Home > Teach me Tea Cha! > Natural Powers of Tea > ANTI-ALLERGY EFFECT

Main content starts here.


Allergies are categorized into 4 types from I to IV. Type I though III are antibody-related and have immediate effects on antigen. Atopic dermatitis, allergic nasal inflammation, bronchial asthma and hives belong to type I. Type IV is not related to antibody but is caused by lymph that is activated by antigen and is called slow type because it takes several days to show symptoms. Dermatitis and pancreas diseases are the examples. Type I allergies are caused by isolating chemical transmitter such as histamine from obesity cells through idiosyncrasy antibody (IgE) produced by certain foods, pollens, and vermin. For remedies, anti-histamine and medicine to prevent chemical transmitter from being off obesity cells are applied. The main physiological function of tea, catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate, prevents histamine from being off obesity cells. Recently, 2 of partially methyliized epigallocatechin gallate are reported to prove a strong anti-allergy effect. Those active components are reported to be included in Japanese black teas, "Benihomare" and "Benifuuki" and some kinds of oolong teas in Taiwan. Also, methylized epigallocatechin gallate is proven that it is effective on type IV. Those are the results on animal models and more researches are necessary but effects of drinking tea against allergy are much expected.

(Mitsuaki Sano)