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Does Green Tea Cause Kidney Stones

Who Is Jeff Sarris

Does matcha green tea cause kidney stones? / Kidney Stone Diet Podcast with Jill Harris

Jeffs co-founder of SPYR, a branding agency based out of Chicago, where he and his business partner Dave help awesome people like Jill create online platforms that make an impact. Hes also a certified health coach, Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary Minimalism, and host of the Starting Now podcast.

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Can Green Tea Cause Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, hard deposits of minerals and acid salts that form inside the kidneys, can be very painful. Several things can cause kidney stones, including over-concentration of the urine, metabolic or genetic disorders, and infections. Gastric bypass surgery can also increase your chances of developing this condition, because it affects the way your body absorbs calcium and most kidney stones are calcium-based. Green tea is not a cause of kidney stones, according to In fact, it’s quite the opposite this popular herbal tea is often recommended to help prevent them.

Who Is Jill Harris

Jill is a nurse and health coach that specializes in educating patients on kidney stone prevention. For more than 20 years shes helped patients understand that kidney stones can be prevented with the right treatment plan. Its one thing to be told to lower oxalate or drink more water, but HOW do you do it? Thats where she comes in. Through the educational resources at, stone formers can learn everything they need to know to significantly lower new stone risk.

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Which Type Of Tea Causes Kidney Stones

Now, after knowing that green tea prevents the formation of kidney stones, you might be thinking that the effect is the same with other tea varieties as well. Arent you?

However, this is not true!

There are teas that cause kidney stones. Those who already suffer from kidney stones are not supposed to drink tea. This is because tea contains a high amount of oxalate that leads to the formation of kidney stones.

If you consume too much tea you can end up with kidney stones.

Now, as already discussed, green tea has a preventive effect with regard to kidney stones and this shows that not every tea causes them. It all depends on the oxalate level of tea.

When compared to green tea, black tea has a higher amount of oxalate present in it and therefore should be avoided.

P.S. It is still not very clear whether by bringing down your consumption of oxalate-rich foods you can prevent kidney stones or not. So, those with a history of kidney stones need to limit their consumption of food and drink that has more amount of oxalate.

You can always drink green tea as the amount of oxalate in it is quite less when compared to that of black tea.

High Caffeine And Kidneys: Let’s Explore Some Popular Drinks

Drinking Green Tea Kidney Stones

Unfortunately, the effect of caffeine on the kidneys isnt great. Caffeine consumption is a risk factor for kidney disease, and can cause scarring of the glomeruli – that is, the vessels in the kidneys that filter blood .

Caffeine may also lead to kidney stones, and it increases strain on the kidneys . However, some caffeinated beverages, like coffee, may be safe in small amounts due to certain plant constituents .

One review found that the data is inconclusive regarding caffeine and kidney stone risk however, the researchers pointed out that coffee and decaffeinated coffee,but not other caffeinated beverages, actually had a protective effect on the kidneys .

The bottom line, though, is that you probably shouldnt overdo it when it comes to caffeine. Let’s look at some classically high caffeine drinks: black tea and coffee:

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Green Tea Can Be Harmful In Large Quantities

Green tea is good for you, but only if drunk in moderation. While the polyphenols in green tea are credited with preventing heart disease and cancer, it seems they can cause liver and kidney damage if consumed in very large quantities, a review of studies into the toxicity of polyphenols has shown.

People shouldnt be too alarmed by this, but those taking supplements may experience problems, says lead author Chung Yang of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

He stresses that up to 10 small cups of green tea a day is fine. Problems are likely in people who take supplements, which can contain up to 50 times as much polyphenol as a single cup of tea.

Yangs review cites experiments in which rodents and dogs died from liver poisoning when given very large doses of polyphenols. He also reports cases of people with liver toxicity after overdosing on green-tea-based supplements. Their symptoms disappeared when they stopped taking the pills, only to return when they started taking them again .

Is Tea High In Oxalate

While tea is relatively high in oxalate compared to many foods, its important to remember that the serving size of tea is usually dozens or hundreds of times less than other foods.

According to several studies, heres how much soluble oxalate various types of tea leaves and tea liquid yield:

  • Black tea leaves: 4.61-5.11 milligrams of oxalate per gram of leaf
  • Black tea liquid: 4.41-4.92 milligrams of oxalate per cup
  • Chinese green tea liquid: 1.9 to 27.96 milligrams of oxalate
  • Chinese oolong tea liquid : 6.89 milligrams of oxalate per cup
  • Green tea powder or matcha: 12.6 milligrams of oxalate per 2-gram serving

Now, for comparison, here is the oxalate content of some common foods.

High oxalate foods that may increase the risk of kidney stones:

  • Purslane: 1294 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Spinach: 970 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Cocoa: 700 mg oxalate per 100 grams
  • Sorrel 500 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Rhubarb: 260 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Cashew: 231 mg oxalate per 100 grams

Medium- and low-risk foods with less oxalate:

  • Parsley: 170 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Potato: 80 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Cabbage: 60 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Tomato: 20 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Apple: 15 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight
  • Lettuce: 12 mg oxalate per 100 grams fresh weight

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The Solution: Which Teas Are Best For Kidneys

Not all teas are cause for concern when it comes to kidneys. There are plenty of tea types that havent been linked to kidney disease, and in fact may help improve kidney health! The key you may have learned by now is levels of caffeine and oxalates, and also other constituents like certain antioxidants which can actually be beneficial to kidney health.

Kidney Stones How Are They Caused

Can Green Tea Cause Kidney Stones?|Kidney deseases| Very Well

Kidney stones are formed when a very high content of calcium or other minerals get accumulated in the urinary tract and get clumped together, leading to painful stones. Symptoms include blood in urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and swelling in the kidneys. The most common kidney stone is made up of calcium oxalate.

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What Are Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard pebble-like objects that can form inside your kidneys. Theyâre made of minerals and salts. You might hear your doctor call them renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis.

Kidney stones are small — usually between the size of a kernel of corn and a grain of salt. They can form when your body has too much of certain minerals, and at the same time doesnât have enough liquid. The stones can be brown or yellow, and smooth or rough.

Can You Get Kidney Stones From Drinking Tea

Some true teas from the Camellia sinensis plant are relatively high in oxalates, which naturally leads to concerns that they could contribute to kidney stone formation.

While public opinions from urologists and other experts may fall on both sides of this issue, peer-reviewed research is more conclusive.

Scientific studies find a risk of kidney stones in tea drinkers compared to people who dont drink tea.

A 2013 analysis of over 194,000 participants found that there was an inverse relationship between daily intake of tea and the risk of new kidney stone formation.

Also, the effect was cumulativethe more cups of tea per day and per week, the greater the benefit. That said, a relationship in study data doesnt prove causation, and theres also a possibility that people who drink tea also eat a healthier overall diet .

A 2019 study also found that drinking green tea daily did not raise the risk of stone formation.

And a fascinating 2009 study found that oxalate crystals formed in the presence of green tea were flatter and more fragile than those formed under regular conditions, which the authors argued could prevent the formation of clinical kidney stones.

On the other side of the fence, Dr. John Milner, an assistant professor at the Department of Urology at Loyola University claims that For people who have a tendency to form the most common type of kidney stones, iced tea is one of the worst things to drink.

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Is Black Tea Bad For The Kidneys

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Made from the Camellia sinensis plant, black tea can be consumed hot or cold and is a nutritious addition to your healthy eating plan. Like many other things in life, however, too much of a good thing can end up harming your health, and that goes for black tea. Drinking more than 5 cups of black tea per day can have a negative effect on certain aspects of your health, including the health of your kidneys, according to MedlinePlus.

Rooibos Tea And Kidneys

Can Green Tea Extract Cause Kidney Stones

Rooibos is a cinch for kidneys to deal with – its low in tannins, and is caffeine and oxalate free !

In one review of red and green rooibos, no negative effects were noted in a study where animals were given rooibos as the sole drinking fluid, and no negative effects on kidneys and creatinine were noted. In the human trial, no adverse effects or out-of-range clinical pathology reports were observed .

Of course, speak to your doctor if you have any health concerns but in general, the research seems to suggest that rooibos is safe for your kidneys.

To learn more about rooibos and its benefits, check out our Rooibos vs Honeybush spotlight post.

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The Relationship Between Oxalate And Kidney Stones

Unless youre already aware of oxalate, you may be surprised to learn that many leafy greens and plant foods contain high levels of an antinutrient thats linked to higher risk of kidney stones.

Oxalic acid or oxalate is a naturally-occurring compound in plants that interferes with the absorption of calcium.

The main concern with diets high in oxalate is the formation of kidney stones.

For example, research has shown that some vegetarians and vegans who eat lots of plant foods consume more oxalate, and thus may be more likely to get kidney stones.

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of minerals that form in your kidney and pass through your urinary tract. The most common symptoms are waves of severe pain and nausea, usually in the side of the abdomen.

Some people seem to be more sensitive to dietary oxalate than others. As a result, doctors sometimes recommend a low oxalate diet to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.

Ask The Harvard Experts: Prevent Kidney Stones With Simple Dietary Changes

Q: I recently passed a kidney stone. I never want to go through that pain again! Whats the best diet to avoid another kidney stone?

A: First and foremost, be sure you drink plenty of fluids every day and avoid dehydration. Kidney stones form when certain minerals concentrate in the urine and form hard crystals. By drinking plenty of fluid, you can decrease the concentration of these minerals. Drink 8 to 12 cups a day.

The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone. About 80% of all kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. The name might make you think you should eat a low calcium diet to avoid getting them, but you should do the opposite.

The problem is oxalate. Most people who develop calcium oxalate absorb too much oxalate. The extra oxalate is absorbed by the intestines and passed into the blood stream. The body uses what it needs, and the extra oxalate is excreted in the urine. In the urine, the higher concentration of oxalate can combine with calcium to cause kidney stones.

Many of the foods we eat, including some very healthy foods, contain oxalate. Examples include beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, most nuts and chocolate. But its quite difficult to stay on an oxalate restricted diet.

Instead concentrate on eating plenty of calcium rich fools. Inside your intestines, the dietary calcium binds the oxalate before it has a chance to get absorbed into your bloodstream, so less oxalate will need to pass into your urine.

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Final Verdict Is Green Tea Good Or Bad For Your Kidneys

As already discussed, scientific research has established that green tea helps in preventing kidney stones from forming a larger shape. This allows them to easily pass through the urinary tract.

Apart from that, EGCG in green tea helps prevent chronic kidney disease. This implies that green tea is definitely good for the kidneys.

Is Ginger Good For Kidney Transplant Patients

Is it safe to drink tea with kidney stones?

Eating a clean and nutritious diet plays an important role in keeping all the organs including the kidney functioning efficiently. A healthy diet reduces any potential risks for kidney diseases caused through inflammation or through poor dietary choices.

For a person who has had a kidney transplant, following a nutrition-dense diet is vital to support optimal kidney function to protect any further damage or decline in the kidneys.

While ginger in its natural form is safe to add to the diet of a kidney transplant patient, however, there are studies that indicate that ginger supplements might alter the absorption of tacrolimus . While small amounts of ginger are unlikely to cause any significant issues, large amounts of ginger may be better avoided. Drinking ginger tea can be helpful for a kidney transplant patient to fight off any nausea and vomiting occurring from the side effects of the medications.

In general, ginger extracts have been indicated to be helpful in protecting against kidney diseases occurring through diabetes complications, as it helps the kidneys in providing a protective role and delaying any onset of kidney diseases.

As mentioned above, ginger is packed with antioxidants which are known to be helpful for kidney disease.For a kidney transplant patient, following a nutritious diet that supports kidney function is important in order to make sure that kidneys have everything they need to function optimally going forward in the future.

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Which Tea Is Good For Kidney Disease

In order to cleanse your kidneys and keep them working fine, all you need to do is to drink a lot of water. Staying well-hydrated is usually enough to help them function right.

While drinking green tea is beneficial for the health of your kidneys, those with existing kidney disease should avoid it.

Annique Health and Beauty mention that Most teas, like green or black, contain a compound called oxalic acid. Its also found in chocolate, certain fruits, vegetables, and raw leafy greens.

Normally, oxalic acid is naturally eliminated through your urine. But when you dont drink enough water, consume too much sugar, and have a diet high in oxalic acid, oxalate crystals can form.

This is one of the most common causes of kidney stones.

But Rooibos Tea doesnt contain oxalates. Thats why its a great alternative to green or black tea for those who are prone to kidney stones.

However, as said earlier, it is always better to consult with the kidney specialist and follow his or her advice.

Teas That Are Okay For You

9. Rosehip Tea

Rosehip tea has a variety of benefits, ranging from antioxidant properties to boosting your immunity. There are different reasons to drink this herbal tea.

But, it does contain a moderate amount of oxalates. So, if you are sensitive or already have kidney stones you may want to practice moderation when drinking this tea.

10. Yerba Mate Tea

Additionally, if you enjoy the South American Yerba Mate tea you may want to limit your daily consumption. It, as previous, contains a moderate amount of oxalates. So, despite being a stimulating alternative to coffee, you may rearrange your regime to avoid excess consumption.

11. Black Currant Tea

Lastly, black currants have a moderate amount of oxalates. So, if you enjoy this flavored tea you may want to be careful about how much you drink.

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Is Matcha Tea Good For The Kidneys

Matcha is the tea made out of the finely powdered green tea leaves and has plenty of health benefits. It is said that green tea concoctions are beneficial for the kidneys.

As per a study carried out on diabetes patients, it has been found that upon consuming matcha tea kidney damage can be prevented. That sounds like one good reason to add the tea to your diet!

In conclusion, it can be easily said that green tea is healthy and is good for the kidneys. You need to consume it in moderation as a part of a healthy lifestyle to enjoy all its benefits.

Is Ginger Good For Kidney Stones

Does Green Tea Increase Kidney Stones

The kidneys are responsible to remove the built-up toxic wastes in the blood. Eating a nutrient-rich diet that supports and improves kidney health for renal patients is important.

Ginger is rich in minerals and vitamins such as magnesium and vitamin C. Consuming ginger in the form of ginger tea can also be helpful for people suffering from kidney stones as it might aid in dissolving the built up stones to pass out through the urine.

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, drinking ginger tea can have a healthy effect on the functioning of kidneys, as it can help the kidneys to protect against any bacterial infections.

Consuming ginger is also helpful in neutralizing the built-up free radicals in the kidney cells, These free radicals may damage the tissues and cells involving the kidneys.

If the diet of a kidney disease patient is low in antioxidants, the body might find it harder to protect against the damage caused by free radicals.

Hence eating ginger might have a positive impact on the kidney functions of kidney patients as it is rich in anti-oxidants and shields the kidneys against oxidative stress.

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