What’s In Your Tea?

What’s In Your Tea?

I grew up drinking lots of tea, and that’s ballooned significantly since I went into school to become a Naturopathic Doctor!

Family of Tea Drinkers

My grandparents were the ones to first introduce me to the “art” of tea drinking.  It was always a process where my brother and I would carefully selected our tea leaves after smelling a variety of different interesting bottles.  Then we would place the leaves into a special tea pot and pour hot water over the leaves and watch them bloom.  My grandma would always get us to throw out the first “wash”, and then we would steep the tea leaves again.  We would wait what seemed like *forever* for the tea to “cook”, and then my grandma would carefully pour it into delicate little tea cups.  Only then were we able to sip on the “magical tea”.

My dad also introduced us to the English way of drinking tea by allowing us to drink tea with milk on weekends during brunch.  It always made us feel like grownups to have our own tea mug at the table!

All of this to say that I had always felt that the “new” tea bags were a bit odd and would be problematic.  And, last month, McGill University released a study where they found that the plastic tea bags shed many micro- and nano-sized plastics into your tea!

Plastic Tea Bags

The researchers looked at four different types of commercially packaged teas that had plastic tea bags.  Then they immersed the emptied tea bags into hot water to simulate brewing and found that at a regular brewing temperature, they released approximately 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into the water.  These levels are thousands of times higher than what has previously been reported in water bottles and other foods packaged in plastic.

The Effect of Microplastics

In addition, the research team also looked into the effect of these micro- and nanoplastic particles on water fleas, and found that the animals did survive the exposure but showed anatomical and behavioural abnormalities.

The Take-Away Message

After reading this study, I would highly recommend that you go through all of your tea in your cupboard and eliminate the ones that come in plastic tea bags from your collection.

One company of teas that I love to enjoy is Traditional Medicinals.  Their tea bags are paper based and most of their teas are organic.  They don’t cost much more than $4-$6 a box for 20 tea bags, and you can find them at most health food stores, and even many grocery stores in and around the city.  In addition, they also release their certificate of analysis on their products.  It’s basically a win win situation for consumers!


If you’d like to sit down with me to discuss how I can help you reach your health goals, CONTACT ME HERE to set up your complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.

What’s a discovery call/meeting?  It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.


Here are a few more posts on healthy habits that you might also be interested in:




  • Hernandez LM, Xu E, Larsson H, Tahara R, Maisuria VB & Tufenkji N.  Plastic Teabags Release Billions of Microparticles and Nanoparticles into Tea.  Environ Sci & Tech. DOI : 10.1021/acs.est.9b02540. https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/some-plastic-your-tea-300919




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