Sunday, June 19, 2011
Fun in the Sun with Green Tea
Per the website, www.freewebs.com/herbal_remedies/sunburn.html, "Preliminary studies suggest that certain green tea polyphenols may help prevent skin cancer if they are applied directly to the skin," says Steven Bratman, M.D., an integrative physician and author of The Natural Pharmacist (Prima, 2000). "In addition, there is some evidence that green tea constituents might help protect the skin from sun damage and sunburn," he adds. In a recent study, six volunteers received applications of green tea extract on their skin prior to being exposed to UV radiation, which would normally produce redness. Those who received the highest concentration of green tea extract (10%) were almost completely protected from burning. Even a low-dose solution (2.5%) provided significant protection. Drinking green tea by the cup is also a good idea. It contains a powerful antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Researchers at Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J., tested green tea both topically and orally on mice. They concluded that drinking green tea for two weeks before and during UV exposure diminished both sunburn and skin cancers. The stronger the tea and the more the mice drank, the less severe their sunburns.
Our experience certainly substantiates this research. We were conducting our own little field test without even realizing it. We normally endeavor to drink 5-6 cups of green tea a day. We drink it cold, sweetened with a little honey and/or stevia. I also use the green tea powder, which I buy from herbalcom.com, to make sure I'm getting as much as I need for all the health benefits. You can google "benefits of green tea" and you'll be surprised at all the things green tea is good for. One website listed 15 different things. I know I have seen a substantial difference in my metabolism while drinking green tea, increased immunity, and, of course, sun protection.
Also, a note on sunscreen, the one I use is from Dr. Ben Kim. Every ingredient in it is good for you, unlike the ones you'll find at the local Superstore, and it even has green tea in it. Unfortunately, the shipping charges on his site are outrageous so unless I can find other like-minded individuals who want to go in on an order and split the shipping, I may have to find another alternative. Dr. Kim has many informative articles on his website, and he outlines the dangers of commercial sunscreens and natural measures you can take to protect your skin. Check out his website for great recipes (he's Korean) and helpful articles. The sunscreen can be found here:
As for green tea, drink up and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.