Catechins in tea leaf have bactericidal and inhibitory effects on human pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. fluvialis, B. cereus, C. perfringens, and Clostridium botulinum. Tea leaf can also improve the intestinal microflora by promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms; also, it has bactericidal and inhibitory effects on some harmful intestinal microorganisms. Green tea is extensively used in the clinical treatment of intestinal dysentery in the former USSR. After consumption of green tea for 2-3 days, the dysentery bacteria are inhibited, and patients may recover completely in 5-10 days.
Besides its effects on human pathogens, tea leaf has also a strong inhibitory effect on many of the pathogenic fungi on human skin. On culture agar, 1.25% tea extract can completely inhibit the growth of ringworm and other skin diseases.
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