Tea and tea culture began from China more than 4000 or more years from now, medicinal and health benefits from tea in various ancient herbal scripts have all been confirmed by modern scientific research in various countries in recent years. Since the COVID-19 outbreak first happened in Wuhan last year, scientists from different science research disciplines launched different research programs on how to combat against COVID virus through natural and alternative remedies based on ancient TCM wisdom, in which also included deepened research specifically on if EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) in Camellia sinensis could disactivate the COVID virus, and the research results from tea by Hangzhou University and Yunnan Agricultural University are very encouraging.
But wait, there are few things you have to be aware before jumping into the conclusion that drinking tea can disactivate COVID:
- EGCG, namely epigallocatechin gallate, molecular formula C22H18O11, is the main component of tea polyphenols, is a catechin monomer isolated from tea。 Indeed the compound of EGCG in light fermented tea, i.e. green and white tea, is richer than other tea types
- EGCG requires lengthy time in very high melting temperature, 222-224°C. Indeed more EGCG can be dissolved in such conditions, but on the other hands, the taste will be very strong and bitter with higher dissolvent from Caffeine (Tea Tannin) that can be irritating to stomach and digestion system
- No one can drink tea at that kind of high temperature but leave it to cool down, but during the cooling process, the oxidation process with the air will reduce the compound of EGCG in tea
- The above information meant how to abstract EGCG from tea through brewing, but this is not the method they use in the research laboratory. In the lab, scientists break tea leaves and inject the abstracted EGCG to the testing white mouse, but not injecting tea water or feeding tea to mopuse.
- How can any one expect to have the same result from different approaches? That’s a logical question.
Tea is more than just a cup of delicious beverage, it reflects a way of living and health. The unexpected change from the COVID pandemic accelerates more health problems besides COVID itself, because of anxiety and emotional stress.
The more unexpected stress we are facing, the more we need to maintain rational thinking and actions to preserve our health and safety.
Chinese tea ceremony is more than a tea ritual, in the process of enjoy fine and pure flavors and taste from pure quality tea, it facilitates the practice of alignment in body, mind and energy through relaxing, practice of good social behaviors with positive energy by increasing self-awareness.
Health is not something you should it lightly by taking risk. Indeed tea provides many health benefits, but only under the circumstances if you know the basic of What, Which, Who, When and How and follow the basic principle for health by eating less and drinking mild.
©Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association, 14/01/2021
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