Green Tea: Double Duty Health and Beauty
Rich in antioxidants? Tastes good? Yes! and Yes! Green tea, the catechin rich tea of choice for many, has a lot going for itself. Not only is it amazing for our health it can also be used to enhance our appearance, naturally.
I would literally be here all day if I talked in detail about all of the health benefits of green tea. So instead, I listed just a few to whet your appetite. Check out Medline Plus's Green Tea supplement page for more information.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
When I was about six years old I learned if I wanted to keep my chompers lookin' awesome, I had to brush them twice a day and floss'em (anyone else remember Dudley the Dinosaur?) Had Dudley read this review article, he probably would have added drinking green tea to his succinct set of instructions.
Tea drinkers seem to have a lower number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth, as well as less plaque build up. Sounds the like the signs of a healthy mouth to me.
As a woman, this one hits close to home. These cancers directly impact the organs and tissues unique to us. If there is anything we can do that might reduce our risk of these three, I am all for it.
Green tea is associated with a lower risk of developing some types of cancer, including the three listed above.
One study found women who drank 2 or more cups of tea each day had higher fertility rates than those who did not drink any tea at all. With the antioxidants and other health protective phytochemicals found in tea, it makes sense that there appears to be a positive connection between tea drinking and fertility.
It's unclear if the increased fertility seen in this group is solely because of the tea or if it is because tea drinkers might have other healthy habits that is upping their pregnancy rates. What is clear is drinking most kinds of tea certainly doesn't seem to hurt.
I know this might go against some of the other info you've read on tea and caffeine, but many of those studies didn't separate tea from coffee in their analysis. I'll be doing an article on that soon!
Topical Green Tea
You can also reap benefits from green tea without it ever crossing your lips. The effects of directly applying green tea and its extracts have been studied for the treatment of alopecia, psoriasis, acne, and more. The results look promising. Take a look for yourself (pages 352-355.)
You can make your own green tea toner or hair rinse by cold or hot steeping tea in water.
Instructions for cold steeping:
- Pour 1/2 cup (4oz or 120 ml) of cold or room temperature water into a sealable container
- Place 2 tea bags or tbsp of loose leaf tea into the container of water. Cover with lid.
- Put the water and tea in the fridge and leave for 8 hours or overnight
- Remove the bags, and voila!
For hot steeping, use the amounts listed above, but boil your water as you would if you were brewing a cup to drink. Then allow it to cool in the refrigerator.
I would recommend you store the toner in the fridge and discard any unused portion after 2-3 days. I like to put my toners in an amber glass spray bottle and spritz myself immediately after washing and drying my face. It's refreshing and less bacteria comes in contact with the toner.