Did you know that, in some countries, doctors prescribe green tea for common ailments such as the cold and flu? Green tea has been a part of Asian culture that dates back at least 5000 years. In Chinese, Japanese and other eastern culture, it is a part of everyday life. In Korea, green tea is used in a spiritual ceremony to quiet the spirit and to encourage harmony and relaxation. It is also commonly prescribed medicinally as a remedy to boost the immune system. Although partaking in green tea rituals has been an enduring practice in the East, it is presently enjoying a surge of popularity in the West, in part because of its many health applications. Among health aficionados, the health benefits of green tea are of great interest. Not only are there many advantages to drinking green tea, but studies reveal that there does not appear to be any harmful side effects. Even in populations that drink large amounts of green tea, the only side effects are limited to people who may not tolerate caffeine well. The Japanese drink green tea almost exclusively and health experts are now attributing their lack of coronary disease and longevity, at least in part, to the green tea habit. The polyphenols and other ingredients in green tea have a mild anti-clotting affect on blood platelets which results in a reduction of plaque accumulation on artery walls. It is also known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol which are significant factors in heart disease. Additionally, in parts of the world where people drink at least four cups a day, scientists have found a much lower incidence of many types of serious cancers such as pancreatic, breast, lung and skin cancer. Catechins, the polyphenolic antioxidant ingredients which have a slightly bitter taste, not only purportedly inhibit growth of cancer cells, but they can also kill the harmful bacteria that invade the human body as well as the toxins that those bacteria produce. Catechins are also beneficial for oral health. These flavanols effectively kill the bacteria that accumulate in the mouth, reducing bad breath odor as well as plaque that builds up on teeth. Green tea also contains natural fluorine which helps prevent the incidence of cavities. Although coffee is the breakfast beverage of choice in America, other parts of the world prefer tea hands down. Decades of research on green tea have publicized the many health benefits of drinking it, including its ability to boost immunity, reduce heart disease, and promote oral health. Current research is ongoing and is hold promising evidence about green tea's ability to treat serious conditions such as cancer. With its many health promoting antioxidant compounds, green tea is a healthy, delicious addition to any healthy diet.