Updated: May 16, 2019
We get green and black tea from the Camelia sinesis plant, a close cousin of the Camellia japonicas or Camellia sasanquas that grow all over our town. Green tea leaves and black tea leaves are the same except that the black tea leaves have already been oxidized through a fermentation process. This means that the black tea leaves are browned for a richer taste and smell. The overall health benefits of tea is greater in the leaves that have not been oxidized, making green tea the better choice, however. Green tea is rich in catechins - polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties that have been studied worldwide.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that drinking green tea can improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels. A similar analysis found that green tea can also decrease cognitive disorders and certain kinds of cancers. Many studies on green tea have come to the same conclusions with one caveat: the amount of green tea needed for measurable health benefits could be between 5 and 12 cups per day.
This is why green tea supplements may be the answer to receiving optimal benefits. Before taking green tea in pill form, it’s important to know where the tea was grown and if it is organic. High concentrations of adulterated tea counteracts the good a tea extract can provide. Before taking a green tea extract, consult your healthcare provider, especially if you are already taking any kind of stimulant or some antibiotics and birth control, as these will inhibit the body’s ability to break down caffeine. Pregnant or nursing women should always avoid high doses of caffeine in any form.