The custom of drinking tea has been around for thousands of years. Legend has it that in 2737 B.C.E., the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong was boiling water in his garden. A wild tea tree leaf landed in the steaming pot and the leaf began to infuse. The emperor curiously drank the concoction. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to investigate it further– and made more of it! Thus the medicinal, cultural and emotional significance of tea across the world was born. In modern times, science is discovering the connection between tea and cancer prevention.
Green Tea and Breast Cancer Prevention and Healing
First, of course, let’s talk about the “grand dame” of all healing teas. This, of course, is green tea, and especially matcha green tea.
If you have been on a Healing Journey with Breast Cancer for a while now, then you know I am a huge fan of matcha green tea. Green tea contains a substance called epigallocatechin gallate, or ECGC. Matcha, a powdered concentrate of green tea, has 137 times more ECGC than regular green tea leaves. (Learn more about specific cancer-busting nutrients by watching this FREE webinar – Never Fear Breast Cancer Again.)
What’s so special about this particular phytonutrient?
ECGC has shown in several studies to reduce inflammation. It can also supress the damaging effects of xenoestrogens in the body and instigate cancer cell apoptosis. According to a 2012 study conducted at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, EGCG may even inhibit Breast Cancer stem cells.
Green tea can also be combined with other substances found in whole foods or supplements. Cayenne pepper, vitamin C and many amino acids such as proline and lysine work synergistically with ECGC for strong cancer prevention and even anti-tumor effects.
Does Drinking Tea Lower Stress Levels?
This may be a no-brainer. After all, who hasn’t sat down in the evening after a busy day
with a hot cup of tea and felt the stress leave with each sip? A study sponsored by University College London found that stress hormones such as cortisol fell by nearly twice as much in tea drinkers as non-tea drinkers after a stressful event.
According to this study, this has much to do with the phytonutrients — flavonoids, alkaloids, amino acids and antioxidants in particular– that can be found in all tea. Another study, however, conducted again at University College London in 2009, postulated that the ritual of making and consuming tea in itself can have an almost immediate calming effect after a stressful event.
Participants who prepared and consumed a cup of tea after an induced stressful event (a timed test) saw their stress markers reduce to lower than they were even before the event. Participants said that the act of making and consuming tea helped them have a sense of a “break,” helped them have a “chill out moment” and made them feel a sense of safety, nurturance, solidarity and community. Reports did not specify which kind of tea the participants drank.
Does this have anything to do with your Breast Cancer prevention goals? You bet! Amongst the dozens of studies to make the link between high sustained stress responses and cancer was a 2010 joint study conducted by MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Iowa.
“Chronic stress results in the activation of specific signaling pathways in cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment, leading to tumor growth and progression,” said the researchers.
A Word of Caution: Stay Away from Toxins in Your Tea
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Toxicology analyzed dozens of commonly-found commercial black, green, white, and oolong bagged teas. After 15 minutes of steeping, 83% of the teas contained levels of lead considered unsafe for pregnant and lactating women. They also found that aluminum levels were higher than recommended guidelines in 20% of the teas. Radiation and pesticide residue has also been detected in prior studies.
Tea bags can be an issue too. Many commercial tea bags contain epichlorohydrin, a plastic that prevents paper tea bags from falling apart in hot water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that high levels of this chemical ingested over a long period of time may raise the risk of stomach issues and cancer.
There is no doubt that if you are on a Healing Journey with Breast Cancer, drinking a warm cup of green matcha or herbal tea is good for your body and your soul. Do yourself a favor, however, and always go organic and toxin free when it comes to your tea. Better yet, go for loose tea, and choose matcha for healthy breasts whenever possible!
I personally consume matcha tea from Superfood Science, which is 100% organic and made without artificial preservatives, flavors, and fillers, on a regular basis. I also recommend Onkotea® for loose-leaf herbals. Onkotea® is inspired by the passionate, life-long research of Dr. Mirko Beljanski, PhD.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror.com and The 7 Essentials System®. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here