Tea Allergy: A Possible but Unlikely Scenario

Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, coming second only to water itself. The beloved beverage is often considered both invigorating and soothing in nature, and has a lovely herbaceous flavor.

That being the case, people often wonder if they could potentially be allergic to it.

While it’s certainly possible to be allergic to the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), it is rare and unlikely occurrence. It’s much more common to be allergic to tisanes (herbal tea).

Potential Tea Allergy Symptoms

Allergies occur when the body falsely perceives a certain chemical component as a potential threat, producing antibodies to eliminate the compound and potentially causing negative symptoms within itself.

Potential symptoms may include:

  • Hives or itchy bumps.
  • Tingling or itching.
  • Swelling of the mouth, throat, and face.
  • Anaphylaxis

Different Types of Tea Allergies

Tea is often classified under the category of either traditional tea or tisanes (herbal tea).

While it’s possible to be allergic to either one, it is actually more common to be allergic to various herbal teas than it is to traditional tea.

If you think you may have an allergy to a specific type of tea, then it is recommended to avoid it entirely.

If you simply have a slight sensitivity, then it’s possible that you may be able to tolerate a small amount of the tea, but it’s not really recommended because there are lots of different teas out there and it’s very likely you could find one which you can tolerate.

It’s also possible to be allergic to caffeine, in which case you should avoid traditional tea. However, you should be aware that some herbal teas such as yerba mate also contain a considerable amount of caffeine.

Although all traditional tea contains caffeine, some forms, such as black tea, can have a stronger effect due to different processing techniques.