Green Tea’s Benefits and Side Effects

People in Asia have used green tea for thousand years ago. Nowadays, people around the world use green tea daily as it has enormous health benefits. The health benefits of green tea come from high amount of mineral and vitamins. Besides, green tea contains rich sources of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG in green tea has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. The herbalist use green tea and tea extracts to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and to blockage blood vessels in the hearts. Many researches have indicated that green tea may have ability to prevent some types of cancers like skin, colon, prostate and breast cancer. In this post we will have a closer look at 5 health benefits of green tea and how to use it effectively.

5 Health Benefits of Green Tea

1. Healthy heart

Green tea and extracts of its leaves contain rich sources of Flavonoid. Flavonoid in green tea can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, and modify blood lipid levels. Green tea also helps to regulate carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. It can reduce oxidative stress and related signaling pathways in blood vessel cells. In fact, researchers estimate that the rate of heart attack decreases by 11% with consumption of 3 cups of tea per day.

2. Natural Detox cleanse

Green tea’s vitamins and minerals to nourish your body, reduce stress, skin damage and boost the immune system. EGCG in green tea can protect our body against cell damage and slow the aging process. EGCG help to breakdown cellular membranes caused by smoke, pollution, and viruses. Moreover, the B-complex vitamins in green tea benefits and alert the central nervous system. This vitamin supports the circulatory system and aids the absorption of carbohydrates for energy.

3. Green tea and Skin care

Green tea nourishes our skin with vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B2, Folic acid, vitamin E and many other minerals. Scientific studies suggested that EGCG in green tea may prevent the development and growth of skin tumors. As having a cup of green tea you can supply your skin many essential nutrients. 

4. Green tea and Weight loss

The scientist has proved that green tea can lower total cholesterol and raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol in both animals and people. Green tea stimulates your digestive system and blocks cholesterol absorption. It helps to remove excess body fat all while adding essential nutrients for health and energy. In another small study, the researchers found that green tea can reduce harmful LDL cholesterol in male smokers.

5. Natural anti-cancer remedy

Many people believe that green tea can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and protects your digestive system from esophageal, colon and stomach cancers. With me, I do believe that green tea can boosts immunity, and its antioxidants fight damaging free radicals in the body. So what is the evidence of these believe?

Early clinical studies suggest that the polyphenols in tea, especially green tea, may play an important role in the prevention of cancer. EGCG in green tea may cause certain types of cancer cells to die in much the same way that normal cells do. This effect is important because cancer cells do not die as normal cells but they continue to grow and spread.

Several population-based clinical studies have shown that both green and black teas may help to protect against cancer. Cancer rates tend to be low in countries such as Japan where people regularly consume green tea. But, it is not possible to know for sure whether green tea actually prevents cancer in people. The researchers did not be sure the lower cancer rate is a result of drinking green Tea or other healthy living habits.


As the website Cancer.org ‘‘While the results of laboratory studies have been promising, at this time the available scientific evidence does not support claims that green tea can help prevent or treat any specific type of cancer in humans. Purified extracts have shown some promise in limited areas. Controlled, randomized clinical trials are needed to learn about the effects of green tea and more about those of its extracts. Several studies are under way.’’

How much green tea should I drink daily?

The typical amount of green tea consumed varies widely, and it is not clear how much might be needed for beneficial effects. Two or three cups of green tea (for a total of 240 – 320 mg polyphenols) are typically taken in Asian countries.
The most common amount of dried green tea for brewing 1 cup of hot water is 1 to 2 teaspoons. You can find more information about the amount of green tea and water temperature in my post ‘‘Do and don’t when brewing green tea’’.
If you use the green tea extract product, 100 – 750 mg per day a day of standardized green tea extract is recommended.

SIDE EFFECTS OF GREEN TEA 

Green tea has been used for thousands of years in Asia with few dangerous side effects. However, some people may have allergic with green tea. If you have any reactions with green tea you should stop drinking it.
If you drink a large amount of green tea you can have some problem too. Polyphenols in green tea can make your body to be harder to absorb certain medicines and iron supplements. Remember to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any herbs and supplements you are taking when you are using medicines.
When you drink too much green tea you might have irritability, nervousness, nausea, and trouble sleeping. Caffeine in green tea acts as a stimulant, people with irregular heartbeats or who have anxiety attacks should use it cautiously.
Pregnant women or breast-feeding women should not drink green tea in large amounts. Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus and can also be passed along in breast milk.
People with heart problems or high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, stomach ulcers, and psychological disorders should not take green tea. Always check with your health care provider before drinking or taking green tea.
In conclusion, green tea is very powerful herbal drink and you can use it to enhance, nourish and protect our body. However, if you have any kind of sickness symptoms or concern about your health you should go to doctor immediately. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for sickness may have serious health consequences.

Latest updated: 22/10/2014 

 References:

Ito en, ‘‘Major component and Healthbenefits of Green Tea’’, itoen.c.jp, 7th October 7, 2013
Cancer.org, ‘‘Green Tea’’, cancer.org, 2ndApril 2012

ST. Luke’s hospital at the vintage, ‘‘Green Tea’’, stukesvintage.adam.com,                    14th October 2011

Abigail Smestad, ‘‘Green Tea’s effect on digestion ’’, ehow.com, web 4th                       October 4, 2013

                   Wikipedia, ”Flavonoid”, wikipedia.org, web 23th January, 2014

Making fresh and dry Raspberry Leaf Tea at home

Raspberry leaf tea is very good herbal tea with a lot of vitamin C, E, A, B, and minerals such as Phosphorous, Potassium and tanning. This amazing herbal tea can enhance the immune system, tonic body, skin and reducing the cough when you got a sore throat. In Finland’s summer raspberries grow everywhere and it is very easy to collect the fresh raspberry leaf. That’s why I use fresh raspberry leaf tea in the summer time and dried some raspberry leaf tea for winter time.  

HARVEST FRESH RASPBERRY LEAVES

The best time to collect raspberry leaves is before blossom time. Always remember to harvest only the green and healthier looking leaves.
If you harvest red raspberry leave for only fresh tea, pick only the amount of leaves you will use last for 5 – 6 days.  Raspberry leaves will lose their precious quantities of nutrition after 5 or 6 days.

After picking the leaves don’t put it nylon, plastic bags or closed spaces like in the trunk of your vehicle. Keep the picked leaves in open space such as the basket.  

And don’t:

Don’t pick the leaves with obvious damage.
Don’t harvest the red raspberry leaves growing on roadside or curbs. These leaves are not suitable for consumption.
Don’t put the picked leaves under direct sunlight too.

CLEAN RASPBERRY LEAVES

You can clean raspberry leaves by rinsing the leaves under cool and running water. Do not soak the leaves in water, they will lose many of their much-desired substances (particularly sugars, vitamins, and minerals)

MAKING FRESH RASPBERRY LEAF TEA

Firstly, I will choose 3 fresh and healthy looking raspberry leaves to make tea. You can add more leaves or reduce the leaves depend on your taste. But with me, 3 red raspberry leaves are enough.
I used my favorite ceramic cup with lid and strainer to brew this herb tea.  As I mentioned before in the post of 5 main types of teapot, the ceramic is the best material for brewing herbal tea.

Then, I cut raspberry fresh leaves it into small pieces and put them into the strainer like this. If you do not cut it, the hot water cannot exploit all the benefits of raspberry leaves.
Boil water until fully boiling and pour the water into the cup. Put the lid on and wait for 8-10 minutes. 
The fresh raspberry leaf tea has a light sweet taste and the smell like raspberry. If you like sweet, you can put some sugar or honey as you like. I would prefer to drink this herb tea without sugar. If you need to enhance the berry smell, you can put some fresh raspberry in the tea.

DRY RASPBERRY LEAF TEA

After rinsing the raspberry leaves under running water you can leave them dry by their own. The best way to dry raspberry leaves or other herbs is to make little bunches and rig them upside down on a line in a cool, dry and drafty place. Bunches should be thin so that the circulating air can dry the herbs to the core. Avoid humid areas. Make sure the temperature is steady and the air is dry. The ideal temperature is 20 – 31oC. The faster the drying of herbs is the better. Do not dry raspberry leaves under direct sunlight, or they will wither.

After 4 days, my raspberry leaves were totally dry.


 I plucked raspberry leaves and placed them in airtight jar and stored away in cool and dry place.

Remember to use dried herbs six months later, but not later since they tend to loose their aroma.

You can use one teaspoon of dried raspberry leaf tea for one cup of tea. Put the leaf tea into a strainer and pouring boiling water into the cup. Wait for 10-15 minutes then enjoy the raspberry leaf tea. 

It is not so difficult to make fresh raspberry leaf tea and dry raspberry leaf tea at home. Why don’t you make your own raspberry leaf tea if you can find the suitable leaves? Only after 4 days, you can have a jar of dried raspberry leaf which you can use for 6 months.  I strongly recommend you read more about Raspberry leaf: Benefits and Cautions before using this healthy leaf tea for better results.

Raspberry drink with Honey and Mint


         Today I will share with you my favorite healthy drink recipe made from with red raspberries, mint leaves and honey. This healthy drink is easy to prepare and very good to your body. Your body can absorb many antioxidant, mineral and vitamin C from red raspberries and honey in this healthy drink. As I mentioned in the post ‘‘Health benefits and usages of red raspberry’’, the red raspberry contains high amount of antioxidant that fight against cancer, heart circulatory disease and age-related decline. To make this drink you can use both fresh and frozen red raspberries to make it. 
       
       The mint leaves in the drink can eliminate toxins from your body, cleanses the stomach and clear up skin disorders. I don’t know about you but with me I always prefer the honey to the sugar. Besides the excellence health benefit, the honey has a very relaxing smell. When you combine red raspberries, mint leaves and honey you will have a very tasty healthy drink. Now let start to do this easy and healthy red raspberry drink: 

                                Ingredients:

      1 dl of fresh red raspberries or frozen un-sweetened
      2 tsp. of honey
      4 or 5 mint leaves

A cup of ice


Step 1: Mix 2 tsp. honey with water. You should put a little hot water into cup because it is very hard for honey mixed with cold water. When honey totally melted, you can put more cold water up to 150 ml or a half of cup like this. 



Step 2: Put red raspberries into a cup of honey water. Squeeze the red raspberries and then discard the red raspberry seeds.


Step 3: Cut 5 mint leaves and then put them into the cup with red raspberry. If you want more mint flavor in your drink, you can squeeze cut mint leaves but it might bring a little bitter feeling from squeezed mint leaves to the raspberry drink.

Step 4: Put some ice and enjoy the red raspberry healthy drink. It only takes you about 10 minute or less to prepare this healthy and tasty red raspberry drink. 


This healthy drink got a light sweet taste but not too sweet.  You can enjoy a relaxing flavor which is combined by honey, fresh mint leaves and red raspberry. If you are looking for easy and healthy drink recipe, this healthy drink recipe is a good choice. Try to make it if you like red raspberry, honey and mint leave. Let me know what you think about this easy healthy drink recipe or what your experience when you make it.

Health benefits and Usages of Red Raspberry

Now is the Summer time in Finland. After a long and cold winter, the sun has come back to Finland. At this time, Finland is so beautiful with a lot of sunshine and the nature is so amazing. In summer, I usually spend a lot of time to wander around the forest and collect red raspberries. I like the wide red raspberries more than the grown raspberries because they are fresher and have excellent taste. Moreover, the wide berries are free in Finland. Whenever I have free time, I will go to forest and collect as much berries as I can. In the good day for picking red raspberries, I can collect 1 kg of red raspberry after 3 hours in the forest.  
Red raspberries are rich in Vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamins B. This amazing fruit contains a high amount of antioxidant such as queretin, gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart circulatory disease and age-related decline. According to the tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, the human body readily absorbs the ellagic acid from red raspberries. This ellagic acid helps our body to prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells which promoting the normal death of healthy cells. The ellagic acid in red raspberry causes apoptosis (cell death) in certain cancer cells.
Moreover, red raspberries also inhibit the production of COX-I and COX-II enzymes. COX-I and COX-II resulting in the reduction of pain associated with arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions.
Nutraceutical Value  Red Raspberry
Anthocyanins
20-65 mg/100 g
Ellagic Acid
3.39 mg/g dry wt
ORAC
24 umole TE/g
Salicylic Acid
5 mg/100g
Quercetin
12 mg/100g
Catechins
83 mg/100g
 With many health benefits, red raspberries are used for:
  • Fresh or frozen fruit: eating whole red raspberries is the best method to consume the nutrition and health benefits from red raspberries. The scientist has proved that consume the whole red raspberries is more beneficial than taking individual phytochemicals in the form of dietary supplements.
  • The red raspberry leaves are full of mineral and vitamin A, E, C and complex B vitamin. All of these vitamins strengthen our body immune system.  You can use the fresh leave or dried leaves to make raspberry leaf tea. The raspberry leaf tea has lots benefits such as throat gargles, morning sickness remedies, and fertility.
  • Red raspberry seed oil is used in cosmetic industry because it is rich in Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acid and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 24-50.
  • Red raspberries are great fruit to make low sugar red raspberry jam and red raspberry healthy drinks.

As I collected a lot of red raspberry in summer time and I did not want to waste my fresh red raspberry. I have tried and tested many different ways to use red raspberries such as: testing red raspberry healthy drinks, making red raspberry leaves tea, cooking raspberry jam. In my coming posts in this month I will share with you what and how do I use red raspberries.
In short, the best way to use red raspberries is eating the fresh one. Your body can absorb many antioxidants if you eat the whole red raspberry. The red raspberry leaves can be used as special herb tea. This herb tea can strengthen your immune systems. And don’t forget to make your own red raspberry jam. Believe me, red raspberry jam is the best jam ever. When you do it, you can see a very big difference between homemade jam and the jam you buy in super market. 
Here is some general information about the red raspberry’s health benefits and how to use it. Do you like this post or not? Tell me what you think about it. Thank you for spending time with me and see you again in later post about red raspberries.

References

Berry Healthy Network.  ‘‘Health and Healing Fact Sheets: Red Raspberries’’. Berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu. Web August 1, 2013
Local harvet. ‘‘Red raspberry leave tea’’. localharvest.org. Web August 6, 2013