Health: Does tea offer more than sympathy for Parkinson's sufferers?

A recent study into the positive effects of green tea on Parkinson’s disease has given hope to the 120,000 people in the UK suffering from the neurodegenerative condition, for which there is currently no cure.


Published in Biological Psychiatry, a study conducted on rats found that the antioxidant effects of green tea polyphenols (plant derived chemicals full of antioxidants) prevented the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain that are responsible for producing dopamine – a chemical essential in sending messages in the brain to coordinate movement.


As these cells continue to deplete, a Parkinson’s disease patient will find it increasingly difficult to perform everyday tasks such as walking, talking and eating.


Green tea is one of the more popular forms of herbal medicines, being widely used in both eastern and western cultures. However as with conventional medicines, precautions should be taken. According to Traditional Herbal Medicines by Dr Lakshman Karalliedde, Debbie Shaw and Indika Gawarammana (Hammersmith Press) green tea should be used with great care by people with heart disease and during pregnancy.