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Green Tea = Dry Throat?

Hello Everyone,

I have been a religious green tea drinker now for about a year. For the most part, I find that this has kept me in fairly good shape. (I have managed to avoid the cold/flu for the past year. *knocks on wood*) On the other hand, however, I've come to find out that drinking an excess of certain brands (e.g. Harney & Sons) of green tea will leave me with a dry, irritated throat. I know this is not a cold symptom, because it has happened several times and goes away within the same day.

I am just curious as to why this is the case. Is the green tea itself causing the temporary irritation? The caffeine, maybe? I am just wondering if anyone out there has had the same experience and <i>possibly</i> knows of a way to make it stop (aside from not drinking the tea).

I really like my green tea, but this sort of discourages me from drinking it as much. Thanks for any advice/input!

Edit: Is it possible that this is some sort of allergic reaction? I know that I am intensely allergic to ragweed and many other plants. I've just never heard of being allergic to a tea.
That is odd that the tea is irritating your throat like that. I would say just avoid the teas that cause the irritation. But is it possible that you are drinking the tea too hot? Green, black, and white teas can all be made from the same tea leaves but just by processing the leaves differently, so it probably wouldn't be a "green tea" thing persay.
No, I don't think the tea was too hot. It was just that kind that has adverse effects. I've been drinking Salada green tea for the last several months with no problems, but when I get a certain brand of green tea, this seems to happen. I've now been exhibiting cold-like/allergy-like symptoms for the last several days, and it started with an irritated throat while drinking that tea. I should emphasize that I believe this has happened in the past with other brands as well. I guess I'll just have to stick with Salada in the future--too bad my mom bought me a HUGE box of this stuff. I don't know how I'll manage to consume all of it without getting sick. Anyway, enough of my whining. Thanks for your time!


I had once some grean tea. I've heard of it's good influence upon your health, that's why I wanted to try it. Unfortunatelly, I really didn't like it at all! Sorry for those who enjoy it, but I couldn't stand the taste! Very Happy

About the fact that it can irritate your throat, I don't really think this is a rule. You might just be allergic to green tea or something like that. Perhaps you should go to a doctor, just in case. I think these types of tea (green, black ...) have currative properties, they should do you good!

See ya! Hope you will feel better!
Allergies, as it was mentioned above-probably. Maybe there are different levels of caffeine in the teas, and since caffeine is a diuretic, it makes you dehydrated at different levels with the different teas. It's a stretch, though, because I doubt that caffeine would have such an immediate effect. Always a thought.
I am beginning to think that the allergy theory of mine is incorrect, because the symptoms lasted for over a week. This is more typical of a cold for me. I certainly hope that my taste aversion to the tea that has stemmed from the said illness does not last, because I have actually been pretty healthy. I tend to attribute this to the green tea and orange juice that I always drink.

Thanks for the comments!

Hm, the dry throat happens to me as well. But it's probably because green tea has caffeine in it, and too much caffeine can do that to you. (The same happens to me when I drink at least 2 cups of coffee, which is a typical caffeine overdose, apparently.)
That's interesting. I wonder why caffeine does that.
i don't think caffeine got anything to do with the sore...because why there are no people complaining about coffee itself which contributes more caffeine than a tee..
That's really odd. If its only that brand it must not be the caffine, since all brands of tea have caffine. There might something they use in the tea bag or something they use int he processing of the tea that your throat doesn't like. Try using one of those tea balls to hold your tea instead of using the tea bag. If not I guess you'll just have to be carefull and drink only the brands that don't give you irration.
Hey I just started drinking Salada green tea about a week ago and when I drink it I get like a lump feeling in my throat. That is how I cam across you post. You know that feeling when you have been crying and you feel like there is a lump in your throat. I get the same thing. I am thinking pesticides! I am going to the store tomorrow to buy some organic and see if it improves. At least you found a brand that works for you. Are you drinking enough water in the day? Smile Leesa
I talked to the dr and she said that it sounds like an allergy. I guess there are high levels of tannin in green tea because of the minimal processing it goes through. Anyway I am very sad to stop drinking it because It actually calms my mind while gives me energy. I am so very sad and am considering trying a different brand.
Maybe it's an allergy but the green tea you drink contain caffeine and caffeine contains a lot of acid so when you eat or drink a lot of acid products, you have more chance to have gastric problem such as reflux, or irritated throat etc.

I would suggest you take a look at your nutrition, try to avoid eating red meat or dairy products if you want to keep drinking green tea. Im not telling you to radically stop those aliments but reduce your consomation of these and im sure it will help.

Hope this helps...Ciao
i experienced the same. expecially if i dont add sugar. it also depends on how much i drink. try to add honey which usually is good for a dry throat or even throat pain.

and btw: i dont get lishmares comment. why would u like to avoid red meat? its the most healthy meat of all existing ones. please explane why u think so.
Like others have said, I believe it'll be the diuretic effect of the caffeine.
Ok so here goes nothing. I think it's the Caffeine. I have had to live with this symptoms off and on for the last 2 years. I went to an ENT doctor multiple times and have had ET scans because of the dryness feeling I had in my through for so long. Some days it feels worst than others . The pain even makes me feel hungry . I have been narrowing down my symptom to caffeine . It seems to be worst when I drink it and it take weeks for the affect to go away . Now I drink Decaf and try I stay away from green tree for the same reason. I have been able to manage now with less pain an dryness but I strongly believe its the caffeine . On yeah forgot to mention I even got treated for Acid reflex disease and that's didn't work.
Okay people you keep saying its the caffeine... Most green teas are Caffeine free...

It most probably is the chlorophyll in the plant leaves transferred into the water, your consuming chlorophyll without the other parts of the plant...
I have been drinking green tea for the past three years and, sadly, I have to give it up due to a persistent sore throat. I have persisted with drinking the stuff as I am more than aware of all the good qualities it contains but I can't kid myself any longer, it's the green tea that is causing the awful feeling in my throat almost daily. I drink high quality tea and it is imported from Japan, i always shake the bag first to get all of the 'gunk' out, little brittle bits that I have told myself have nothing to do with it hurting my throat, I never drink the very last of the tea as the bottom of the cup is where all of the extra bits gather, however, I have always been aware of all the miniscule bits floating on top of the tea but, again, I have told myself these bits are nothing. I have one cup of the green tea each morning and no more. i drink a cup of ordinary tea at lunch time and then drink water. I took myself off to the doctor two weeks ago because this sore throat is constant and is now affecting me when i talk, it makes me cough. The doc gave my throat a good look over and felt all round the kneck area, couldn't make out what is wrong with my throat. I think I have always suspected it was the green tea as I have not had any of it for the past two weeks, as an experiment, and guess what? for the first time in months I have not had a sore throat. I opened one of bags, at£7 a bag for twenty, it's not cheap, and ran the leaves through my fingers, the leaves are very brittle and at times felt like little splinters in my fingers, I could actually crunch the leaves, like I said, this is not a cheap brand of green tea. The tea leaves themselves, once soaked in the warm water, turn lovely and moist but i think it is the little brittle bits that don't soften with the warm water that irritate my throat. Will miss my green tea.
i like to drink green tea in the morning,as i like the taste and definetly it has great benefit.i am trying to loss my i am drinking daily, and i am feeling difference.
Green tea can help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.IF we applied Green tea over the skin can reduce sun damage.
may favorite is coffee but i used to drink green tea since i am on diet. As they said green tea is good for diet and cleans the intestine.

I am not sure if it true but i cannot drink too much coffee and i limit my coffee habit to 1 glass a day so i make green tea other options.
I came across your post when I was trying find the cause for dry throat from drinking green tea.

I am from Japan, so I'm used to drinking different kinds of tea, caffeinated and non-caffeinated.
I never experienced dry throat from drinking green tea in Japan. However, I've noticed that certain types of green tea that I've had in the United States give me dry throat and cause subtle coughing.
I haven't found out what actually causes such reactions, but I can say that it's not caffeine.
(I can drink other caffeinated tea and coffee, and they don't give me such reactions.)

For me, I experienced dry throat and coughing from Teavana's "sakura allure green tea" and Organo Gold's "green tea", just to name a few.

I want to find out if I'm allergic to anything particular that may be used in the process of making green tea.
Too much of something can go wrong at times, as you've also said. If you believe in "ayurved", suggest you see a practitioner of this. They might help in a better way.
rainmaker wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I have been a religious green tea drinker now for about a year. For the most part, I find that this has kept me in fairly good shape. (I have managed to avoid the cold/flu for the past year. *knocks on wood*) On the other hand, however, I've come to find out that drinking an excess of certain brands (e.g. Harney & Sons) of green tea will leave me with a dry, irritated throat. I know this is not a cold symptom, because it has happened several times and goes away within the same day.

I am just curious as to why this is the case. Is the green tea itself causing the temporary irritation? The caffeine, maybe? I am just wondering if anyone out there has had the same experience and <i>possibly</i> knows of a way to make it stop (aside from not drinking the tea).

I really like my green tea, but this sort of discourages me from drinking it as much. Thanks for any advice/input!


Hi rainmaker, I am experiencing the same problem after drinking my green tea for about a few days. Today I realized my dry lips and sore throat might probably be the effect of drinking the green tea vigorously. Confused
I don't drink it as regularly as many here describe but I can't say I've ever such a reaction. If it seems to be only a certain kind of green tea, maybe there are additives in it that you may be slightly allergic too. Extremely hot drinks in general are not good for the mouth or throat and may be causing mild burns that you are attributing to green tea. It certainly seems (by the number of different folks describing similar symptoms) that there may be something in some green tea products causing an issue.
will buy some organic and see if it improves
I have the same problem. I wonder why this happens. I drink decaf tea so the problem is not the caffeine. I think is a reaction against some thing. I am a person with a lot of allergies and intolerances.
In my case it is not just the throat but the tongue too. Also difficulty swallowing due to dryness. Somewhat concerned.
I'm an incredibly healthy runner and have been a big green tea fan for 5+ years, drinking only loose tea, brewing my own, in hot, but cooled down water. I believe it really helped me lose and keep off 25 pounds. In the past few years, I noticed a slight sore throat if I drank too much. I attributed it to the dehydrating effects of caffeine. Before an intense race, as I always did, I drank about 16 oz of green tea. I did great at the race, but when I finished, I could hardly breathe and had to get a "humidity nebulizer" at the EMS ambulance on scene. Caffeine, even the 1/3 amount compared to coffee, in green tea helps athletes, according to many accounts/studies.

The sore throat began in the last year or two. As a somebody who had awful sore throats as a kid, this was minor by comparison. I correlated with drinking too much...more than 3 cups a day, or an increase in strength of the tea. I bought from multiple sources, usually not organic.

2 days before a recent half marathon, I woke up with such a sore throat and reacting nearby gland, I thought I wouldn't be able to race. It was unlike any throat pain I'd had. Plus I also had major stomach distress...a big giveaway that I'd OD'd on tea. Wink The pain was so stabbing, I thought it could be cancer and looked at my throat with a bright flashlight. Wink

On the only affected side, I had a large red sore, with a white splotchy patch next to it. I immediately stopped the tea until the day of the race when I downed my usual 16 ounces. After the race, the pain was back. That was it. I haven't had tea since. It took the usual 2 days, and the pain was completely gone. I'm afraid this was the last chance. It just isn't worth it. I believe I have read some accounts of throat cancer and other more severe issues.

After the race, I went to Whole Foods to get a recovery green smoothie and asked about the throat reaction to green tea. The employee who seems bright and knowledgeable, asked the first question, "Was the tea organic?" When I said no, he said that sometimes the switch just gets flipped and our bodies shut down and say, no more allergic reaction of sorts.

I've always asked about the tea from the source. I've been told that the Dragonwell I usually get from China is grown in areas that have traditionally been organic, even if they don't meet US standards. Teavanna says the same thing. Lately, they've said they meet European organic standards, not US though. One employee said European standards are better. Yeah, well I don't know about that. Wink

I've also noticed on occasion that after drinking green tea, I'll have a short fit of sneezing. Very unusual for me, especially living in FL where that kind of thing rarely happens.

Pardon the length, but after reading all this, I hope my experience is helpful for others. What I saw in the back of my throat really scared me...I hadn't seen anything like it. Thought maybe it was strep, but it went away in the usual 2 days, so I can only assume it was the tea. Hope more research is done.
Green Tea is very healthy as it is full of antioxidants. It is an amazing anti-aging drink and good for skin, mind and body. Some brands may cause some problems, but just simply avoid them. Use only those that don't cause any problem. I personally never experienced any problem with green tea.
It's not really the direction I wanted to go, but it's been almost a month since I've tried replacing the green tea with coffee, and no throat problems. I originally switched from coffee to tea for the many benefits, including reducing caffeine intake by about 2/3rds. But as others have said, it apparently wasn't the caffeine that was problematic for my throat.

I know that many cultures have been drinking tea for the benefits for millennia. However, how and where we grow our plants is probably different from ancient times. I also understand that many of us react differently...that's just how it's been for me. I bought from a variety of different sources and used organic too.

If anyone should run across studies about this, I hope you'll post links here. I'm still really curious since I was such a big fan for the first few years...

If anyone wants a nice collection of teapots, glassware and more, lmk. Rolling Eyes
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