Tea, a broad spectrum of curative: report

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Coimbatore,Feb 27 (PTI) It seems that prescribing a cup oftea, without milk of course, for an upset stomach or a coldcan no longer be regarded as merely grandma''s remedy.

There is now some scientific data that tea can have acalming effect when bacterial infections are present and thepolyphenolic components of tea are extremely effective againstvarious strains of food borne pathogenic bacteria that can beharmful and in some instances even fatal, a report released atthe ongoing National Convention of South India Tea here said.

Anti-bacterial effect has been seen against destructivebacteria like staphylococcus aureus, Bacillius cereus,clostidium perfringens, to name a few, it said.

Stating that tea, in early days of its history,was regardedas a cure for almost everything, the report said while some ofthose claims of tea''s efficacy may be exaggerated, recentstudies and trials, since four decades, were providing thatmany of the claims do have a scientific basis.

Indeed many new curative properties of tea and itsconstituents against diseases like flu and even oesophagealand stomach cancer are under active study in America, it said.

It has been proved that polyphenols exclusive to tea weremore effective than some well known and commonly usedanti-oxidants for reducing cholesterol, in particular thebad cholesterol, it said.

Polyphenols were anticarious in three ways for dentalproblems such as they inhibit the plaque forming enzyme,suppress the growth of streptococous mutans and solidify theenamel,it said.These facts have come to light in recent yearsby field research carried out in schools in Japan and China,where children drank a cup of green tea with their lunch.

Human trials were conducted on 21 volunteers to confirmthe effect of ingesting measured doses of tea catechins andall reported lowered blood pressure--both systolic anddiastolic.

An added bonus was an improvement in the general conditionof the volunteers particularly digestion and bowel movementregularly, which suggested that tea can be a cure forhypertension, the report said.

The benefits of tea drinking on human health have longbeen taught by generations of people, who in their dailylives, used tea as a home remedy for a variety of ailmentsand believed in the results. Yet in scientific terms theassociation of the benefits of tea drinking with constituentsof tea like caffeine, vitamin C and the most importantpolyphenols was rather recent,it said.

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