Clinical evidence suggests thatis packed with health and beauty benefits that you can enjoy whether drinking it or applying directly to your skin. Even the leaves can be used as a gentle exfoliant, guaranteed to give your skin a healthy glow.
Recent research shows that green tea extract is naturally rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from free radicals - naturally occurring particles in the body associated with accelerated ageing and an increased risk of major diseases. Exposure to pollution, smoking and excess sunlight increases the number of free radicals in the blood, but the potent antioxidants found in green tea add strong weight to the belief that green tea not only promotes good health but also makes you look younger.
Traditionally, many types of make-up, lotions, creams and beauty preparations have used chemical antioxidants, or vitamins A, C and E as preservatives for their products. Now, with research indicating that green tea has even more antioxidant properties than these powerful vitamins, there is a surge in products capitalising on its natural benefits.
You don't need to rush to the chemist to stock up on goodies. Concentrated green tea extract is simple to make at home and is a flexible addition to both your daily beauty routine and your medicine cabinet.
Simply steep 100g of green tea in half a litre of still mineral water at room temperature for at least one hour. Strain the liquor and it's ready to use! It's better to make small quantities and use it fresh but surplus liquid can be poured into clean, sterilised bottles and refrigerated.
The liquid can be used as a spritzer, to freshen up the face, or cotton pads soaked in it can be particularly soothing for tired or strained eyes. It has antiseptic properties, so can be used to treat minor cuts and rashes, and is surprisingly effective when applied to spots and blemishes. It can even be used as a treatment for sunburn - soak a cloth in the liquid and leave on the skin until the area begins to cool.
Green tea is also known for its ability to prevent bad breath - and it has the added advantage of tasting good if it's inadvertently swallowed. Try making your own toothpaste to test it out.
Pour one cup of boiling water over 100g of Himalayan Green Tea and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Make a paste using this liquid and one teaspoon of baking soda, and use this to brush your teeth as usual. The natural properties in the tea will curb mouth odour and help prevent plaque-forming microbes from attaching to the teeth.
This gentle facemask will help remove toxins from your skin, as well as leaving it silky smooth.
Mix three tablespoons of mayonnaise with one heaped teaspoon of organic Himalayan green tea leaves. Apply evenly to the face, avoiding the delicate eye area, and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse the mask off, then dry and moisturise your face.
British supermodel Sophie Dahl's attributed her weight loss, in part, to drinking regular cups of green tea. Sophie followed Body Doctor David Marshall's nutritional advice, which advocates drinking as much toxin-flushing green tea as possible.
Claims that it raises the metabolic rate and speeds up fat oxidation are supported by research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Dulloo A, et al 1999). It is also thought to reduce cholesterol levels and increase energy expenditure by inhibiting the digestion of fat in the intestine.
So next time you fancy a cuppa, consider going green. Not only will it provide you with a refreshing drink, it may also boost your health, help slow ageing and even make you slimmer!