In vitro sun screening activity of Sri Lankan orthodox black tea (Camellia Sinensis linn)

Author : Wanigasekara Daya Ratnasooriya, Jayakody Ralalage Anusha Chandra Jayakody , Sellapulige Rexy Denzil Rosa, Chatura Dayendra Tissa Ratnasooriya

Currently, there is demand for the development of herbal sunscreen formulations to suppress harmful effects of UV rays. In this regard, this study, was conducted to investigate the sun screen potential of Sri Lankan Orthodox black tea (made from buds and top most leaves of Camellia sinensis L plant) using three grades (Dust No:1, Broken Orange Pekoe and Orange Pekoe) using UV spectroscopic technique and Mansur equation. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value was determined using 20% aqueous extracts (Black tea brews). The results revealed that all three tea samples had markedly high absorbance values (1.4 to 4.2) at 290-320 nm range and SPF values above 15 which are considered as the threshold value for good sunscreen. The SPF value of Dust No:1, B.O.P.F and O.P were respectively 36, 23 and 22. This is a novel finding for Sri Lankan black tea. It is concluded that Sri Lankan black tea, especially, Dust No: 1 can function as an efficient sunscreen agent and has great promise to be developed as cheap, safe and effective topical botanical sunscreen acting via multiple mechanisms (considering its other reported bioactivities).

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