You may have heard that free radicals are external insults that can affect our bodies internally. Some of these external factors are cigarette smoke, air pollutants, and various toxins we ingest, such as some cholesterol-lowering medications, oral contraceptives, and anti-inflammatory medications. But most free radicals are actually produced within our own cells as normal by-products of the conversion of food to energy.
In an age when ancient remedies are increasingly emerging as solutions to our modern medical questions, researchers are finding a blend of simplicity and complexity in their work. So is the case with green tea. For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the carcinogenic effects of free radicals in the human body.
It is commonly known that antioxidants reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, which can result in oxidative damage and cause many of the maladies of aging. Therefore, there is much to be celebrated about a recent analysis conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The service found that many fresh culinary herbs contain powerful antioxidants, some with more punch than medicinal herbs, fruits or vegetables.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the cancer-causing effects of free radicals in the body.
Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D., who has figured prominently in investigating the relationship between green tea and skin, says the tea has an “antioxidant activity superior to that of any other naturally occurring antioxidant known.”