Here’s everything you need to know to determine whether you’re allergic to green tea. Tea (green, black, and oolong) is considered one of the most popular beverages in the world. Green tea is ranked among the top three, thanks to its high antioxidant content.Although it is generally well-tolerated, it may cause an allergic reaction
Tea (green, black, and oolong) is considered one of the most popular beverages in the world. Green tea is ranked among the top three, thanks to its high antioxidant content.
Although it is generally well-tolerated, it may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
This article will explain the symptoms of a green tea allergy, how it is diagnosed and treated, and healthy alternatives.
Some of the health benefits of green tea include:
Ongoing research reviews green tea extract to prevent symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and lower cholesterol.
Allergic reactions can cause symptoms in the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. It can also cause symptoms on the skin and the stomach lining.
Potential symptoms of an allergic reaction to green tea include:
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Symptoms such as vomiting, swelling of the tongue or throat, and difficulty breathing occur suddenly and can quickly progress. For this reason, it requires immediate emergency attention.
There is little information about green tea allergies. Research suggests an allergy may be triggered by a tannin (natural compound) found in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Green tea also contains caffeine, which may trigger a reaction in someone with non-allergic caffeine intolerance or a caffeine allergy.
However, a small study suggests it may also be triggered by dust from tea leaves. Researchers looked at Japanese green tea factory workers who developed difficulty breathing, a cough, and a loss of consciousness after ingestion of green tea, oolong tea, or black tea. They also experienced symptoms after eating cakes or noodles containing green tea powder.
The study found less than half of the participants developed a food allergy due to inhalation of green tea dust on the job. Many participants showing allergic reactions to green tea had consumed green tea in the past without difficulty.
For most adults, green tea is safe when consumed in moderation. However, the following people should check with their healthcare provider before drinking green tea:
Unlike a green tea allergy, an intolerance occurs in the digestive system. An intolerance may occur for several reasons, including:
If you suspect a green tea allergy, it's important to visit your healthcare provider or an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
To make the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will:
Most of the diagnoses are confirmed by oral food challenges; however, more research is needed to develop a blood test for diagnosing green tea allergy.
The symptoms of green tea sensitivity or intolerance are different from those of a tea allergy. If you have an intolerance to green tea, you may experience:
For mild symptoms, your healthcare provider may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines, which can help reduce symptoms such as swelling, itching, and hives.
The best way to treat a green tea allergy is not to drink it. You may also need to avoid consuming other foods or beverages from the Camellia Sinensis, such as:
For a severe allergy that causes anaphylaxis, you will need epinephrine (EpiPen) treatment, which must be with you at all times.
If you're allergic to green tea, consider these alternatives, which have similar benefits:
Green tea is one of the world's healthiest beverages. Although a green tea allergy is rare, it can still happen. Most green tea allergies are related to its compounds (tannins and caffeine). However, newer studies suggest a protein in green tea may also trigger an allergic reaction. Treatment often includes removing green tea from your diet.
Although uncommon, being diagnosed with a green tea allergy can be frustrating, especially if you enjoy it. The good news is that plenty of alternatives can provide similar benefits. However, if you believe you may have a green tea allergy or intolerance, you must speak with your healthcare provider or allergist.
Before allergy testing, green tea and other supplements should be avoided for five to seven days.
No, for people without a known allergy or intolerance, drinking green tea every day can benefit a person's overall health.
The tannins in green tea can contribute to a dry mouth and throat, leading to a sore throat.