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Matcha and its Therapeutic Properties

Matcha and its Therapeutic Properties

Long before the organic nutrients of camellia sinensis were scientifically identified, the Chinese and Japanese people were already using it as a traditional herbal medicine for many generations. The said evergreen shrub is the source of leaves used for making various kinds of green tea. Besides being a part of domestic water sterilization process long ago, it was also traditionally used as a bronchodilator to cure cough, asthma and other respiratory distress. It is likewise used as an analgesic for relieving headaches and intestinal discomforts and as a tonic to remedy a gamut of other ailments.

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By nature, the green tea plant is rich in antioxidants and other nutritive contents that help enhances a person’s metabolism, immune system and cognitive ability, among others. Practically, all these nourishing and therapeutic properties can optimally be obtained in matcha than in any other forms of green tea. Not only because of its powdered state, but also for the unique and conscientious process involved in its cultivation and processing, which promotes propagation and perpetuation of its high level of chlorophyll, amino acids and polyphenol contents. The system likewise preserves its luscious aroma and exceptional umami taste.

Antioxidants and its Role in Cancer Prevention 

Matcha contains high volume of the catechins EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) and ECG (epicatechin gallate), which are powerful antioxidants that enhance the immune system, protect the body and skin from cell damage and inhibit the growth of tumor and cancer cells. Matcha actually contains a higher number of antioxidants than goji, acai and blueberries combined. In fact, its high polyphenol content is found to have an apoptotic effect on cancer cells, but not on healthy human cells. 

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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US cited various clinical experiments wherein the participants have tumors, lesions or other biomarkers that are antecedents to cancer. In each trial, green tea products or extracts are given daily to one group of study subjects, while placebos are regularly fed to the rest in the whole course of each study. Here are partial results of some of the studies made:

  1. Six months into a double blind-interventional trial on people with leukoplakia, a known precursor lesion to oral cancer, the treatment group already shows 4 times higher regression rate than the participants in the placebo group.
  1. In one study, an average of 31% drop of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) level in the urine samples of the participants in the treatment group were recorded after a four-month trial. Elevated level of urinary 8-OHdG is an indicator of one’s proneness to cancer, as evidenced by specimens taken from cancer sufferers and heavy smokers.
  1. In a clinical trial conducted on 60 men with elevated prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, a precursor to prostate cancer, only 1 out of the 30 men in the treatment group has cancer detected on him after a year. On the contrary, 9 out of the 30 participants in the placebo group have developed the malady in the same period.

Other Known Therapeutic Values of Matcha

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  • Besides being loaded with the tumor and cancer-fighting EGCG’s, matcha is also found to contain high volume of the rare amino acid L-theanine and an adequate amount of caffeine. These two substances work in tandem to enhance your energy, mood and cognitive level. More and more health-conscious people today are changing their habitual cup of coffee with a matcha drink not only for the abovementioned reason, but also for its extraordinary nutritive benefits and highly pleasant flavor.
  • The shade-grown buds and young leaves used in matcha are teeming with chlorophyll, as evidenced by the powder’s vibrant green color. This plant nutrient is an excellent detoxifier that helps rid our system with contaminants like heavy metals and complex chemicals. It likewise organically moisturizes human skin and protects it from cell damage caused by exposure to Ultraviolet-B radiations and environmental pollutants. Matcha contains higher chlorophyll than kale, spinach, broccoli and other vastly nutritious green food. 
  • There has been several medical and chemical trials trough the years that attest to the many protective and curative properties of matcha. It includes active and positive stimulation of the body’s immunity, digestive, respiratory and neurological system. This is probably due to matcha’s abundant polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins and trace minerals working in concert.

A Nourishing Palate Pleaser

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After all is said and done, matcha essentially makes extremely enjoyable beverages and foodstuffs. Unlike many synthetic multi-vitamins in the market that leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth, matcha can nurture and energize your body while delighting your palate at the same time. It is due to the fact that matcha green tea is actually a whole food with no artificial flavoring and extenders involved in its production.

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Moreover, matcha can be mixed with various drinkable liquids such as water, milk and juices or with diverse ingredients to make delectable desserts, baked goods, frozen treats or even savory dishes. Therefore, you can absorb its sundry nutritive and therapeutic values in many wonderful ways.