Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

  • Red tea (due to the color when brewed)

Introduction

Black tea is a bitter tea made from the leaves of a small shrub. It has been used to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and improve alertness. Black tea can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.

Dosages

2 to 3 cups per day

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—likely to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure B1, B2
  • High blood pressure —likely to lower blood pressure E1-E3
  • High cholesterol — likely to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol F1-F3
  • Stroke —likely to help prevent future strokes G1

May Be Effective

  • Diarrhea —may reduce diarrhea in children D1

Unlikely to Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Attention A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take black tea in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume large amounts of black tea.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctor before taking black tea. It may lower how well their medicines work.
  • People with seizures or bipolar disorder should talk to their doctors before taking black tea. It may interact with their medicines.

Revision Information