People have brewed teas leaves for over 5,000 years and green tea has been used medicinally for centuries in China, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. After water, green tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide; it is used to remedy headaches, pain, fatigue and depression and enhance digestion and immunity.
In the West, only in the last few years has there been scientific research that shows the remarkable effects of green tea.
Green and black teas all come from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. While black teas are produced from fermented leaves, green tea is prepared from fresh leaves that are dried or steamed right after picking. Though both types have health benefits, researchers believe green tea has more significant antioxidant activity because it is less processed than black tea.
Green tea is enriched with a number of other beneficial compounds, including oils, vitamins, minerals and caffeine. Though it has approximately 75 percent less caffeine content than coffee, too many cups of green tea can still cause insomnia. Fluoride may be present in teas and should be consumed in moderation. Green tea can also interact with blood-thinning medications such as aspirin.
Experts recommend that you brew green tea in a pot that allows the leaves to unfurl, use hot water that is just below the boiling temperature and steep the tea for about 2 minutes. Green tea bags and decaffeinated teas are also available. If you’re unable to drink a cup, try green tea powder or supplements.
Moroccan mint tea is a delicious combination of green tea and mint. The fresh mint leaves provide additional nutrients and a refreshing taste. Sweeten your tea with honey rather than sugar for an even greater nutritional punch; honey acts as a laxative, an anti-bacterial cleanser, a solvent and a purifier in the body. For other variations of green tea, adding ginger, cardamom or cinnamon ease indigestion and, along with cloves, can offer relief from colds and coughs.