Drinking too much green tea has been blamed as the cause of a UK teenage girl contracting a severe case of hepatitis this week.
The teenager explained that she initially bought the green tea over the internet from China in an effort to lose weight.
She also admitted that as the ingredients were written in Chinese, she was unsure as to what she was actually drinking.
After being misdiagnosed with a urinary tract infection when she first began experiencing symptoms, it wasn’t until two days later that the doctors figured out what was wrong.
The girl was suffering from nausea, light-headedness and body pains and reportedly showed signs of jaundice when she was taken to the emergency department two days later.
"I had only lost a couple of pounds but then started having horrible pains in my joints, and felt very dizzy and sick," she said.
Chemical Contamination Could have Caused Illness
Due to the way that herbal teas are grown and manufactured, a likely cause of the food poisoning could have been contamination from pesticides.
"There is potential for pesticide-induced hepatitis to exist, especially from less regulated products ordered from developing countries over the internet," reported a medical journal written by the attending doctors.
While this might seem like a peculiar and isolated case, the doctors who referred to it explained that “developing hepatitis infections from herbal tea were a ‘rare but recurring theme’”.
Despite the fact that the acute illness has been linked to the popular drink, the doctors who authored the report do not suggest that people stop enjoying green tea as “it is predominantly a very safe and healthy drink, with antioxidant properties."