The Health Benefits of Tea_Featured_, Healing, Prevention Monday, October 29th, 2012
Sayer Ji | GreenMedInfo
We can imagine that, before the advent of civilization, with all its familiar trappings of pyrotechnology and pottery, tea leaves (which are quite bitter) would not have been nibbled on for recreation. Likely they would have been used only occasionally in small amounts, for the purposes of harnessing their intensely concentrated medicinal properties. Only later, as Okakura ruminated, would tea be consumed regularly in the form of a drinkable infusion.
The beauty of tea’s transition from a medicine to a beverage is that drinking tea in small amounts daily, may prevent the need for using ‘heroic’ megadoses of green tea at any time later in life after a serious disease sets in. Food (and beverage) is medicine, assuredly, but it is best used preventively – in small, hopefully enjoyable, doses — before a problem digs in its roots.
So, what are the health benefits of tea, particularly green tea? We think of it as an antioxidant, and indeed, of the 69 beneficial ‘pharmacological actions’ we have identified tea possessing on our natural medicine database project thus far, reduction of oxidative stress is top on the list.[i] But what of the other 68 actions mentioned?
Did you know that green tea is capable of reducing the formation of the fat cells known as adipocytes (anti-adipogenic), which is one reason why it has been studied for its possible ameliorative role in weight gain and obesity.[ii] Green tea has also been found to modulate AMP-activated protein kinase which reduces fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, as well as gluconeogensis (the production of sugar from protein in the liver).[iii]