Harmful Ingredients in Coffee and Tea?

Tea & Coffee – poison or medicine? The choice is yours

These are the common drinks of Indians and also of population all over world. It is a common knowledge that drinking tea or coffee as a habit is hazardous to health. Let us try to analyze the composition of tealeaves and find out what each constituent does.


Tea leaf contains approximately 6% water, 2% caffeine, 17% albumin, 8% soluble substances, 8% toxic substances, 2% dectrine, 3% pectic acid and pictine, 17% tannic acid, 4% chlorophyll and raisin, 26% cellulose and 7% salt.

The toxic elements in tea secretly and gradually affect the body parts, but permanently damage them. It makes the drinker addicted.

Tannin is used in tannery to make leather soft and shining. Tannin blocks the orifices of tiny cells in the body, which absorbs nutrient from eaten food. When tannin reaches stomach it disturbs the secretion of juices for digestion of food. The consequence is indigestion, constipation that affects liver. Since tannin’s effect is to dry up watery contents in the body, the skin also becomes rough and brittle. Its mental effect is similar to liquor or a narcotic drug, which gives a kick for a shorter duration and thereafter, gives rise to lethargy and listlessness. This makes one to gulp another cup of tea to regain earlier euphoria. This leads to addiction and usually these persons feel drowsy and morose if they do not get their ‘cuppa’ to stimulate them.

Caffeine is like nicotine in tobacco and is a dreadful poison, which causes gout and windy diseases. Excessive intake of tea or coffee enhances the quantity of urine and the kidney is heavily loaded. A person addicted to tea passes three times more urine than a healthy person. But the toxic substance does not go out with urine but gets solidified to form uric acid, which in turn gets deposited in joints to cause gout and arthritis.

Tea also contains Thein, cynogen, stricknein, cyanide and aeromic oil. Excessive intake of tea causes giddiness, sore throat, blood impurity, insomnia, windy troubles and even paralysis.

Tea drinking is very bad for teeth. Besides disfiguring these, it weakens the gum also.


Coffee or Kahawa is a powder made by roasting and grinding seeds of a tree known as Coffee Arabica. It tastes like burnt cereal. Both hot and cold coffee drinking is popular.

Medically, coffee is more dangerous a drink than tea. The caffeine content in coffee is 50% more than tea. Like tea it has also tannin. The combined effect of caffeine and tannin creates many neuro-genetic disorders. According to ayurveda, coffee drinking makes the semen very thin, which causes early ejaculation and involuntary night discharge. It decreases reproducing power of both sexes. Coffee drinking badly affects the skin, making it dark and rough.

So much for the ill effects of tea and coffee. Like any poison used in very less quantity can be used as medicine, both tea and coffee can be used sparingly, as a form of medicine.

Medicinal Uses of Tea:

1. To cure loose motions: Lemon tea with biscuits made of husk in two to three doses.

2. To decrease Obesity: Honey tea first thing in the morning.

3. To cure fire burns: Covering the burnt part with a cloth soaked in cold black tea [no milk, no sugar] and replacing and repeating every half an hour.

4. To remove Phlegm in the body: Basil / black pepper / ginger tea

5. To cure windy troubles: After light lunch, take black tea [very little sugar and milk, if a must for any individual to relish tea].

6. Tea as Skin-care Lotion: Apply strained tea leaves on face with very little sugar added to it and leave it to dry. Then remove them by massaging face. After 15 minutes just wash face with lukewarm limewater. This is also effective treatment to remove wrinkles from face.

7. To cure Lethargy and Sleepiness: A cup of hot black tea.

8. Tea leaves as Mosquito Repellant: Dried up strained tea leaves can be sprinkled on to coal furnace or ‘Angithi’.

9. Use of tealeaves in gardening: Add strained tealeaves / powder to soil and it is very good manure. It is being practiced by me with pronounced result for all kind of plants and especially very good for flower plants.

10. Tea leaves solution as Beauty aid: Add a little of tealeaves water to henna soaked in water to leave better marks on palm.

Use of Coffee as medicine:

1. Diarrhoea: A hot cup of coffee generates constipation due to caffeine. Having light coffee twice or thrice a day will stop loose motions.

2. Extreme Cold condition: Adding a few drop of brandy in a cup of coffee cures all the congestion in the lungs. This combination is especially good for persons suffering from pneumonia or bronchitis.

3. Coffee as energizer: When one is extremely tired and fails to get sleep, a cup of hot coffee mixed with a spoon of honey will energize the body to relax it.

Having pointed out the bad and good points of tea and coffee, it is advised that no one should get addicted to these, as they cause enormous harm compared to their usefulness. Between the two evils drinking tea is better than coffee. Some say that tea drinking prevents heart attack.

To leave tea or coffee drinking or to minimize the intake, one is advised to drink water whenever one feels like drinking these beverages. Resort to water therapy.

[For a complete detailed reading on Tea, Coffee please read Diamond Pocket Books series authored by Dr. Satish Goel.]



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