Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gargling Green Tea Can Fight Flu

Gargle green tea to fight off flu bugs

Could gargling with green tea prevent flu? It contains compounds called catechins, which have been shown, in lab research, to prevent the ­infection.

One small Japanese study at the University of Shizuoka showed that nursing home residents who gargled with green tea three times a day for three months were less likely to get flu than those who did not.

Larger clinical trials are now under way, involving more than 600 teenagers. Young people were chosen because flu spreads quickly and easily among students.

Researchers have yet to discover exactly how catechins work, but it is believed they have a general anti-viral effect. Gargling is thought to be a more ­effective way to tackle viruses than drinking, because this way the bugs are exposed to the liquid for longer.

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