Is Herbal Tea a Diuretic
Herbal teas are made from natural ingredients such as plants, flowers and herbs. Some herbal teas contain caffeine, which is a stimulant and a diuretic. Caffeine is found naturally in many tea leaves, although the body does not require it to survive. Caffeine in herba tea is considered a diuretic as it passes quickly through the body. It does not get stored in the blood stream. These natural diuretics increase urination, aid in weight loss and help with toxic cleansing. To determine which herbal teas are not diuretic, look for caffeine-free teas.
Some have a medical reason for requiring a diuretic such as high blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are put on diuretic medication to reduce their blood pressure levels. Herbal diuretics may interfere with diuretic medication and should always be discussed with a physician prior to use as the side effects may lower blood pressure too much. For those without medical conditions, caffeine, used as a diuretic may stimulate metabolism and weight loss. The initial weight loss may be in the form of water lost through urination, so long-lasting weight loss goals should be confronted with healthy nutrition and an exercise program.
Is Green Tea a Diuretic?
Green tea, Camellia sinesis, contains caffeine and is considered a diuretic. It is a popular Chinese tea, which has long been used for its diuretic purposes to rid the body of excess fluid. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea is made from unfermented leaves which gives it a high content of polyphenols, an antioxidant, and a lower level of caffeine. The caffeine content of tea rises the longer the leaves have been fermented. For example, black tea has lower polyphenols and approximately two to three times the amount of caffeine than green tea. The caffeine in green tea is considered an alkaloid which contributes to its stimulatory effects.
Is Iced Tea a Diuretic?
Iced tea is also a diuretic since it contains caffeine. The amount of caffeine may be reduced, however, if the tea is diluted with ice cubes. It is always best to make your own iced tea recipes by brewing tea bags for approximately five minutes and then cooling the tea with ice. Pre-made iced teas contain other additives such as sugar which increase the calories in the drink.
How to Purchase Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are available in many over the counter forms. You have the option of brewing teas from the leaves, from tea bags or from loose tea. Green tea is also available in capsules that contain the crushed leaves, or in liquid extracts.
- Look for herbal teas that fit in with your needs. For instance, if you desire organic ingredients, search for teas that are organic or made without GMO’s.
- Always purchase teas that list tea as the main ingredient as opposed to fruits, sugars or other additives.
- Crushed leaves in tea bags provide more antioxidant properties, so if given the choice, consider tea bags instead of tea leaves.
As with most foods and beverages, drink herbal teas in moderation, or approximately two to three cups a day. If you ingest too much caffeine, you may put yourself at risk for dehydration, or dependence symptoms such as dizziness, nervousness, heart palpitations and irritability. Use caution if you also drink caffeinated coffee.
Herbal teas with caffeine may also interfere with medications, so speak with your doctor about possible drug interactions such as the birth control pill which can increase the amount of time caffeine remains in the body.