Noted for its fresh flavor and green characteristics, green tea is rapidly becoming a popular class of tea around the world, especially given their scientifically proven health benefits. Organic green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, a species of evergreen shrub native to parts of India and Asia. 'Organic' means it has met certain standards for consumer safety and environmental friendliness. Organic farming uses no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers in its farming, but instead uses a natural process instead. This could be planting flowers or herbs that repel insects and pests or using crop rotation that ensures nutrient-rich soil.
Grown predominantly in China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, most people in the west are not likely to see or experience tea plantations for themselves. This geographic barrier means getting accurate information can be difficult. A responsible consumer will want to know how their tea is produced and what plantations produce it. So what can you do to keep yourself informed? Looking for the Certified Fair Trade label on tea packages is a great way to ensure you’re supporting a reputable company. The distinction means the growing operation has met certain standards for human rights, fair wages, and responsible farming practices.
More and more people are becoming aware of the harmful realities tea plantations can have: everything from harmful chemicals to unsanitary tea fields, to unsafe working conditions. Naturally, consumers want to know about how and where their tea is grown and what kind of impact, it might be having on the planet. For most, the easiest place to start is with tea that has been ‘Certified Organic’ but what does that mean?
What Does Organic Mean When It Comes Yo Green Tea?
Organic certification means that the green tea has met specific standards for consumer safety as well as environmental friendliness. Organic farming does not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers and relies instead on natural processes. Organic farming also utilizes practices such as crop rotations, which allows the native soil to “rest” and regenerate itself before being used again in farming. Organic farming requires farmers to pay closer attention to conditions, ensuring they are not pumping harmful chemicals into the land.
Organic farms also aim to eliminate consumer exposure by banning the use of harmful pesticides completely. Not only are these chemicals harmful to local growing environments but they are also harmful to consumers who use the products. A piece of fruit can be washed off, removing what harmful chemicals may linger on its surface. Tea leaves are different. They cannot be rinsed before use meaning when they’re dropped into hot water whatever chemicals used in producing them are now in your beverage. Buying organic prevents you from consuming these chemicals.
Not only is green tea a tasty drink, it can have many lasting health benefits as well. This is due much in part to the many different kinds of natural chemicals and antioxidants contained in the tea.
We looked at four of the biggest health benefits of drinking organic green tea:
Green tea can play an import part in boosting your body’s immunity against various diseases. The natural chemicals and antioxidants found in green tea are thought to fight against cancer, heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol levels, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, tooth decay, and many others. This is attributed to the high amount of antioxidants present in the form of catechins. Drinking organic green tea is also shown to have strong antimicrobial effects that can fight bad breath, cold and flu, indigestion, and stomach infections.
Green tea is also widely used for weight loss. It naturally increases the metabolism of the body, depleting fast storages at a faster rate. When drank plain, it’s a zero calorie drink, minimizing the amount of calories you put into your body while increasing the rate at which you burn them. Studies show the diuretic effect of drinking organic green tea is one of the prominent causes of its weight loss property. Drinking just 2-3 cups a day and you too can experience the noticeable fat loss on your body.
Improves Brain Function
Did you know organic green tea can actually make you smarter? Studies show the adequate amounts of caffeine contained in green tea keeps you alert, and unlike coffee which can make you feel jittery, the caffeine in green tea actually keeps you alert and on track. This form of caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitters due to the increased concentrations of dopamine and norephnephrine in the brain, which as a result makes you smarter.
In addition, green tea also contains the anti-anxiety effects of L-theanine which calms you down and allows you to focus. Studies show caffeine combined with L-theanine can have synergistic or “cooperative” effects. The combination of the two chemicals is potent at improving brain function and helpful in people of older age, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Green Tea For Skin Care
Organic green tea is also great when used in your usual skincare routine. This is thanks in part to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. The anti-inflammatory characteristics are especially important to a great skincare routine as it reduces puffiness that can make you look tired or older. Its many soothing properties can calm down agitated or inflamed skin, which helps with the skins overall appearance. Using organic green tea in your daily skin routine can also help decrease wrinkles and signs of aging.
Organic Green Tea VS. Non-Organic Green Tea
Non-organic plantations often rely of “monocropping” or cultivating one crop per year. This promotes problems with no natural diversity in the planting fields and plantations can become a haven to invasive pests and destructive diseases. Also, many plantations fail to rotate crops which leads to poor soil quality and can result in the potential for disforestation in order to expand fields and keep up production.
Organic growing methods demand a more responsible and sustainable practice. Pest and soil problems are prevented before they even start when farming is more in tune with the land. Using natural and safer farming processes, organic farms need to rely on less pesticides and deforestation to keep up productions.
Chemical pesticides have been shown to cause many ailments. Skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, infertility, birth defects, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease are all linked to pesticide usage in farms. Organic tea farmers don’t believe the risk to consumers or plantation workers is worth the repelling qualities of the pesticides.
More and more people are becoming aware of the harmful realities tea plantations can have. Everything from harmful chemicals to unsanitary tea fields, to unsafe working conditions, can be linked to improper farming. Grown predominantly in the east, western consumers are not likely to see or experience tea plantations for themselves, and this geographic separation makes getting accurate information difficult. Being aware of what you're purchasing and what companies produce it is the first step in being a responsible consumer and minimizing the impact improper farming techniques can have on not just the environment, but on our bodies as well.
Naturally, consumers want to know what kind of impact their purchases have on the planet. The easiest place to start is by looking for the tea that has been ‘Certified Organic’ which ensures that responsible farming techniques are being used and that tea plantations act as responsible employers who treat their workers with respect. Unlike non-organic farms, tea that comes from certified organic plantations is grown without using any unnatural chemicals and pesticides. This helps promote healthy soil and decreases the need for deforestation.
And not only is organic green tea good for the environment, but it is also good for you! The natural antioxidants found in green tea are scientifically proven to have amazing health benefits. Its antimicrobial properties help fight everything from bad breath to stomach infections, boosting immunity. The combination of caffeine and other natural chemicals means drinking green tea can increase alertness and attention span, making you smarter. When it comes to appearance, organic green tea can help there also- jump-starting your metabolism and improving the look and feel of your skin when used in your skin routine!
Keeping organic certification in mind is a great first step to being a responsible consumer. Organic certification means that the green tea has met specific standards for consumer safety as well as environmental friendliness since organic farming does not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers and relies instead on natural processes.
We only have one environment and supporting companies that farm organically is one way to minimize the impact we have on it. If you're interested in seeing how green tea can benefit you, we recommend looking into a brand that promotes natural farming methods. If you're already a green tea drinker, it's never too late to go organic. Not only will going all natural help you, but it will also help the environment and your fellow humans as well!