More than just an enjoyable beverage, matcha is well known for its immense medicinal value. It is for this primary reason that Eisai, a Zen Buddhist monk brought home green tea seeds from China in 1191 to be cultivated on the temple grounds in Kyoto Japan. In his lengthy educational sojourns in their neighboring land, he was able to observed up-close how green tea drink is widely used to provide relief from inflammation and a myriad of physical discomforts.
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Although green tea’s known therapeutic properties is based purely on empirical evidences back then, it cannot be disputed at any time in history that it does work wonders in both a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Numerous modern clinical studies did not only affirm matcha’s inherent nutritional and medicinal benefits, they were also able to identify each of its healthful organic components and how they enrich our body systems.
While matcha also comes from the same plant specie used for making different kinds of green and black tea products, it still stands out from the rest in terms of both delectability and nutritional content. The special farming and processing method involved in its production makes it maintain higher concentration of antioxidants, amino acids, chlorophyll and other health-giving nutrients.
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In spite of the fact that matcha’s homeopathic value is still considered to be more preventive than curative in Western modern medicine, there are studies that suggest that the catechin-rich powder can help reduces the risk, slows down the growth or even totally reverses the effect of certain disease-causing viruses, bacteria and free radicals.
Here are a few of the known diseases that can potentially be prevented or controlled by regular intake of matcha brew or concentrated green tea extract, as proven scientifically:
Cancer – Matcha’s profuse EGCG (epigallocatechin-gallate) content has been found to effectively prevent cancerous cell from latching on to a certain protein in human cells called HSP90, thus preventing them from spreading throughout the body. There are now numerous reputable researches that reported green tea’s potential in preventing the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Type 2 Diabetes – A comprehensive study conducted by a team of scientists from University of Toyama’s Institute of Natural Medicine in Japan has reported that high amount of EGCG helps in lowering hepatic glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol level in any individual including those afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes.
HIV – 1 – A clinical study conducted by a group of doctors in UK and US has reported that EGCG found in green tea binds well with T-cell receptors, showing high potential for use in HIV-1 therapies.
Cardiovascular Disease – A medical study published in US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health shows EGCG’s ability to inhibit lipid accumulation in the bloodstream through autophagy, thus potentially preventing cardiovascular complications in humans.
Gum Diseases – When drinking matcha, it is recommended that you let the brew linger in your mouth a little before eventually swallowing. It is because it was found out that the beverage has an antiseptic effect that quells oral pathogens that cause gum diseases and halitosis as stated by a research conducted by a team from the College of Dentistry in University of Illinois at Chicago.
Chronic Gastritis – For more than a thousand years, green tea has been used in China and Japan to combat discomforts and bloating caused by inflammation of stomach lining. The said curative effect has been affirmed by a study conducted in UCLA. Furthermore, matcha’s high concentration of chlorophyll helps rid the colon walls of harmful toxins.
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Matcha is said to contain a lot more nutritive and curative effects that are no longer mentioned here. There are also still several on-going studies that explore the other medicinal properties of pulverized green tea leaves. More importantly, matcha is a highly enjoyable and all-natural food supplement. Moreover, it can be relished in many different ways, but as a hot or cold beverage or as a component of various sweet or savory dishes.