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The Amazing Health and Beauty Superpowers of Sencha Green Tea.

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

We take a deep dive into the health and beauty superpowers of sencha green tea. Find out why its an absolute daily must-have item for your health.

sencha green tea cup and teapot

Sencha green tea is my "must have" morning ritual. Loaded with antioxidants, it is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. The fresh grassy flavour with a slight sweet aftertaste can be enjoyed hot or cold. In my health practice I am constantly recommending this drink to my clients making it part of their daily routine or to use as a healthy alternative to coffee.


ABOUT GREEN TEA


Green tea is well known for its high level of antioxidants. It comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is rich in polyphenols which include flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, which are the key superpowers of green tea for your health.


Many of the proposed health benefits come from the flavanol content of green tea commonly known as catechins. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, they can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body protecting cells and molecules.


The catechins in green tea include.

  • EGCG ( epigallocatechin-3-gallate ) this makes up 50% to 60% of green tea.

  • This polyphenol antioxidant is responsible for most of the health benefits of green tea with its medicinal properties..

  • Other catechins include epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC)

  • Flavonoids include kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin

Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine at approx 2% to 4%. (1)


Another interesting constituent of green tea is the amino acid L-theanine. (2)

This amino acid can help support relaxation, sleep and promote alertness, calming you down without causing drowsiness. It is also believed that it can help plump and retain moisture in your skin although very little testing has been done on this.


Small amounts of minerals and vitamins are also found in green tea.


THE HEALTH BENEFITS


Gut Health - The EGCG in green tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria including Helicobacter Pylori in the stomach. If you suffer from acid reflux which can be a sign of H. Pylori, start consuming green tea daily. It has also been used in cases of diarrhoea and candida support


Oral Health - Green tea can help fight bacteria in the mouth to support reduction on cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. Research has shown, green tea extract appears to reduce gingival inflammation and plaque accumulation. (3)


Weight Loss & Diabetes - The effects of this tea on obesity has received increasing attention. Evidence has shown EGCG can increase calorie and fat metabolism. Caffeine, catechin, and theanine constituents of green tea might also contribute to this effect. (4)


Mild reductions in blood sugar were shown in some controlled studies with the possibility of lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Cardiovascular - One research study found a 5% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and a 3% reduced risk of cardiovascular events from a one-cup increase in green tea consumption. (5)


A small reduction in the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol

which could possibly lead to reduced damage to the vascular endothelium and reduced arteriosclerosis was found when taking a green tea extract for 12 weeks. (6)


Neurological - Cognitive function is supported with increased alertness & concentration from the caffeine and calming effect from the amino acid L-theanine.


Preliminary evidence also suggests that EGCG may prevent oxidation and apoptosis of neurons, which may protect people from developing Alzheimer's disease (7)


L-theanine and caffeine which work synergistically to improve brain function.

L-theanine increases the activity of GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It can also increases dopamine. (7.5)


Cancer Risk Reduction - Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. A meta-analysis found that increasing green tea intake by one cup per day is associated with an 11% reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer. Therefore, drinking green tea may be beneficial for the prevention of endometrial cancer. (8)


A 46% lower risk of ovarian cancer when compared with those who don't regularly consume tea was found in a study on individuals consuming 2 or more cups of green tea daily. (9)


SKIN HEALTH BENEFITS


Decrease in Acne - catechins have the ability to kill bacteria. Use this externally as a face wash. Just brew your cup of tea and splash onto your face. Green tea has possible antimicrobial effects against Propionibacterium acne, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects . (11)

Skin Tone - the astringent properties of the tannins in green tea can help reduce redness and calm the skin. Oral and topical application of products containing green tea may improve skin elasticity, hydration, and roughness. It can also help reduce the signs of sun damage, such as hyperpigmentation, rough texture, and fine lines.


Minimises signs of aging: Green tea can reduce the signs of sun damage, such as hyperpigmentation, rough texture, and fine lines due to the high antioxidant content. EGCG may have positive effects on skin hydration, moisture retention, and wrinkle formation and can help fight off DNA damage in skin cells by promoting DNA repair.


Topical ways to use your cup of green tea


Green tea can be applied externally on acne, as a wash to soothe sunburn, as a poultice for bags under the eyes, or as a compress for headache or tired eyes. It can also be used as a wash to soothe candida symptoms.


A green tea footbath can be used for athlete's foot.

HOW TO BREW GREEN TEA

  1. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of our organic Sencha Green Tea per 250ml (1 cup) into a teapot or strainer.

  2. Pour heated water at approximately 80 - 85ºC over the top of the leaves. Make sure not to use boiled water as you don’t want to burn the tea. Boiling water can destroy the beneficial compounds and mute some of the flavour notes. It may also make the tea bitter. Using filtered water will give you the best results.

  3. Steep the leaves for approximately 1 - 3 minutes. The longer you steep green tea the more bitter the taste. We recommend, tasting your tea after 1 minute and keep testing every 60 seconds until you get your desired taste and strength. You can stick to that for future cups.

  4. Enjoy :)

You can add a sweetener or extra flavours to your cup if desired.

Some examples include lemon, cinnamon pieces, fresh ginger, citrus peel, etc.

BEST TIME TO DRINK SENCHA GREEN TEA


As green tea contains some caffeine, it is a great morning drink. Avoid drinking at bedtime as it may disrupt your sleep patterns.


The caffeine and compounds found in green tea can cause adverse side effects if consumed in excessive amounts. We recommend drinking no more than 2-3 cups per day for optimal health.


If you are on medication leave a 2 hour gap either side of taking it before consuming green tea. Refer to our Caution / Contraindication section if you have any medical conditions.


Green tea can stimulate gastric acid so if taken just before a meal may help with digestion. Beware, if taken on an empty stomach with no food to follow as it may cause you to experience nausea or diarrhoea.


SENCHA GREEN TEA CAUTIONS / CONTRAINDICATIONS


Although green tea has amazing health benefits, be aware that it’s not suitable for everyone.


If you are pregnant or breastfeeding limit this drink as it may increase the risk of folate deficiency due the tea’s ability to bind to DHFR (dihydrofolate reductase - an enzyme responsible for converting folic acid to its active form, tetrahydrofolate).


Some individuals may experience an intolerance or allergy to green tea with symptoms of anxiety, nausea, joint pain, irritability, headaches , so avoid this drink if you experience this.


Due to the caffeine content in green tea, reduced consumption is recommended in cases of anxiety, bleeding disorders, diarrhoea, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, liver disease, osteoporosis and certain cardiac conditions.


Green tea can interact with certain pharmaceuticals so if you are on medication, refer to your health practitioner prior to use. Especially if you are planning to drink regularly. It can alter the plasma levels of certain drugs. Some of these drugs include Nadolol, Atorvastatin, Lithium, Celiprolol, Adenosine, and anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication amongst others. Be especially careful if taking SSRIs like Zoloft or Prozac.


It is also advised to stop consuming green tea 7 days before surgery or any medical tests.

Green tea might reduce the absorption of iron supplements so leave a 2 hour gap either side of taking before consuming green tea.

References available on request.


(1) Foster S, Duke JA. Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990.


(2)Lee LS, Kim SH, Kim YB, Kim YC. Quantitative analysis of major constituents in green tea with different plucking periods and their antioxidant activity. Molecules. 2014 Jul 1;19(7):9173-86.

(3)Krahwinkel T, Willershausen B. The effect of sugar-free green tea chew candies on the degree of inflammation of the gingiva. Eur J Med Res 2000;5:463-7.


(4) Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:1040-5

(5)Chung M, Zhao N, Wang D, et al. Dose-response relation between tea consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies. Adv Nutr. 2020;11(4):790-814.


(6) Miyawaki M, Sano H, Imbe H, et al. "Benifuuki" Extract Reduces Serum Levels of Lectin-Like Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-1 Ligands Containing Apolipoprotein B: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trial. Nutrients 2018;10(7). pii: E924. doi: 10.3390/nu10070924


(7) Choi YT, Jung CH, Lee SR, et al. The green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate attenuates beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity in cultured hippocampal neurons. Life Sci 2001;70:603-14.


(7.5) https://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/17%20Suppl%201/167.pdf


(8) Zhou Q, Li H, Zhou JG, Ma Y, Wu T, Ma H. Green tea, black tea consumption and risk of endometrial cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016;293(1):143-55. View abstract.


(9) Larsson SC, Wolk A. Tea consumption and ovarian cancer risk in a population-based cohort. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:2683-6.


(10) Mnich, C. D., Hoek, K. S., Virkki, L. V., Farkas, A., Dudli, C., Laine, E., Urosevic, M., and Dummer, R. Green tea extract reduces induction of p53 and apoptosis in UVB-irradiated human skin independent of transcriptional controls. Exp Dermatol. 2009;18(1):69-77.


(11) Kim S, Park TH, Kim WI, Park S, Kim JH, Cho MK. The effects of green tea on acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Phytother Res. 2021;35(1):374-383

(12) Gawande, S., Kale, A., and Kotwal, S. Effect of nutrient mixture and black grapes on the pharmacokinetics of orally administered (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea extract: a human study. Phytother.Res. 2008;22(6):802-808.


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