Health In Focus
  • Green tea that contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to be effective against Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
  • HSV-1 and HSV-2 virions when exposed to EGCG were destroyed.
  • A propriety formulation called AverTeaX used for topical application has been found to be effective against herpes.
Green tea contains catechins. Topical application of catechins is effective against herpes, a study by Zhao M and colleagues titled "Topical Lipophilic Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Herpes Labialis has shown in the Phase II Clinical Trial of AverTeaX Formula.
Green Tea Effective Against Herpes

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is prevalent across the world. This disease is characterized by the development of sores that become blisters and are painful or itchy. There is no known cure for this disease, but medication aids in arresting its growth and preventing your partners from catching it.
  • In America, 1 in 6 adults, between the age of 14 to 49 years, are infected with herpes.
  • In India, among patients who attend STD clinics, 43 to 83% have been found to be infected with herpes and in population screening, 7.9 to 14.6% were affected.
  • HSV infection increases the risk for HIV infection by two to three folds.
This study is significant as it promises an effective treatment against herpes. A formulation containing catechins, called AverTeaX to be used for topical application against herpes was tested on people with recurrent herpes labialis. 40 people were included in the study and the control group was treated with 100% glycerine as placebo.

The symptoms associated with herpes labialis were significantly reduced in the group that was treated with AverTeaX.
  • The number of episodes reduced.
  • The stages of ulceration and blistering were reduced.
  • Duration of the condition was reduced.
  • Quality of life among people with AverTeaX improved as itching was reduced.
  • The time period between episodes was also prolonged among people who used AverTeaX.
This study showed that the use of lipophilic catechins containing formulation - AverTeaX significantly reduced the symptoms associated with herpes.

Green tea has been emerging as a source of active ingredients that aid in good health and staving off certain diseases. Certain countries across the world, like China, have been consuming green tea for many centuries, benefiting from its rich sources of catechins.

All forms of tea - green, black or oolong, are all made from the plant called Camellia sinensis, but the processes that each form goes through differ. Black tea is prepared by following an extensive fermentation process while in green tea, there is no fermentation of the leaves. Therefore, the anti-oxidants and polyphenols are preserved in the preparation of green tea.

Green tea consists of polyphenols, which include:
  • Flavanols
  • Flavandiols
  • Phenolic acids
  • Flavanoids
The flavanols are in high concentrations than rest of the polyphenols and are commonly referred to as catechins. There are four different catechins:
  • Epicatechin (EC)
  • Epigallocatechin (EGC)
  • Epicatechin gallate (ECG)
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
EGCG has many health benefiting and disease fighting properties that make drinking green tea beneficial.
  • EGCG inhibits the binding of HIV protein to the CD4 receptor.
  • Inhibits the replication of the influenza virus.
  • EGCG interacts with the glycoproteins of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and inactivates them.
The benefits of green tea are not only restricted to these diseases, but are also found to be beneficial for people with Parkinson's disease, stomach disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, headaches, hypercholesterolemia, breast cancer risk, genital warts and diabetes.

Since green tea consists of active ingredients, it is not usually recommended for people with cardiovascular problems, gastric ulcers, psychological disorders or with liver disease and pregnant women.

The Chinese have traditionally consumed green tea after meals as they believed that it aids in digestion. Modern science has proved that there are many health benefits of drinking green tea, apart from aiding in digestion.

In treating HSV, topical application of EGCG is more significant when compared with consumption. This is because plasma concentrations of EGCG on consumption are 5 to 50 times lower than the required amount to affect HSV. In topical applications, EGCG is concentrated to the required amount and then applied locally to the region, proving to be more effective.

Green tea is the target of many research studies to unearth benefits in health care and treatment. Tea and EGCG have been approved by the FDA and are found to be safe, though only a small quantity of EGCG is required to treat HSV. The inclusion of green tea in the diet, therefore, will support health and prevent certain diseases.

Source: Medindia

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