Phytochemical-rich foods inhibit the growth of pathogenic trichomonads

A U.S. Department of Agriculture research team tested phytochemical-rich food as natural therapeutic agents against Trichomonas infections in humans and animals without harming beneficial gut microbes. They reported that theaflavin extracts from black tea were the most successful at inhibiting trichomonad growth.

Their findings were published in the science journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Plants create bio-active phytochemicals as a side product of their natural processes. Earlier research showed that foods with large amounts of phytochemicals could inhibit pathogenic bacteria in food.
  • Trichomonads are parasites that cause trichomoniasis in humans and animals like cattle and cats. They are growing resistant to conventional drugs like metronidazole, which led researchers to look for alternative natural treatments.
  • Extracts from black tea, green tea, grape, pomegranate, and jujube fruit were tested on three trichomonads: Human T. vaginalis strain G3, bovine Tritrichomonas foetus strain D1, and feline T. foetus strain C1. The most potent extract was tested on two T. vaginalis strains that were resistant to metronidazole. They were also tested on normal bacteria found in the body.
  • The researchers reported that black tea was able to inhibit all trichomonads, especially T. vaginalis. The theaflavin in the tea was deemed responsible for this inhibition. Black tea did not affect the ordinary microbes.
  • Green tea, grape seeds, and pomegranates showed some effect on trichomonads, though not to the same widespread extent as black tea.

The researchers concluded that theaflavin extracts from black tea could serve as an alternative therapy for trichomoniasis in humans and animals.

Find the full text of the study at this link.

You can also read about herbal remedies for parasite-caused diseases at

Journal Reference:

Noritake SM, Liu J, Kanetake S, Levin CE, Tam C, Cheng LW, Land KM, Friedman M. PHYTOCHEMICAL-RICH FOODS INHIBIT THE GROWTH OF PATHOGENIC TRICHOMONADS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1967-x.

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