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Review on Camellia sinensis –Nature’s Gift

Authors:

Abstract

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) always influenced human health benefits associated with this herbal drink. Green tea has possible benefits include promotion of cardio-vascular health, cancer prevention, skin protection, and antioxidant activity, to fight high cholesterol levels, infection, impaired immune system, diarrhoea, fatigue and much more. The credit for their useful antioxidant property exists with their huge collection of chemical substances called polyphenols and catechins make the major contribution to them. In addition, its content of certain minerals and vitamins increases the antioxidant potential of this type of tea The present paper reviews the geographical distribution, history, cultivation, uses, side effects, synonyms, botanical description, taxonomical classification, phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities.
Available online on www.ijppr.com
International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2017; 9(8); 1119-1126
ISSN: 0975-4873
Review Article
*Author for Correspondence: uma5194@gmail.com
Review on Camellia sinensis Nature’s Gift
Agarwal U*, Pathak D P, Bhutani R, Kapoor G, Kant R
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research Pushp Vihar-3, M.B.
Road, New Delhi-110017, India
Available Online:
ABSTRACT
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) always influenced human health benefits associated with this herbal drink. Green tea has
possible benefits include promotion of cardio-vascular health, cancer prevention, skin protection, and antioxidant
activity, to fight high cholesterol levels, infection, impaired immune system, diarrhoea, fatigue and much more. The
credit for their useful antioxidant property exists with their huge collection of chemical substances called polyphenols
and catechins make the major contribution to them. In addition, its content of certain minerals and vitamins increases the
antioxidant potential of this type of tea The present paper reviews the geographical distribution, history, cultivation, uses,
side effects, synonyms, botanical description, taxonomical classification, phytochemical constituents and
pharmacological activities.
Keywords: Green tea, Camellia sinensis, Medicinal property.
INTRODUCTION
Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen angiosperm
dicot plant whose leaves and leaf buds are used to
produce flourishing tea. It is of the genus Camellia of
flowering plants in the family Theaceae. It is native to
mainland China, South and Southeast Asia [2]. Tea is the
most consumed drink in the world after water1. Green tea
contains more catechins than black tea or oolong tea.
Catechins are in vitro and in vivo strong antioxidants. In
addition, its content minerals and vitamins increase the
antioxidant potential of this type of tea. Presently, it is
cultivated in at least 30 countries around the world. Tea
beverage is an infusion of the dried leaves of Camellia
sinensis. It is a widely used medicinal plant by the
throughout India, China and popular in the various
indigenous system of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and
Homoeopathy. Green tea has been consumed in all
respects ages in India, China, Japan and Thailand.
History
This evergreen plant originated near the source of the
Irrawaddy River (in Burma), then spread eastward into
South-Eastern China, westward into upper Burma and
Assam (North-Eastern India)2. Tea has been consumed as
a beverage in China for 2000 to 3000 years. It was
introduced to Japan around 600 A.D. and to Europe in the
1600s. Tea is grown mainly in the Subtropics and in the
mountainous areas of the tropics between latitudes 41° N
and 16° S. It is an intensively managed perennial
monoculture crop cultivated on large- and small-scale
plantations in a variety of countries including China,
India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Turkey, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Overall, tea is grown on over 2.71 million hectares in
more than 34 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin
America, and Oceania, with an annual yield of 3.22
million metric tons of processed tea.
Botanical description of green tea
Macroscopical description
Shrubs, 1-5(-9) m tall. Young branches grayish yellow,
current year branchlets purplish red and terminal buds
silvery gray sericeous3.
The leaves are 415 cm (1.65.9 in) long and 25 cm
(0.791.97 in) broad. Fresh leaves contain about
4% caffeine. The young light green leaves are first
harvested for tea production and have short white hairs
on the undersurface while older leaves are deeper
green. Different leaf ages produce differing tea
qualities, therefore, chemical compositions are
different. Youngest leaves narrow, downy but slightly
serrated.
Petiole 4-7 mm.
The flowers are axillary, yellow-white and 2.54 cm
(0.981.57 in) in diameter.
Sepals 5, persistent, 3-5mm, outside glabrous or white
pubescent, inside white sericeous and margin ciliate.
Petals 6-8, white, outer 1-3 petals sepaloid, inner petals
obovate to broadly obovate, 1.5-2 × 1.2-2 cm, basally
connate and apex rounded.
Stamens numerous, 0.8-1.3 cm, glabrous; outer
filament whorl basally connate for ca. 2 mm.
Ovary globose, densely white pubescent, subglabrous
and 3-loculed
Capsule oblate, 2-coccal, or rarely globose, 1-1.5 × 1.5-
3 cm, 1- or 2-loculed with 1 seed per locule, pericarp l
mm thick.
Seeds brown subglobose, 1-1.4 cm in diameter.
Microscopical Description
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Table 2: Botanical Classification Of Green Tea12.
Kingdom
Plantae-plants
Subkingdom
Tracheobionta-vascular plants
Super
division
Spermatophyte-seed plants
Division
Magnoliophyta-flowering plants
Class
Magnoliopsida-dicotyledons
Subclass
Dilleniidae
Order
Theales
Family
Theaceae-tea family
Genus
Camellia L.-camellia
Species
Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze-tea
Table 3: International Names Of Green Tea13.
Names
Language
Country/Region
té verde
Spanish
Spain
thé vert
French
France
grüner
Tee
German
Germany
grönt te
Swedish
Sweden
shay
'akhdar
Arabic
Northwestern Arabia
groene
thee
Dutch
West Germanic
tè verde
Italian
Italy
chá verde
Portuguese
Portugal
Hariyō
ciyā
Nepali
Nepal
Ryokucha
Japanese
Japan
Lǜchá
Chinese
China
zelenyy
chay
Russian
Russia
green tee
ीन टी
Hindi
India
Green tea
English
England, USA, New
Zealand
prásino
tsái
Greek
Indo-European
The upper epidermis is composed of cells with undulating
walls and covered with a rather thick cuticle. The lower
epidermis consists of smaller cells and is alone provided
with stomata; the latter are surrounded by three or four
Country
Production
Export
China
782.4 (80.8%)
218.7 (83.0%)
Japan
91.8 9 (9.5%)
1.6 (0.6%)
Vietnam
66.0 (6.8%)
26.0 (9.9%)
Indonesia
20.0 (2.1%)
9.1 (3.5%)
World
968.1 (100%)
263.5 (100%)
tangentially elongated cells.Simple hairs occur on both
surfaces of the leaf, but they are more abundant on the
lower; the number, however, varies with the variety of
tea, and with the age of the leaf; hey are unicellular,
tapering and rather thick walled, varying very much in
length, but often attaining 500-700 microns. The
mesophyll is heterogeneous and symmetrical. It is
characterized by the presence of a large number
of sclerenchymatous idioblasts. These are more or less
branched and warty and often extend transversely from
the upper to the lower epidermis. They vary much in
shape and in the thickness of the walls. The cells of the
spongy parenchyma contain cluster crystals of calcium
oxalate. The midrib is biconvex. Under each epidermis
there is a layer of collenchyma of varying thickness. The
Table 1: Possible Interaction.
S.NO.
Drugs
Interactions
1.
Adenosine
Green tea retards the action of adenosine drugs.
2.
Beta-lactam
Green tea increases the efficacy of these drugs.
3.
Blood thinning
medication
Green tea increases blood thinning effects.
4.
Chemotherapy
Green tea increases the potency of these drugs.
5.
Clozapine
Green tea reduces the effect of these drugs.
6.
Ephedrine
Green tea with the drug may cause agitation, tremors, insomnia and weight
loss.
7.
Lithium
Green tea reduces the blood levels of these drugs.
8.
MAOIS
Green tea with these drugs treats depression.
9.
Birth control pills
Green tea prolongs the action.
10.
Phenyl propanolamine
Green tea may a cause severe increase in blood pressure.
11.
Quinolone Antibiotics
Green tea may make these medications more effective and also increase the
risk of side effects.
Table 4: Indian Names Of Green Tea13.
Names
Language
State/Region
green tee
ीन टी
Hindi
North India
Harī cāha
ਹਰੀ ਚਾਹ
Punjabi
Punjab
Līlī cā
લલલલ લલ
Gujrati
Gujrat
Hasiru cahā
ಹ ಚ
Kannada
Karnataka
ےئاچ زبس
Urdu
Jammu and
Kashmir
grīn ṭī
Malayalam
Kerala
Hiravā cahā
Marathi
Maharashtra
Paccai tēyilai
tēnīr
Tamil
Tamil Nadu
Grīn ṭī
Telugu
Telangana
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Table 6: Principle components of green tea14.
Components
Green tea (% weight
of extract solid)
Catechins
30-42
Flavonols
5-10
Other flavonoids
2-4
Theogallin
2-3
Other depsides
1
Ascorbic acid
1-2
Gallic acid
0.5
Quinic acid
2
Other organic acids
4-5
Theanine
4-6
Other amino acids
4-6
Methylxanthines
7-9
Carbohydrate
10-15
Minerals
6-8
volatiles
0.02
wood is arched and the bast contains crystals of calcium
oxalate. The meristele is surrounded by a pericycle
consisting of slightly lignified cells
arranged in circle. The cortical tissue contains idioblasts
which are usually rather larger and more branched than
those of the mesophyll. The little fragments of the stems,
which are often to be found in ordinary tea, have a
slightly different structure. The wood in them forms a
circle within which there are pith containing branched
idioblasts; these have comparatively thin, pitted walls4.
Geographical Description
World scenario
Camellia sinensis is home-grown from mainland china,
south and Southeast Asia but it is at the present period of
time cultivated across the world [Table 5]5.
Indian scenario
The roughly calculated production of green tea in India in
the year 2013 was 11 million kgs only. West Bengal
produces 8 million kgs, Assam 2 million kgs and the
remaining 1 million was produced by South India6.
Production process
Growing and harvesting
Green tea is processed and grows in a variety of ways,
depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of
these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and
volatile organic compounds are retained with affecting
aroma and taste. The green tea plants are grown in rows
that are trim to produce shoots in a regular manner and in
general green tea plants are harvested three times per
year. The first gathering takes place in late April to early
May. The second harvesting usually takes place from
June through July, and the third picking takes place in
late July to early August. Sometimes, there can also be
the fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that
brings the best-quality leaves with higher prices to match.
Processing
Green tea is processed using either:-
Artisanal method (Sun-drying, basket or charcoal
firingor pan-firing )
Camellia sinensis plant
Leaves
Flower
Seeds
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The Chinese style of green tea is characterized by pan-
firing, where tea leaves are heated in a basket, pan or mechanized rotating drum to halt the oxidation process.
Table 7: Chemical Strucuters.
Structure
Name
Formula
Catechin, C, (+)-Catechin
C15H14O6
Epicatechin, EC, (-)-Epicatechin (cis)
C15H14O6
Epigallocatechin, EGC
C15H14O7
Epicatechin gallate, ECG
C22H18O10
Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG, (-)-
Epigallocatechin gallate
C22H18O11
Caffiene
C8H10N4O2
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The flavor can be altered greatly depending on the
number and type of firings but generally, a pan firing
Chinese green tea takes on a yellowish-green or dark
green color and imparts a grassy, earthy and roasted
flavor.
Some popular pan fired Chinese green teas include
Dragonwell and Gunpowder.
Modern methods (Oven-drying, tumbling, or steaming)7
The Japanese style of green tea is characterized by
steaming, where tea leaves are treated briefly with steam
heat within hours of plucking to both halts the oxidation
process and bring out the rich green color of both the tea
leaves and the final brewed tea.
The steaming process creates a unique flavor profile that
can be described as sweet, vegetal or seaweed-like. Some
Japanese green tea may also be shade grown during
cultivation or roasted during processing, both to create
additional flavor characteristics.
Some popular Japanese green teas include Sencha,
Hojicha, Genmaicha, Gyokoro and Matcha.
Processed green teas, known as aracha are stored under
low humidity refrigeration in 30- or 60-kg paper bags at
05 °C (3241 °F). This aracha has to be refined before at
stage of selection and packaging take place as they are
needed giving the green teas a longer shelf-life and better
flavor. The first flush tea of May readily stored in this
fashion until the next year's harvest. After this re-drying
process, each crude tea will be shifted and graded
according to size. Finally, each lot will be blended
according to the blending order by the tasters and packed
for sale8.
Preparing Green Tea
Depending on the type of green tea you’re planning to
brew each type may have different brewing temperature
Theanine
C7H14N2O3
Theogallin
C14H16O10
Gallic acid
C7H6O5
Quinic acid
C7H12O6
Table 8: Nutritional Value15,16 Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz).
Principle
Nutrient value
% of RDA
Energy
4 kJ (0.96 kcal)
--
Carbohydrates
0 g
--
Fat
0 g
--
Protein
0.2 g
--
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
0.007 mg
(1%)
Riboflavin (B2)
0.06 mg
(5%)
Niacin (B3)
0.03 mg
(0%)
Vitamin B6
0.005 mg
(0%)
Vitamin C
0.3 mg
(0%)
Minerals
Calcium
0 mg
(0%)
Iron
0.02 mg
(0%)
Magnesium
1 mg
(0%)
Manganese
0.18 mg
(9%)
Potassium
8 mg
(0%)
Sodium
1 mg
(0%)
Other constituents
water
99.9 mg
--
caffeine
12 mg
--
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and steeping time instructions. Ask your tea vendor for
brewing tips if the tea package does not have specific
instructions.
Here are a few general steps
Take one teaspoon of green tea leaves. Even if you
decide to make it for the whole family, keep in mind
that you take a teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup.
Now take the tea leaves in a strainer/sieve and keep
aside.
Now take a stainless steel pot/pan and boil adequate
water. If you wants to use a glass bowl instead. The
ideal temperature for green tea is 80 ͦ c to 85°c so keep
an eye on the water to make sure it’s not boiling. We
need to take water near to the boiling point but not
boiling. If accidentally it starts boiling, just switch off
the gas/heat and let it cool a bit (for say 30 to 45
seconds) and then it should be ready for use.
Now place the cup/mug in which you want to make the
tea. Take the sieve/ strainer and place it over the cup or
mug.
Now we need to pour the hot water into the cup and let
the tea steep for 3 minutes max. This is the step where
we need to be very careful. Not everyone likes their
drink strong and to see whether the tea is just right,
keep a spoon handy and drink a spoonful of tea every
30/45 seconds to find out if the flavor is right.
Now take out the sieve once you are sure of the taste
(or it’s passed 3 minutes) and keep it aside. Add some
sugar (½ teaspoon) or if you want a healthy choice, add
some honey (1 teaspoon).
Stir the sugar/honey in and let the drink cool a few
seconds and enjoy your cup of green tea.
Traditional Uses
According to tradition, green tea could cure headaches,
body aches, and pains to constipation and depression.
Green tea is said to increase the blood flow throughout
the body due to it contains a little caffeine, also
stimulates the heart and allows the blood to flow more
freely through the blood vessels. For the same reason
Table 9: Pharmacological activities.
S.no.
Pharmacology
Activity
Components
1.
Anti-Alzheimer activity 17,18
EGCG & Catechins
2.
Anti-oxidant 19
EGCG
3.
Anti-Parkinson activity 20, 21
EGCG
4.
Anti-stroke activity
22, 23
EGCG
5.
Cardiovascular disease 24, 25
Flavonoids &
catechins
6.
Anti-cancer activity
26-29
Catechins & EGCG
7.
Anti-diabetic activity
30-31
Catechins
8.
Anti-caries activity
33
ECG, EGCG &
GCG
9.
Anti-obesity activity
34
Caffeine, catechins
& EGCG
10.
Skin 35
EGCG
11.
Anti-ageing activity 36
EGCG & catechins
12.
Eye Disease 37
EGCG & catechins
13.
Anti-bacterial 38
EGCG
14.
Renal failure 39
EGCG
15.
Anti-allergic 40
EGCG
16.
Anti-hair fall 41
EGCG
17.
Anti-inflammatory 42
EGCG
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that green tea stimulates blood flow, it also stimulates
mental clarity9.
Green tea detoxifies the body. The presence of
polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant in green
tea that keeps the body free from diseases. Antioxidants
in green tea can improve immunity, preserve young-
looking skin and brighten the eyes.
Green tea aids in digestion and banishes fatigue.
Chinese green tea is also said to prolong the lifespan.
Toxicity
Green tea has not any toxicity after consumption in both
human and experimental animals. Single doses of
decaffeinated green tea solids up to 4.5 g/day (45 cups of
tea) have been well tolerated by humans10.
Adverse Side Effect of Green Tea
These side effects can range from mild to serious and
include a headache, nervousness, sleep problems,
vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor,
heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and
confusion. Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of
iron from food11.
Green Tea Dosing
A daily intake of 3 to 5 cups/day (1,200 mL) of green
tea will provide at least 250 mg/day of catechins. Green
tea extract should not be taken on an empty stomach due
to the potential for hepatotoxicity from excessive levels
of epigallocatechin gallate.
CONCLUSION
Green tea is an herbal gift of nature to the mankind.
Green tea has been found to possess various
pharmacological activities such as anti-alzheimer, anti-
oxidant, anti-parkinson, anti-stroke, anti-cardiovascular
disease, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-caries, anti-
obesity, anti-ageing, eye disease, anti-bacterial, anti-
allergic, anti-hair fall, anti-inflammatory due to the
presence of various chemical constituents called
polyphenols, catechins and others. Because of wide
health benefits of the tea it attracted the interest of people
in research about green tea.
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... The table below from Agarwal et al.,2017) shows the total tea production of green tea worldwide in 2006. Green tea is harvested three time a year and grown to maximise the levels of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds and having the best quality aromatic features and highest quality taste. ...
... Green tea is harvested three time a year and grown to maximise the levels of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds and having the best quality aromatic features and highest quality taste. The Spring flush in April-May produced the best quality harvest but it can also be harvested in June-August and sometimes later (Agarwal et al.,2017). ...
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