The ‘low-down’ on what green tea does to high blood pressure

Despite the fact that it’s a caffeinated drink, a nice cup of tea can actually be helpful for hypertension.

But not just any tea.

Recent research has shown that green and black tea can reduce blood pressure. Especially green tea.

Evidence that this soothing drink may improve brain function, help with fat burning and even protect against certain cancers has been around for a while now.

But more recent research has alerted us to the fact that it is actually good for our blood pressure readings.

Why green tea is better

Green and black tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference is in what tea producers do to the leaves…

Black tea is processed in a way that triggers oxidation, which alters its chemical makeup. For green tea, the leaves are not broken down and so oxidation does not occur. This allows green tea to retain much of its content of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most powerful of a group of plant compounds called catechins.

EGCG is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, protecting the heart and brain, levels and promoting weight loss. And controlling our blood pressure.

Research on green tea and blood pressure

To explore the association between tea intake and blood pressure, Chinese research scientists analyzed 25 randomized controlled trials that had already been conducted.

They found that, in the short term, tea didn’t seem to make a difference in blood pressure. But longer-term tea intake made a significant difference…

After 12 weeks of drinking tea, systolic blood pressure readings (the top number) were lowered by an average of 2.6 mmHg, and diastolic numbers went down by 2.2mmHg. Green tea had more of an effect than black tea.

Now, those may seem like pretty small numbers. But keep in mind that even small improvements in blood pressure can have a significant impact on your health. The study authors note that reducing systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mmHg “would be expected to reduce stroke risk by 8 percent, coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent and all-cause mortality by 4 percent at a population level.”

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More evidence that drinking green tea helps control blood pressure

Just last month, a group of researchers from the School of Medicine at Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Iran did a similar analysis of previous research, and their findings solidly back the Chinese findings.

They searched databases from February 1995 to July 20, 2019, to locate studies that were relevant, as well as relatively free of bias. Their search identified five clinical trials with a total of 408 subjects.

Based on measurements from these trials, regular tea intake was found to lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.81 mmHg, and diastolic by 1.98 mmHg.

And as in the Chinese study, the effects of green tea were more pronounced than those of black tea.

Other reasons to drink green tea

Before we finish, let’s just review the many reasons that green tea should be a drink you enjoy regularly…

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  1. The effects of regular consumption of green or black tea beverage on blood pressure in those with elevated blood pressure or hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis — Science Direct
  2. This Kind of Tea Lowers Blood Pressure Naturally —
  3. Effects of tea intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials — British Journal of Nutrition
Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.