act as antioxidants that neutralize aggressive free radicals, reducing cell damage that can accelerate the aging process and cause cancer and inflammation.
- These scavengers also help make the skin more resilient, protect it from premature aging, and repair damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays through faster cell regeneration and renewal. Even externally applied green tea extracts can relieve redness caused by the sun, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
- The antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) contained in green tea inhibits enzymes that break down starch. As a result, less glucose is absorbed into the blood from the intestine, which keeps blood sugar at a lower level.
- Regular consumption of green tea has a positive influence on risk factors such as elevated cholesterol levels. For example, thanks to the numerous antioxidants, damage caused by LDL cholesterol can be repaired more quickly, helping to prevent plaque deposits in the arteries.
- Green tea can alleviate high blood pressure by suppressing over-production of angiotensin, one of the strongest blood pressure-raising substances.
- Green tea blocks enzymes that can attack the cartilage, so its regular use can reduce the risk of arthritis.
- The fluoride content of unfermented tea not only helps strengthen the teeth, it can also help maintain bone density and thus prevent osteoporosis.
With best wishes for your health: Cheers!