I have received emails from people asking me about the health benefits of green tea.
Mostly they were interested in the weight loss aspect.
There are other health benefits - it helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, it's antioxidant properties fight the free radicles, it's an antiseptic and fights gum disease and plaque, it gives protection against arthritis, lowers blood sugar, helps burn fat, increases the metabolism.
In countries where it is drunk in preference to black tea, the prevalence of certain types of cancer are lower - that could be down to other factors, so it's not proven to be helpful in the fight against cancer.
It's truly an amazing product.
I was so impressed when I started learning about it, that I decided to give it a full section of its own - I couldn't possibly do justice to it in one or two pages on the herb website.
I must admit, I have put on about 20lbs myself over the last 2 years and so I was curious to find out about the weight loss claims.
The interest was first fuelled by Oprah Winfrey and Dr Perricone as far back as 2004.
He stated on live television that by substituting the tea for coffee, he could guarantee that a person would lose 10lbs in 6 weeks.
That was a mighty powerful claim to make and it turned out to be true.
Here's the transcript from the show - you will see that he explains that it's the insulin levels that are affected and as a consequence, you will lose body fat - what makes it green is the method of steaming.
Oprah: Now I've read in your book that you said if I just replaced coffee with green tea instead, that I could lose 10 pounds in six weeks.
Dr. Perricone: Absolutely.
Oprah: Now really. How could that -- what is the big deal about this?
Dr Perricone: Coffee has organic acids that raise your blood sugar, raise insulin. Insulin puts a lock on body fat. When you switch over to the tea, you get your caffeine, you're all set, but you will drop your insulin levels and body fat will fall very rapidly. So 10 pounds in six weeks, I will guarantee it.
Oprah: I'm gonna do that. OK. That is so good! Whoo! That is great.
Well, I must admit I was tempted to give it a try.
I bought some tea bags and had 3 or 4 cups a day when I would normally have a coffee.
I have in fact lost 3lbs in the first week and I deliberately haven't altered a thing apart from the substitution.
See these articles for more information about green tea - supplements or the 'real thing' - what's the difference?
Mainly, it's the caffeine content - if you want less caffeine, then you might need to seriously consider the supplements.
Where would you like to go next?The Herb Guide › Green Tea