Green tea for you heart, brain and vagina?

Green tea - what's not to love?

Not only is Green tea a beautiful beverage, but research on this amazing plant is growing fast. It contains a variety of bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Here are some of the health benefits of green tea:

  • Contains antioxidants: Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • May improve brain function: Green tea contains caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which can help improve brain function and increase alertness. It has also been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease: Studies have shown that green tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • May improve dental health: The catechins in green tea have been shown to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and improve overall dental health.
  • May improve skin health: Green tea contains polyphenols, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and improve skin health.

But did you know that green tea may also have a positive impact on the microbiome, the community of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies? Not just the gut, but skin and of course the vaginal microbiome!


Green tea and the gut microbiome:


Several studies have shown that green tea can increase the number and diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome while reducing the abundance of harmful bacteria. For example, one study found that green tea extract supplementation increased the abundance of Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacterium is a type of probiotic bacteria that is known to have numerous health benefits, including improving gut health and reducing inflammation.

Another study found that green tea polyphenols can help modulate the gut microbiota by increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria and reducing the levels of harmful bacteria in the gut. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind green tea's effects on the gut microbiome, these studies suggest that incorporating green tea into your diet may have a positive impact on gut health.


Green tea and the vaginal microbiome:


The research on the effects of green tea on the vaginal microbiome is also growing, there is some evidence to suggest that it may have a positive impact. One study found that green tea extract was effective at reducing the growth of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal infection. BV is caused by an imbalance of the vaginal microbiota and is characterised by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. The study found that green tea extract inhibited the growth of BV-associated bacteria, and also helped to restore the balance of the vaginal microbiota. The researchers suggested that green tea extract may be a useful alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of BV.

Another study found that green tea catechins were effective at reducing inflammation in the reproductive tract of mice. Inflammation in the reproductive tract can disrupt the vaginal microbiota and increase the risk of infections. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of green tea on the vaginal microbiome, these studies suggest that it may have potential as a natural treatment for vaginal infections and inflammation.


How to include Green Tea?


Just a cup or two a day can help, ensure you get good quality green tea! I personally love the Japanese blend of Green tea with Roasted Rice and Matcha, Genmaicha and Matcha. You can grab this from good Japanese grocers. I know many of you enjoy your daily Matcha latte as well. But just a nice cup of plain Green Tea will do the job as well.

As herbalists, we often use extracts of Green tea in liquid or tableted forms. For vaginal microbiome, we'll even use it in a pessary! But please only do this under the guidance of an experienced practitioner. The health conditions that Green Tea has been shown to benefit are complex and seeing a Naturopath to get a wholistic view of them can be very beneficial.

So, are you having your green tea today?


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