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The first prescription botanical drug for half a century has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Veregen, a special extract made from green tea, has been approved for the treatment of genital  warts caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). In two prospective, randomised, double-blind clinical studies of nearly 400 adults with external genital and anal warts, the median time to clear warts completely was 16 weeks and 10 weeks, respectively. Meanwhile a study has shown that tea extracts from both green and black tea can help minimise the damage to skin caused by radiotherapy treatment for head, neck or pelvic cancers, with green tea having the better effect on pelvic cancers. (The effects of tea extracts on proinflammatory signaling. BMC Medicine, published online Nov. 30, 2006).