Anti-Anxiety Matcha Green Tea

Historically used to relax, prevent obesity, and treat skin

Woman opening curtain

Woman opening curtain

Too many problems crowd one’s feeble mind. Overwhelming waves of anxiety pound the brain with the black froth of what may (but probably never will) happen. Kumamoto University researchers with an interest in the increasingly popular variation of green tea wanted to test its calming effects.

“Although further epidemiological research is necessary, the results of our study show that Matcha, which has been used as medicinal agent for many years, may be quite beneficial to the human body,” said study leader, Dr. Yuki Kurauchi.

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Historical medicinal uses for Matcha, made from the finely ground powder of new leaves from shade-grown Camellia sinensis green tea bushes, included helping people relax, prevent obesity, and treat skin conditions. But relatively little scientific evidence supported that claim.

Researchers used the “elevated-plus maze” test that is an elevated, narrow, plus-shaped platform with walled arms that provide safety for the mouse. It is used as an anxiety test for them with the idea that animals experiencing higher anxiety will spend more time in the safer walled-off areas. Using this test, researchers found that mouse anxiety was reduced after consuming Matcha powder or extract.

Ethanol Extract More Effective

In addition, when the anxiolytic activity of different Matcha extracts were evaluated, a stronger effect was found with the extract derived using 80% ethanol in comparison to the extract derived from only hot water.

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In other words, a poorly water-soluble Matcha component has stronger effects than one that is easily soluble in water. A behavioral pharmacological analysis further revealed that Matcha and its extracts reduce anxiety by activating dopamine D1 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors.

ReferenceYuki Kurauchi, Hari Prasad Devkota, Kengo Hori, Yuiko Nishihara, Akinori Hisatsune, Takahiro Seki, Hiroshi Katsuki. Anxiolytic activities of Matcha tea powder, extracts, and fractions in mice: Contribution of dopamine D1 receptor- and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor-mediated mechanisms. Journal of Functional Foods, 2019; 59: 301 DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.05.046
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