Made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, green tea owes its healing properties to the catechins found in the leaves. These catechins are powerful antioxidants, especially so for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) identified as the most therapeutic catechin.
Research has shown that catechins found in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells, and has diverse uses in the prevention and treatment of HPV related conditions.
A study observed the clinical efficacy of green tea extracts vaginally and/or orally in patients with HPV related cervical lesions. Fifty-one patients with cervical lesions were given various standardized green tea extracts and compared with 39 controls. 20 of the 27 patients using the vaginal green tea product showed a response, 3 of the 6 patients using oral doses of EGCG showed a response while 6 of the 8 who were given both the vaginal green tea and the standardized EGCG capsules showed a response. Overall, there was a 69% positive response rate for those taking green tea products compared with a 10% response rate in the untreated controls.
Green tea extract is usually an isolated form of one or more of the tea’s catechins, the most potent being ECGC.
Generally, any ingredient listed as “green tea extract” can contain mere tea leaves with little to no ECGC.
It is important to investigate the level of catechins or EGCG found in supplements. Products with higher EGCG content are more potent and standardization to the anti-cancer and anti-HPV component EGCG is essential.
Research done using ECGC in a topical form to reduce external genital warts with limited re-occurrence. Read more about this study here.
Rosen, T. “Green tea catechins: biologic properties, proposed mechanisms of action, and clinical implications.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 11.11 (2012): e55-60. Article
Gupta AK, Daigle D. Sinecatechins 10% ointment: a green tea extract for the treatment of external genital warts. Skin Therapy Letter Web site. http://www.skintherapyletter.com/2015/20.1/2.html. Modified December 15, 2015