Green Power: Fight sore throats, cavities with green tea

Studies conducted at Pace University have indicated that green tea extract has an adverse effect on bacteria that cause strep throat, dental cavities and other infections. Additionally, the research suggests that oral agents such as toothpaste and mouthwash are more effective in fighting harmful microbial agents, such as viruses, with the addition of green tea extract.

“The New York Times recently reported that tea stimulates the immune system to fight disease,” says Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD, a microbiologist and professor at Pace University. “Our research shows tea extracts can destroy the organism that causes disease. If we can stimulate the immune system and at the same time we are destroying the organisms, then it makes sense to drink more tea.”

All teas contain polyphenols or antioxidants that protect human cells from free radicals that are responsible for body tissue damage. “Flavorids” are a group of polyphenols that occur naturally in tea. It is suspected that the concentration level of these polyphenols in the body is responsible for the beneficial properties of tea. Polyphenols may also contribute to the prevention of various types of cancer, including pancreas, colon, bladder, prostate and breast cancer.

Study findings also indicate that the anti-viral effect of green tea is much more substantial than the anti-viral effects of black tea, and that caffeinated green and black teas are more effective as anti-viral agents than decaffeinated green and black teas.

American Society for Microbiology, May 20, 2003