Ammi Midstokke is a nutritionist with an arguably-dangerous appetite for adventure. Her monthly “Eatology” nutrition column appears in each print edition of “Out There Outdoors” and online here. She lives with her daughter in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Reader Question: Is there any danger in drinking too much tea?
Ammi: True story. I used to think tea was just dirty water and that tea drinkers were just people who were too weak to drink coffee but hid their inferiority with the consumption of uppity ‘aromatic beverages with complex flavors.’ Or they were Irish.
Then I had a cup of Smooth Move and have forever harbored a humble respect of the potent properties of herbal blends soaked in water. And you should, too.
First of all, non-organic teas are known to carry a host of toxins, from lead to fluoride, and should generally be avoided. Caffeinated teas are, well, caffeinated, and we should limit our caffeine intake for a host of health reasons, from stress hormone production to its diuretic properties, to sleep disruption.
The trend for detox teas is also alarming. First of all, the body detoxes just fine, given a clean and well-rounded diet high in vegetable and fruit fibers. Many detox teas include Senna-leaf, a neuro-stimulant to the gastrointestinal tract (what makes Smooth Move effective). While it stimulates bowel movements, it does so in a potentially painful, urgent, and habit-forming way. Other herbs we find in detox teas are things like Dandelion Root (a diuretic), Cilantro (an anti-oxidant), Milk Thistle (believed to help regeneration of liver cells), and so on.
In appropriate doses, these things can help the body perform its natural functions. So if you’re a tea drinker, or an aspiring one, mix it up. Get a nice selection of some herbals with various intentions, and remember that you can get too much of a good thing. (Ammi Midstokke)