Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage” (1). Tea has been used for its healing properties in Traditional medicine for centuries.  Moreover, modern research suggests that plant compounds in tea may play a role in reducing your risk of chronic conditions, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Though moderate tea consumption is a very healthy choice for most people, exceeding 3–4 cups (710–950 ml) per day could have some negative side effects like Reduced iron absorption, Increased anxiety, stress, and restlessness, Poor sleep, Nausea, Heartburn, Pregnancy complications, Headaches, Dizziness and Caffeine dependence  (2). 

The most popular varieties are green (steamed tea leaves), black (fermented tea leaves), oolong (fermented tea leaves), Pu-erh tea (fermented and aged leaves), white tea (Uncured and unfermented) etc.— all of which are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. There are many other types of teas and infusions using various other plants (3, 4).

Tea has a complex chemical composition, containing over 2000 components. The differences of varieties, the environmental effects, various methods of processing and modes of propagations cause the change of the chemical composition of tea leaves. The composition of fresh tea flush contains various components, such as polyphenol (include catechins), caffeine, amino acids, vitamins, flavonoids, polysaccharides and fluorine  (5, 6).

Can drinking tea save us from coronavirus infections?
A research team of the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention performed experiments in cells cultured in vitro, tea, which is rich in polyphenols, works well in killing the virus extracellularly and suppressing its intracellular proliferation. Finally, they recommended that drinking tea could help prevent novel coronavirus infections (7).

Also, the main three chemicals namely Methylxanthine, Theobromine and Theophylline stimulate compounds (alkaloids!)  that can ward off these viruses in a human with at least an average immune system. The tea plant creates these chemicals as a way to ward off insects and other animals.  Consequently, the hospital staff in china has started serving tea to the patients 3 times a day, and the effect is finally in Wuhan “. The centre of this Pandemic” has been contained and community transmission has almost stopped (8). In addition, Meta tea contains triterpene glycosides, which can exert antiviral properties against coronavirus. Also, it contains polyphenols that protect humans from viral infection (9).

Nonetheless, an immunologist opined that the novel coronavirus infects alveolar epithelial cells. But the tea we drink won't reach the lungs anyway. Trials on animals should be conducted, and then human clinical trials can be considered Therefore in vitro tests are not enough to conclude that drinking tea can help prevent novel coronavirus infections (10). 

Finally, it can be concluded that the functions of tea drinking against novel coronavirus infections not yet scientifically confirmed. Nevertheless, nutritionists say to drink up and enjoy the health benefits of tea (11).

Studied references:

1.Okakura, K., 2012. The book of tea. Jazzybee Verlag.

4. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits#1

5. Yashin, A.Y., Nemzer, B.V., Combet, E. and Yashin, Y.I., 2015. Determination of the chemical composition of tea by chromatographic methods: a review. Journal of Food Research4(3), pp.56-87.

9. https://howtocure.com/coronavirus-preventive-measures/

11. 11. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits#1
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