Green Tea and Cough

by Maralyn Schoch
(Sussex England)

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


It is only now, after all kinds of useless treatment I am wondering if I am allergic to green tea and that this is the cause of the the cough.

Please let me know if you have any other people in the same difficulty.

Answer:

Maralyn, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, green tea is considered cooling and damp. My experience with green tea is that drinking green tea stimulates mucous and phlegm production, which makes you want to cough.

On the other hand, drinking high quality green tea can improve immunity. This can be helpful when you are at the onset of catching a flu.

I think it is the case of always drinking high quality green tea, and using it when you are relatively healthy. If you are coughing badly, drinking green tea is never going to help, it will make things worse.

There is also a separate thread on green tea and nasal congestion:

Green Tea and Nasal Congestion

I hope this helps.

Julian

Comments for Green Tea and Cough

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Sep 23, 2009
super HOT tea = allergic throat...
by: adamya

Your allergy is not due to green tea but due to very hot tea which your are consuming. Just allow the tea to cool down a bit(may be 4 mins).

And throw away your old belief that green tea has caused your allergy, then your allergy will disappear like a drop of water in an ocean.

"Always inquire as deep as you can."

In Iran half of the people's throat are damaged due to this. Spread the message.

Jan 20, 2011
To threadstarter
by: Max

To threadstarter: No, you are not allergy to Green tea.

The reason why you keep coughing is because you were drinking green tea far too often and Green tea is consider as "Cooling" in Chinese medicine, and foods, fruits and drinks that are too "cooling" can make one cough - especially those who take it on a daily basis.

And by saying "cooling", it doesn't mean that the foods, fruits and drinks are cold.

Anyway, try drinking English breakfast everyday and I can assure you that you will experience coughing as well.

Jan 06, 2013
Cough from green tea
by: Anonymous

Both green tea and black tea make me cough uncontrollably. I am a teacher and when it is cold, I like to drink something hot. If I drink any kind of tea, I cough so much I can't teach! I don't drink it very hot and this does not happen with coffee.

Feb 20, 2013
1+1 =2?
by: Patrick

Well now this is interesting. I have been drinking more and more tea(Darjeeling and Green) 3 to 4 cups a day since November approx and never thought to link it to the cough I have been having since just about the same time it seems. I can feel the irritation in my throat, and as I breath then it tickles the irritation and there goes the cough. sound like what you guys are experiencing?

Mar 16, 2013
Black Tea makes me cough too
by: Danielle

I think I'm allergic to something in black tea because anytime I take it I start having cough...even if it has been a long while I took it last....but wit coffee it doesn't happen that way.

Aug 02, 2013
coughing
by: Anonymous

I am coughing quite a lot and was wondering if I should o to the dr. Now since Iv read your comments I may wait it out. But nothing seem to help. How did you all stop the coughng

Aug 06, 2013
Coughing for years ...drinking green tea for 20 years
by: TA

I am glad I came across this and other web postings. I just finished drinking been tea and as always start coughing with the first sip. I have coughed this way for years (at least 5) and sought specialists who diagnosed me with acid reflux. I have been on lansoprazole for 3 years and the cough did not go away. I also get the coughs when I drink alcohol, which is why I believed the acid reflux theory. I will abstain for a few weeks and report back.

Jul 21, 2014
Iced tea
by: Anonymous

Iced tea makes me cough.

Sep 06, 2014
Green tea hates me!
by: Lisa marie

I'm so allergic to green tea, if I drink it I itch so bad, if I inhale it I end up with a really bad tight chest and cough and I have recently discovered it is in my foundation!!! This is why my skin has been breaking out in hives. Watch out green tea is in so many things these days!

Apr 03, 2015
Cough*Sputter*Hack
by: KateDeWolff

I have recently started drinking green tea on a regular basis (about a month and a half now) and have developed a persistent cough. I don't smoke. Green tea is the only change in my routine. I love it!! Even tho I do, I fear it does not love me.

I do not drink it particularly hot nor every day. On the days I do, I develop what sounds like a smoker's hacking cough. Thank God for this post (and others regarding same) as I was beginning to get panicky.

I am going to give it up for two weeks and see what happens. If green tea turns out to be the source of my cough, I am really going to miss it. (The tea, not the cough!) If not, I guess I will be seeing a doctor because this is a dreadful cough and I've had it going on seven weeks now. Six weeks to my first box of green tea …

Sep 28, 2015
TCM
by: Anonymous

TCM regards green tea as cooling to the digestive system the chinese only drink it in hot summer weather, in england our weather is usually cold and damp, coffee is classed as hot in tcm which keeps your system warm yang energy, for this reason why your cough goes away with drinking coffee, all foods and drinks are classified by temperature and the effects on the body .

Jan 04, 2016
Tea and cough
by: Anonymous

I too have cough and sinus problems and as I drink hot tea because of cold weather I think it is because of hot tea . I am going to stop and see if I get rid of the cough after reading this.

Jan 16, 2016
Coughing after green, black tea and coffee
by: Anonymous

I had a sore throat in October 2015, from then whenever I drink Green tea, normal tea with milk sugar and sweetener I cough to the point of nearly vomiting.

I've tried no milk in the black tea, tried lemon, same results.Had to stop Green tea, I take Warfarin. I keep on drinking my tea and coffee.I began to think I had cancer, acid reflux, tonsillitis, you name it I thought I had it.

I changed my tea brand, my milk brand,hot,tepid or cold, no difference. Cheap or expensive tea, same thing.I'll see how it goes.

Good luck.

Jun 11, 2016
Cough from Green Tea
by: Anonymous

I have been drinking fresh brewed iced green tea 4 to 5 cups everyday for about three years now and have been coughing for about 6 months. Dr's diagnosed me with GERD and prescribed Pantoprazole but it did not help. I never thought this could be related to Green Tea. After I stopped the green tea the cough did improve some but never really went away permanently. I tried drinking green tea again just to see what would happen and sure enough the cough became much worse. Even coffee and food sometimes make me cough now too. Chest xray was negative and Allergist cleared me of having any allergies so I don't know what to think. I will be seeing a Pulmonologist next week to see what he thinks about this chronic cough.

Jun 28, 2016
green tea and coughing
by: woodsie

I have had persistent cough for many years and my children even recognized me from afar because of the familiar cough.The cough didn't worry me so I didn't worry about it. Over the past number of years I have been drinking green tea thinking that it was very good for me but lately I have noticed that as soon as I start to drink it immediately my coughing really increases. Finally I might be on to something so I will try drinking coffee for a while and see what happens. Incidentally I have been drinking at least 10 cups of tea each and every day. I am interested in any other opinions on this.

Aug 06, 2016
Green tea allergy
by: Anonymous

I have read many comments here in this forum about being allergic to green tea. I too had a horrible cough. For years and many test later no doctor was able to diagnose where the cough was from. Until I went to the mayo clinic. It isn't the tea that is making the cough its the tea bag. Some tea bags have pvc and latex in them that can cause allergies and make a person cough. I quit tea altogether but try using a metal strainer instead of packaged tea. Some cheap teas can cause allergic reactions.

Jan 20, 2018
Greet tea extract and cough
by: Anonymous

I started an Omega 3 supplement with green tea extract in it. A month later I developed a cough. I only coughed when I talked. This went on for 6 weeks and then I seen an article in Consumer Reports about how dangerous green tea extract is and that it is one of their top 15 supplements to avoid. I quit taking the supplement and 3 weeks later my cough started getting better. After another week it was almost gone. A few days later and it was gone. I didn't do anything else differently and that was the only supplement I had started. Word to the wise-avoid supplements!

Feb 10, 2018
Green tea and coughing
by: Amber

Well, I'm sure glad there's other people who have experienced this and I don't feel completely crazy for thinking that tea could actually cause a cough! I've been drinking green tea and brown rice tea for years and have noticed that I cough after drinking them. It's worse with the green tea though. I will quit drinking tea altogether and see what happens. I like roobios too and am curious if that makes me cough too. I'll follow up with y'all soon.

Feb 21, 2018
I found I was allergic
by: Anonymous

I developed a horrific cough and was drinking all kinds of max strength Over the counter cough medicines and cough drops. The ONLY thing I changed was drinking green tea. It took forever for me to even think about a cough as a possible allergic reaction. I popped an allergy pill and stopped the green tea. Cough disappeared.

Nov 08, 2018
Yes tea can cause cough to some. NEW
by: Ajay

Yes I am 100 % sure tea of any kind , hot or cold makes me cough , I didn't realize this for two years. Im glad that I have come across this site and came to know that there are many like me , who are allergic to tea. I have consulted many doctors ,they were giving me anti allergic medicine.
Now that I have stopped drinking tea , I dont need any medicine.
Generally people believe that tea cures cough, that's simply a myth. It infact can give you a persitent cough.
Coffee doesnt give me any cough.

Nov 13, 2018
Having Cough For Over 2 Years! NEW
by: Anonymous

hi guys, awesome site,

I have been having a persistent cough that usually starts in the evening or when the sun sets,

I'm a heavy "tea" drinker, around 10g / day (now reduced to 5g), what I notice is if I were to go without tea for 2 weeks (usually on business trip) my cough naturally goes away....

and after some meddling around, I found that tea was my major cause, and "acid reflux" was the main culprit....

I had to give up tea for awhile and had to sparringly drink tea once / week...

imagine the horror when I found out the root cause, as much as I would like to deny it, that was that,

and If I had to use some drug to fuel my tea addiction, I don't think that's the point of drinking tea anyway,

so moderation is the key, don't get me wrong I drink ALL kinds of tea! from the very expensive to the normal kinds, Puerh Aged (naturally) or Young puerh, Wuyi Teas (da hong pao etc) anything goes, I even have a room dedicated to my teas,

unfortunately for me now, everything must be done in moderation, for my cheat days, I can't even go for 10g (fast infusion).... It's 5g moderate infusion....

hope my experience helps,

Moderation is the Key!

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