Medicinal plants have been used since antiquity to cure illnesses and injuries. In the last few decades, natural compounds extracted from plants have garnered the attention of scientists and the
species are no exception. Several species and cultivars are widespread in Asia, namely in China, Japan, Vietnam and India, being also identified in western countries like Portugal. Tea and oil are the most valuable and appreciated
subproducts extracted from
, respectively. The economic impact of these species has boosted the search for additional information about the
genus. Many studies can be found in the literature reporting the health benefits of several Camellia species, namely
. These species have been highlighted as possessing antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral) and antitumoral activity and as being a huge source of polyphenols such as the catechins. Particularly, epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), and specially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenols of green tea. This paper presents a detailed review of
species' antioxidant properties and biological activity.