MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Green tea/medicinal properties?

Area: Botany
Posted By: Gary Bachman, Grad Student Horticulture-Plant Physiology, Ohio State University.
Date: Wed Apr 17 20:41:50 1996

I am glad you have asked this question Jeff. I had the opportunity to visit the Great American Tea Company located south of Charleston, SC a few years ago. It formerly was owned and operated by the Lipton tea Co. and now is the only working tea plantation in the United States. Their number is 1-800-443-5987. Give them a call for more information

The difference between black and green tea is the fermentation (oxidation) process where enzymes in the tea leaves turns the leaves brown. Green tea is not oxidized but steamed and then dried over heat. The steaming stops all metabolic processes in the leaves and the drying preserves the various compounds contained therein. Plant make a variety of secondary products (such as oils, tannins, caffeine) that have effects on other organisms.

The Chinese believe that green tea does impart health benefits to the drinker. These benefits include being a digestive aid, diet aid, promotes oral health, helps alleviate the effects of alcohol, and stimulates the immune What compounds are responsible for these claims are not known.


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