1. Licorice Tea
The natural sweetness and pleasant herbal aroma of licorice tea make it easy to down two or three cups every day. The added cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and lung health benefits make this delicious tea a healthy choice for many.
But overindulging in this delicious tea or even licorice candy is not a good idea for some, because drinking more than 1 cup (240 ml) of licorice tea a day may increase one’s blood pressure and meddle with blood pressure medication. A 54-year-old man from Massachusetts sadly passed away in 2020 after eating too much licorice candy, a case we describe in detail in the article The Most Bizarre Medical Cases of 2020.
If you have cardiovascular issues or other pre-existing conditions, ask a health professional if licorice tea is safe for you.
2. Lemon-Flavored Tea
This one may have caught you by surprise, but it’s true - drinking too much lemon-flavored tea can affect your health. No, we’re not talking about the squeeze of lemon juice you’re adding to your tea, but rather the tea packets labeled to be “lemon-flavored”.
The reason why you should opt for natural lemon juice rather than artificial lemon flavors is that the tea leaves used in these flavored teas are usually of very poor quality. According to Magdalena Jeszka-Skowron, Ph.D., of the Poznan University of Technology in Poland, these tea varieties contain "higher amounts of noxious metal than tea infusions made from whole leaves."
Among these metals is lead, which is extremely toxic. Drinking powdered and liquid iced tea is also not a good idea, as studies show that these often contain too much fluoride and acids, which promote tooth decay and canker sores.
3. Comfrey Tea
Some teas are just ill-advised altogether, and comfrey tea seems to be one of such herbal teas. This may come as a surprise to many since this herbal tea has been used in traditional medicine to treat joint pain and heal wounds for a long time. However, research has found that taking comfrey tea through the mouth can cause liver damage, and can be carcinogenic.
Compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are naturally-present in comfrey leaves and roots were found to damage the liver, cause cancer, and could even be fatal. In consequence, selling comfrey tea was banned by several countries in the European Union and the FDA. Some experts also believe that topical creams and ointments containing comfrey should never be used on open wounds.
4. Black Tea
Those in favor of a cup of strong black tea over the much milder taste of green tea need to know this. Drinking lots of black tea every day can be bad for your health in a few different ways. Firstly, black tea contains a high amount of oxalates, which build up in the body over time and can contribute to kidney and bladder stones, as well as joint pain.
Secondly, drinking glasses and glasses of strong black tea every day can weaken the bones. According to one case study, a 47-year-old woman drank a gallon of tea (with 100 tea bags in each) every day for 20 years. She was hospitalized with severe bone pain and had all of her teeth removed because the excessive fluoride in the tea weakened her bones so much.
Lastly, black tea can be quite high in caffeine, and so drinking it in excess may make you jittery or anxious, especially if you drink both coffee and tea every day.
5. Senna Tea
Have you ever heard of senna tea? Many people haven’t, but you may have actually had some already if you ever tried a tea detox or weight-loss tea. This is because senna leaves are often the main ingredient in these teas due to their laxative effect. The main problem with senna is that the long-term use of it may cause laxative dependence.
Needless to say, this can be quite dangerous, especially for people who already struggle with constipation. According to a recent study that included over 10,000 women, those who used laxatives for weight loss were 6 times more likely to develop an eating disorder. Therefore, it’s essential to stay away from all the “skinny teas” and “teatoxes” that have become increasingly common online.
6. Tea that was steeped for too long
This last part doesn’t refer to a particular type of tea, but rather to the method of preparation. Many people prepare tea in the following way: they place some loose leaf tea or a tea bag into a cup, pour hot water over it, and then let the tea steep as you enjoy your brew.
This method isn’t optimal, unfortunately. For one, this method will render the last few sips of your tea overly bitter, so much so that it could cause nausea or vomiting. So, if you were wondering why drinking tea was making you sick to your stomach, this can be one reason why.
Brewing tea for too long can also be harmful to the body in the long-term. Certain regions of the world where tea is grown, such as China, contain high levels of metals, particularly lead and aluminum, in the soil. The longer brewing times will make more of these metals seep into your cup, which is why doctors recommend brewing tea for 3 minutes or even less.
Shorter brewing times also decrease the amount of fluoride extracted from tea leaves, so this method will also help keep your bones and teeth strong, even if you drink a lot of tea.
Share this information with those who love tea!