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 can be used to help with weight loss, release toxins from our body (making it a powerful flavonoid antioxidant), helping heal wounds and even helping 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 can 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. 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.
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!
[i] USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 2.1 (2007)
Posted by Spiro Koulouris