What is green tea?
Green tea as well as oolong tea and black tea all come from the very same plant species – Camellia sinensis. What creates these different teas is a process called oxidization that changes green tea to black tea. Oolong takes the middle ground between green and black teas being only partly oxidized. The bad news with oxidation from a health perspective is that the health-promoting plant nutrients in green tea called catechins are mostly destroyed by the oxidation process.
History of Green Tea.
The first record of green tea being used for its health benefits is in ancient China and dates back to 2737 B.C. That’s close to 5000 years ago! This record states that the legendary figure Sheng Nong -a leader and healer-discovered green tea purely by accident while boiling some water under a tree. Some leaves fell off the tree into his boiling pot and that was the birth of green tea as a beverage. Back then it was an expensive drink and for the most part only available to the wealthy. Even back then it was considered a tonic for body and mind and revered for its health-promoting qualities. This was long before present day scientific research provided evidence for what the Chinese have known for so long. The Chinese have had a head start on the numerous health qualities of this amazing drink, and they are not alone! Japan as well as other Asian countries also have a long history with green tea.