By Jaelyn Copeland|UAB Community Health & Human Services Intern
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and has been used as medicine for thousands of years in China and Japan. Although many varieties of tea come from this plant, green tea is considered the healthiest because of how it is processed (Curtis, 2023). Green tea is also promoted as a beverage or nutritional supplement for improving mental clarity, reducing headaches and gastrointestinal issues, and it is awesome for promoting weight loss. Thanks to its many benefits, it has become more popular and is consumed worldwide.
Green tea contains caffeine, a stimulant that boosts mood, energy levels, reaction time, and memory. Along with caffeine, green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that positively affects mood, lowers stress, and boosts dopamine and serotonin production. Caffeine and L-theanine work together to improve mood, reaction time, attention, and memory (Curtis, 2023)
Many components of Green Tea, particularly EGCG, gets a lot of attention for its potential positive impact on health. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a unique plant compound that is known to help reduce inflammation, aid in weight loss, prevent heart disease, brain disease, and even cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved a topical ointment, sinecatechins (brand name Veregen), which includes extracted components of green tea leaves and is used for the treatment of genital warts.
Green tea has many health benefits and is generally safe in moderation. Most side effects are related to its caffeine content, and consumers are encouraged to not drink more than 8 cups a day.
Now that’s some good Tea!
Curtis, L. (n.d.). The health benefits of Green Tea. Verywell Health. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/green-tea-benefits-6951098
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Green tea. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/green-tea