Green Tea Health Benefits the Choice Among Japan’s Royalty and Zen Buddhist Monks

Did You Know…that Zen Buddhist monks have been consuming a special type of green tea for almost a thousand years—one that has 137 times the health benefits of other types of green tea?

By now, everyone has heard about the astounding green tea health benefits. Its potent curative powers are well established. Hundreds of studies prove that among many outstanding health benefits, green tea…

  • Fights “superbugs”
  • Boosts immunity
  • May help control weight
  • Has an anti-tumor effect
  • Wards off bacteria
  • Fights glaucoma

Green tea health benefits come from the compounds it contains, including antioxidants, vitamins C and A, L-theanine, and catechins.

But the most powerful substance in green tea may be Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is unique to green tea health benefits and possesses such outstanding anti-cancer, anti-aging, and overall health benefits that it’s become a health marketing buzzword for tea companies.

EGCG is also the reason behind the single most powerful variety of green tea yet identified.

University of Colorado Study Confirms Its Concentrated Power

A green tea known as matcha—a finely milled, emerald green variety from Japan—has long been claimed to have greater health benefits than other green teas. Finally, a study from the University of Colorado validates these claims and explains them as being due to matcha’s exceptionally high concentration of EGCG.

The study’s authors wrote:
Results indicate that the concentration of [EGCG] available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least 3 times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.

The reason matcha provides such a concentrated dose of EGCG is that when you drink matcha, you are consuming the entire tea leaf.

Matcha is made from only the very youngest, greenest, and finest leaves at the tip of the tea plant. These leaves are then dried and pulverized using stone grinders until the powder is extremely fine (approximately 9 microns).

The Tea of Choice Among Japan’s Royalty and Zen Buddhist Monks

Historically, brilliant green matcha has been valued almost as highly as if it were, quite literally, ground from emeralds. For centuries, matcha was reserved exclusively for Japan’s royalty and religious elite. green tea health benefits

Matcha has the unique ability to sustain mental alertness, increase alpha wave generation in the brain, and calm the central nervous system—all at the same time. This makes matcha an ideal drink to facilitate meditation. For that reason, matcha has been used by Zen Buddhist monks for almost 1,000 years.

Matcha’s lofty lineage kept prices prohibitively expensive for the North American market until only recently. Thanks to improvements in manufacturing efficiency, the cost has dropped enough to make matcha affordable for most people.

Green Tea Health Benefits: Make Your Own Matcha

As noted, matcha is remarkably potent, and every person’s unique biochemistry will respond to it differently. In Japan, the average rate of consumption is 1-2 cups a day. Many prefer to drink a cup in the morning to prepare for the day, and a cup in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. Experts say there’s no level at which matcha becomes toxic or dangerous.

While it is possible for you to make your own matcha tea powder, it could prove to be labor intensive because you would need a considerable amount of hand-picked tea leaves and have to stone-grind them into a fine powder. It’s more convenient to purchase the matcha green powder from tea vendors and online retailers.

Teavana carries premium, ceremonial grade matcha tea powder, which is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Ceremonial grade matcha reportedly has a creamy, sweet taste compared to the food grade matcha, which has a bitter taste. To prepare a cup of matcha, simply combine 2 ounces of matcha green tea powder with 6 ounces of hot water, and stir until dissolved.