All types of tea (green, black, and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods.
Fresh leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are steamed to produce green tea.
Green Tea Fact Sheet
Green tea is usually brewed and drunk as a beverage. Green tea extract can be taken in capsules and are sometimes used in skin products.
What Does Science Say?
Laboratory studies suggest that green tea may help protect against or slow the growth of certain cancers, but studies in people have shown mixed results.
Some evidence suggests that the use of green tea preparations improves mental alertness, most likely because of its caffeine content. More data is being sought to determine how green tea aids in weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels, or protect the skin from sun damage.
NCCAM is supporting studies to learn more about the components in green tea and their effects on conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. More and more studies continue to support Green Tea as an aid in weight loss efforts as well as prostate health.
Side Effects and Cautions for Green Tea
- Green tea is safe for most adults when used in moderate amounts.
- Green tea and green tea extracts contain caffeine. Caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, or frequent urination in some people. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure, and in very high doses, it can cause seizures, delirium, or irregular heart rhythms.
- Green tea contains small amounts of vitamin K, which can make anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, less effective.
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Gingered Green Tea Recipe
Gunpowder green tea, which has an assertiveness of its own, is a good match for ginger. A bit of honey can be a welcome addition.
Six 1/4 inch thick slices fresh ginger (no need to peel the ginger)
2 heaping teaspoons Chinese green tea leaves, such as gunpowder
Crush 4 ginger slices under a knife. Combine 1-1/2 cup water and the ginger in a small saucepan. Let the water come to a boil slowly over medium-low heat so the ginger can infuse the water. Meanwhile, fill a small teapot with hot tap water and let stand to heat the pot.
Discard the water in the teapot. Add the tea to the teapot. Remove the ginger from the water and discard. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and steep for about 3 minutes. Pour through a tea strainer into two cups. Add a whole, uncrushed ginger slice to each serving and serve hot.
National Cancer Institute; Tea and Cancer Prevention; National Cancer Institute Web site; Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site; Green tea (Camellia sinensis) Natural Standard Database.
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