The fashion for a healthy lifestyle has successfully combined with the current fashion for everything oriental and exotic. And on this wave, green tea suddenly gained incredible popularity, which once in Soviet times was only a surrogate substitute for scarce black tea (oh, those cherished yellow boxes with elephants!) Or a lifesaver for poor students.
In principle, by replacing one tea with another, we will not lose anything much. All types of tea, both green and black, are made from the same Camellia sinensis plant. The difference lies only in the technology of collecting and processing leaves. Green tea, unlike black tea, is not fermented, so the active substances are stored in it unchanged.
True, it is green teas in the East that are the most. Tens of thousands of tons of green teas, which are produced in 18 provinces of China, are exported annually from this great and ancient country. On the world market, green tea from China generally takes up to 70 percent of all sales.
It is believed that the tradition of drinking green tea was born exactly there – in ancient China. The legend says that simple shepherds noticed the excellent health and increased endurance of their ward goats, who ate the green tender leaves of certain plants. Then the shepherds began to make decoctions from these leaves, and then specially grow their favorite shrubs and trees. Over time, tea plantations appeared in Japan, India, Indonesia, and Ceylon.
It is widely known that the tea leaf (first of all, very young, just blossoming, tender) contains a special substance – tannin. Its large amount gives the drink a bitter taste. In some varieties of tea, by the way, this bitterness is deliberately left, but more often, with the help of special technologies, the tannin content is somewhat reduced. It is tannin that has a tonic effect on the body, stimulates mental and physical performance, and helps fight overwork.
But that’s not all. The most important component is the so-called flavonoids and other organic compounds, which are the maximum amount in green tea. Especially active substances in it are polyphenols – such as catechins. Polyphenols make up 40 percent by weight of dried green tea leaves. It is believed that most of the beneficial properties of green tea are due to their presence.
Together with caffeine, theophylline, nicotinic and pantothenic acids, they have a tonic and stimulating effect on almost all body systems. At the same time, the work of the heart is normalized, the condition of the walls of blood vessels improves, the nutrition of the brain improves, and normal blood clotting is maintained.
Green tea regulates blood pressure very interestingly. Due to the tonic effect of caffeine on the heart and blood vessels, blood pressure rises almost immediately. However, after a fairly short period of time, the vascular tone normalizes and, accordingly, the pressure decreases. Healthy people usually do not even notice this, focusing only on the tonic effect of the drink, but for hypertensive patients this effect is especially beneficial. The only people who may feel any discomfort are those who naturally have very low blood pressure. And then only if you stifle green tea of immoderate strength with volumes of tanks. So the originality of green tea lies also in its versatility.
Studies show that green tea is generally very effective in preventing many cardiovascular diseases. It helps lower cholesterol levels, as well as boosts immunity and has antibacterial properties even against plaque-causing bacteria. Moreover, recent medical studies prove that green tea has antimicrobial and antiviral activity (even on very resistant influenza and herpes viruses). Perhaps we are on the verge of a significant open in the fight against viral infections. Isn’t AIDS the same vicious virus? So, green modest tea leaves are fraught with many more mysteries and miracles.
Most of the therapeutic and prophylactic properties of green tea are associated primarily with the so-called P-vitamin activity of tea catechins, which have the ability to reduce the intensity of lipid (fat) oxidation, which, translated into a common language, means the ability to deal with extra pounds in a rather pleasant and quite accessible way. on the hips and waist.
Numerous animal studies also confirm that green tea extracts can effectively protect against radiation and chemically induced neoplasms, significantly suppress the mutagenicity of many classes of chemical carcinogens. Again, translated from specific scientific into accessible language, this means that somewhere in the complex chemical composition of green tea there may be a clue to the cure for cancer. In any case, scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine in experiments on rats proved that the tumors in animals that were given green tea not only developed later, but were less malignant. A decrease in the size of existing tumors was also noted.
The authors of the study attribute the antitumor effect of tea to the strong antioxidants contained in it – the same polyphenols. They interfere with the action of environmental carcinogens and significantly reduce the risk of breast, stomach, lung, colon, liver, and pancreas cancers. Although animal data may not always be transferable to humans, Dr. Gale Sonenshein recommends drinking three to five cups of green tea a day to prevent cancer, especially since any side effects of tea are still unknown to science.
The only problem is that in most cases, Europeans brew green tea incorrectly, while losing a significant part of its beneficial properties. In general, there are several ways to brew green tea. The common thing is that the teapot must be well heated and dried. The optimal dose is 1 teaspoon per 250 ml of water. It is better to take soft water for brewing, not containing a large amount of minerals and brought to the state of the so-called “white key” (that is, when the first bubbles appear when boiling). The softer the water, the better the taste of most varieties of green tea, the less an ugly film forms on the surface. If the water is very hard, it is better to use a filter.
We can recommend this method of welding. Moisten dry tea leaves with boiling water, hold for 1-2 minutes, then add boiling water to the teapot to half, after 2-3 minutes add boiling water (leaving about 1 cm to the edge) and hold for another 4-5 minutes. And here is another way. The trick to brewing it is that the boiling water for tea should come into contact with the crushed leaves for no more than 20 seconds. To do this, we take two containers of one liter each, one of them is a teapot with a spout. Green tea (1 teaspoon per glass of water) put in a teapot and pour tea with boiling water. You have to do it in 10 seconds! And immediately we begin to pour it through the spout into the second container, also trying to catch it in 10 seconds! Tea at the same time acquires a rich amber color, breathtaking aroma. Such tea is drunk without sugar, so as not to distort the aromatic bouquet. This is a very affordable means of preventing not only cancer, but also many other diseases.
We must also remember that in the East, green tea is not just a drink. This is a whole layer of culture, tradition, a ceremony that allows you to especially highlight the healing properties and get not only a charge of vivacity, but at the same time, oddly enough, peace of mind. Even the names of classic oriental green teas evoke the atmosphere of an exquisite oriental fairy tale – “Golden Villi”, “Swirling Snow”, “Dragon Well from Mei Jia’s Gully”, “Cloud Mist from Meng Ding Mountain”, “Emerald Spirals of Spring”, “Fleecy Mountain Peaks”. Huang-shan”, “Fleecy Blades from the Jing Shan Mountains”, “Imperial Tea from the Stream of Happiness”, “Precious Flames from Yunnan”.
Another tea – “DUN-TIN BI-LO” (“Emerald Spirals of Spring from Dong-Ting”) refers to twisted varieties. Dong-ting, near Lake Tai-hu in eastern China, is famous for its fruit and tea. Tea plantations are interspersed with fruit plantations, and the tea absorbs the aromas of flowering trees. It is harvested in early spring with the appearance of tender leaves from 5 to 9 am, and in the evening it is dried and the leaves are twisted by hand. Tea is ready for the night. Dong-ting Bi-lo has a delicate honey aroma, the tea leaves are twisted into thin spirals, the leaves are covered with a delicate fluff. Tea gives a gentle emerald infusion with a rich aroma and taste.
By the way, unlike black tea, green tea can be brewed up to three times without loss of taste and healing qualities. True, sugar and lemon are poorly compatible with it. But they can perfectly replace natural honey and pieces of dried fruit.
And one more very interesting observation. There is a version that it is green tea that contributes to weaning from alcoholic beverages. It is with this observation that the fact is often associated that in Asian countries, where green tea is drunk at least 5-10 cups a day, alcoholism is much less common than in Europe.