Score another point for tea (Camellia sinensis). In addition to the plant’s potent antioxidant properties, a new study shows that an ordinary cup of tea may be a powerful infection fighter. In a study published in the April 28, 2003, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers discovered that drinking five cups of tea per day boosts fivefold the body’s defense against disease.
L-theanine, the helpful substance found in tea that was isolated and tested by the researchers, is found in ordinary black tea as well as in green tea and oolong tea. The study used Lipton tea, but choose any variety you enjoy — and drink up!
Amy Mayfield, senior editor of The Herb Companion, lives in beautiful, green Corvallis, Oregon, with her husband and two young children.