Feature Stories - June 22, 2021

Green tea as Covid remedy has no scientific basis: Experts

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some social media users call sipping green tea an effective treatment for Covid-19, but medical experts insist there is no scientific basis for the claim.

Claim: A Facebook page — Salamati TV — recently carried an article titled “Drink green tea to avoid contracting the coronavirus”.

It said: “Research shows green tea compounds have the capability of preventing the virus.”

The article reads: “According to a Medica (magazine) report, green tea catechins have the ability to prevent the coronavirus.”

Recent research shows the most active and main ingredient in green tea is opioid (EGCG), which is antioxidant and kills radicals. One of the key findings is that EGCG controls the life cycle of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page — Zindagi Zebast — shared an article titled “Mubarak Ast”. It reads: “Some time ago, a friend told me he has tested positive for the virus and that he is caught in financial problems.

“My friend feared he may die if he doesn’t consume anti-Covid items. I asked him if he has green tea at home. He said yes. I told him to drink green tea — at least eight liters — a day…. he said the disease that shook the world, you wanted tea to treat it?”

“After three days, my friend contacted me again, saying his condition has improved. Thank Allah. The more he sipped tea, the more regularly he went to the bathroom.”

“I feel better, having left my fears behind and don’t lie in bed. By the grace of Allah, I have recovered and want to assure you,” the article added.

Last year, during the first wave of the virus in the country, there was a lot of talk about the benefits of green tea for Covid-19 patients.

Marina, a resident of the Chahar Qala area of Kabul, said: “It was late at night when my sister telephoned me from Chahar Asiab district. She told me each one of us should drink a cup of black tea, because a newborn baby in Chahar Dehi area said black tea is cure for the virus.”

Marina added she and her family acted on the suggestion and drank tea. Three days later, her husband contracted Covid-19 and his condition deteriorated.

Niamatullah, a Facebook user, wrote in a post: “Congratulations, green tea is sufficient to treat the coronavirus.”

He wrote at the end of the post: “Last year’s child alive once again and suggested those who had drank black tea last year must drink green tea now so that can be protected from the virus.”

Fact-checking: Hakimullah Saleh, former director of the Afghan-Japan Hospital, told Pajhwok the publication of such items by Facebook users was nothing more than a rumor and had no scientific basis.

He said tea was a liquid whose use was good, but no scientific study had been conducted on the effectiveness of green tea in treating this disease.

He called the third wave of the coronavirus the most dangerous phase, asking citizens to follow health guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Ministry of Public Health: There is no scientific basis for the assertion that drinking green or black tea is a remedy for the coronavirus.

Dr. Mirwais Alizai, deputy spokesman for MoPH, told Pajhwok no cure had been found yet for the coronavirus.

He explained the drinking of the black or green tea for the treatment of the disease had neither been suggested by any health institution nor proven scientifically. The official rejected such claims as mere rumors.

Alizai urged the people to use the medical products prescribed by the World Health Organisation for the treatment of the pandemic.

He advised adherence to health guidelines such as social distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing and sanitising crowded places.

Outcome: some social media users and citizens are discussing the effectiveness of green tea as cure for Covid-19, but health officials reject it.

Verdict: The effectiveness of green tea in treating Covid-19 is an unverified claim.

sa/mud


“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”

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