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August 19, 2013

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Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

In ancient Japan, green tea was considered a medicine due to its known health benefits at the time. It was also something Buddhism monks used during their meditation for its calming effects. Modern science has confirmed these Japanese beliefs in green tea. Many scholars around the world have studied the health benefits of green tea and found the following:

Health Substance Inside of Green Tea

Green tea has many amazing nutrients and substances and the following will be some of the major substances/compounds:

1. Catechin. This substance is type of polyphenol that is said to have powerful antioxidant effect. It has four type of Catechin: EC, EGC, ECG, and EGCG. The EGCGs are considered the most powerful antioxidant within the four types.

2. Vitamins. Green tea is especially abundant in Vitamin C. If you take the green tea in powder type, three servings will be equivalent to one apple. Also the organic compound beta-carotene (vitamin A precursor) is also abundant close to one serving of orange juice.

3. Theanine. It is an unique amino acid that is said to have potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress and provides a calm alertness.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

There are many scholars around the world who are experimenting the health benefits of green tea. Some of these benefits are still being debated, so if you plan to use for medical purpose please consult your physician.

1. Prevents Cancer. The powerful antioxidant substance, the EGCGs, are said to prevent the development of cancer cells. There are many experiment that shows that the people who takes green tea has a low possibility of getting cancer.

2. Lowers Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. There is an enzyme that triggers the high blood pressure called the enzyme renin. Catechin has the effect to prevent this enzyme renin to raise the blood pressure. It will also lower bad cholesterol, which makes the ratio of good and bad cholesterol more favorable for the health.

3. Boosts Metabolism. Catechin also is said to have the effect to boost metabolism and reduce the absorption of fat.

4. Relaxation. The combination of theanine and caffeine has the effect to give alert calmness.

5. Natural Deodorizer. The Catechin is said to provide antibacterial effect and eliminates odor. In Japan, used tea leaves are recommended to use as a natural air refresher. 

6. Aids Fight for Dementia. Catechin protects from nerves system which leads to aids for dementia.

7. Tooth Decay. The antibacterial effect will protects from cavities and other dental issues.

8. Skin Care. The antioxidant effect from Catechin and vitamin C will protect you from aging skin. In Japan, some beauty magazines recommend to drink green tea for its skin care benefits and health benefits.

 

Health Experiment Done with Green Tea

We put together a chart that sums up the major experiment that was done.

Green Tea Health Benefits

>>See Green Tea Powder Products 

>>See Green Tea Loose Leaf Products

>>See Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

 

 *DISCLAIMER. We are not recommending green tea as a cure or remedy for any health ailments. Please consult your physician for any medical problems you may be experiencing. We seek to source current and accurate information for your general knowledge. If you know of any additional informative resources, please contact us.


History Of Japanese Tea - Part 1 -

To understand the history and where your tea comes from is very important. Why? Because it makes it simply more fun and interesting when drinking the teas. If we go really deep into this topic it will be like a 100 page report so I would like to briefly go over the big picture and go over the main topics and events. I would like to break down the Japanese tea history into the following 3 parts:
1. Start of Japanese Tea
2. Start of Matcha Green Tea Powder
3. Development of Japanese Tea (Tea Ceremony)
 
Today we would like to start off from:
1.Start of Japanese Tea
The start of Japanese Tea was in the Heian period (AD794-1185). It was said that the Buddhist monks (Kukai, Saicho, and Eichu) who went to study to China brought back the tea seeds and the tea culture with them.
 
 
a) Eichu serves the tea to Emperor Saga
The very first record that was left was when the Buddhist Monk Eichu brought back the tea seed from China and served the Emperor Saga a cup of tea on AD815 . This is the official record that is considered the very first start of Japanese tea in Japan. So almost 1,200 years ago the tea that came from China started the tea history in Japan. 
 
b) Type of teas that was served to Emperor Saga
The tea that was served to Emperor Saga has two theories. 
One is the “Hei Cha”, a type of Chinese tea that is steamed and is harden and dried into a circular pattern. Since Emperor Saga admired the Chinese Culture and had tried to incorporate many cultures from China, at that time Hei Cha was popular in China so some think that it may have been this tea that was served. The other is a tea that was infused like Sencha, there were some poetry(Kanshi) that had some record that tea was infused, but unfortunately we have no record that can classify what kind of tea was used. 
 
c) Tea was made in the Imperial Court
Emperor Saga loved the teas and decided to make a tea gardens and do tea processing inside the Imperial Court. Also tea was served in the main events in the Imperial Court called the Kinomidokyo. This event was a Buddhist service where priests were invited inside the Imperial Court in the spring and fall to selectively read Daihannyakyo (Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra) to pray for the peace and security of the nation. The tea that was served was called “Hiki Cha”, which was a sweetened tea.Tea at this time was served to the high society royal families, and we are not sure if it was served to the people in general public. After this occasion there was not much written records left about teas until Eisai’s period(AD1191), the Monk who brought Matcha style tea from China. 

It is very interesting that Chinese and Japanese tea comes from the same root, but you can see now there is a big difference between them. Next time, we would like to talk about how the Matcha has started. Yes, how the powdered type teas started:) If there is any questions please feel free to ask anytime.
Thank you!

Yosuke Aso
Yosuke Aso

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