When eczema flares up, you want the quickest, most readily available, affordable, and effective treatment.Try green tea!Green tea has been used medicinally for over 500,000 years in Asian countries like India, China, Thailand, and Japan.
But does green tea help eczema? Many scientific studies have examined the individual components of green tea and demonstrated their therapeutic power. The results overwhelmingly show that green tea can effectively reduce or even eliminate the pesky symptoms of eczema.
Let’s look at some beneficial compounds found in green tea and how they help eczema sufferers.
1. Antioxidants That Protect and Heal
Oxidants are elements that damage your cells, and you encounter them all the time. They can result from normal biological processes (like eating), or they come from outside sources (like chemicals or the sun).
Oxidants can damage your skin cells, too. Eczema sufferers are especially prone to oxidative damage from various triggers.
Did you know that green tea neutralises these harmful oxidants?
Green tea contains several antioxidants including carotenoids, tocopherols (vitamin E derivatives) and vitamin C.
And there’s more…
Green tea also contains plenty of minerals and co-factors that enhance the effectiveness of its antioxidants such as zinc, selenium, and manganese, and chlorophyll.
2. Catechins That Fight Inflammation
Catechins are molecules that result from a plant’s metabolism, and green tea is full of them. When you drink green tea or apply it topically, catechins work hard to reduce inflammation.
Green tea contains 4 types of catechins: epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG; around 59%), epigallocatechin (EGC; around 19%), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG; around 13.6%) and epicatechin (EC; around 6.4%).
How does that affect eczema?
With eczema, the immune system gets activated and the body releases cytokine molecules. Cytokines cause inflammation. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, this inflammatory process gets stuck in the “on” position.
The catechins in green tea suppress those inflammatory cytokine molecules. The cycle shuts down, the skin heals, and you can go back to enjoying life again.
3. Tannins That Work as an Astringent
Green tea contains tannins that act on the keratin proteins in your skin.
Normally, keratin molecules in your skin are tightly bound together, but with an eczema flare-up, those bonds get broken. When this happens, the outer layer of your skin swells.
The tannins in green tea act as an astringent. They help pull the molecules in your skin back together again and enable them to contract. This helps reduce the flare-up and blocks bacteria and viruses from entering.
4. EGCG Prevents Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Oxidative Stress
The sun bombards your skin with ultraviolet rays that damage your cells. When this happens, your body amps up your immune response to mitigate and heal the damage.
Eczema sufferers are especially prone to this oxidative stress brought on by ultraviolet radiation.
The catechin EGCG in green tea suppresses the damage inflicted on the cell’s mitochondria, which are the energy powerhouses of your cells. EGCG also stops UV rays from killing your cells and breaking the bonds in your DNA. This type of DNA damage which can potentially lead to quite a few negative effects.
As EGCG protects you from the UV rays, it prevents your body from initiating the normal inflammatory immune response. That enables you to either minimise or completely avoid a flare-up.
5. Catechins That Kill Bacteria
The catechins EGCG and ECG in green tea infiltrate the cell membranes of a variety of bacteria and kill them. They are effective against common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Escherichia coli, and S. epidermidis.
In addition to killing bacteria directly, green tea’s catechins also sensitise your body’s immune system so that prescription antibiotics become more effective.
When you have open wounds from eczema, the potent power of green tea’s antibacterial properties is important in preventing infection and promoting faster recovery.
6. Compounds That Protect Against Viruses
Viruses are notoriously hard to kill since they can mutate so quickly, but green tea contains compounds that fight viruses.
EGCG has been shown to effectively combat hepatitis viruses, HIV, rotavirus, enterovirus, and influenza viruses.
Again, when your skin is inflamed and prone to infection, EGCG’s ability to protect against a viral infection is priceless.
7. Sterols That Reduce Skin Lesions
Sterols are naturally-occurring molecules found in most plants, and green tea has them, too.
You may have heard about sterols’ ability to reduce cholesterol, but did you know that they also help reduce the skin lesions of eczema?
Green tea contains 2 kinds of sterols: stigmasterol and β-sitosterol.
β-sitosterol reduces inflammation, decreases itchiness, and also lessens the severity of eczema skin lesions.
It works by inhibiting your body’s overactive immune response. Specifically, it reduces the amount of histamine, Immunoglobulin E, and interleukin-4 your body produces.
8. Chlorophyll That Heals Skin
All green plants, including green tea, contain chlorophyll. Plants use chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide into starch during photosynthesis.
When you apply chlorophyll to your skin, it helps your wounds and lesions to heal more quickly. It decreases inflammation, as well, and slows the rate at which bacteria reproduce.
9. Theanine That Hydrates and Nourishes
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Amino acids are the building blocks of all the proteins your body uses.
If you drink green tea, the theanine may help relieve anxiety and boost brain function. But applying theanine to your skin also helps eczema flare-ups.
Theanine hydrates your skin and can help nourish areas that are dry or cracked. It also decreases swelling and redness and aids circulation.
The better your circulation, the faster your body can get vital nutrients and healing molecules to the irritated areas.
10. Glutamic Acid That May Help Prevent Flare-ups
Green tea contains glutamic acid (also called glutamate). Glutamic acid is an amino acid that plays an important role in nerve-cell transmissions.
In 2017, researchers studied a small group of people with eczema and discovered that 8 people had genetic mutations in their CARD11 gene.
This gene makes the CARD11 protein, and the mutation blocks a couple of cell-signaling pathways that require glutamic acid. When they supplemented with glutamate, their eczema improved or disappeared.
Green Tea is Full of Healing Compounds
Is green tea good for eczema?
Green tea contains plenty of healthy, healing compounds. Catechins, sterols, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, and amino acids work synergistically to combat the symptoms of eczema.
Consider adding green tea to your eczema-fighting arsenal. For all the above reasons, green tea extract is one of many natural ingredients Hope’s Relief use in our products. Contact us today to learn how our natural eczema products can help you find relief.