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October 05, 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 2 -

At part one we have talked about when Japanese green tea has started. Just to review, Japanese green tea’s first record was on AD 815, when Eichu (Buddhist Monk) has served tea to Emperor Saga. At that time, only the emperor, royal family and some monks were the only people who drank the teas. We are still not sure teas were drank by ordinary people at that time. From there, approximately 380 years later has past and the culture of Matcha has started by the monk called Eisai.Today, I would like to go through several key points about how Matcha has started.

 

1. When and how?
Eisai, the famous Buddhist monk, brought back this Matcha style and tea seeds back from China on 1191. He first planted in the Southern Japan called the Hirado region of Nagasaki Prefecture, where he first landed when he came back from China. This tea farm is called the “Fushun-En” and it still exists. From there on he have moved on to Mount Sefuri of Saga Prefecture and built another tea farm. This region still makes teas and sell teas with the brand name “Eisai-cha.” Also the tea seeds were later on sent to the Toganoo region of Kyoto to Myoue-Shounin, the Buddhist monk in this region. Myoue has expanded this tea to the famous tea plantation Uji region, Kyoto Prefecture.

 

2. What kind of tea was it?
Eisai went to China in the Sung period, powdered green tea was the main tea served in China at that time. After the Sung period, China has moved on to consuming the teas by brewing tea leaf.
Japan first started the Matcha style by the influence of Chinese and had development its own style within the next several hundred years. Many scholars and professors say that the powdered tea at that time was not like today’s matcha. The powder was rougher (not fine-grained) since it did not use the stone ground mill. Also Matchas are usually grown under the shade before harvest, but at this time there were no such cultivation technique to cover the teas with shade, so it is said to be bitterer with less umami (savory) than the today’s matcha.
 
3. How did it spread throughout Japan?
On 1214 Eisai had made the book called “Kissa-Yojyou-Ki”. This book was the first book based on benefits and cultivation/production of green tea. In this book Eisai has mentioned tea leaf is grown on sacred land, and green tea brings health and is the drink for longevity (considered as a medicine). This book was considered as a sacred book of green tea and has been read by many tea producers and monks in the later years.
 
 
4. How Matcha was drank?
Matcha was considered as a medicine and was also an aid for meditation for Zen. That is why many monks has consumed the Matcha. In 1214, Matcha was given to the Minamoto no Sanetomo Shogun (3rd generation shogun of this Kamakura era) as a remedy for hangovers. There is a record left that when Shogun was feeling ill from the hangovers, Eisai has served him Matcha and instantly he felt refreshed and felt much better.This is the brief story about how Matcha has started. From part 3, we would like to talk about how this Matcha has expanded and how the culture has developed.
Hope you enjoyed, thank you.

Yosuke Aso
Yosuke Aso

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