Tea, green

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Camellia sinensis; China Gunpowder; Green Tea

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Variety-rich tea plant. There are more than 1000 varieties. Besides China, Japan is the main producer of green tea specialties. Well known varieties in this area are Sencha, Bancha, Kukicha, Genmaicha and the absolute top quality, the Gyokuro.

General information
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The most important ingredient of tea is caffeine (formerly known as theine, tein or theine in connection with tea). Further components of tea leaves are catechins such as epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate. With 0.045-0.35% there is a relatively high aluminium content. This is biologically ineffective by complex binding to catechins. Most of the health-promoting effects of green tea are attributed to the catechins (see below Condylomata acuminata). Catechins are the substances that give the tea its bitter taste. They are potent antioxidants with photoprotective properties. They reduce UV-induced oxidative stress and inhibit various cytokines involved in the development of skin carcinomas. Green tea contains more tanning agents (tannins) than black tea.

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Unlike black tea, tea leaves are not fermented. Due to the processing, the leaves of Camellia sinensis are preferred to the assamica variety for green tea, as the small-leaved, more delicate variety is more suitable. Green tea also differs from black tea in its preparation, taste, ingredients and effects of the infusion. Green tea contains catechins (see below tanning agents), which have antioxidant (arteriosclerosis, coronary heart attack), antiviral (treatment option for a 10-15% ointment for condylomata acuminata), antimicrobial, antiproliferative and immunostimulating effects.

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Green tea has been cultivated in China for several thousand years. Generally, the tea is brewed with hot water without prior pulverization. In the 16th and 17th centuries, green tea spread also in Europe.

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  2. Stockfleth E et al (2008) Topical Polyphenon E in the treatment of external genital and perianal warts: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol 158:1329-1338.