Herbal anti-anxiety research
Many people prefer natural alternatives for different psychological situations in order to avoid medication side effects like drowsiness or stomach upset.
This is also true for those who experience psychological distress like anxiety.
EGCG from green tea reduces anxiety
New research has show that EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant from green tea reversed anxiety behavior in animals.
Researchers use caffeine because it creates anxiety-like effects in rats by reducing normal behavior like exploring an opening in a maze, or spending time in the central area of a box or field.
Caffeine also changes their EEG recordings in the cerebral cortex, increasing the power density-ratios of fast and slow frequency spectrum bands.
When EGCG was administered, the caffeine-induced anxiety behavior was reversed in both the exploratory behavior and use of the central area.
In addition, the increase in EEG ratios were reduced (Park KS et al, (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-0-gallate (EGCG) reverses caffeine-induced anxiogenic-like effects, Neuroscience Letters, September 2010).
EGCG is an unusually strong antioxidant found abundantly in green tea, which is also very low in caffeine compared to beverages other than water.
Effects of theanine from green tea
Green tea is also a rich source of a rare amino acid called theanine which allows increased availability of serotonin in the brain, potentially reducing depression.
Other actions of this green tea chemical may improve memory, concentration, and mood.
These studies are considered preliminary.
If you have a health condition, you should consult with your health care provider before improving your lifestyle, especially if you are taking prescription medication.
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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