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Hypertension: Treating High Blood Pressure With Green Tea

Green tea is known to reduce hypertension and has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years. How does green tea reduce high blood pressure?

Why does it work?

The secret lies in the fact that green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate, which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

It is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. The leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from becoming oxidized. On the other hand, black tea and oolong, derived from the same plant, are made from fermented leaves, which causes EGCG to be converted into another ineffective compound in preventing and combating various diseases.

How Does It Lower High Blood Pressure (BP)?

It allows the blood vessels to relax. Tea contains caffeine but, unlike coffee, it actually relieves you and your blood vessels and lowers BP naturally without any side effects.

ACE, a leading cause of hypertension, is preventable

Studies show that green tea catechins, especially EGCG, block ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme), which causes small muscles around the artery to pump, making the arteries smaller, forcing your BP to increase. (source: Actis-Goretta L, et al: Inhibition of angiotensin conversion enzyme activity by flavanol-rich foods J Agric Food Chem Jan 2006; 54: 229-34). If green tea can do this naturally, why take artificial ACE inhibitors like ramipril.

Salt intake is restricted

Laboratory tests show that green tea prevents the intake of salt in the intestines causing BP readings to decline. Also theanine, a protein of tea, lowers blood pressure in hypertensive rats genetically but not in normal ones. (Source: Kreydiyyeh SI, et al: Tea Extract Prevents Intestinal Absorption of Glucose and Sodium in Mice. Physiol Pharm Tox Endocrine Biochem., July 1994, 108: 359-365). This is good news for those of us who are suffering from genetic hypertension.

Reduces the risk of hypertension for middle-aged people

Recent research, following an eight-year study, has shown that middle-aged people who drink more than 600ml of green tea daily have a 65% lower risk of developing hypertension. People who drink between 110ml and 600ml daily for more than a year present a 46% lower risk of hypertension.

People who do not drink or drink less than 110 ml daily do not have protection from high blood pressure.

Protection against the development of hypertension by drinking tea does not appear statistically until after one year of daily use. Short-term human trials cannot be concluded.

Given all the evidence, green tea is most effective in reducing high blood pressure if we drink four or five cups of green tea daily. "It's better to cut down on food for three days, than tea for one" (Ancient Chinese proverb). Making green tea a part of your daily diet can help lower blood pressure naturally.



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