Tea is native to Asia where legend has it that Buddha provided the leaf from Camellia sinensis to aid humans in being more alert and enhance their peaceful state of contemplation.
Tea has been a part of many nation's rituals.
In Japan, tea assumed a central role in Buddhist rituals.
Japanese tea ceremonies symbolize the beliefs and order of Zen Buddhism.
The English custom of tea-time originated from the duchess of Bedford.
Her lethargy and propensity to tire in the late afternoon led to her need for energy enhancement.
The aristocratic society and eventually all of the British Empire subsequently adopted her habit of ingesting sweet cakes and caffeine rich tea in the afternoon.
In pre-Revolutionary America, tea became a rallying point for colonial rebels.
Once the British government imposed a tax on the consumption of tea, the colonists became so incensed that they staged the Boston Tea Party where they dumped the British East India’s tea cargo into Boston Harbor.
As demand for tea grew, the British initiated the commercial planting of tea in India and when a fungus destroyed the coffee crop in Sri Lanka, the British replaced it with tea.
Camellia sinensis . Green Tea
Leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis are used to brew tea. Black tea leaves are fermented leaves, which causes the oxidation of most of the phytochemicals contained in the original plant.
Green tea leaves on the other hand are unfermented and therefore retain the library of phytocompounds nature provided. The most medicinally important chemical of green tea are its catechins, a type of flavonoid. Catechins are classified as polyphenols based on the presence of a phenol ring in its chemical structure. There are four types of catechins in tea.
Green tea polyphenols are thought to prevent cancer, atherosclerosis and delay the appearance of wrinkles and aging. They also possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity.
The green tea catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is also thought to produce a thermogenic effect on the body, similar to the effect caffeine produces. Increased core temperature helps lower body weight.
Epigallocatechin gallate contains 3 phenol rings which confers very strong antixoidant properties to the catechin and is though to provide the compound with the ability to stimulate thermogenesis. Its thermogenic potential involve the interaction between the catechin and the body’s natural neurotransmitter, adrenaline.
EGCG is purported to reduce food intake, lower body weight and decrease blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and is thought to interact with the leptin-appetite pathway to repress appetite.
Green tea is unfermented tea leaves, which contains very strong antioxidant polyphenol (catechins). Some help prevent cancers of the gastrointestinal tract while others inhibit the formation of nitrosamines. Catechins can also cross the blood-brain barrier to neutralize free radicals in the brain and stimulate fat oxidation.