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Health Benefits of Bancha Tea

By Linda Tarr Kent

Bancha tea is a Japanese green tea that provides antioxidant benefits due to its polyphenols. Antioxidants help reduce damage caused by cell-damaging free radicals in your body. It can be consumed alone, or steeped along with ginger and umbeoshi plum, says Amy Rost, author of “Natural Healing Wisdom and Know How.” Consult a doctor before adding bancha tea to your diet, especially if you are consuming it for health purposes.

Cancer Protection

Bancha tea may slow certain cancers -- or protect you against them, according to the National center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The experts at the National Institutes of Health say it may help prevent esophageal, pancreatic, bladder and ovarian cancers. For example, women may be able to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 46 percent by drinking 2 or more cups of green tea a day, according to NIH. However, more research is needed because, while laboratory studies look promising, studies involving people have produced mixed results, according to NCCAM.

Reduces Oral Infections

Bancha tea has properties that may help control common oral infections, including periodontal disease and cavities, says Peter W. Taylor, lead author for a study published in the Food Science and Technology Bulletin. The tea’s green tea polyphenolic catechins, particularly the one called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCg, appears to be responsible for this antimicrobial action, Taylor notes. The experts at University of Maryland Medical center say more studies need to be performed to confirm Taylor’s findings.

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Improves Mental Alertness

Bancha tea can improve your mental alertness, according to NCCAM. This is likely due to its caffeine content, according to NIH. People who consume caffeine score higher on the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, which measures alertness, notes A. Zwyghuizen-Doorenbos, lead author for a study published in the journal "Psychopharmacology." Those consuming caffeine also have a higher degree of auditory vigilance.

Other Benefits

Though bancha tea often is touted as a “cure” for a variety of health conditions, the experts at NCCAM say more research is needed to determine whether it can help you lose weight or protect your skin from sun damage. NIH rates green tea as “possibly effective” for reducing risk for Parkinson’s disease, low blood pressure, decreasing blood cholesterol levels and reducing growth abnormal cells in your cervix that are HPV infection, or human papilloma virus.

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