Pu-erh contains caffeine and some other substances similar to it. It also contains antioxidants which can help protect the heart and blood vessels. Caffeine has strong effect on central nervous system, heart and muscles.
But, is there anything to worry about when drinking pu-erh tea? It is just tea after all, right? Yes, there are some side effects to it. Side effects which appear to be unexpected, but are important to be informed about and prepared for.
Side effects occur rarely, but when they do, in most cases it’s because of excessive consumption (over five cups daily). However, they do appear in cases when people suffer from certain health conditions. Other things can be the cause of experiencing side effects as well. It’s always advisable to consult your doctor about pu-erh tea consumption if you have health issues or if you plan to use it in high quantities.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
In moderate amounts, pu-erh tea is mostly harmless. During pregnancy or breast-feeding period, you shouldn’t drink more than three cups of it daily in any case. Remember that whatever you eat or drink also gets to your baby.
In extreme cases, pu-erh can cause miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight etc. When breast-feeding, it can lead to sleep disturbances, diarrhea and irritability of the infant. These must certainly discourage you from drinking it, but as stated, it takes really high doses of it to lead to these problems. If you drink one cup of pu-erh tea daily, you shouldn’t have to worry about them.
High blood pressure
As this drink is a stimulant, it might cause higher blood pressure because of caffeine it contains. The effect is stronger on those who don’t drink coffee and sodas regularly and weaker on those who do. On people who drink a lot of coffee and sodas effect on blood pressure is so small it can be disregarded.
However, you shouldn’t simply write this off. High blood pressure can be very dangerous. It can even cause glaucoma and eventually blindness. So, theoretically, drinking a lot of pu-erh tea could blind you, but if you rule out coffee and sodas, it would take years of drinking dozens of cups of tea weekly for it to do so.
Another thing to worry about is tachycardia – irregular heart beat. That’s only if you high cholesterol or bad heart condition. People with weak hearts should in no case abuse caffeine.
What does tea have to do with weak bones? Yes, it is weird, but it’s also true. And caffeine is the culprit once again. Caffeine can increase the amount of calcium lost in urination.
Bottom line is, caffeine is the cause of all unwanted side effects which this tea can induce. It’s a stimulant and is usually harmless, except if consumed in vast quantities. As with many things in life, moderation is key.
To sum it up, do not take pu-erh tea if you suffer from:
• a heart condition.
• a bleeding condition or high blood pressure