Green tea: food or medicine?

Interest in green tea is increasing worldwide

Green tea is becoming the most studied beverage as a result of its numerous health benefits. Interest in it is increasing and there are green tea columns written almost daily in health-related media.

Green tea as been a beverage in China for a long history

In contrast, green tea has been consumed by the Chinese as a beverage for thousands of years. My grandmother was born and lived in a small village in southern China. She lived to a ripe old age of nearly 100 years, free of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or any of those so called ‘life style related conditions’.  My memory of her is always associated with a cup of tea (very affordable in those days), sipping from early morning until the end of the day. When friends visited, the kettle was always on the boil and the teapot on the table.  She always said ‘tea drinking is good for you’ although she did not know how and why.  (I was quite sure at the time that this was a message passed down to her from previous generations.)

This ancient Chinese belief has been scientifically studied during the last 30 years and we now have documented evidence that this ancient beverage is beneficial for many health conditions, especially those that are life style related: cancers, inflammatory diseases, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases etc. The food authorities are now puzzling with the question: is green tea is a food or medicine?  This artificial classification of green tea is however mostly commercially driven.

Food or medicine, green tea is a beverage of many benefits to its consumers

For the green tea consumers, the categorisation is fortunately irrelevant.  Mother Nature has provided us with a gift that is a source of both enjoyment and good health.  It is within everyone’s reach to benefit from it to the fullest extent.

For a list of green tea health benefits, please visit: