Green Tea (camellia sinensis)

Green tea, which is believed to have anti-viral, antioxidant, diuretic, expectorant and stimulant properties, is drawn from the camellia sinensis leaf.

What are its health benefits?

A popular medicinal beverage, mostly revered for its rich antioxidant properties, there are numerous green tea benefits.

The camellia sinensis leaf contains the powerful antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-gallate) as well as other notable healing substances including fluoride, catechins, tannins and the amino acid, theanine.

It also has significant amounts of water-soluble vitamins and minerals, particularly zinc, manganese, potassium, niacin, folic acid and vitamin C. It contains caffeine, which boosts alertness and concentration.

Its health benefits may include:

  • Assisting in the management of diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Assisting in the management of allergies
  • Assisting in the management of ulcers
  • Assisting in the management of inflammation
  • Assisting in the management of viral colds and flu
  • Assisting in the management of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath
  • Assisting in the management of cholesterol
  • Assisting in the management of osteoporosis and blood clots

Applying green tea bags on your eyes is said to reduce swelling and tighten the skin.

Green tea and weight loss are often linked, as the tea reportedly increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation, thus aiding weight loss, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Recommended doses of green tea vary, but usually range between one to 10 cups daily. To make tea, people typically use one teaspoon of tea leaves in a mug of boiling water. Don’t add green tea to boiling water, rather let it cool a bit first. Boiling water is bad for catechins (healthy chemicals in the tea), and will offset the tea’s benefits.

Possible side effects

While there are no reports of clinical toxicity from daily tea consumption as a beverage, rare side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms

Warnings

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), green tea during pregnancy should be avoided due to its caffeine content, which is said to reduce folic acid absorption. However, there are different schools of thought on this.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medicines Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in September 2015