Drinking herbal teas goes hand in hand for most people striving to optimize their health and wellness practices. Many people are aware that all teas are not created equal and that many tea lines contain pesticides, chemical flavorings and GMO ingredients. Attempting to improve your tea quality by selecting 100% organic products can still leave you consuming harmful chemicals due to the type of bags with which you are brewing.
As reported from Food Babe’s Do You Know What’s Really in Your Tea? post:
“Many paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.”
And for those choosing tea brands using the silk mesh bags, the chemical hazards continue. These tea bags are most commonly made from some form of plastic like nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene. These bags, when exposed to boiling water, have the potential for molecular break down and leakage of harmful phthalates.
Ways to avoid these types of toxic chemicals:
*purchase only loose leaf tea
*use a stainless steel diffuser/strainer in glass, porcelain or stainless steel devices
*avoid pre-bagged teas (paper or plastic)
Also consider buying 100% organic teas made from 100% organic flavorings. The term ‘natural flavorings’ has become a vague and misleading term in the market place. Unless the merchant is able to fully clarify the source of ‘natural ingredients’, avoid these variations of tea products. You can readily buy a basic organic tea and add your own organic flavorings (ie spices, citrus rind). Finally, consider the source of your organic teas. Although the tea may be labeled ‘organic’, teas coming from other countries may not be as they claim. Some countries have problems with standards and regulations of ‘organic’ labeling, thus may still contain pesticides and/or herbicides.
Purchasing loose leaf teas greatly reduces your potential exposure to chemicals and toxins. They are often more cost effective than single serving products. Loose leaf tea also reduces waste from packaging and makes it easier to throw used leaves in the compost. Consume mindfully, keep your tea loose.