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Is it Safe to Eat Green Tea Leaves?

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You already know that green tea is a great-tasting and relaxing beverage with numerous health benefits, but can the same be said about eating the tea leaves rather than steeping them into a drink?

Many people wonder if it's safe to eat green tea leaves.

The answer to that question is yes!

In fact, you may not realize that you are already consuming tea leaves without brewing if you enjoy drinking matcha. This is because matcha is a powder made from finely pulverized green tea leaves.

matcha is powderedMatcha is powdered form of green tea, so if you drink matcha, you are consuming the entire tea leaf. 

What Are the Risks of Eating Green Tea Leaves?

There are very few risks associated with eating green tea leaves, but the main risk is excess consumption of caffeine.

Tea leaves contain slightly more caffeine than brewed tea, and it is easier to consume more of it in a shorter amount of time. As always, you should read nutrition labels for serving sizes and caffeine content.  

Read more about comprehensive article I wrote about green tea and caffeine here.

too much green tea

What are the Benefits of Eating Green tea leaves?

Eating green tea leaves has the same benefits as drinking green tea, but in a more concentrated way.

When you eat green tea leaves, you get all of the powerful antioxidants without leaving any behind.

Eating green tea leaves is also more convenient than brewing tea, making them easier to incorporate this super food into your diet.

How Often can I Eat Green Tea Leaves?

It's safe to eat green tea leaves every day as long as you don't overdo it regarding caffeine.

One to three daily servings is ideal, however, eating more won't hurt you. Try to spread your servings of green tea leaves over the day to moderate your caffeine consumption and maximize your body's absorbency of the beneficial compounds.

matcha party

What Are the Safest Ways to Prepare Green Tea Leaves?

Eating green tea leaves in any recipe is perfectly safe.

You might even be surprised to learn that it is quite tasty to serve them over a salad. Especially when using vinegar dressing, green tea can be a good accent to Asian style salad. Simply sparkle green tea (sencha) over salad and pour over dressing.  Moisture from salad dressing gets soaked up in tea leaf making the tea leave soft by the time you serve.  

green tea saladGreen Tea Salad

Green tea leaves can also be used as an herb or spice to add an earthy flavor in foods like meatballs and omelets.

A sprinkle of tea leaves is a great way to dress up green tea flavored desserts like cakes, candies and milkshakes. Matcha powder can be used to flavor breads, cookies, and other baked goods. Matcha and green tea leaves can also be blended into smoothies or taken in capsule form.   


Check out my published book, “Cook with Green Tea” for more recipes and ideas.

cook with green tea

Is There Anyone Who Should not Eat Green Tea Leaves?

Green tea leaves are safe for most people to consume, however, individuals with certain health conditions should avoid them. If you are allergic to green tea or any other type of tea, avoid consuming the leaves as they may provoke a stronger response than brewed tea.

People who have heart conditions or are sensitive to the effects of caffeine should also avoid green tea leaves. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a physician before eating green tea leaves. If you are currently taking prescription medications, ask a pharmacist if your medication may interact with green tea.

 


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2 comments on Is it Safe to Eat Green Tea Leaves?
  • Kei Nishida
    Kei NishidaAugust 21, 2022

    Hi Mark,
    Thank you very much for letting us know about it. I am happy to hear that your brain fog is gone.

    Have you tried matcha? https://www.japanesegreenteain.com/collections/matcha-powdered-green-tea Matcha does not require you to steep the tea and you consume the entire tea leaf (like you did by cutting the teabag). Here is instruction on how to cold brew matcha: https://www.japanesegreenteain.com/blogs/green-tea-and-health/how-to-cold-brew-matcha

    I hope you feel much better, and thank you very much for sharing your comment with us.

  • Mark
    MarkAugust 21, 2022

    I am 75 and had developed brain fog and accidentally discovered green tea and made some iced green tea in July to beat the heat and remarkably my brain fog started clearing up in four days. I have been heating one tea bag and dumping it in a 34 oz cup filled with ice and sip on it constantly when out in the heat. It has been amazing. Yesterday I decided to make iced green tea and thought why not cut the bag open and eat the leaves and did so.. It it amazing how much better I feel and brain fog is gone.

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