Intended for healthcare professionals


A story in a tea cup

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 13 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:i5343

Is tea good for you?

There's a lot of folklore and literature about the health benefits of tea. This is unfortunate, because tea is toxic and addictive. I advise against all tea, including herbal, black, oolong, and green. Herbal tea is not really tea, but a brew of herbs, which supposedly are beneficial, but actually are quite toxic. Black, oolong, and green tea all come from the same plant. Black tea has more caffeine; green tea has more antioxidants; and oolong tea is intermediate between black tea and green tea. The current antioxidant fad is based on a distortion of biochemistry. We need some antioxidants, but not an overabundance. We get more than enough antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables, without resorting to a toxic, bitter, addictive beverage like tea.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 January 2017
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA