Green Tea and Your Tummy

Green tea, as healthy as it is claimed to be, can engage in some very unfriendly activity with your tummy. While I am not one who drinks tea for health reasons and indeed tend to ignore or pooh-pooh some of the health claims that abound, I can give you plenty of personal anecdotal evidence that there is definitely a problem here.

Steamed Darjeeling is soothing to my tummy. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
Steamed Darjeeling is soothing to my tummy. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

First, let me point out that there are legions of green teas out there. They are all processed without allowing oxidation of the leaves. Some examples:

  • Steamed Darjeeling — For a rundown on this tea, see my article “The Good and Bad of Steamed Darjeeling Green Tea
  • ChunMee (“precious eyebrows”) — A golden green liquid with a sweet, mellow, and musty flavor that can be extremely bitter if steeped too long or with too hot water. Pairs well with camembert and gorgonzola cheeses. (More info)
  • Green Ceylon — Made from the tea plants growing on Sri Lanka. The tea crop replaced the coffee crop when it succumbed to leaf rust. The green version of Ceylon tea is just as full-bodied as their black version.

The big culprit in green tea seems to be caffeine. Green tea contains about 9 to 50 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Too much caffeine has been shown to increase the release of gastric acid, causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, not to mention the jitters. Also at issue are the higher amounts of polyphenols than in other types of teas. One of these is tannin, which are astringent tasting and even quite bitter.

If you, too, tend to have tummy trouble when drinking too much green tea, you have a couple of options. Brew the tea half-strength. Reduce how much you drink. Consider trying a yellow tea.

While more rare and a bit pricier, yellow tea is a slightly processed green tea that tends to be less grassy tasting than many green teas. This is achieved by harvesting early in the year and letting the teas oxidize slowly, imparting to the liquid a sweet, mellow flavor and a bright yellow color. The leaves will usually be small and unbroken, and the liquid is high in antioxidants, low in caffeine.

Yellow tea belongs to fermented tea. As a great deal of Digestive enzyme occurred during its smothering process, a slow oxidation process, yellow tea is much beneficial for the spleen and stomach. It is good at correcting indigestion, stimulating appetite and helping losing weight.

Worth a try!

Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for your particular needs.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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