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Washing Your Mouth with Green Tea Helps to Prevent Cold

Updated on October 23, 2012
Washing your mouth with green tea allows the cold-fighting catechins to stay in your mouth longer.
Washing your mouth with green tea allows the cold-fighting catechins to stay in your mouth longer.

It is easy to believe that drinking hot tea on a cold winter can help to prevent cold. But a team of researchers from Shizuoka University in Japan found that washing your mouth with green tea is more effective in preventing cold than drinking it.

The researchers had nurses, who had higher risk of catching cold, wash their mouth with green tea 3 times a day for 3 months. The result was: the people who rinsed their mouth with green tea caught cold 87% less than people who didn't wash their mouth with green tea.

Although the result was significant, the researchers concluded that the research wasn't enough since the research was done only to a small number of nurses. Now they are doing a similar research to 600 teenagers. They explained the reason for choosing nurses and teenagers as the subjects is because they have greater risk of catching cold, therefore studying the effectiveness of green tea in preventing cold will be more clear.

The researchers said that the astringent taste caused by the polyphenols called catechins in green tea seems to be fighting off the cold virus. And washing mouth with green tea is more effective in keeping the catechins in the mouth longer than just drinking it.

For additional tips, in order to prevent cold, the researchers recommended the widely known methods of washing hands after returning home from outside, and not to touch the eyes, nose, and mouth after being in contact with someone who has cold. Also, drinking plenty of water and relieving stress through light exercise and stretching also helps to fight cold.

The result of this research was featured on Journal Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and was reported on British news Daily Mail on November 30, 2010.


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    • chayajennie profile image

      chayajennie 5 years ago from Sandiego

      antioxidants, good for heart I heard and believe. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat. Unfortunately, results of catechin-related studies in humans have not been conclusive.

    • hyunchang profile image

      hyunchang 5 years ago

      Thank you for your comment. I started looking into the benefits of green tea to write a hub about one of my favorite beverage, and I find it gets better and better as I learn more about it.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      That is interesting. Another reason to have green tea around. The pharmaceutical companies wouldn't want this to be well known as they make so much money on cold remedies, preventatives, and so on. Let's hear it for green tea. Thanks for sharing .