Camellia sinensis, “Tea plant” in English and “Théier” in French, belongs to the Theaceae botanical family.
This shrub or small tree, long cultivated in China, is also cultivated in Indonesia since the 18th century, and in India and Sri Lanka since the 19th century.
The leaves are used for the production of green tea and black tea. Legally considered as a beverage and not a pharmaceutical product, tea serves as a stimulant because of its caffeine content and can be used as an antidiarrheal because of its tannin content.
The leaves’ main constituents are: methylxanthines among which up to 4% caffeine (theine); polyphenols, especially tannins among them catechins and gallocatechins.