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AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEN TEA/HERBAL TEA AS IMMUNITY BOOSTER

Arindam Chaudhuri

May 14, 2020, 11:04:52   

Expert (Agriculture & Post Harvest Value addition)
Human immune system is a gateway that either protects you, or leaves you vulnerable to illness. When your immune system is running well you won't even notice it. If it weakens or you encounter an aggressive germ, then you can become ill. Most germs only make you feel ill the first time you meet them, as your body has a memory for fighting them afterwards.

The usual fear of flu season is currently greatly amplified by concern about Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can control your own level of hygiene but not necessarily your chance of exposure – as your location, contacts and travel will determine this. In a situation where everything feels largely out of control, is it possible to boost your immunity and lower your risk of infection? There is no guarantee against catching any virus and nothing substitutes following current Public guidance regarding hand washing, social distancing and exposure control. However, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can start implementing now to give your immune system a fighting chance.

ABOUT GREEN TEA
The growth in the consumption of green tea has been a major trend for last few years due to Green tea's substantial health benefits.  That Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas. Several varieties of Green tea exist, which differ substantially based on variety of C.sinensis used, growing conditions, Good plantation practice, processing and the time of plucking.

NUTRITION FACTS IN GREEN TEA:

The nutritional benefits of Green Tea are really incredible. 
Green tea is a hydrating calorie free beverage, the consumption of which is recommended upto four to five cups per day.
Green tea is an exceptionally good source of antioxidants and alkaloids.
A cup of green tea is 99.5% of water. Tea leaves is second to water as an ideal beverage choice for body hydration.
Green tea contains various vitamins like A,D,E,C,B,B5, H & K. It is rich source of Manganese, Zinc, Chromium & Selenium.
The major active component in green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant than Vitamin C or E.

Green tea also contains linolic acid, aginenin, methylxanthines (Caffeine, theopylline and theobromine, trace amount of carotenoids, lactones & hydrocarbons, esters, aldehydes which are volatile.

Benefits of taking Green tea:

1. Brain Health: Green tea contains amino acid L- theanine, which is able to cross the blood brain barrier. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects.
2. Heart Health: Green tea contains flavonoids, antioxidants that protect against heart disease by slowing the breakdown of Low density Lipoprotein cholesterol, preventing blood clots and improving blood vessel function.
3. To Boost Immunity: It contains catechins which helps boost the immune function. The tea protects against oxidants and radicals, thereby enhancing immunity. The EGCG available in green tea helps to increase the number of regulatory T-cells, helps to improve immune function and suppress autoimmune diseases.
4. Aids in Weight loss: Green tea increases fat burning and boost the metabolic rate. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which body turns food into calories.
5. Reduces Arthritis: Green tea contains guercetin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The polyphenols in green tea having antioxidant properties, are also anti- inflammatory and improves arthritis related immune responses.
6. Skin Care: The antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds in green tea helps in cleaning acne. To get the benefit, prepare a cup of green tea, cool it and use as a face wash or lay the tea bag directly on the skin to act as a compress for particularly bad pimples.
7. To manage diabetes: Green tea apparently helps to regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
8. Aids in Digestion: EGCG in green tea improves colitis symptoms.
9. Improves Oral Health
10. Intake of Green tea helps to cure hangover, helps to treat Dark circles and Puffy eyes, promotes bone health, prevent eye disease and protects vision, increases fat burning & improves physical performance.
11. Intake of Green tea can kill Bacteria, which improves Dental health and lowers the risk of infection. 

ABOUT HERBAL GREEN TEA:

Indian herbs are well known for their therapeutic values and have extensive acceptance amongst all classes in India and abroad. Herbal green teas combine, the health benefits of herbs and spice based formulations with Green tea health benefits, targeting specific health or wellness aspects. Also, the human body absorbs herbal extracts better in the form of warm tea.
The wellness effects achieved depend on the specific herbs added to the green tea.
Formulation 1: Garcenia, cinnamon, ginger are effective herbs for effective fat reduction, blend with green tea.

Formulation 2: Mint & Triphala to aid effective digestion, blend with green tea.
Formulation 3: Chamomile & lemongrass for relaxation, blend with green tea.
Formulation 4: Tulsi & cinnamon for immunization, blend with green tea.
Formulation 5: Gymnema Sylvester to counter diabetes, blend with green tea.
These are just a few of the herbs that can be consumed with green tea. These herbal green teas could potentially cover basic wellness aspects to chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular, skin aging, cancer etc.

Ayurveda find it convenient to push the herbal dosage combined with green teas as people don’t have to make any special effort to consume herbs as these gels well with existing tea drinking habits of people. People adopt herbal teas as part of their daily routine, and continue for long as their life style.  It works well for the consumers also as they can choose the appropriate herbal tea for their wellness consideration as well as taste. People are willing to pick up herbal teas for potential wellness factors even if they don’t have a compelling faith in ayurveda.

The process of making herbal teas is not as easy as it may sound to be. Many herbs and spices have bitter taste. Taste is extremely important for herbal teas. Therefore the herbal formulations cannot be utilized in toto while blending with teas. Bitter tastes of few herbs are excluded and suitable replacements are identified to ensure an acceptable taste. In addition, certain herbs and spices like cinnamon and licorice are added just to make tea tastier, and leave a good after-taste.

There are some issues in mixing green tea and herbs. Green tea should be brewed at 80 degree C for 2 minutes, while herbal teas are supposed to be brewed at 99 degree C for 5 minutes. The problem is that green tea becomes bitter if it is brewed like herbal tea, i.e at higher temperatures or for a longer duration. Hence the blend has to be brewed the way pure green tea is brewed. A superior method of brewing herbal green tea is to use whole leaf green tea and herbs of matching size, while reducing the concentration of green tea to less than 50% of the mixture, This way the taste of the blend will be dominated by the taste of the herb. Such a blend should be brewed at a temperature and for a duration between that for green tea and herbal tea, i.e at 85-90 degree C for around 3-4 mins, for the perfect cup of herbal green tea.

Green tea and Herbal teas are gaining traction in last few years. Fruit and flower flavored teas are quite popular throughout the globe. Another trend is catching up to have traditional Black CTC milk tea blended with herbs and spices with specific health themes. The tea market in India is still ruled by traditional milk tea. Though tea looses all it's benefits as soon as milk is added, it still makes good business sense to bring herbal health benefits in traditional milk tea. Introduction of herbal milk Chai namely Masala tea with specific health themes is likely to be a great business success.

India currently commands a reasonable market share (around 5-6 billion USD) in tea. However, due to limited tea cultivation area, the growth of sector would primarily come from value addition to finished product. The herbal market share is close to a billion USD, and has good potential to grow. Combining the two sectors offers a great opportunity to Indian economy in post COVID scenario and also brings ancient herbal benefits for boosting immunity and healthy society at large.

   (Tripurainfo)

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