There are many benefits to drinking gunpowder green tea, including preventing chronic disease, soothing arthritis, stimulating the metabolism, aiding in weight loss, preventing tooth decay, protecting the heart, lowering blood sugar and improving the appearance of the skin, among others. In terms of side effects, drinking an excessive amount of green tea can increase your risk of developing kidney stones, and due to the rather high caffeine level, it can be damaging to the nervous system and may induce anxiety when consumed in large quantities.
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What is Gunpowder Green Tea?
Gunpowder green tea is a particular variety of green tea from the Camellia sinensis plant that is prepared slightly differently, and therefore has slightly unique properties and health benefits. The leaves are rolled into tight, small pellets, resembling the old style of gunpowder pellets, which explains the name. This preparation allows the leaves to retain far more of their nutrients, including a slightly higher caffeine level than other green teas. Some high-quality gunpowder green teas can be stored for more than a decade without losing their potency or flavor. The color of this tea is slightly more yellow than other “green” teas, and the flavor is smoky, earthy or even metallic, at times. There are a number of varieties of gunpowder green tea, but most provide similar health benefits, due in large part to the polyphenolic compounds, catechins and alkaloids in the leaves.
Health Benefits of Gunpowder Green Tea
The catechins found in every variety of green tea can have a direct effect on inflammation, both in the gut and in other parts of the body. If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, cramping or any other inflammatory condition in the stomach, a cup of gunpowder green tea will serve you well!
Being rich in antioxidants is what has made green tea such a revolution in the natural health world. Many of the active compounds in gunpowder green tea can help to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, meaning that it can prevent chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
The caffeine content found in gunpowder green tea makes it an excellent energy booster, particularly for those who want to avoid the acidity of coffee. The preparation of this type of green tea gives it an even higher caffeine content than normal teas, albeit not as high as a standard cup of coffee.
Research has shown that the catechins and alkaloids found in gunpowder green tea are able to help manage blood sugar levels within the body, which is very good news for people who suffer from diabetes. By regulating glucose and insulin levels, this tea can help those with diabetes live a more normal life, and keep those at high risk of diabetes from developing the condition.
Studies have shown that the antioxidants found in green tea art able to lower triglyceride levels in the body, which is “bad” cholesterol that leads to plaque deposition, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. By rebalancing your cholesterol levels, you can relieve a lot of stress on your cardiovascular system.
The polyphenols and antioxidants in gunpowder green tea have a general impact on the immune system that revitalizes the body’s defenses and prevents infections, such as the common cold and flu, as well as more serious pathogens that we’re exposed to every day.
A number of factors combine in gunpowder green tea to aid weight loss efforts, including caffeine, catechins and theanine. These three work together to give the metabolism a boost, which increases the body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. There are also some appetite-suppressing qualities of caffeine that can help you avoid overeating and snacking between meals.
Gunpowder Green Tea Side Effects
The side effects of drinking gunpowder green tea include higher chances of anxiety, gastrointestinal troubles and kidney stones, as well as insomnia. However, when green tea is consumed in moderation, most of these side effects can be avoided.
- Anxiety – The caffeine content of gunpowder green tea is higher than all other green tea varieties, which means that it has more of a stimulant effect on the body. For people who are sensitive to stimulants, anxiety can be a side effect, particularly if more than 2 cups of this tea are consumed each day.
- Sleep Issues – As with any caffeinated beverage, gunpowder green tea can prevent you from falling asleep, due to the stimulating nature of the chemical. If you struggle with insomnia or frequently disturbed sleep, or if you are sensitive to caffeine, avoid drinking this tea in the afternoon or evening.
- Stomach Problems – There are limited reports of gastrointestinal distress following the consumption of gunpowder green tea, and much of this is likely due to the presence of caffeine, which can cause indigestion or discomfort, particularly when consumed on an empty stomach or in excess.
- Kidney Stones – Research has shown that drinking too much green tea can increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones. However, limiting your intake of this tea to 1-2 glasses per day should protect you from this risk.
How to Make Gunpowder Green Tea?
You can easily prepare gunpowder green tea at home using nothing more than rolled up gunpowder tea leaves and hot water! Growing your own green tea is not something that occurs very often in the west, and specifically, gunpowder tea leaves are processed and prepared in a specific area of China. Therefore, you will use dried gunpowder tea leaves in your at-home brew.
- 2 teaspoons of gunpowder green tea pellets
- 8 ounces of water (filtered)
Step 1 – Bring the water up to a boil.
Step 2 – Remove the water from heat and allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes (target temperature = 165 degrees F)
Step 3 – Add the pellets to a ceramic teacup and then pour the water over the pellets. The pellets will quickly begin to unroll into longer tea leaves as soon as they come in contact with water.
Step 4 – Allow the mixture to steep for at least 60 seconds.
Step 5 – Strain the mixture, or leave the unrolled pellets in the water for an even stronger brew!