Updated: Feb 22
It may not be able to cure COVID-19, but it can surely help ease its symptoms and supplement your immune function. Find out more in the article below!
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has dramatically influenced the overall health of people. Tea has become everyone’s cup of joy during this pandemic because of its antioxidant properties. Drinking tea may not be the magic bullet, but it can, for sure, be included in the daily diet because of its numerous health benefits.
Tea is an aromatic or flavored beverage, commonly prepared by pouring hot water on the fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an East Asia native evergreen shrub. It is considered the most consumed drink across the globe after water. These extracted leaves are used for the production of green, black, white, yellow, Pu’er, and Oolong varieties of tea.
Tea plays a vital role in boosting the immune system and relieving the symptoms of COVID-19 infection like flu, cold, and cough. It is because tea contains natural chemicals named alkylamines that are involved in creating a natural resistance against pathogens. Gamma-delta T cells in alkylamines are involved in developing resistance against viral infections and tumors.
Health Benefits Of Different Types Of Teas During The COVID Season
Here are some of the health benefits of the world’s most popular teas, which can indirectly help you relieve the symptoms of COVID-19 infection:
1. Green Tea As An Antiviral
Sipping a hot cup of green tea provides relief to sore throat and prevents nasal congestion. One study has reported the antiviral properties of Green Tea Catechins (GTCs), especially EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), against viral infections. Being a polyphenolic compound, EGCG can reduce the infectivity of viral cells.
Besides its antiviral properties, higher concentrations of EGCG have a distinctive role in burning fat, preventing clogging of arteries, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improving blood pressure, and boosting the level of cholesterol in the body.
2. Herbal Tea As A Cough Suppressor
Taking herbal tea with honey wards off germs from the human body. Herbal teas are decaffeinated, so they do not risk your health with dehydration. Both honey and herbal tea are involved in treating cold by acting as a cough suppressor.
Herbal tea helps in soothing pain and soreness due to its antioxidants and antimicrobial elements. These elements prevent the human body from infectious diseases, where strong immunity is the primary concern.
3. Black Tea As An Anti-Inflammatory Agent
The key flavonoids present in black tea are the polyphenolic compounds, mainly theaflavins (TFs). TFs possess anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties. Enhance your immune function by pouring yourself a hot cup of flavonoids-rich black tea.
As black tea contains a higher caffeine content, it is important to monitor your daily intake.
4. Elderberry Tea For Treating Flu
Since ancient times, people have been using elderberry tea because elderberry tea helps relieve the flu symptoms more quickly. One study reported that black elder (the most common form of elderberry) possess antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The duration of flu can be significantly reduced by drinking elderberry tea.
Consumption of tea has been observed to be greatly increased in the pandemic due to its health concerns. Tea is often suggested to be taken with a healthy diet for better results that have proven to be efficient in boosting immunity.
Does Tea “Prevent” The Coronavirus Infection?
Tea can provide relief to COVID-19 symptoms, but it does not potentially treat the coronavirus infection. It plays an indirect role in comforting from soreness and relieving the upper respiratory tract from discomfort because of the flavonoids in it.
Tea in the “prevention” of coronavirus infections became a matter of debate among people when an article was published, claiming about the prevention of coronavirus infection by drinking tea.
The article explained that polyphenols present in tea suppressed the extracellular infection and intracellular proliferation of the virus. Later on, an immunologist reported that the novel coronavirus causes an infection to alveolar epithelial cells. He reported that although tea kills the virus or inhibits its infectivity, consuming tea cannot do the same because it can reach the lungs in any way.
Later, the article was removed because many academics and people started raising questions based on this research.
A Healthy Body Has Enhanced Immunity
Your health is hugely reliant on your lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes a nutritious diet, which is useful for improving your immune function. Tea acts as an “immune booster” when incorporated into your healthy diet, helping your body sustain against infection. Moreover, tea contains some compounds that lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cholesterol, and cancer.
Tea is involved in various health benefits in human life, indirectly affecting the human system to prevent various diseases. It explores its indirect connection with combating viral disease, but that does not mean it should be taken as a replacement of medical consultancies. Tea, in itself, is by no means a form of treatment for medical conditions and diseases, especially COVID-19. It is just involved in playing a supportive part alongside other medical measures taken to prevent or even overcome infections.