The Medicinal Chemistry of Tea

Derek S. Wheeler*, William J. Wheeler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


The medicinal effects of tea (Camellia sinensis) have a long, rich history. The first references to tea date back nearly 5,000 years and are justifiably obscure. Tea has been consumed literally for thousands of years, and it is this long safety record of tea consumption that makes these compounds an attractive target for drug discovery. Much attention has been focused on the role of tea flavanoids in the promotion of health in recent years. However, future studies will need to clarify further the mechanisms of action of these and related compounds, as well as their absorption, metabolism, and potential toxicity. We review here some of the currently available information pertaining to the chemistry, synthesis, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of these compounds, which will hopefully serve as a starting point for the continued investigation of these compounds in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-65
Number of pages21
JournalDrug Development Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • EGCG
  • Epigallocatechin gallate
  • Flavanoids
  • Tea polyphenols
  • Theaflavins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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