Tea is brewed from leaves of the tea plant, known as Camellia sinesis, whether it’s regular black tea or green herbal tea. As such, tea is also rich in caffeine, much like coffee. This beverage may aggravate acid reflux and intensity GERD symptoms. So, how can tea be a cure for acid reflux? The answer to this lies in the type of tea you are drinking and the method of intake.
Moreover, meta-analytic research does not link GERD(1) with tea consumption. But excessive use of this beverage can harm your stomach’s digestive capabilities, according to, which found the Chinese drink a lot of tea and are more prone to GERD(2).
Tea for acid reflux is a bad idea if the beverage is imbibed in vast quantities. So, it’s not so much the consumption, but the over-ingestion of tea that leads to a problem. On the other hand, tea taken in moderate quantities might prove beneficial for acid reflux sufferers.
Tea for GERD: The Benefits
Herbal tea has primarily been linked with soothing symptoms like nausea, bloating, and gas. Consequently, it is the perfect cure for GERD. There are many different types of herbal tea with their benefits. But do avoid spearmint and peppermint teas if you are prone to GERD in response to mint intake.
To soothe the stomach, and reduce heartburn, chamomile, slippery elm, licorice, and marshmallow are some of the better types of tea. However, do note that herbal tea should never be paired with medication without consulting your doctor, for it can cause contraindications.
Tea for acid reflux is an excellent idea if you’re choosing any of these herbal teas, as opposed to traditional tea or even coffee, which are acidic beverages. Here are the individual benefits of each of the types of herbal tea for acid reflux.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux]
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is botanically known as Matricaria Recutita, and it is associated with two different types – German chamomile, which is stronger and milder Roman chamomile. This herb belongs to the daisy family. It’s also a versatile medicinal cure for a lot of disorders.
Chamomile tea reduces flatulence, gastrointestinal disturbances and other symptoms like inflammation(3) associated with GERD because it has terpenoids and flavonoids, and other bioactive ingredients which soothe the intestinal muscles and eliminate gastrointestinal symptoms. Do test for allergies before taking this tea. In most cases, it has been found very useful for curing GERD.
2. Licorice Tea
Licorice tea has many curative properties and is sourced from the root of the licorice plant. Europeans have even used licorice in earlier times to cure gastric ulcers. It is also a laxative. Licorice reduces stomach acidity and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
It mediates the impact of stress hormones like cortisol, which is an anti-inflammatory steroid. Have deglycyrrhizinated licorice tea, and you’ll experience instant relief from inflammation and reflux symptoms.
[Also Read: Home Remedies for Acid Reflux]
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is prepared using the ginger root. It contains nutrients like gingerols, which ward off nausea. These compounds in ginger impact the serotonin receptors and affect the gastrointestinal and central nervous system to ward off nausea associated with acid reflux. Ginger tea also promotes quick gastric emptying and wards off reflux related to slow or delayed gastric evacuation.
[Also Read: Ginger For Acid Reflux]
Why Tea Is Better than Coffee for GERD
Coffee is brimming with caffeine, and this impacts acid reflux adversely. Heartburn can also be linked to silent GERD when symptoms don’t manifest, and coffee intake can trigger this. Caffeine is a significant trigger for heartburn because it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine is found in coffee in different amounts, depending on whether it is a latte, decaf, caffeinated, etc. On the other hand, the number of caffeine in tea depends on the manner the beverage is brewed.
Can Tea Cause Acid Reflux?
Caffeinated black tea of various kinds, such as Ceylon, Earl Grey, and English Breakfast are more abundant in caffeine as against milder herbal teas like licorice or ginger. Traditional black tea contains methylxanthines, such as caffeine, which relax the smooth muscles. This ingredient impacts the muscles of the LES or lower esophageal sphincter that act as acid reflux between the stomach and the esophageal tract.
Tea may have less caffeine than coffee, but it also contains theobromine and theophylline, two different methylxanthines which trigger acid reflux by loosening the LES further. Bottled tea is even worse, as it contains acidic preservatives, which irritates the lining of the esophageal tract and intensifies acid reflux.
Also, not all herbal teas are recommended for acid reflux. For example, green tea is also caffeinated, as is mint tea, and both are rich in methylxanthines. So, while herbal tea is a cure for acid reflux, remember that all such drinks are not the same.
How to Prepare Tea for Combating Acid Reflux
- If you’re using dried herbs to prepare tea, use one teaspoon of the herbal extract in a cup of hot water.
- If you are steeping leaves or flowers, cover these and leave for 5-10 minutes in hot water before straining and drinking the remaining liquid.
- For preparing herbal tea, using the root of the plant, steep for 10 to 20 minutes and then drink.
- For best results, drink 2-4 cups in a single day at most.
For dispelling acid reflux, the value of organic teas is well known. The more processed a drink is, the higher are the acidic content and the preservatives used. Therefore, read the label carefully before purchasing tea leaves or bottled tea. While warm beverages are preferred, cold drinks or coffee can also have an alkalizing effect on acid reflux.
[Also Read: Drinks for Acid Reflux]
1. What Tea is Good for Acid Reflux?
Tea is excellent for acid reflux when it is a specific type of herbal tea like ginger, fennel, licorice, or chamomile known to soothe the gut and the stomach. Specifically, herbal teas like peppermint or spearmint, regular black or green tea, and bottled tea contain methylxanthines associated with acid reflux. So, avoid these teas.
2. Is Tea More Effective than Coffee for Acid Reflux?
Tea is better than coffee if you are opting for mild herbal teas, instead of caffeinated tea, which also contains additional methylxanthines which loosen the smooth muscles of the LES and trigger GERD.
3. What Symptoms of GERD Can Tea Cure?
Tea such as ginger herbal tea cures nausea. Chamomile tea can ward off gastrointestinal disturbance, gas and bloating. Additionally, licorice tea is mucilaginous and coats the gut with soothing mucous discharge that acts to boost digestive powers and counter GERD.