Green tea heals

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Although the antibacterial properties of green tea have been known for a long time, an entirely new property of the herb has just been reported by a group of British researchers. I M T Hamilton-Miller and his colleagues from Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, report that extracts of green tea (an aqueous extract of Camellia sinensis) may m ake strains of drug-resistant bacteria more sensitive to penicillin.

In the new study, Hamilton-Miller's group added green tea extracts to different strains of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) bacteria growing on laboratory dishes containing benzylpenicillin. S aureus usually causes skin infections and abscesses.

The researchers found that after treatment with the tea extract, many of these strains showed reversal of penicillin resistance, instead showing increased sensitivity to the antibiotic. The investigators also found that diluted tea extract acted with antibioti", making them more potent against particular strains of S aureus. The researchers believe that the two activities may be due the action of a single compound which is being identified.

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