Matcha Tea to The Rescue!

For thousands of years, people in the lands of the Far East have acquired secret superpowers. Some say that they are able to fight dreadful ailments; diseases such as cancer are no big deal to the inhabitants. Their power lies simply in a drink they consume. How many beverages can you think of that have magical properties that fight off cancer? I can think of only one. That magical drink from the high heavens is matcha green tea. No. I’m not talking about that sugary, teeth-rotting drink from Lipton. I’m talking about the good ‘ole, freshly brewed tea straight out of ancient China. Legend says, this drink has anti-”everything evil” properties. It’s no wonder the Chinese have been drinking matcha green tea for thousands of years.

In Matcha, We Trust

For instance, Julie Edgar, a journalist who specializes in health reports, from WebMD states that, “still, real-world evidence is lacking,” about the health benefits of matcha tea, but she gives hope by saying, “consistent findings about matcha tea’s health benefits have come out of the lab,” (Edgar). Edgar’s article was reviewed by Jonathan L Gelfand, MD, a graduate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to confirm the truthfulness of Edgar’s statements.

Scientifically, there are studies that point to matcha tea being able to fight off many diseases. The question of real-world evidence will be answered in time. Until then, you could get ahead of the game by drinking matcha tea so that when the health benefits are conclusive, you can be there to say, “I told you so.”

It Goes Way Back…

The authors of “A Boon for Periodontal and General Health”, who are professionals in the health field, state, “Camellia sinensis is shrub-like and is grown in a semi tropical environment on plantations in Southeast Asia. Heavy rainfall at 3000- 7000 ft elevation is required. It is cloned or grown from seed from cuttings obtained from the mother bush and rooted and grown in a nursery for 1 or 2 years. Green tea is grown in rows or on terraces,”.

The Chinese believe that the green tea was discovered in 3000 BC after the Chinese emperor, Shen-Nung, accidentally dropped a wild bush into a pot of boiling water.

Conversely, India grants the discovery of green tea to the Buddhist monk, Siddhartha, in the 6th century. Inspired by divine intervention, Siddhartha picked up leaves from a nearby bush and began to chew on them. He realized that the leaves gave him a “great sense of alertness and well-being,”.

In both instances, the bush happened to be Camellia sinensis (green tea leaves). Through many years of receiving attention for its beneficial health effects, matcha green tea has become one of the most popular beverages in the Eastern world (Agarwal et al).

Stay Healthy, My Friends

What’s An Antioxidant?

Researcher Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, from Tufts University in Boston states, “While the body metabolizes oxygen very efficiently, 1% or 2% of cells will get damaged in the process and turn into free radicals,”. Now this percentage doesn’t seem like a lot, but when our bodies are doing cellular functions 24 hours a day, it begins to add up (Davis).

Free Radicals Attack

Unfortunately, free radicals don’t just kill our cells. They actually change the cell’s DNA. This causes cells to grow abnormally out of control. Luckily, we are blessed with a natural defense system that produces antioxidants to keep the free radicals formed by cellular processes under control.

However, in today’s environment, full of pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, and herbicides, our bodies are going to need a lot more protection than what our natural defense can supply (Davis). This is where the intake of matcha tea is going to come to our aid.

Antioxidants Heal

More About Antioxidants

According to the ORAC score, green tea leaves rank as having a score of 1,253 (“Tea, Green, Brewed”) Green tea ranks higher than many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes with a score of 60, cherries with a score of 100, raspberries with a score of 210, and even broccoli with a score of 130 (Monavie).

Matcha tea’s vast amount of different antioxidants is the reason why it has a score that totals to more than four times the amount of raspberries. The antioxidants that matcha tea contains are called catechins, along with others like vitamin C and E. There are four different types of catechins, derived from polyphenols, present in matcha green tea, but the most important one to remember is epigallocatechin-3-gallete, or better known as EGCG.

According to Julie Edgar, “Because of green tea’s minimal processing- its leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas- green tea’s unique catechins, especially EGCG, are more concentrated,”. EGCG is more significant than the other three catechins due to it being the most active and abundant catechin. Matcha tea is healthier than black and oolong teas because of its higher concentration of EGCG. Along with antioxidants, matcha green tea is maxed-out with many other healthy things such as carotenoids, tocopherols, polyphenols, flavenoids and minerals like chromium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc (Agarwal et al).

Catechins Are Cool Too

An in-depth study was conducted in Tokyo, Japan at a health care research facility in 2005 that proved this, “A 12- week study was performed including two groups of Japanese men with similar body mass index and waist circumference,”. One group ingested tea containing 690 mg catechins while the second group received only 22 mg catechins. The average weight loss in group 1 was 2.4 kg, whereas in the second group it was only 1.3 kg,”. Both groups of men received similar diets. The catechin EGCG causes a rise in the body’s metabolism. This causes your cellular processes to function and use up energy faster which results in a faster break down of fats (Agarwal et al).

Just imagine the possibility of almost doubling the amount of weight loss by incorporating matcha tea into your diet.

Anti-Aging Antioxidants

Anti-bacterial/viral Properties

Cardiovascular Benefits

The authors of “A Boon for Periodontal and General Health” agree with the benefits of drinking matcha green tea and surmise that, “(Matcha) Green tea prevents heart disease and stroke by lowering the levels of cholesterol. Even after a heart attack, it prevents cell deaths and speeds up the recovery of heart cells. Drinking (matcha) green tea helps keep our blood pressure down,”.

Unfortunately, the specific mechanism of matcha tea that lowers cholesterol is unknown, but matcha tea has shown to increase LDL receptors in the liver and prevent absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Having reduced levels of cholesterol minimizes the chance of blood clots to form in the arteries that could lead to stroke or heart disease. Blood pressure will be decrease because blood can smoothly travel through the arteries.

Also, matcha tea may be able to increase the healing process of your heart after a heart attack. This will prevent any heart attacks that could occur during the battle to become healthy again.

Antioxidant Powers

In a study conducted by Tak-Hang Chan, PhD, they proved that they could successfully shrink prostate cancer tumors in mice with the use of a synthetic form of ECGC. However, there hasn’t been total confirmation of the same success in humans. McCullough from the American Cancer Society states, “one of the challenges is finding populations that drink enough green tea and have for a long time,” (Edgar).

With this said, it still seems to be a miracle that we’ve at least found conclusive proof of preventing cancer in mice. So It might just be around the corner that we find evidence for humans as well.


In fact, there have been studies that show that drinking two cups of matcha tea a day has inhibited cancer growth in humans. One experiment was done in Japan with about 500 Japanese women with stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancer. They were able to find proof that an increase in matcha tea consumption before and after surgery resulted in a lower recurrence of cancer. There have been more studies done in China that have showed that the more matcha tea people drank, the less of a risk there would be for developing stomach cancer, esophogal cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer (Edgar).

Respiratory Benefits

Brain Power

According to a report from Mind, “Mood, and Memory”, “A 2011 study of 91 older adults with mild memory impairment found that participants who took daily supplements of green tea extract combined with L-theanine for four months experienced enhanced memory and mental alertness,”. L-theanine is an amino acid found in matcha tea. It has been scientifically proven to improve brain wave activity, decrease stress, and increase focus. People are much more able to learn when they are less distracted (“Green Tea May help conserve Cognition, Cup by Cup”).

Matcha Tea is Magical

Works Cited

Agarwal, Gunjan, et al. “Green Tea: A Boon for Periodontal and General Health.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 16.2 (2012): n. pag. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

Davis, Jeanie Lerche. “How Antioxidants Work.” Ed. Charlotte Grayson Mathis. WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <>.

Edgar, Julie. “Health Benefits of Green Tea.” Ed. Jonathan L. Gelfand. WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <>.

“Green Tea May Help Conserve Cognition, Cup by Cup.” Mind, Mood & Memory 8.6 (2012): 1–4. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

Isemura, Mamoru, Noriyuki Miyoshi, and Yasuo Suzuki. “Health-Promoting Effects of Green Tea.” Japan Academy Proceedings Series B; Physical and Biological Sciences 88B.3 (2012): n. pag. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

Monavie, Succeed. How Antioxidants Work. Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <>.

“Tea, Green, Brewed.” ORACValues. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. <>.