How puer tea may fight the coronavirus

You know the beautiful reddish amber color that we often look for in black puer?  It may be more than just beautiful, it may help protect you from coronaviruses.  According to this 2005 Taiwan study, tannic acid and theaflavin in puer tea and traditional (baked) black tea created from enzymatic oxidation of tea leaves inhibited the reproduction of the deadly SARS coronavirus. Theaflavin helps to stop SARS coronavirus replication by inhibiting a key reproductive enzyme called 3CLpro. Theaflavins are antioxidant polyphenols that are reddish in color. However, unlike traditional black tea, puer tea is never baked so the beneficial microbial aging and enzymatic oxidation of the leaves continues for years.  This is why aged puer is darker in color than black tea.

A study about tea theaflavins and the coronavirus in pigs conducted by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine found that: An in vitro study of theaflavins extracted from black tea to neutralize bovine rotavirus and bovine coronavirus infections

“The results of this study support that theaflavin and theaflavin gallate derivatives have inactivation activity (in vitro) against both rotavirus and coronavirus.”

We do not know if puer tea and black tea are effective against COVID-19. But if they protect against SARS, which was a much more lethal coronavirus (10 percent mortality rate vs less than 1% for COVID-19), and if COVID-19 replication is similar to that of the SARS coronavirus, they may. For most people there is little risk in drinking tea, and if this study is correct, it may provide a life-saving benefit. Puer tea is famous for improving digestion, and is used by acupuncturists for treating dysentery. A recent study found that digestive issues and diarrhea may be the first signs of COVID-19.

Digestive Issues ‘could be the first sign of the disease’

Puer tea also may lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and contains anti-inflammatories such as theophylline and GABA which may assist some people with breathing issues. Elderly people with diabetes, heart conditions and high blood pressure are at higher risk from COVID-19. We have heard from acupuncturist who cited an internal memo from a top US Hospital that Japanese doctors treating COVD-19 recommended drinking liquid every 15 minutes to wash any virus into the stomach, preventing it from entering the lungs. Your stomach acid will kill the virus.

SARS puer tea, black tea study abstract

SARS puer tea, black tea full study

For reference:

Potential Broad Spectrum Inhibitors of the Coronavirus 3CLpro: A Virtual Screening and Structure-Based Drug Design Study

“The 3CLpro has proven to be a valuable target in drug discovery efforts and has been validated as an effective drug target in several studies. It has even been termed “the Achilles’ heel of coronaviruses”

Acupuncturist Viola Huang-Beck with Pure Puer Tea discussing Rice Vinegar Puer for lung health and the Coronavirus


For more information about rice vinegar puer, advocated by a highly regarded Chinese doctor for lung health and for fighting COVID infections, see this blog post:

rice vinegar puer

Rice vinegar puer

Below is one black puer tea, and one traditional black tea:

Black Tea Cakes

Traditional Organic Long Teng Cang Jiang Black Tea.

–Larry and Yang Su

UPDATE: New study by North Carolina State University finds green tea very effective in fighting coronavirus Nov 30, 2020:

Chemical compounds in foods can inhibit a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme


New Study Black Tea Kills COVID-19 in Vitro (video)




There has been an amazing amount of research recently regarding theaflavin, EGCG and tannic acid with regard to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. In a study using computer docking models to analyze the affinity of theaflavin and EGCG to bind with the spike of the COVID-19 virus, these two antioxidants found in black and green tea (puer tea and black tea have more theaflavin, green tea more EGCG) performed better in docking scores, attached in more places, with better location, surface area and chemical activity than the hydroxychloroquine used to treat President Trump for COVID. Puer tea contains at least 3 chemicals that researchers are now studying for their effectiveness in preventing and combating COVID: Theaflavin, EGCG, and tannic acid.

Another study found that theaflavin and EGCG also performed better in docking scores than the drugs Remdesivir and Favipiravir

EGCG, theaflavin, hydroxychloroquine molecular docking study Jul 2020

A molecular docking study of EGCG and theaflavin digallate with the druggable targets of SARS-CoV-2 (comparing Remdesivir and Favipiravir) Feb 2021

Black tea bioactives as inhibitors of multiple targets of SARS-CoV-2 (3CLpro, PLpro and RdRp): a virtual screening and molecular dynamic simulation study Mar 2021

Tannic acid suppresses SARS-CoV-2 as a dual inhibitor of the viral main protease and the cellular TMPRSS2 protease Dec 2020

This study, which has yet to be peer reviewed, has found that there are significantly less people per capita with COVID-19 and less mortality per capita from COVID-19 in high green tea drinking countries. COVID -19: could green tea catechins reduce the risks?

4 Responses to How puer tea may fight the coronavirus

  1. larryc says:

    Most real teas, from the camellia sinensis, should be rinsed at least once. This cleans and awakens the tea. It hydrates the leaves and allows them to open up. We recommend rinsing the leaves twice for brewing puer. Rinsing the leaves is very quick and easy. We use about 205F water for black puer, and 185F water for green puer.

  2. Jose says:

    So I need to wash the tea before boiling and drink it, it’s not like the other teas that you just put in water and drink

  3. larryc says:

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for contacting us! Our contact information can be found here:

    If you have questions please email us and we will be happy to help you.


  4. Christine says:

    We will be visiting Santa Rosa in a few weeks. I am writing to see if you have an tea room where we can visit and enjoy your tea or if you only sell your products on the internet. Either way, we are looking forward to trying your tea!

    All the best,

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