Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to Treat Skin Damaged by Radiation? Try Green Tea.

news you may not know

Are You Sure

This Is Green Tea?

The news that green tea extracts speed the healing of radiation damaged skin sent shockwaves through the research community. Many scientists, already struggling to fund their projects in this highly competitive arena, feel this is yet another step in the "One Tea - One Treatment" movement gaining dominance in medical research. China, always in the forefront of tea-related research, recently announced that 90% of its research dollars will fund green tea projects.

Reached at his research facility in New Haven, Dr. Anthony Danner, a biologist, lamented the current state of affairs. "I used to drink green tea, but not anymore. I'm tired of being told that green tea is good for this and good for that. I just don't buy it. So, I decided to protest the green tea movement and - excuse me, I'm not feeling very well. I think I need to rest a bit."

Is green tea truly the cure for all illnesses known-and-yet-to-be? Hmmm...

Researchers recently announced that extracts of green tea reduce the inflammation caused by radiation treatments and help speed the healing process. Extracts of black tea, while less effective than those of green tea, exhibit the same healing properties. The tea treatment reduced the toxic effect of radiation on the skin of patients by up to ten days.

Scientists theorize the tea's high content of polyphenols is responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity. Polyphenols are substances found in plants found to have both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Among the plants high in polyphenols are black currants, peanuts, red and white wine, olive oil, apple skins and, of course, green tea.

The ubiquitous nature of green tea's health benefits may soon become more evident for cancer patients. Following radiation treatment, a specially trained clinician, clad in a slightly clinical-looking kimono, will greet you bearing a small bag filled with green tea. "I've put the brewing instructions in the bag," she'll say. "After you pour the second cup, slather the dregs of the tea on your skin and relax." She'll bow and smile, "It is a special brew of Jade and Jasmine Greens - you will be most healthy."

The full, somewhat technical, report is available at BioMed Central.


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