The efficacy of early treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis with benifuuki green tea containing O-methylated catechin before pollen exposure: an open randomized study

Allergol Int. 2009 Sep;58(3):437-44. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.08-OA-0066. Epub 2009 Jun 25.


Background: We previously reported that 'benifuuki' green tea containing O-methylated catechin significantly relieved the symptoms of perennial or seasonal rhinitis compared with a placebo green tea that did not contain O-methylated catechin in randomized double-blind clinical trials. In this study we assessed the effects of 'benifuuki' green tea on clinical symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Methods: An open-label, single-dose, randomized, parallel-group study was performed on 38 subjects with Japanese cedar pollinosis. The subjects were randomly assigned to long-term (December 27, 2006-April 8, 2007, 1.5 months before pollen exposure) or short-term (February 15, 2007: after cedar pollen dispersal--April 8, 2007) drinking of a 'benifuuki' tea drink containing 34 mg O-methylated catechin per day. Each subject recorded their daily symptom scores in a diary. The primary efficacy variable was the mean weekly nasal symptom medication score during the study period.

Results: The nasal symptom medication score in the long-term intake group was significantly lower than that of the short-term intake group at the peak of pollen dispersal. The symptom scores for throat pain, nose-blowing, tears, and hindrance to activities of daily living were significantly better in the long-term group than the short-term group. In particular, the differences in the symptom scores for throat pain and nose-blowing between the 2 groups were marked.

Conclusions: We conclude that drinking 'benifuuki' tea for 1.5 months prior to the cedar pollen season is effective in reducing symptom scores for Japanese cedar pollinosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / analysis
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Camellia / chemistry*
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / analysis
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Cryptomeria / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Pollen / adverse effects
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / etiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / prevention & control
  • Tea*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Allergens
  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • epigallocatechin-3-(3''-O-methyl)gallate
  • Catechin