Green tea is a dynamic drink derived from the leaves of the flowering shrub Camellia sinensis. Our fascination with this soothing and healing beverage goes back more than 4,000 years. It’s become a go-to home remedy for many minor maladies.

Even today, green tea continues to provoke study and praise, thanks to the antioxidants it contains. Compounds in green tea, such as catechins and polyphenols, may potentially help fight heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

So sit down, brew yourself a cup, and learn about the powers it may hold.

Brushing and flossing your teeth daily makes for good oral hygiene. But how does drinking tea affect your dental health?

According to research published in the Journal of the Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology, the catechins in green tea may help stop bacteria associated with gum disease and tooth decay from growing. Catechins are a type of antioxidant. As an added bonus, they may also help reduce bad breath.

That’s good news, especially since dental health is linked to your overall well-being.

Too much fun in the sun can expose you to too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Too much UV radiation can raise your risk of skin cancer.

More than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, estimates the American Cancer Society.

Research from the University of Strathclyde has positioned green tea as a potential treatment for skin cancer. Green tea contains large amounts of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant. The researchers found that encapsulated green tea extract could shrink or even eliminate skin cancer tumors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease accounts for 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States each year.

Drinking green tea alone won’t prevent heart attacks. But a study reported in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests it may be good for your arteries. People who consumed green tea regularly showed signs of healthier blood vessels than those who didn’t.

A more recent investigation reported in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease also yielded heart-happy results. The findings suggest that green tea can lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Some studies suggest that the ECGG in green tea may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For example, research from the University of Michigan suggests that EGCG can stop your immune system from producing certain molecules that cause symptoms of RA. For example, it may help relieve inflammation and joint damage.

Did you know that eye tissues can also absorb antioxidants? An animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that ECGG and other beneficial substances in green tea can make their way into your ocular tissue. They might provide protection against eye-related diseases, such as glaucoma.

Studies on EGCG have also yielded positive results in the area of Alzheimer’s disease research. According to research from the University of Michigan, ECGG seems to prevent the buildup of plaques that cause brain deterioration in patients with dementia. It may also help boost cognitive activity.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes periodic interruptions in your breathing while you sleep. This disrupts oxygen flow to your brain. If left untreated, it can affect your memory and learning.

Research reported in the found that green tea’s strong antioxidants may help protect people with OSA. Rodents with OSA that were given catechins performed much better in cognitive assessments than those that were not given any.

Before you fill up your kettle, it’s important to recognize that research on the pros and cons of green tea is ongoing.

You should be cautious whenever you add something new to your dietary routine. Green tea contains both caffeine and fluoride, but not in overly high concentrations. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if it can interfere with any prescription medications you may be taking.