Herbs: The Benefits of Green Tea

Day Two:

Hello, my name is Erin, and I have a problem. I am addicted to caffeine. I love caffeine in most forms- coffee (Duh!!!), tea, and hummmm- I hate to say it- the occasional soda. I know, I know! Don’t shame me.  I am on a health quest, talking herbs, and I bring up the dirtiest work on the planet- SODA. Gross, right? Well let’s just say I save those occasions for a rainy day, and sometimes when I eat air-popped popcorn- balance right? Okay, okay, I will work on it. Let’s move on, to my original admission.  I LOVE caffeine, and now I have found the perfect way to get my fix in small amounts and stay out of trouble- green tea. There are so many benefits to green tea that made it an easy choice for day two of #100daysofherbs Even though technically green tea is not an herb, I am using it in this project because it comes from a plant and it has many medicinal benefits. 

The Project

This project, #The100DaysofHerbs, derives from the #The100DayProject on Instagram. The start Date is April 19, 2016 and goes for 100 days ending July 25, 2016. The project asks people to pick up a paintbrush, camera, meditation -anything for 100 days and document the process.   I am also using #The100DayProject to enhance my beginner knowledge of herbs and to strengthen both my fledgling photography and writing skills.

Why Herbs (I will update this section weekly so check back over the journey)?

Week One: I was diagnosed with an "incurable disease" by Western Medicine two years ago and after a bit of crying, and trusting my gut to say no to the VERY HARMFUL drug they wanted to put me on to "help" manage my symptoms (not even cure the disease), God put me right in front of an herbalist’s doors, and I haven't looked back since. More on that over the next 100 days. 

Green Tea Facts

Many people are surprised to learn that both green tea and black tea originate from the same exact plant species—Camellia Sinensis.  It's the variety of tea plant and processing of the harvested plant leaves that defines how green tea becomes “green” and black tea becomes “black”. There are hundreds of cultivars and hybrid plants that have evolved from the Camellia Sinensis plant varieties, but technically tea makers use it as the base for all types of tea. Accordning to Teatulia an organic tea maker, “A brewed green tea is typically green, yellow or light brown in color, and its flavor profile can range from grass-like and toasted (pan fired) to vegetal, sweet and seaweed-like (steamed). If brewed correctly, most green tea should be quite light in color and only mildly astringen”.  

Benefits of Green Tea

One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (or EGCG, a phytochemical which protects plants from disease), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.  Green tea also contains amino acids that in conjunction with the caffeine found in green tea produces positive brain interactions and help with brain function in old age possibly preventing against disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Another possible benefit of green tea is that is has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.  Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants. The list goes on and on, here are a couple more benefits to green tea.  

Quick Guide to Benefits:

Weight loss
Diabetes
Heart disease
Cancer
Cholesterol
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Tooth Decay                                                                                                        
Blood Pressure                                                                                             Depression                                                                                                                   Anti-viral, Anti-bacterial                                                                                           Skincare

 

Since this is a learning project, and I know there are so many benefits to each herb and I could never list them all, I would love to hear your comments on the herb.  Why you enjoy it, precautions, how you use it etc.  Please feel free to help me along in my process!