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5 Botanicals to Boost Antioxidant Power

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1. Green Tea Extract (Leaf)

My favorite from this list of five is green tea as it is the easiest to find, not costly, and also easy to enjoy every day.

Green tea has played a central role in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures for 4,000 years. Although a number of varieties of this tea have been created, it has only recently become popular in Western cultures. This much-studied extract, produced from Camellia sinensis leaves in China, is used as a source of antioxidants for the preservation of good health. Now, researchers find it can trim blood pressure levels, and do it so well that it might even be able to tame hypertension in borderline cases.

Researchers in Poland gave 56 obese patients with hypertension either 379 mg a day of green tea extract or a placebo. Three months later, the ones who got the extract shaved nearly 5 points each off both their systolic (“top number”) and diastolic (“bottom number”) readings.

Those on a placebo, on the other hand, saw drops of just 0.8 and 0.6 mmHg, respectively, or almost nothing at all.

In addition, the green tea drinkers had lower levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein, improvements in LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, and even better blood sugar control.

Green tea is also used as an aid to promote weight management.

But if you’re obese and battling high blood pressure, your first step shouldn’t be to reach for a cup of green tea or a green tea extract — it should be to lose the weight.

In many cases, weight loss alone will bring your BP levels down to where they should be, however, green tea can help there, too. Studies have shown that green tea can help boost the body’s ability to burn off energy, which in turn could lead to weight loss.

Just don’t expect to sip some tea or take green tea extract and watch the pounds slip off by magic. You’ll need to improve your eating habits, too — and for that, I and many other nutritionists recommend the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet can also help normalize blood pressure if it’s high or prevent high blood pressure in people who don’t have it yet. It’s also great for weight loss, and can help prevent any number of diseases.

Green tea isn’t from the Mediterranean, but feel free to drink some just the same, iced or hot. I mix my own brew of some black tea with my green. Try green Earl Grey for example and black Earl Gray – just use one one tea bag each in a two cup pot!

Related: 9 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Daily

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.

23 comments

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6:11AM PST on Feb 7, 2014

Thank you

9:35AM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

Great, thank you!

2:22PM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

I would love to know if any of these can be grown in Northern North American (preferably in a pot so they have less of a risk being a danger to native plants), and if so the care they would need, lighting, moisture, soil type, ect.

If it cannot be grown in Northern North American (indoor in pots for non-native, and outside for native and non-harmful introduced) i try and avoid it in remedies as the cost is usually high in my area, unless there is no other choice. Though my cats don't like anything being grown indoors....

9:43AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

helpful, thanks

8:29AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thank you Celeste, for Sharing this!

3:27PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

n.n

7:50AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

very helpful

10:22PM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

A lot of them I have never heard of before. interesting though.

10:16PM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

Wild rose hip tea, my Sweetheart Wife started making it for us. Love you Kitten:))

11:33PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

Thank you for the valuable information, Difficult to obtain these materials.Therefore medications used because it easy .

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