The USA has already had some record cold snaps this winter, and the 2009 Flu/Cold season is well under way. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that there will be more than 200,000 Americans affected by the flu or influenza this year. So what can one do? Can hot tea every day keep the doctor away?
Published research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University found that drinking tea containing high concentrations of the amino acid L-theanine may help strengthen the body’s immune system response. “The health benefits of tea have been touted for centuries…” said lead author Jack Bukowski, (MD, PhD) “…now we have a new explanation for the medicinal effect of tea. Our research suggests that when tea drinkers become exposed to germs, some may be protected from getting sick,” Bukowski, (also of Harvard Medical School), wrote “…importantly, those who do become ill, may develop a milder infection compared to non tea drinkers, indicates that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the immune system”. A cup of tea contains an average of 20-25 mg of theanine.
Other studies even suggest that gargling tea may bolster your efforts to fight the flu. In one study, participants who gargled with a black tea extract solution twice daily were more immune to the flu virus than those who didn’t. Sounds good — but drinking a nice cup of tea sounds much better! To help keep fighting the flu/cold season a warming experience, Bigelow Tea has many tasty suggestions at the ready. With this record-setting winter, prevention has never been so good!