Green Tea and herbal Tea and their Benefits
People have been drinking green tea and herbal tea for thousands of years for its healing and medicinal properties. Green tea is made of dried leaves of tea plant whereas herbal tea is made from bark, rot, flowers and leaves of one or different herbal plants. Herbal teas can be combination of different herbs and in some cases people might even show allergies to them.
Green tea has compounds known as polyphenols and phytochemicals that have strong antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that a specific type of polyphenols in green tea known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can protect the body cells by shielding the cell’s DNA from a potent free radical known as hydrogen oxide.
Green tea has many health benefits including cancer fighting properties, lowering the cholesterol level, improving heart health by reducing blood clotting, regulating blood sugar and insulin levels and promoting weight loss by burning fat.
Green tea can also boost the immune system and as a powerful antioxidant can fight off free radicals and toxins. Green tea can also combat fatigue, improve asthma, help against enlarged prostate and fight tooth decay.
Do not drink green tea with milk if you want to get green teas antioxidant benefit. Milk might bind with green tea's beneficial compounds and make them unavailable to the body.
Also green tea has small traces of caffeine and large quantities of green tea should not be consumed by pregnant women or nursing mothers. Also people with irregular heartbeat and anxiety should reduce their green tea consumption to no more than 2 cups a day.
Reduce and if possible eliminate black tea consumption. The fermentation process of black tea destroys most of polyphenols and antioxidants in black tea. Black tea is not also very good for overall health and well-being. It also dehydrates your body.
People have been consuming herbal tea for thousands of years for their healing properties. As mentioned before herbal tea is made from different part of plants like flowers, roots, seeds or bark. But there are some herbs including milk thistle, saw palmetto and gingko leaf that might not be as effective if taken in tea form. The reason is that the active compounds in these herbs are not water soluble and for their medical effectiveness they need to be taken in high concentration that can only be obtained in capsule, pill or extract form.
Most herbal teas are available in tea bag form and they should be steeped into hot water for four to six minutes. However other herbal teas including chamomile need to be steeped for fifteen to twenty minutes in a covered container to deliver their full potency.
Be aware of the plastic wrappers around the tea bags. I’ve noticed that that even some great organic green or herbal teas are wrapped in plastic tea bags. Be aware of plastic containers that have BPA and other hormone-disruptor chemicals that are linked to cancer, diabetes and obesity. If the tea bag wrapper is made from plastic, cut the tea bag and add the herbs inside the tea bag to into hot water, then steep, strain and drink it.
Keep in mind that in Asia many herbs including ginseng root, dong quai and astragalus is added to chicken broth for both food and medicine.