A 16-year-old girl developed hepatitis after drinking too much green tea, looking to lose weight, says a report made on the British Medical Journal.

“I had only lost a couple of pounds but then started having horrible pains in my joints, and felt very dizzy and sick. I was very scared when I was admitted to hospital and had lots of tests, I didn’t fully understand what was going on at the time”, said the anonymous patient’s testimony, according to the report. They said that the patient got a fast recovery after stopping the green tea consumption.

Although doctors say that consuming green tea is an healthy habit, pointing out its antioxidant properties, its use needs to be further discussed. Credit: arehivescontagious.com

The doctors questions revealed the cause of the disease after further investigations provided no answer. According to ABC News, the patient’s first symptoms were nausea, joint pain, and abdominal pains. Believing it was a minor infection they gave her antibiotics, but she came back to the E.R. when she got worse.

The patient had not taken any medication on her own, she didn’t travel recently, and tests gave no answer to the cause of hepatitis. “Only following specific questioning did she reveal that she had, in the preceding 3 months, regularly consumed internet ordered Chinese green tea”, says the report.

Although doctors say that consuming green tea is a healthy habit, pointing out its antioxidant properties, its use needs to be discussed. Doctors believe that her sickness was due to products added to the tea.

“I’m always concerned when people buy herbal supplements or tea over the Internet without knowing much about where it came from. I think there are still tons of people who don’t realize that because it’s natural. It doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you. They can have very significant toxicity”, said Dr. Donna Seger, head of the Tennessee Poison Center in Nashville to ABC News.

According to the report, doctors concluded that “although it is important to rule out other causes, an association between green tea containing Camellia sinensis and hepatitis has been reported. The authors discuss the probable cause of herbal tea in this case of acute hepatitis, and the importance of awareness of this rare yet recurring theme for patients and clinicians alike.”

Source: BMJ Case Reports