Anti-bacterial effect:

Choleve is rich in theaflavins.  A group of researchers from US department of Agriculture conducted a research to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of  theaflavins from tea. The bacteria strain they used is Bacillus cereus (strain RM3190). The results demonstrate that theaflavins showed antimicrobial activities at nanomolar level; they were more active than were medicinal antibiotics, such as tetracycline or vancomycin, at comparable concentrations.


Friedman M, Henika PR, Levin CE, Mandrell RE, Kozukue N: Antimicrobial activities of tea catechins and theaflavins and tea extracts against Bacillus cereus. Journal of Food Protection 2006; 69(2): 354-361

Anti-viral effect:

Theaflavin derivatives and catechin derivatives are the major polyphenols in black tea and green tea, respectively. Several tea polyphenols, especially those with galloyl moiety, can inhibit HIV-1 replication with multiple mechanisms of action. Researchers showed that the theaflavin derivatives had more potent anti-HIV-1 activity than catechin derivatives. These tea polyphenols could inhibit HIV-1 entry into target cells by blocking HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-mediated membrane fusion. The fusion inhibitory activity of the tea polyphenols was correlated with their ability to block the formation of the gp41 six-helix bundle, a fusion-active core conformation. Computer-aided molecular docking analyses indicate that these tea polyphenols, theaflavin-3,3'-digallate (TF3) as an example, may bind to the highly conserved hydrophobic pocket on the surface of the central trimeric coiled coil formed by the N-terminal heptad repeats of gp41. These results indicate that tea, especially black tea, may be used as a source of anti-HIV agents and theaflavin derivatives may be applied as lead compounds for developing HIV-1 entry inhibitors targeting gp41.


Liu S, Lu H, Zhao Q, He Y, Niu J, Debnath AK, Wu S, Jiang S: Theaflavin derivatives in black tea and catechin derivatives in green tea inhibit HIV-1 entry by targeting gp41. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2005; 1723(1-3): 270-281

From the above table, we can see that the antioxidative activity of TF is about 10 times stronger than Catechin.
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