Interesting article to appear in Medscape, Drinking Tea: Are the Health Benefits Real? While it concludes, as do most reports on the health benefits of anything other than medications, how more studies are still needed, the article does cite some specific merits of tea. Of course, reading the article with a focus on the advantages of green tea (and hence, matcha). the authors do note how the abundant polyphenol in green tea,, epigallocatechin, may demonstrate healing properties by preventing oxidative damage, thereby potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, brain hemorrhages and clots, and elevation of LDL cholesterol, although, some researchers suggest, reduction in coronary heart disease may be in women alone rather than men.
Newer research has suggested that polyphenols may have other benefits such as protecting against neurogenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease, cancer, and kidney disease. Green tea may keep teeth and gums healthy by preventing the growth of bacteria associated with periodontal disease, decreasing inflammation, and preventing bone resorption.
And of course I was please to read how matcha, with its high level of the amino acid L-theanine may reduce the effects of stress. The authors do mention that the caffeine levels in green tea and matcha have an antagonistic effect on L-theanine, which may, in turn, negate this relaxing effect, although personally, I tend to experience a calm, yet alert, effect from most of my matcha.
What is not addressed in this article is the ritual of tea and how this use may impact our mind, body, heart and soul. Rather than reduce tea down to its chemical constituents, perhaps medicine might reflect on the healing power of ceremony. What healing comes from sitting down with a friend over a cup of tea or whisking your morning matcha before sitting in meditation or doing breathwork? This is what I would love to see come next when talking about the healing benefits of tea.