Green Tea and Allergy Reactions
Benefits and Risks

We know that tea contains tannins and caffeine that may cause a number of allergies. On the other hand, a green tea and allergy study suggests that it fights allergic reactions cause by other substances.



If you are hypersensitive to caffeine or tannin, you may want to consider avoid drinking green tea.

But if your allergic reactions are caused by pollen, dust, pet dander and certain chemicals, then drinking green tea may help.

A study conducted by Kyushi University in Japan found that green tea inhibits the production of chemicals involved in allergic reactions.

"Green tea appears to be a promising source for effective anti-allergenic agents," says Hirofumi Tachibana, "If you have allergies, you should consider drinking it."

For years, green tea has been known to be an effective remedy for allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and watery eyes.

EGCG Inhibits Histamine

Previous studies involving rats have shown that green tea antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) fights allergic reactions. Researchers are just beginning to understand how.

EGCG, the most abundant and biologically active of the antioxidants found in tea, is responsible for many health benefits. 

It now appears that EGCG blocks the body's production of chemicals histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), the two main culprits involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions.

Methylated EGCG

Using human basophils, or blood cells that release histamine, the researchers show for the first time that a methylated form of EGCG can block the IgE receptor, which is a key receptor involved in an allergic response.

Methylated EGCG appears to elicit a stronger anti-allergenic response than normal EGCG, making it the strongest anti-allergen compound found in tea.

The green tea and allergy study is published in the October 2002 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

How About Tea Allergies?

Tea beverages contain tannins and caffeine which have been known to cause allergies. The symptoms range from swollen tongue to skin rashes. Drinking tea may also cause upset stomach, but that is probably not due to allergic reactions.

You can find further information about tea and allergies on the following pages:

Green Tea and Skin Rash

Individuals who are allergic or hypersensitive to caffeine or tannin should avoid drinking green. Skin rash has been reported with those who consume caffeine.

Green Tea and Sore Tongue

I bought this wonderful loose leaf tea from our brand new store in our new mall It was great! After drinking three 16 oz. mugs of this tea, my tongue began to feel a little numb. By the next day my tongue felt sore. It stayed sore. I knew I needed to just lay off the tea...

Green Tea Allergy - Hives/Welts, Itching and Burning

My mother started 3 days ago with her whole body covered in hives/welts/itching/burning/swelling. The only thing different is she started drinking hot green tea...

Green Tea Cause Skin Itch and Loss of Bladder Control

It starts as an itch and the skin turns red with little lumps. Also now I find a little loss of control over my bladder sometimes at night. Could this be caused by green tea?

Green Tea and Nasal Congestion

I drink a couple of glasses of green tea every evening. By the time I go to bed my nose is stuffed tight. I began to wonder if the tea was causing it. I stopped the tea and now I don't get the nasal congestion.

Green Tea and Cough

About three years ago I began drinking green tea. Around the same time I developed a sinus condition and an incurable cough.

Recommendations

Although promising against allergies, no one knows how much green tea is needed to have a therapeutic effect or which green tea varieties work best. Researchers are currently looking for additional anti-allergenic compounds in the tea.

If you suffer from allergies, take some precautions.

  • See a doctor for the best treatment options.

  • Avoid substances that can cause the allergy: dust, pollen, certain foods and chemicals

  • Exercise regularly. Eat a balanced diet.

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References

Green tea may fight allergies. Science Daily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020919071413.htm

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