Does Green Tea Actually Help With Gout?
Green tea has been a favorite beverage in China since 2737 BC and the Chinese believe it be very powerful cure-all that may be used to help with weight loss, release toxins from our body (making it a powerful flavonoid antioxidant), helping heal wounds and even may help to fight cancer. Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis and doesn’t go through oxidation, which causes it to lose some of its powerful healing properties. The mean content of flavonoids in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered of health contributing nature, including fresh fruits, vegetable juices or wine.[i]
Where’s the proof that green tea helps with gout?
The evidence pointing to green tea’s health benefits are plenty, for example, studies have shown that drinking green tea may be a very effective remedy in reducing the risk of developing certain kinds of arthritis like gout. People in countries like China, India and Japan, who drink lots of green tea, have a lower rate of developing diseases like arthritis and cancer. Green tea’s high antioxidant concentration may help reduce the joint inflammation and swelling characteristic of gout.
Green tea contains a wide variety of antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols, including gallic acid and the catechin compounds epigallocatechin, gallocatechin and epicatechin or EGCG for short. EGCG has been described as possessing strong cancer fighting properties, stronger indeed than vitamins C and E. EGCG also seems to have the best bioavailability which means that it’s efficiently absorbed by your body. In a research published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, they found that EGCG makes up more than half (63%) of the catechins found in green tea. That means it has up to 100% more antioxidant content than that of vitamin E or C.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if you drink 2 to 4 cups a day prepared from green tea leaves, it may help control the symptoms of gout but more research is needed to determine the effects of long-term green tea use. You should give your gout green tea remedy a few weeks to see if it helps.
Green Tea for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Another similar condition to gout that can benefit greatly from green tea is rheumatoid arthritis. In a study conducted in 2017, they found that EGCG and EGC in green tea had inhibited cells present in patients with RA. When you have arthritis, you tend to have irregular metabolic functions but green tea might just help normalize that.
For healthy patients without RA, do you ever notice that your joints tend to hurt more than you lack sleep? Green tea can help with that since it is rich in L-theanine which promotes less stress, mood, and sleep. The more well rested you are, the better your joints will feel. If you drink more than three cups a day, you might even reduce your risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the evidence is inconclusive, I personally drink a cup of organic green tea every day in the afternoon. Remember, it has only half the caffeine compared to a regular cup of coffee, so it gives you a good afternoon boost if you are feeling tired. Also note that caffeine is a diuretic and you will need to adjust your water intake accordingly by drinking more water. Drinking green tea can also trigger more frequent urination, which can help remove excess uric acid that leads to gout.
How do you prepare green tea?
Best way to drink green tea is to steep it for 5 minutes in order to release the flavonoids; and you get the most flavonoids by brewing your organic leaves in a pot or by using tea bags. In the summertime I also like to brew a bigger pot and then put in the fridge for some cold green tea. Add a slice of lemon and you’ve got yourself a great tasting low sugar beverage! If you don’t like the taste, you can always try the tablets.
Another popular gout remedy in Asia is to cut 1 cup of green papaya into small cubes, then put the cubes in a pot of water to boil for about 5 minutes, finally adding 2 tablespoons of green tea leaves to brew this unique tea. Then steep the tea for about 5 to 10 minutes and then drink up! Although there have been claims of curing gout with this special tea there is definitely no harm in trying it out!
What about other teas?
There’s so many kinds of teas out there, you’re probably caught up on what to buy. First, let’s start with green tea. Green tea can come in different varieties. They have the same polyphenols although the amount may vary. Some varieties of green tea include jasmine tea, matcha tea, and oolong tea.
Black tea is also worth exploring since it’s been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Some good black teas include assam, oolong, ceylon, chai, and pu-erh. Other teas you may have heard of such as honeybush and rooibos do not belong in the green tea or black tea category. They’re still herbal, they just don’t contain as many polyphenols or offer a beneficial effect on gout.
You can buy fresh green tea leaves at high end grocery stores and specialty stores. Try to find an Asian grocery store as well as they might have it.
Green Tea Supplements
If green tea is not your cup of tea (!), you can take green tea supplements instead. A healthy dose is between 90mg to 300mg a day. The great thing about green tea supplements is that you know exactly how much catechins you’re getting. It’s best to take this on an empty stomach so you can experience its benefits.
If you just want to stick to drinking tea, the same dosage applies as well. A cup of green tea has about 60mg to 125mg in it so this means you can have a few cups of it each day. Try not to go beyond the upper limit as this can result in side effects such as anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, and tremors.
Green tea also has a stimulating effect so try to avoid drinking other beverages of medication that are also stimulants.
What has your experience been like using green tea as a remedy for gout? Share your thoughts in the comments below.