A US 7th-grader’s science experiment has gone some way to proving that chemicals in green tea can help fight cancer.

In the tests flatworms were injected with cancer cells and then exposed one of the chemicals found in green tea. After two months the flatworms that were exposed to the chemical were found not to have grown any tumours in comparison to those without the antioxidant.

Countries such as Japan that have a high consumption of herbal tea also have a reduced rate of cancer. Asia as a whole consumes 21.6bn litres of tea, 9.8bn litres of which are green tea.

Green tea is though becoming more popular in the West as its healthy qualities become more apparent.

In the US people are drinking about 200m litres more than in 2011.

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The health benefits of black tea — which is generally just known as tea because it’s so popular — pales in comparison to its green cousin because most of the benefits get destroyed during fermentation.

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Black tea does have useful antioxidants however, but these become obsolete when milk and sugar are added.