Comments for Safe To Eat Tea Leaves from Tea Bag?

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Apr 11, 2009
Eating Tea Leaves
by: Anonymous

Consider that tea leaves are only washed and sun dried, before chopping and bagging. That means they are not COOKED until you pour boiling water on them. Bacteria, bird and insect droppings, and other matter may be present. I would advise against eating from the bag.

Apr 12, 2009
Raw vs Cooked Tea
by: Julian

Tea is roasted at high heat during the making process to kill enzymes and halt the oxidisation process.

The process also reduces moisture to minimal and prevents the growing of bacteria.

(However, if tea leaves gain moisture later, which is inevitable for tea bags, it will gradually turn bad later.)

But still, it is not a good idea to eat tea leaves. Tea leaves are uncooked are is not the the main reason.

Jun 21, 2009
by: Anonymous

Disappointing. I don't see how the water solubility of tea leaves makes it inadvisable to eat tea leaves in some way or form. The explanation of the methods of storing tea and such were thorough, but this piece seems to have failed in addressing the question accurately. So did the previous comments.

As for the comment about contamination, if tea leaves were somehow contaminated and unsafe to eat, then it stands to reason that in some obvious ways they would be unsafe to steep in water, strain, and drink.

Jun 22, 2009
Assymetrical Benefits and Risk
by: Julian

It is NOT so much about dealing with the situation accurately, or finding scientific evidence to justify eating tea leaves.

The starting point is for hundreds of years, Chinese tea experts have advised against eating tea leaves, can we find a reason to DO it?

We start with three facts:

- Most of the health benefits of tea leaves are water-soluble: theanine, caffeine and catechins (antioxidants). So you don't gain much by eating tea leaves.

- Most of the health hazards are much less water soluble: heavymetals and pesticides. So you lose much by eating tea leaves.

- The trial-and-tested method of consuming tea leaves are steeping and infusion, not eating.

So if I want to recommend eating tea leaves, I need to see firm scientific proof that it is safe, not the other way round.

Oct 16, 2009
by: dorothy

Well, in looking for information about green tea as to fighting the Flu, I found just what I was looking for. Several web sites had great information and even this site, I found additional info.

But I had to leave comment because I was tickled by the response left by Anonymous to julian; "you are a bitch". (laughing) Grow up Anonymous!!! (laughing)

So, I thank you Julian for your posting. I agreed with it and thought it well stated and so I will take it into consideration as I more properly sip my green tea to ward off the flu.

Oct 19, 2009
I inclined to agree with "anonymous"
by: Anonymous 2

None of this is conclusive PLUS chinese people (and Japanese and Korean) actually eat tea leaves all the time or so I'm told by all my international student friends from east Asian.

One friend went so far as to say that it's a cultural norm to eat tea leaves because it cleans the palelt and keeps your mouth fresher.

Also - there's heavy metals and all kinds of things in pretty much everything we eat. and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Zinc is a necessity and it's absolutely a heavy metal. and putting tea in BOILING water is going to de-lodge contaminants whether they're water soluble or not.

Oct 19, 2009
Drink versus Eating Tea Leaves
by: Julian

I think it just comes back to how comfortable you are eating tea leaves.

The issue is that tea leaves have the tendency to absorp contaminants from the environment.

The older the leaves, the higher the risk.

Risks are the lowest when:

- you are drinking a young tea buds (i.e. the first two leaves at the top of the bush)

- green tea (because they are younger leaves)

- your tea leaves are high quality and taste good

- you drink a small amount of tea each day

There is a big difference on what you actually consume when you are drinking soluble soiids OR eating whole leaves.

If you are not confident of the quality of your leaves, or just want to be safe, or you are drinking a lot a lot of tea, then my advice is to drink it, not eat it.

Nov 15, 2009
Tea leaves are good
by: Trevor S.

A contaminated tea bag will still give you the contaminates when placed in water.

Bacteria will often die in high temperatures , so your probably safe on that part . If there are pesticides which I highly doubt.

You are still consuming that, no matter if you eat it or if its placed in water , most pesticides are water soluble.

Not to mention , a lot of foods in your local grocery mart probably have had pesticides on it at one point , or are still in the food itself.

So don't be scared to eat some tea leaves, after all you are getting all of its benefits when eating it , and your getting less from drinking.

There is so much nutrients and such being absorbed in to the water that it cannot absorb anymore and therefore you'll be loosing out because a lot of the benefits are still in the leaves and not in your cup of tea.

My advice: Eat tea leaves or drink them, whichever you prefer.

Nov 16, 2009
Eat dry leaves for your health
by: Bev

While traveling in Morocco, I got a case of diarrhea. Our guide procured some dry "Moroccan green tea" leaves (I think it is actually a certain variety of Chinese green tea) in the dried form of little pearls. He gave me the tea and instructed me to swallow two or three teaspoonfuls with as little water as possible just to get it to go down.

It worked like a charm - very quickly and completely - my previously recurring, miserable symptoms disappeared. I have used it several times since for severe indigestion and nausea and again had very satisfactory results.

My theory is that the tea leaves expand, and thoroughly absorb everything in their path. From stomach to colon, they cleanse and carry a lot of contaminants right on out of the body. Like a sponge, soaking up and clearing out bacteria, mucous and acid.

After waiting an hour or two for the tea to do its job, then you should hydrate once again by drinking plenty of water.

Feb 02, 2010
Batchy and Annoying
by: Hater

You people should stop being batchy and
annoying and just face the fact.
What a bitch fight. Gosh

Aug 01, 2010
by: Abel

The bottom Paragraph of the page in this link may be true:

Green Tea Medical Benefits

Aug 09, 2010
Eating fresh
by: teaguy

I've grown tea now for several years. I pick the young tender leafs and use them like chewing tobacco and I do eat them as well (fresh). With all these comment on green tea I hope this practice is healthy for me. I guess I'll find out. How about fresh green, is it safe.


Aug 19, 2010
by: Anonymous

Why not just make the tea and add it to your smoothies in place of water? That way, it is brewed, and you still don't have to taste it.

Aug 26, 2010
Tea leaves
by: Anonymous

I do, and in Burma its, tomatoes,cabbage, and its really tasty. But the thing is my parents told me if I eat a lot, it could cause constipation, but don't eat a lot. I have to say I'm rather addicted even though its bitter.i still love it.

Sep 20, 2010
by: Thomas J.

I thought this was a very helpful article and comment section; however, it still leaves me standing in the middle with uneaten white tea leaves in my cup. So, I think it's best to stick with merely sucking on the leaves for a minute and then getting rid of them. I've yet to experience negative effects from doing this. Contrarily, I have been feeling great, and I don't think it's worth the risk to soak up every drop.

Nov 13, 2010
Hater is a troll
by: Anonymous

LOL. enuff said.

Nov 14, 2010
by: TriedtheTrial

Why do you say "trial and tested"?

Do you mean the phrase "tried and tested"? That's what everyone else says....

Nov 15, 2010
Dangers of chewing tea leaves
by: Tina

Effects and dangers of tea leaves.

Nov 15, 2010
Dangers of chewing tea leaves
by: Anonymous

Been chewing and eating tea leaves without mixing them in hot water. I do consume alot of it to an extent at times I don't believe that I finished a whole box of tea bags in 2 days which contains 75 tea bags of tea leaves.

I do tie them up and pour in my mouth and I actually feel great after chewing. I have done this for almost a year now.

What bad effects or dangers could or can this bring??. The only thing I can now notice is that I bleed a lot when am in my periods. It takes almost a week.

Will I ever have kids in future? How about my lungs, kidneys and so forth. Please I need your help on this?

Dec 30, 2010
by: mattlant

Green tea leaves are eaten, a lot, in the east. Matcha is just one example, finely ground green tea leaves. According to wikipedia (hence another ref on the page) the ingestion of matcha can potentially give 137x the benefits of steeped green tea!

I know there is some difference between the two, mainly preperation, but still, I would imagine that is is safe to eat/drink.

I take green tea that i would normally steep in a bag, grind it in a mortar and pestle, and steep that, and usually end up drinking 2/3rd the leaves. I will say this, it sure is tastier, much stronger green tea!

One important quote that is worth reprinting: "The aforementioned health benefits of matcha green tea can largely be attributed to the fact that the whole tea leaf is ingested, as opposed to just the steeped water in the case of 'bagged' green teas"


Jan 24, 2011
Green tea
by: Anonymous

You could boil it like you do normal tea, just use less water. Then add it to a smoothie.

Apr 28, 2011
Eating Tea Leaves
by: Jaeny@

That is indeed a good reason to not consume tea leaves on a daily basis. Taking tea as it is in a cup of hot water and maybe a bit of lemon or honey to taste, not only is good for our health, it also helps us relax.

May 11, 2011
How about smoking it?
by: Amanda

I too hate the taste of tea no matter how much honey or sugar I add. So I had this idea what if I smoked it or baked it like you do with weed. I found many other people who had this idea and some who had actually tried it, but know one could answer this question:

Do you still get the benefits, ie: antioxidants for your immune system, phytochemicals for your bones, and whatever lowers your risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots?

I know tea is really good for you and has tons of benefits, but if I hate it I'm just not going to indure it enough to see any.

Jul 31, 2011
by: Anonymous

After reading the article and all the comments here, I just wanted to add, that I do eat dry Japanese green tea leaves simply because they are delicious.

So delicious, I find it hard to care about the positive or negative effects. It must be the enzymes or glutamic acid that tastes so irresistably good - I took a tiny taste out of curiosity and now I can't stop. I prefer eating the dry leaves to drinking brewed tea. But only expensive tea tastes good - my favourites are sencha mixed with matcha and deep steamed first flush sencha.

Gyokuro is very sweet, but bland and a little fishy. I have been doing it for about 5 months, on a daily basis (really, I CAN'T stop it!) with no ill effect.

I have noticed that I have not had a single episode of flu since I started, even a couple of times, when my entire family (husband and 3 kids) were down and miserable with the flu - I was fine.

Oct 27, 2011
Tea Leaves
by: Cresix

I would boil it, drink the tea infusion while eating ice cream with tea leaves mixed in!

Dec 07, 2011
You really don't know what you're talking about
by: Anonymous

Julian, you basically change your answer with every comment.

First, drinking tea was the only way to get the nutrients and it could be potentially dangerous to eat tea leaves.

Then, after basically being told you were wrong, covered it up by saying it depended on whether you were comfortable eating them.

Feb 18, 2012
Go Organic
by: Barbara Gene

I have been putting green tea in my smoothie for about 6 months now. After reading all the helpful comments I think I will only use organic green tea for my smoothie. I also take green tea capsules 400mg each, but not on the days I use tea in my smoothie.
Thank you everyone
Seattle Wa

Sep 09, 2012
In reply to Answer
by: Super De Duper

I agree with all except the pesticide thing. He said he was eating organic green tea, it should be void of pesticides. I've been doing it and have had no ill effects. It makes it more convenient to just throw into a smoothy too, instead of boiling the water, waiting for it to cool, then putting it into the smoothy. Great pick me up for the morning!
Disclaimer: To each their own, what works for me does not work for everyone :)

Sep 18, 2012
by: alexander

this was very useful info i wonder what the unknown compounds are haha cheers to good health via tea lol

Oct 20, 2013
Best of both worlds
by: Marveen

I have recently started making a cup with a tea bag as usual (I will get some better quality loose tea when I can afford to), letting it steep therefore helping to release any nutrients that depend on being immersed in water and killing off potential bacteria, drinking the tea and leaving the tea bag on the side to coo then opening it and swallowing the contents down with a sip of water/tea/juice a little later.
I am thinking it has to be beneficial, people re-steep tea because not all it's flavour/goodness is released in one brew so it makes sense that there are still benefits to be had from the leaves.

Dec 24, 2013
by: Anonymous

This was very helpful!! thank you very much!!

Jan 30, 2014
more green teas
by: Mary

Nice reading this, I also like this top 10 green tea list:

Aug 20, 2014
What's the difference ?
by: Anonymous

If your steeping the tea or eating the tea your still consuming the same things that the teas are exposed to whether pesticides, bird pooh say it ain't so...

Sep 03, 2014
Matcha Tea Leave Ingestion
by: Larry Bee

My understanding is that one of the benefits of Matcha tea is that one is drinking the entire, finely ground up leaf. Quite a few sources note that drinking one cup of Matcha provides the benefits of about 8-10 cups from green tea bags. Haven't looked into objections of drinking the entire matcha leaf.

When you use the double green tea round bags (regular green tea and finely ground matcha) some dust and bits enter the brew and cup bottom.

My mug strainer allows quite a few small leaf bits to enter the cup, the strainer has fairly large holes in the bottom and I lift dunk the strainer a few times as it brews to increase flow. So my tea has a good amount of dust after the larger pieces sink to the bottom.

Nov 12, 2014
Drinking or Eating, Both are equally safe
by: Anonymous

Boiling tea in water and drinking it will give all the same molecules as eating your tea leaves. This is because when you pour boiling water on tea leaves what happens is bonds break and whole molecules of tea leaf are dissolved in the water. They are so small that you cannot see them and they cause the water to change colour. What you are drinking are super fine molecules of tea dissolved in water. With that said anything on or in the tea leaf is going to enter your body.

I also read some of you worried about pesticides.

What you must note about organics is that most are not pesticide free, you need to do research to find ones like this. What organic means is that no synthetic chemicals were used. Many farms in North America that organic use natural chemicals like arsenic instead of synthetic chemicals which are often just as toxic and since they don't work as well are used more. I don't know how big this practice is outside of NA but know its here from experience.

May 15, 2015
Food for thought.
by: ATice

1. Arguing that something should be done a certain way because it has already been so for "hundreds of years" is poor logic because we are constantly discovering new information about chemistry, medicine, anatomy, etc. You're basically saying "You should continue to always do things the way it was done when man was ignorant."
2. "For the most part there is an 8,000 to 10,000% increase in antioxidants found in whole green tea leaves compared to brewed green tea. The evidence is very convincing. The best way to get the most nutritional benefit from green tea is to eat the whole leaf."
3. "Bacteria cannot grow without water."
4. As for the issue of water solubility, the human body (including the digestive tract) is roughly 97% water.

Jul 04, 2015
i wouldn't loose sleep. no pun intended
by: dave

iv recently started drinking tea again except 1 morning coffee I use pg tips bags a good uk brand but I ad a small amount of earl grey loose using a clever device like 2 small spring loaded strainers about an inch and a half sphere for some reason I drop the used earl grey into a small glass dish then one day I decided to eat it as you can tell im not dead I can't say how much goodness there is in it but there must be some roughage in it I would also imagine it releasing any goodness through a long stretch of gut. if chewed it tastes like sh** so I either chuck it in at the end of chewing something else but sometimes I chop up stale crusts and mix with olive oil diced dates nuts etc I find it's a good way of having olive oil in a more pleasant way for some reason the dried tea leaves don't taste to bad in this concoction it's like an oily breakfast. there is a theory London and tokyo grew so big when other early industrial cities started dying off at 200k apx because of our love of tea

Aug 17, 2015
parsley flakes
by: John A.

Using your argument parsley flakes and other herbs would also need to be boiled before we could safely consume them.

Oct 29, 2015
Powder it first
by: Tony Cook

Powdering your tea in a coffee grinder makes a delicious drink, similar to Matcha, and the insoluble residue left in the glass is also great to eat.
I use organic sencha green tea grown in Australia. I also eat a couple of medjool dats with it, they're a delicious combination. Hope you enjoy it.

Jan 18, 2016
Add to your smoothie.
by: Anonymous

I drink a smoothie every morning. I decided to include green tea in my smoothie about two months ago. Straight out of the bag. I just tear them open and pour into my smoothie maker. Pre-measured, no boiling water, simple. They don't alter the flavor, not that I've noticed. And I see no reason why I wouldn't be getting the same benefits as steeping. IMO.

Feb 11, 2016
Get additional benefits by:
by: Anonymous

Steeping and drinking the tea first, then pull the tea bag out and place it between cheek and gum. Continue to drink water and sucking the rest of the nutrients out. Doing this helped me stop chewing tobacco.

Mar 24, 2016
Matcha green tea powder
by: Spearman

I swallowed matcha green tea powder and caused severe vomiting with nausea. May be I had a higher dose than I should! I will try smaller amount and let you know. At the meantime if any of you has a knowledge of any emetic effect of what I had please advise.

May 03, 2017
Tea Juice
by: Anonymous

I open up a bag of green tea leaves and pour it into a Nutri bullet with other veges like carrots, celery etc.

This is another way of benefiting from the tea that may be more beneficial than just boiling them.

Jun 03, 2017
How About Matcha?
by: Anonymous

Isn't that just very finely ground whole leaf of green tea. It seems to be a regularly consumed tea that is much in demand. Nothing strained out of that.

Nov 01, 2017
The Burmese Have Been Eating Tea For a Thousand Years
by: High Concept

The highest quality tea in Burma is reserved for the table. Tea leaf salad, with cabbage, fermented tea leaves, tomatoes, nuts and seeds, is as close to a national dish as they have, and everyone eats it. Visit any Burmese restaurant in the USA and it will be a featured item on the menu, made with culinary tea imported in 330 gram to 1lb sealed packages direct from Myanmar, where it is sold by many manufacturers. Finally, see and read the excellent cookbook "Culinary Tea", by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern, which has over 150 recipes for *eating* tea. If you want to try the *fabulous* salad, you can order a kit with the dressing and the nuts from

Culinary tea is very high in oxalic acid which is contraindicated in some people, but it also has positive health benefits for others.

Speculation is no substitute for facts.

Aug 24, 2018
Drink tea when 5 and eat them starting 2003
by: Anonymous

I follow my grandparent drinking tea as young as I can remember, before starting nursery.

I like it so much and start eating if in 2003 and never stop. I eat about 20 to 30 gram of it every day.

I have been healthy, no 3 high.

Just do it the way you like. Cheers.

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