Health benefits of green tea

A miracle drink?

With all its health benefits it’s hard to believe everyone isn’t drinking green tea by the gallon.

Green tea can be used to increase mental alertness and thinking, said Cathy Weaver, a holistic medicine practitioner from Cooper City, Fla.

Additionally, it has been used to treat headaches, tumors and stomach disorders in recent years, she said.

"Some people also use green tea to prevent health issues, including various kinds of cancer," Weaver said.

"Recent studies have shown that green tea can be linked to preventing breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer," she said.

Green tea bags can also be applied directly to the skin to reduce puffiness and soothe sunburns, she said.

"Bags can also be used to stop the gums from bleeding when a tooth has been pulled," Weaver said.

How does it work?

Since green tea is not fermented it's able to retain polyphenols, which are thought to be responsible for many of the tea's health benefits.

Polyphenols are thought to prevent inflammation and swelling, and lessen joint damage. They also appear to fight human papilloma virus (HPV) infections; research hasn’t been able to explain this yet.

The antioxidants and other substances in green tea have also been linked to heart and blood vessel health.