Recently reports from around the world have been surfacing about the potential dangers of using common tea bags. Since a huge percentage of the world relies on convenient pre-packed tea to get their infusions throughout the day, this could be a pretty big concern. Today we’re going to explore what’s being discovered about tea bags and what you need to know to stay safe and continue to get the most out of your healing herbal teas.
What’s Really In Your Tea Bag?
Most tea bags are created using a fine fiber material that is closed off with a staple and attached to a string with a tag. These envelopes are what most people think of when they consider tea, and they’re what a great deal of tea fans use on a daily basis.
The fiber I speak of that’s used in creating the envelope or pouch that your tea is held in can be made from a variety of materials including paper, bamboo fiber, PVC, rayon, nylon, thermoplastic, and polypropolene. In fact, these are some of the most common materials used in common tea bags on the market today.
The issue, as you may have guessed, is that when you steep your medicinal herbal tea you’re also infusing the water with these same potentially hazardous materials. When plastic is heated, chemicals can be leeched off and end up right in the water you sip. For those who use herbal tea blends as a part of their healthy lifestyle, this fact is nothing short of alarming. Paper tea bags could be just as problematic since they are often treated with bleaches that leech dioxin or epichlorohydrin which is a main ingredient in the production of epoxy resins and pesticides. When infused into water of any temperature, epichlorohydrin converts into a substance that has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
The staple used to seal up your tea bag may also be a concern as it can alter the taste of your tea and potentially add elements to your infusion that you aren’t aware of. If your favorite tea bag isn’t held together by a staple, chances are it’s sealed up with some type of glue, usually a plastic, resin, epoxy, or other heat-safe adhesive. Again, these are typically chemicals you simply do not want infused into your herbal tea!
The Healthy Tea Bag Alternative
The good news here is that you have options. You can still get the endless benefits of your favorite healing herbal tea blend with none of the harmful or toxic chemicals on the side. While I understand that there are some healthy tea bag alternatives out there, their prevalence simply isn’t widespread enough for me to feel good about recommending them. Instead, I suggest that anyone who loves their herbal tea and wants to ensure purity and potency in every sip switch to using loose leaf tea.
Working with loose leaf tea is actually just as easy as using tea bags and it gives you the chance to interact with the herbs that heal you in a new way. There are countless types of infusers available, and choosing the right one for you or even working on a collection of several infusers can be really fun for the tea enthusiast.
My personal favorite way to brew loose leaf herbal tea is to use a small infusion pot. This looks like a tiny ceramic kettle but it contains a food-safe mesh cup on the inside which allows the tea blend to steep while keeping it separate from the water. I also like using infuser balls on occasion and find them to be a really quick way to make a cup of tea when I need it most. When I’m on the run, my BPA-free, glass-lined infuser gets the job done perfectly! Tea Glass Infuser.
Blending bulk herbs in your own kitchen to create healing herbal tea brews is simple and quick once you get the hang of it! If you aren’t sure where to start, get a free copy of my book ‘Healing with Herbal Tea’ and I’ll show you how to blend and brew like a pro, and share some of my favorite healing recipes with you as well.
To Our Health & Happiness!
References & Resources
Loose leaf tea shown in first image is the amazing ‘Peaceful Mind’ loose leaf blend from Wild Sage Apothecary.