By Peter WaughABSTRACLE SPRINGS, Australia (Reuters) – Green tea has a long history of being used as a therapeutic remedy for conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and arthritis, but its use has been on the decline.
But now, researchers say they have found an unexpected way to reap the benefits of the herb by adding it to conventional herbal teacups.
The research was published on Thursday in the journal Nature Communications, which was written by researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra.
In the study, led by the U.S. researchers, the team analyzed a variety of herbal teacs, and then used them to measure the effects of astragalus, a green tea that is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, from depression to arthritis.
“This is a pretty significant advance,” said study author Astragalos Arjuna, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Western Australia.
“What we’ve done is show that this herb really works in the way it was intended.”
Green tea is an important dietary supplement and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but the effects it can have on the body are still unknown.
For the study to be valid, the herbal tea had to have a concentration of the alkaloid arginine in it that was at least 10 percent higher than that found in a standard tea.
The researchers found that the effect of astralangium was comparable to the effect seen with the traditional plant in the form of a tea known as Astragna, according to the researchers.
The team found that people who consumed a cup of the herbal tea with one of its constituents showed significantly fewer inflammatory markers in the blood after they had finished drinking the tea, compared to people who had consumed the tea with a tea without astralagium.
“People who consumed tea with astralaganium had significantly lower levels of inflammation markers in their blood,” Arjura said.
The study does not indicate that a single herbal tea can be the best source of antioxidants, but it does demonstrate that astralgium may be an effective source of these beneficial effects.
“We are hopeful that we can use this to get the benefits from astralganism and perhaps a little bit of it, in the tea itself,” ArJura said, adding that other herbs like dandelion root could also be used in tea formulations to reduce inflammation.
For more information about tea, visit www.apollo.com.au/tea/about/talks/