Green Tea Infusion (Camelia sinensis)
Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is a small, evergreen shrub with elliptic leaves and white flowers. Different teas are obtained from its leaves, and they are also harvested for essential oil. Green tea is made from the freshly plucked leaves, which are first blasted with steam and roasted, then dried or ground to a powder.
Tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.
In cosmetics, green tea is used as a preservative because of its antibacterial properties. As green tea is not fermented, it retains its beneficial properties.
According to legend, tea was first cultivated in China and first used during the reign of Emperor Shen Nung (around 2737BC). The tea plant made its way to Japan in about AD800, first regarded as a purely medicinal herb, and eventually becoming a popular beverage. Tea arrived in England around 1660, via the East India Company, spreading to Europe thereafter.
Though China remained the bulk supplier of tea into the twentieth century, tea is produced commercially in over thirty countries, India being the chief exporter. The British Isles are the largest importers of tea and green tea is gaining in popularity with the boom of healthy drinks for dieters.
Green tea is an astringent, used internally to stimulate the nervous system and for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
The unfermented tea is lighter and more refreshing. Green tea contains polyphenols and the enzyme superoxide dismutase; both of these have powerful antioxidant properties.
In skincare products, we use the steamed and dried leaves of green tea. Making an infusion of green tea leaves creates a powerful antioxidant action.