Green Tea or Camellia sinensis, Theaceae, has been under long term study. This herb when made into a tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, second only to water. Most (over two thirds) of the Chinese population consumes it daily. In various parts of Asia, mainly China, India, and Japan, tea drinking has become a central part of the culture. Tea ceremonies are oftentimes considered sacred. Furthermore, many Americans consume this beverage. Green, Black and oolong teas all originate from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference between the three exists in the way in which the herb is processed. Green tea is simply the dried leaves of the plant. Black and oolong teas are fermented or processed. The more any food or herb is processed the more of a detrimental effect it has on our health. With this knowledge, you can choose for yourselves, which is healthier for the body.
Origin(s): China, India.
Latin Name(s): Camellia sinensis.
Also known as: Tea plant, Tea shrub, Tea tree.
Plant Part(s) Used: Leaf.
Aroma: Light fragrance.
Taste: Refreshing, light.
GMO Status: Non-GMO.
Additives: Free of any additives or preservatives.
Applications / Preparations: Can be put into capsules, teas or infused as an herbal extract. For cosmetic use can use water infusions for skin & hair washes.
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: It is very difficult to pin down an exact expiration date for most single herbs as they do not really expire, they lose potency or strength over time but will still have value. Unlike synthetic material or drugs, herbs can contain many constituents that contribute to their medicinal effects. Even if when we know what the active constituents are, there are often many of them in a single herb, each with different rates of degradation. Some herbs lose their effect more easily. Other herbs that possess more stable compounds such as alkaloids or steroids will last much longer.
A huge part of the degradation rate of herbs depends also on the storage conditions of the herb, & even on the quality of the herb before storage – how it was grown, harvested, dried & processed. If the product is left in hot places or open to sunlight then it will degrade much quicker than if it was stored in cool, dry place & sealed tightly.
A good rule of thumb is that herbs should be stored no longer than 2-3 years but many herbs will have great strength much longer than that. To determine if a an herb is still good you can check the appearance & aroma. Herbs that are no longer acceptable will have lost much of its vibrant color & will instead appear dull & faded. The bigger key though is to smell the raw materials to see if the potent aroma is still present.
Warning: Not for long-term use.