Max Novi rose quietly and spake the following:
If pu-erh reminds me of mucking out stables, I'm sure as heck not going to
try something that reminds me of cleaning the litter pan.
But then, I can't stand coffee anyway.
Well, I've treated a few patients with invasive Aspergillus Niger
infections. It's not a fungus you want to make cross... None of these
patients had been drinking Pu-erh though, as far as I know.
Does anyone know what kind of aspergillus one finds in the pu-erh production
process? Can they still be found in the sold pu-erhs? Perhaps I shall give a
sample to my friend in the Microbiology department...
"Lars I. Mehlum" writes:
I'm not an MD, but the World Health Organization doesn't seem to think
A. niger is worrisome:
Could you elaborate on what happened to your patients, please?
Mike Petro has found some documentation in Chinese that seems to say
that both A. niger and A. glaucus are involved. (The Roman alphabet
parenthesis in the Chinese text says "Aspergillus gloucus", but this
looks like a misprint. The way we Westerners mangle Chinese, the
reverse seems only fair.)
Aspergillus infections are almost exclusively a problem found in
immunocompromised patients. As I work in an Intensive Care Unit, some of my
patients are, or become, immunodeficient during their stay.
This is a good place to read more about this disease:
What I am a little concerned about is wether to recommend immunocompromied
people to avoid drinking pu-erh. It could be a concern in China, where
HIV-infections are becoming a problem. But then again, it's boiled before
drinking, and aspergillus is commonly found in the environment anyway.
And dear RFDT'ers: Please don't worry about this, worrying makes you sick.
Enjoy your tea, pu-erh or otherwise.
Oh I just have to dig out that old, moldy pu-erh and get it tested...