Tea, black

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Black tea

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Dried leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). The shrub grows up to 15 m high and is native to the southern hemisphere. It is mainly cultivated in many Asian countries, e.g. China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and is also exported from these countries. It contains significant amounts of caffeine and, in small quantities, theobromine and theophylline, substances that belong to the methylxanthines and are used as drugs in various areas of medicine.

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Most significant is the use of theophylline as a remedy for asthma. Caffeine, identical to the theine, has a stimulating and slightly diuretic effect. If the tea is left to infuse for only 2 minutes, the finished tea contains primarily the methylxanthines and thus has a stimulating effect. Other ingredients of black tea are tannins, which are only released from the leaves after a ten-minute infusion. The tea produced in this way is then no longer suitable as a luxury food due to its bitter taste, but can be used for envelopes.

Field of application/use
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  • Black tea toppings or compresses are recommended as an additive to ointment therapy for acute to chronic eczema.
  • Instructions: Boil 1 tbsp. black tea in 0.5 l water for 15 minutes, strain, allow to cool, then use several times a day as a pad or compress. Do not use flavoured teas.

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There is serious evidence that regular consumption of black and green tea for several years (> 40 years of tea drinking; 2 cups and more per day) significantly reduces the risk of carcinoma (see below carcinoma , spinocellular).

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  1. Kraft K (2007) Skin diseases. Zschr Phytotherapy 28: 76-78
  2. Rees JR et al (2007) Tea consumption and basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer: results of a case-control study. J Am Acad Dermatol 56: 781-855