By: Brian (Ruibo) Wu
Tea has long played an important role in human history. It was first flourished 2000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty, and then became one of the most valuable commercial crops after being transmitted to Europe in the late 18th century. People favor tea for its taste, elegance, and stimulative effect. But biological studies have shown that tea has a strong medical value as well, in which its chemicals can prevent fungal and bacterial infections.
Similar to many other plants such as eucalyptus and onion, tea has evolved a unique way to passively defend fungi and bacteria. It has catechins (aka EGCG) and polyphenols, which are known to be capable of restraining or killing more than 25 types of fungi or bacteria such as E Coli and dysentery bacillus, which are common health hazards. Clinical tests have shown that drinking tea could prevent and cure dysentery, and green tea extracts were widely used in the clinic to cure intestinal dysentery. Within 2 to 3 days, dysentery bacteria was significantly inhibited and was completely eliminated within 5 to 10 days. Moreover, the minimum inhibitory concentration of tea polyphenols and catechins on beneficial bacteria is 2 ~ 5 times higher than that on harmful bacteria, which ensures that daily intake of tea does not have an obvious negative effect on health.
In conclusion, drinking tea can efficiently reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the gut while increasing the number of beneficial bacteria, which constitutes the body’s immunity and can help maintain physical fitness.