Medical research is finally catching up to what practitioners of naturopathic and botanical medicine have known for decades — that green tea has extraordinary healing benefits.
Green tea benefits
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
- Lowers cholesterol
- Increases fat metabolism
- Reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Protects against cardiovascular disease
- Prevents abnormal blood clot formation
- Has antibacterial action
- Stimulates the immune system
Research is currently being conducted on a product referred to as Polyphenol-E — made from extracts of green tea — regarding its application to treat human papilloma virus (HPV) infections. Veregen™ is an FDA-approved product sourced from green tea, which is already on the market. It is a topical treatment for genital warts caused by the human papilloma virus.
One study is examining how oral doses of Polyphenol-E can eliminate HPV infections of the cervix. HPV has been identified as a virus that causes cervical cancer, by turning normal cells on the cervix abnormal. Most of the time, HPV goes away on its own, and cervical cells return to normal. But if the virus lingers for many years, these cells can turn into cancer. Therefore, it is important for women to get annual Pap exams.
The active ingredients in Polyphenol-E are a defined mixture of green tea catechins, including Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) extracted from green tea leaves, which act as an immune system modulator and also inhibit major functions of the virus. Most of the research has been done on EGCG extract. These studies have shown that green tea has many medicinal benefits (see box).
Currently, there are no conventional treatments for the human papilloma virus directly. Once an HPV infection has been found (from an abnormal Pap), treatment is limited to removing the abnormal cells, rather than eliminating HPV.
Researchers initially became interested in green tea and its effect on HPV because of its ability to stimulate the immune system and, most importantly, inhibit cancer cell growth.
Dr. Denice Grobe is a naturopathic physician at the Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine in Mesa, Ariz. 480-539-6646 or www.trueharmonywellness.com.