Is Tea A Diuretic?
Is Tea a diuretic? The short answer: it depends on the type of Tea. In this article, we will explore the meaning of the word “diuretic” and why it has become so popular. We will then look at a variety of beverages to see which ones have diuretic qualities.
After you’ve weighed up the facts, you’ll have the opportunity to try each and every infusion referred to in this blog - right here. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company have for 30 years packed every Loose Tea, Tisane and Coffee fresh to order.
What Does Diuretic Mean?
The term “Diuretic” refers to promoting the formation of urine. This, in essence, enables someone to excrete excess water in several ways. It could mean inhibiting the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium, which in turn enhances the loss of sodium and consequently water in the urine.
It could also mean enhancing the excretion of both chloride and sodium in the urine, which in turn sees more water excreted alongside these constituents. Another way it could work is by blocking the exchange of sodium for potassium. This results in excretion of sodium and potassium, but more so of the former than the latter, thus maintaining more potassium than sodium.
These are the primary ways that the body can have some kind of diuretic response. There are, however, several other methods.
What Are The Benefits?
Health professionals sometimes prescribe diuretics, or water pills, to rid the body of extra fluid or salt (sodium chloride). People with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen tissues and kidney disease often use these pills to treat such conditions. How does it work, though?
Extra fluid in the body makes it hard for the heart and several other parts of the body to work properly. By enabling the excretion of excess fluid, you are taking the strain off numerous organs. Diuretic Teas have a similar ability, albeit less slightly less so.
Another benefit to using diuretics, be it water pills or diuretic Tea, is for a detox. This term refers to detoxification, which means removing the body of toxins. Preliminary research suggests that detoxifying the body can help with acne and even weight loss.
Best Diuretic Tea
The two most used Teas for their diuretic qualities are Milk Thistle Tea and Dandelion Root Tea. Both are Herbal Teas that do not contain leaves from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. This means that neither are “Teas” in the conventional sense.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is an annual or biennial plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. When brewed, it has a sweet, smooth, herbaceous flavour with grassy and earthy undertones. Some researchers believe that its antioxidant activity helps to block toxins at the cell membrane while increasing the synthesis of proteins.
Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a large genus of flowering plants also belonging to the Asteraceae family. When made into Herbal Tea, it has an earthy taste with herbaceous undertones. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 verified that dandelion extract could increase urination for five hours after consumption.
There are, of course, other choices. Read on and find out more.
Is Green Tea A Diuretic?
This type of Tea, like all ‘real’ Teas, comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. After harvesting, the leaves arrive at the factory for processing. Here, it is oxidised very little, meaning it maintains much of its natural chemical structure and taste. When brewed, Green Tea most commonly has a grassy flavour but may also have floral, vegetal, herbaceous or seaweed notes.
Caffeine in Green Tea is the reason for its diuretic ability. Its lack of processing, however, means that it contains less caffeine than, say, Black Tea, which is the most processed type. In other words, this infusion can indeed help someone to excrete excess water. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that it isn’t as effective as other, more caffeinated types of Tea.
Is Black Tea A Diuretic?
Similar to Green Tea, Black Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between the two happens at the factory. The Tea leaves used in the making of Black Tea fully oxidise and ferment before they are heat-processed and dried. During oxidation, oxygen particles interact with the cell walls of the Tea, turning them darker and darker until they’re either brown or black.
This processing not only creates a malty flavour in your cuppa but also contributes significantly to the caffeine levels. While Green Tea contains around 30 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, Black Tea has 45 mg in an equal measurement. The science here is pretty simple: the more caffeine in your Tea, the better its diuretic ability.
Is Oolong Tea A Diuretic?
Oolong is the ‘in-between’ Tea. Like Green Tea, like Black Tea, it comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. As a rule of thumb, Oolong is slightly fermented and semi-oxidised. Yet the precise level of oxidation can vary between 8% to 80%. In essence, no two Oolongs are the same. This makes it difficult to determine categorically its capacity to promote the excretion of fluid.
An Oolong oxidised by 8% will have characteristics most reminiscent of Green Tea, with its caffeine content reflecting as much. One that has oxidised by 80%, meanwhile, will share qualities more like Black Tea, meaning it will contain more caffeine. If you’re looking for an Oolong with a diuretic ability, it’s best to choose one that has oxidised more and thus contains higher levels of caffeine.
Is White Tea A Diuretic?
This is the least oxidised type of Tea to come from the Camellia sinensis plant. It has an unmistakably delicate and fresh flavour when brewed, but lacks significant amounts of caffeine. In fact, White Tea only contains 25 mg of this stimulating substance per 8 oz cup. That isn’t much when it comes to having a diuretic ability.
However, what it lacks in caffeine it makes up for in antioxidants. The lack of processing ensures that White Tea retains the vast majority of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in the leaf. EGCG is a polyphenolic antioxidant that can combat free radicals in the body, a well known White Tea Benefits. This can ultimately reduce the risk of developing several chronic conditions, including heart disease.
What About Decaf Tea
The process of decaffeination, as its name suggests, removes the vast majority of caffeine from Tea. Any Tea can be decaffeinated, be it Green, Black, White or Oolong. Though this process doesn’t remove every last particle (approximately 2% of caffeine remains), it gets rid of enough to deem it useless when it comes to being a diuretic.
There are, of course, other reasons to choose Decaffeinated Tea. Despite the fact it isn’t a good diuretic, it can make an excellent choice for those who’re caffeine sensitive or pregnant. Indeed, NHS Choices recommends that pregnant women not exceed more than 200 mg of caffeine daily. With Decaf Tea, there is little to worry about.
You can read more about the process of decaffeination and its benefits in our How Much Caffeine in Tea and Coffee.
Is Camomile Tea A Diuretic?
This flower is a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family. There are two common varieties of Camomile: German Camomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Roman Camomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Both types contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - but no caffeine. Although caffeine isn’t the only constituent that works as a diuretic, there is little evidence to suggest that Camomile Tea benefits help with excess fluid.
A publication entitled “The New Healing Herbs” by Michael Castleman makes a compelling case. It says that Camomile displays mild diuretic properties while helping with bladder problems, menstrual cramps, lung congestion, inflammation and oedema. Unfortunately, there is little scientific research to support this claim. That isn’t to say, however, that Camomile Tea benefits can’t offer different qualities - most famously improved sleeping patterns.
Is Peppermint Tea A Diuretic?
This is perhaps the best known and most loved Herbal Tea in the world. It comes from the aromatic, rhizomatous perennial plant botanically known as Mentha piperita. The plant is a natural hybrid of watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). When brewed, it has, as you’d expect, a strong minty flavour with herbaceous notes.
According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, Peppermint might indeed have diuretic properties. It suggested that drinking this Herbal Tea as part of a healthy diet could prevent or reduce bloating caused by water retention. This, however, is only preliminary research, meaning it isn’t yet proven. But like Camomile, there are other Peppermint Tea benefits to be had, including improved digestion and a boosted immune system.
What About Nettle Tea
Nettle is a surprisingly delicious and health beneficial Herbal Tea. Though cursed by hikers, gardeners and children alike, the perennial, flowering Urtica dioica plant has earned its place in the world. It belongs to the Urticeae family, of which there are three primary genera. Most species, including Urtica dioica, work as a gentle diuretic.
Dr Robert Kachko, President-Elect of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, said: “Nettle is diuretic, it increases urine output and removal of uric acid.”
Some scientists advocate drinking Nettle Leaf Tea for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP). This is a condition that can cause bladder or kidney damage. One of the symptoms of BHP might include the inability to urinate, but Nettle Tea benefits might indeed help.
In clinical trials held at the University of Medical Sciences in Iran, Nettle Tea reduced symptoms associated with BHP. It saw 287 patients given Nettle extract over six months. The results showed that participants had reduced kidney pain thanks in part to its diuretic qualities.
Is Ginger Tea Diuretic?
Is Ginger Tea a diuretic? It could be.
This much-loved spice, known botanically as Zingiber officinale, is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. When brewed as a Herbal Tea, it has bold peppery notes with zesty overtones. There is nothing quite like it in terms of taste and, indeed, Ginger Tea benefits. There is also preliminary evidence suggesting that Ginger Tea works as a mild diuretic.
Again, however, it’s important to note the word “preliminary”. This means that there isn’t sufficient evidence to confirm its diuretic ability outright. It’s also worth noting the word “mild” when it comes to its diuretic properties. In other words, you might be better off picking another brew if this is what you’re looking for. Why not try Ginger Tea for acid reflux, a proven health benefit, instead?
What About Fennel Tea
This Tea comes from the hardy, aromatic, perennial Foeniculum vulgare plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. It has a distinct aniseed-like flavour with bold, sweet, herbaceous notes. According to some studies, it has some diuretic activity. Additionally, it can act as a mild laxative, which has a stimulating effect that leads to bowel excretion.
But this, of course, isn’t all Fennel Tea benefits can do. The University of Maryland Medical Center, USA, for example, recommends it for colicky babies. Many people also consider it a galactagogue, which is essentially something that increases breast milk supply. Furthermore, a 2012 review published by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggested that it could improve digestive health significantly.
What About Rooibos Tea
This is a herb that grows exclusively in the Cederberg region of South Africa. It comes from the perennial Aspalathus linearis plant, a member of the Fabaceae (Legume) family. The indigenous peoples of the region have used Rooibos Tea in their daily lives for centuries. Today, little has changed apart from the fact that we have scientific evidence for many of these benefits.
One benefit that lacks evidence, however, is its diuretic activity. Although some people have reported instances of increased urination after drinking it, there is no concrete proof. Nevertheless, Rooibos remains one of the best beverages when it comes to its medicinal qualities. It can, among other attributes, reduce allergy symptoms, lower blood pressure and improve skin health.
Most health professionals say that diuretics are generally safe, but might cause some side effects. It’s vital to know these potential side effects before consuming either water pills or Diuretic Teas. For starters, increased urination inevitably leads to mineral loss. Additionally, you might experience fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches and rashes.
Furthermore, other side effects, unrelated to diuretic activity, might arise due to frequent Tea consumption. Caffeine overconsumption, for example, can lead to jitteriness and sleeplessness. Some herbal infusions, meanwhile, might cause other issues. If you have any concerns, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company urge you to seek medical consultation.
Where To Buy
We stock all of the Teas mentioned above - and many more. We also have a range of Detox Teas, including Blackcurrant Leaves, Ayurveda Fasting Tea, Turmeric Herbal Tea and Detox Yerba Mate and Chilli Tea. These are to name but a few, with many more waiting to be discovered with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.