Black tea is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. In addition to offering a tasty, natural alterantive to sodas, tea is associated with a variety of health benefits. Black tea is a powerful antioxidant and may help to treat several medical conditions including heart disease, some cancers, dizziness and diabetes. Although generally safe when consumed as a drink in moderate amounts, black tea as a supplement may be dangerous to some individuals.
If you fall into any of the following categories, you should drink black tea only in moderation and you should avoid supplements made from the plant.
Black tea as a drink is safe for pregnant women, but pregnancy is a contraindication for black tea supplements. More than 200 mg of caffeine per day– an amount easily gained from isolated black tea supplements– can incraese the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. Do not drink more than two cups of black tea per day during pregnancy.
Black tea is contraindicated for breastfeeding mothers of young babies. Doses above 2 cups per day can cause the baby to become irritable and to experience frequent bowel movements.
People with Anemia
If you have iron deficiency anemia, you should not drink black tea or take black tea supplements. Compounds in black tea can worsen iron deficiency, leading to increased complications.
People with Anxiety Disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder is a black tea contraindication; the caffeine in tea can worsen this condition and similar psychatric disorders. Limit your consumption of caffeine in all forms if you have an anxiety disorder.
People with Cardiac Arrythmia
Large doses of caffeine can be dangerous to people with cardiac arryhthmia, or irregular heartbeat. Do not drink large amounts of black tea if you have arrhthmia; consult your health care provider to determine if any level of caffeine is acceptable.
People with Glaucoma
Black tea supplements increase pressure in the eye for about an hour and a half. Avoid black tea supplements if you have glaucoma, because it may worsen your condition.
Women with Hormone-Sensitive Conditions
If you have a medical condition that may be affected by estrogen levels, do not drink black tea or take black tea supplements. Black tea may worsen braest cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
Visit the National Institutes of Health for more information about black tea contraindications.