Dried tea leaves in a white bowl on a baby blue surface

Why You Should Probably Not Eat Tea Leaves


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Tea is a beverage that’s rich in antioxidants, it’s good for your heart, and it helps you focus. It’s also delicious, So it makes sense that some people might want to eat their tea leaves instead of just throwing them away. But if you’re feeling adventurous, there are a few reasons why you might not want to eat tea leaves. Here’s what can happen when you ingest them:

Tea Leaf Eating Can Be Addictive

Tea leaves contain caffeine; when you consume tea leaves, your body absorbs the caffeine and releases it into your bloodstream. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes mood and energy boosts, as well as increased alertness and blood pressure. Suppose you drink caffeinated beverages regularly for an extended period. In that case, you’re likely to develop a tolerance to the drink and need more of it in order to get the same effects. If this happens with tea leaf eating—and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t—you may find yourself needing more tea leaves just to feel normal again after not having one for a while.

Tea Leaf Chewing Can Lead To Tooth Decay

It’s not just the sugar that’s bad for you here. Tea leaves are very hard and abrasive, especially if they’re dry. They will get stuck in your teeth, which is uncomfortable and can cause tooth decay. And tea leaves can cause bad breath because they’re full of bacteria that can get trapped between your teeth and gums.

Eating Tea Leaves Could Make You Sick

Tea leaves, which are used to make black tea and some green teas, are raw materials that can be contaminated with bacteria. If you eat the leaves without brewing them into a cup of tea first, you run the risk of getting sick.

It is good to note that the caffeine in the steeped water provides a jolt for your body’s nervous system, but if it gets into your bloodstream too quickly (such as through chewing it instead of drinking), then it can make you sick.

You May Have Too Much Fluoride in Your Diet

Fluoride is a mineral that is good for your teeth, but too much of it can be toxic. Tea leaves contain small amounts of fluoride that would not be dangerous unless you ate them in large quantities. Best to stick to drinking your tea instead.

Tea Leaves Contain Tannins

The tannins in tea leaves can cause headaches and nausea; this is why many people have trouble drinking their hot tea at work or school. It’s also why so many people get headaches when they drink a lot of black licorice (also called anise). These things are related. Tannin is a toxin. If you eat enough of it, your stomach will hurt, and you’ll probably have diarrhea.

The Tea Leaves Might Not Taste Great

Tea leaves may taste bitter or sour. Sometimes the tea leaves will have an unpleasant texture in your mouth, or other times, your tongue will tingle for hours after you eat them.

Bottom Line

Tea has many health benefits, all of which can be gotten through drinking brewed tea, rather than the alternative of chewing the leaves. We hope that we’ve helped you understand why eating tea leaves is probably not a good idea. The best thing for your body and mind is to drink tea instead of eating it.

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