Monday, November 6,
Chandigarh, India



Tea as a health drink

India’s tea industry fears the erosion of its traditional market as a host of soft drink brands, with catchy advertisements and big budgets, are threatening to wean away tea drinkers. Expert at the India International Tea Millennium Convention in Delhi stressed the need to promote tea as a health drink by publicising the claims of foreign researchers about the medicinal properties of the beverage, particularly as a preventive against cancer and in reducing chances of heart attack.

Extensive research over the last 15 years conducted by various research scientists and national organisations, including research work under the aegis of the FAO, seems to prove that apart from being a stimulant and a refreshing beverage, tea is also a health drink.

The benefit of tea drinking in aspects of both mental and physical health has been claimed by various research organisations. With the advance of modern chemistry, components of tea have been analysed and the health benefits claimed in the past have been attributed to respective elements.

In this respect, caffeine as a stimulant, and tea polyphenols are noted constituents. Plant tannin in general, with its tanning property, has been considered to have adverse effects on digestion or to cause constipation when consumed. However, polyphenolic compounds in tea are unique from other plant polyphenols in that most of them are found only in tea and not found in other plants or herbs. They are present as “catechins” in fresh tea leaves or in green tea and a part of them turn into a reddish coloured “theaflavins” or “thearubigins” in the process of black tea manufacture.

  A variety of experiments were conducted by various research organisations all over the world both invitro and in animals and humans. As a result, tea polyphenols were found to have a variety of physiologically beneficial actions that work to prevent the deterioration of foods, to prevent the infection of pathogenic bacteria, dental caries; to prevent such age-related diseases as hyderlipidemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia or cancer and to promote bowel modulating action.

Gagnesh Sharma

Sharjah shame

After the good performance for the ICC knock-out trophy, it was unbelieveable that the same team put such a dismal performance in Sharjah. It is sad that they could not win even a single game against Sri Lanka. Their performance against Zimbabwe, the weakest team in the world, was also not upto the mark.

By scoring 54 runs in the final, India scored lower than their previous 63 runs made against Australia in 1981. It is not known why Agarkar, despite poor performance in the world cup, is being taken in the team time and again.

Kambli is really a liability for the team although he scores plus 50 after 8-10 one-day international matches. Dravid is not fit for one-day internationals because he is a very slow scorer.

Pritpal Singh

NSC-a neglected child

This refers to the news item, “Subrahmanyam blames PM, approach to security casual”, (Oct 29).

It is indeed a cause for great concern that our political leadership and the bureaucracy have adopted a very casual attitude towards the country’s security.

The National Security Council, which was born in 1998, continues to be a neglected child. Mr Subrahmanyam is our country’s defence expert and since he has expressed his dissatisfaction at the “casual approach” towards the NSC, it should be a matter of great concern for every Indian citizen.

It is obvious that our leadership has not learnt any lesson from the Kargil war.

R.S. Katoch



Poverty of numbers

This is with reference to your editorial “Poverty of numbers” (Nov 1). People who are not bringing adequate and regular income to their household are termed poor. They are not in a position to have a better house, give better education and training and find jobs for their wards and thus poverty continues.

In spite of all the efforts we made till today, most of the children are not in the schools.

The governments of the time give some assistance to the poor people and they think that they have done their duty. They are here not to give charity but to see that the people are helped and developed into a working class.

If people are not properly educated, trained and given employment they shall continue to be poor. First of all we shall have to see that no one in the country is without work. Only employment shall bring income to the family and only regular income shall root out poverty.

Dalip Singh Wasan



The nation is embarrassed and humiliated by the crushing defeat by 245 runs (highest ever margin in one day internationals) in the Sharjah Cup final. Not the defeat, but the margin of defeat and abject surrender, is a cause for worry and matter to ponder.

Let there be a one-year holiday from international cricket so as to prepare a team with talent, dedication and grit. All the deadwood need to be weeded out. Only three players — Zaheer, Robin and Joshi — stood their ground. Tendulkar and Ganguly shone in patches. Yuvraj Singh proved to be one match wonder.

Whenever the rival team sets some big total to chase, our team panics and wilts under pressure. Let the BCCI come out with a comprehensive well thought-out plan of action for the development of the game.

J.K. Mago

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