No one ever saw this one coming but according to researchers associated with the UPASI Tea Research Institute located at Coonoor in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, India, there is a possibility that tea and coronavirus could have a toxic relationship. In simple words, people who drink tea regularly can have better odds of keeping themselves away from this disease. According to the researchers, the compound Theaflavins-3 found abundantly found in black tea as well as the compound catechins found in green tea have anti-viral properties that collectively can control the spread of the disease inside the body of an individual who recently got infected with the strain of coronavirus that causes the COVID – 19 disease. The study is a collaboration work between the Tea Board of India and ICMR. Furthermore, Chinese and Taiwanese researchers also found preliminary proof that the potency level of SARS Cov-2, goes down significantly when it is subjected to an aqueous solution of compounds like polyphenols, Theaflavins-1, Theaflavins-2, and Theaflavins-3, found in black tea, as per the statement made by CL Shreedharan, Chairman of UPASI Tea Committee. With that stated, before getting deeper into the topic, let us first get a clear idea about the disease, COVID – 19.
What is COVID-19?Coronavirus and COVID-19 are often confused to be the one and same but that is not the case. Coronavirus is a family of RNA viruses that got the name due to the distinct crown-like structure the virus cells have around their outer cell membrane. COVID – 19 is a contagious respiratory disease that is caused by a newly discovered variation of the coronavirus family known as SARS COV-2 (Source – Coronavirus, WHO, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
World Hepatitis Alliance COVID-19, World Hepatitis Alliance, Google Images, Licensed under CC BY 2.0
List of common symptoms of COVID 19
Here is a list of some of the most common coronavirus symptoms –
- Loss of taste or smell.
- A skin rash or discoloration of fingers or toes.
- Sore throat.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Loss of speech or movement.
- Dry cough(Source – Coronavirus, WHO Retrived on 1 January 2023)
How Tea and Haritaki extracts act as therapeutic options against COVID-19?In another plot twist, tea and haritaki may have potential therapeutic properties to offer to people who are infected with COVID – 19. Researchers at the esteemed institute IIT Delhi, selected around fifty-one plants with proven medicinal properties and they found out that aqueous extracts derived from green and black tea leaves along with haritaki have the potential to destroy viral cells. This study is still in its preliminary stages and more trials are needed to prove the claims(Source - Tea And Haritaki May Have Potential Therapeutic Options Against Covid-19: IIT Delhi Study, NDTV Food, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
Coronavirus Immunity booster Green Tea, cntraveller, Google Image, Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Different Researches from around the globeNO FACT FOUND! List of different Teas to fight COVID
You should keep in mind that there is no proof that drinking any form of tea can help you fight COVID – 19 but there is plenty of evidence that the following types of tea can boost your immune system thus allowing you to have better odds in keeping yourself from getting infected in the first place –
- Lemongrass tea - it has antimicrobial properties and can help fight oral infections. It is also packed with antioxidants and can boost your immune system.
- Green tea is packed with catechins – a natural immune system booster. It is also packed with polyphenols – another compound found in green tea that boosts the immune system to keep diseases like influenza at bay.
- Hibiscus tea can help you with your blood sugar and fluctuating blood pressure levels. It is also packed with antioxidants and is known for its antimicrobial properties thus drinking this tea will give your immune system breathing room to ward off an attack from COVID – 19 if you get infected by any chance.
- Chamomile is yet another immunity-boosting tea that also has the ability to let you sleep easily in case you have a bad case of insomnia.
- Ginger tea is not only popular for its anti-inflammatory properties but also for its ability to keep viral medical conditions like the seasonal flu and the common cold at bay.
- Tulsi is one of the key ingredients in a typical cup of immunity tea as it is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a known booster for the human immune system.
- Peppermint tea is yet another herbal concoction that can help boost your immune system so that you can counter several diseases and allergies.
- Black tea is a known immunity booster.
- Lemon tea is packed with Vitamin C which in turn is an essential immunity booster.(Source - Top 10 Immunity Tea to fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19), TeaCurry, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
Indian Herbal Remedies to fight CoronavirusThere are no herbal concoctions that can help you with your fight against COVID – 19 but you can always ensure that you have a strong immune system and the best way to ensure that is to use the herbal remedies mentioned below–
- Ginger – Medical evidence shows that ginger has antioxidants and also comes with anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a known immune system booster.
- Neem leaves – place 5 neem leaves at the back of your throat and swallow it whole. Neem has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly should refrain from consuming neem leaves.
- Amla – otherwise known as the Indian gooseberry is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. It also boosts your immune system. As per research, a single amla has nutrient content equivalent to 20 citric fruits.
- Giloy and Brahmi – use these two herbs regularly and you will not only witness an improved cognitive system but a strong immune system as well.
- Phyllanthus Niruri leaves – place 5 leaves at the back of your throat and swallow. Phyllanthus Niruri leaves dissolves gall bladder and kidney stoned however more research is needed to back up this claim. It also boosts your immune system.(Source - Common Ayurvedic herbs to boost your immunity, ETimes, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
Ayush Kwath - Ayurvedic Immunity Enhancer
Ayush Kwath is a herbal concoction perfected by the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) Ministry of India. It is said that the concoction has the ability to boost your immune system thus allowing you to lower your chances of getting infected with the COVID-19. It has been endorsed by the current Indian Prime Minister. The herbal concoction consists of –
- Basil leaves (tulsi)
- Cinnamon (Dalchini)
- Ginger powder (Sunthi) and
- Black pepper (Krishna Marich).
As per a letter from the Ministry of AYUSH on April 24, the concoction will be manufactured and sold in all states and UTs of India under the name 'Ayush Kwath'.(Source - AYUSH Ministry Asks States To Manufacture 'Ayush Kwath', A Herbal Formulation To Boost Immunity, Medical Dialogues, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
List of COVID 19 VaccinesHere is a list of possible COVID 19 vaccines that are currently undergoing clinical trials –
- Adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine by Sanofi and GSK
- Inactivated Vaccine by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products; China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm)
- BBIBP-CorV by Beijing Institute of Biological Products; China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm)
- BNT162 by Pfizer and BioNTech
- Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) live-attenuated vaccine by University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; Radboud University Medical Center; Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital
- GX-19 by Genexine
- Self-amplifying RNA vaccine by Imperial College, London
- LUNAR-COV19 by Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS Medical School
- CoronaVac by Sinovac
- AZD1222 by The University of Oxford; AstraZeneca; IQVIA
- ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila
- NVX-CoV2373 by Novavax
- Gam-COVID-Vac by Gamaleya Research Institute, Acellena Contract Drug Research, and Development
- mRNA-1273 by Moderna
- Adjuvant recombinant vaccine candidate by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical, Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Ad5-nCoV by CanSino Biologics
- COV2.S by Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)(Source - The COVID-19 Live Vaccine Tracker, Contagion Live, Retrived on 1 January 2023)
It is still pretty early to definitively state that tea can help you combat COVID – 19 but there is plenty of evidence that drinking certain teas by adding certain Indian spices or herbs can help you strengthen your immune system. Hence, drink up but do not stop wearing a mask or keeping your distance from crowded spaces when you head outside.
I appreciate the way you address common misconceptions and myths about the topic in your post.