Fight The Flu with Green Tea

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Here comes flu season. How can you ward off a viral attack this year?

Here’s one suggestion: Wash your hands with green tea. That’s not a misprint. Washing the skin with a green tea solution apparently helps disinfect it against flu.

This claim is from a September report out of Seoul, South Korea, which credits green tea with eliminating the virus under laboratory conditions. The research was by the Department of Biotechnology at Yonsei University.

Professor Woo-Jin Shin led a team of researchers who created an artificial skin and thoroughly impregnated it with a strain of influenza virus. They then washed the skin with different concentrations of green tea. In every test, the virus was eliminated, even in a solution containing just one teabag of green tea in 120 milliliters of hot water.

If you only drink tea made from loose leaf tea, now you can buy both loose and bagged tea with a clear conscience. Brew a favorite green tea from the leaves and then wash up using the bagged tea. It sounds a little kinky, of course, but staving off a flu attack is worth trying something that seems a bit strange.

Gargling with green tea has been proven to fight the flu, too. A controlled experiment a half dozen years ago with more than 100 elderly residents of a Japanese nursing home showed that gargling with a “catechin solution” significantly reduced incidents of flu.

A study last year of 2,000 Japanese school children who were given cups of green tea showed similar results. The caffeine in tea is not recommended for children, of course, but presumably gargling with the tea would have the same positive impact on the children as it did on the elderly residents of the nursing home.

Green tea: flu fighter!


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