Green tea effective in treating many disorders, say physicians

September 09, 2012, Sunday/ 16:22:00/ TUĞBA AYDIN

green tea, one of the most consumed beverages in the world, has an effective role in treating many disorders on top of its stress-relieving benefits, say physicians.

Green tea comes from a tea native to Asia called Camellia sinensis. The Chinese have used it as a medicine for at least 4,000 years. Since green tea is the least processed tea, it preserves its nutrients and is therefore very beneficial in multiple ways according to many studies. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). There is evidence that EGCG kills cancer cells without destroying or harming healthy cells and inhibits an enzyme required for cancer cell growth as well as reducing the risk of esophageal cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer. Green tea includes polyphenols and polysaccharides, compounds that are significantly beneficial for diabetic patients. These help to lower blood sugar and prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.

Orhan Şahin, a physician who retired from Nazilli State Hospital in Aydın, told Sunday’s Zaman that green tea helps to build a stronger immune system since it contains a great amount of vitamin C, which controls the symptoms of the common cold and flu. “The intake of green tea should be minimized during pregnancy due its caffeine content. It also has a stress-relieving effect after a hard day of work. According to a study, people who drink green tea regularly have a 50 percent decreased risk of hypertension compared to those who don’t drink it,” he added.

Green tea also has an anti-inflammatory effect. It decreases inflammation and pain due to arthritis. It helps with the proper digestion of food and solves problems such as bloating. It is also effective in controlling the symptoms of food poisoning and diarrhea. Drinking green tea regularly speeds up the body’s calorie burning process thanks to its fat-burning compounds. Regular consumption of green tea helps boost fat oxidation and metabolism by speeding up this calorie-burning process.

Medical studies on green tea show that its consumption offers a variety of potential benefits for human health. If its leaves are used after herbal infusion, it can be helpful for sunburn, under-eye bags, local itching and bruises on the face and for the prevention of sun-related skin cancer by rubbing skin with the leaves with the help of cotton balls before going outside. Its antibacterial components help fight skin problems, including acne. Moreover, it has an anti-ageing effect. Drinking green tea regularly maintains the moisture of the skin, keeps it fresh and reduces wrinkles. It is also beneficial for the prevention of blood vessel dysfunctions and the elements that increase the risk of heart attack and paralysis. Another physician, who works in a state hospital in Adıyaman province and asked not to be named as in his position as a public official he is not allowed to speak to the press, told Sunday’s Zaman that green tea contains a high level of antioxidants that prevent cell and DNA damage and reinforces the immune system to fight against colds and flus. On the other hand, drinking excessive amounts of green tea can lead to disorders such as insomnia, dizziness, stomach disorders and irritability. Since it contains caffeine, one should not drink green tea in the evenings as it can interfere with a good sleep. Green tea should be consumed only when it is freshly brewed; otherwise most of its nutritional value will be lost. Adding some lemon prevents the rapid loss of its nutrients.

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