Camellia thea Link, Thea sinenis L.
Family: Theaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Cha, Chapata.

English Name: Tea, Plant

Description of the Plant:
A large evergreen shrub or small tree. Leaves up to 10 cm long elliptic, serrate, coriaceous. Flowers 3.75 cm diam., white, solitary, peduncles with a few distinct bracts, sometimes a second flower in the axil of one of them. Capsules depressed globose, 3-cornered, 3-seeded.

Using Information:
Leaves are good appetizer, stomachic, diaphoretic, diuretic, detergent and resolvent; useful in thirst, hemicrania, pain in the heart, piles, and inflammations. Young leaves and the alkaloid caffeine contained in it are astringent, stimulant and diuretic. Caffeine is extensively used in modern practice and is of great value in migraine, hemicrania, neuralgia and other nervous affections. Tannin contained in the leaves is astringent. Tea catechol improves functioning of capillaries and very small blood vessels. It is also used against poliomyelitis, rheumatism and infection of respiratory organs and radiation diseases.

Camellia Chinensis

Leaves extract in water and alcohol is inhibitory against Staphylococcus aureus (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:
Leaves, particularly the young leaves, are very rich in the alkaloid, caffeine. They also contain other alkaloids like theophylline, theobromine, xanthine, hypoxanthine and nicotine. Other chemical constituents of leaf include polyphenols, tannins and fats. The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids (e.g., catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate and proanthocyanidins).

The usual concentration of total polyphenols in dried green tea leaves is around 8 to 12%. Tea leaves also contain vitamin P, riboflavin, pantothenic, ascorbic, malic, shikimic and oxalic acids, saponins, kaempferol, sterols, coumarins, adenine, gum, dextrins, inositol, essential oil, shikimic acid, fluorine and some other minerals (Ghani, 2003). Seeds contain triterpene alcohols, saponins and haemagglutinin. Black tea contains N-p-coumarylglutamic acid and vitamin E (Asolkar et al.,1992).

Sylhet, Moulvi Bazar, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Panchagar and Dinajpur.