Is Tea Good for Diarrhea? (What Types Are Best)

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Tea is becoming more popular as a caffeine replacement for coffee. Caffeine can be a stimulant to bowel activity, so there’s one question that’s often asked: Is Tea Good for Diarrhea?

Warm tea in a sore stomach can provide a soothing effect that gives a great deal of relief to those suffering with diarrhea. Choosing the right tea can provide even more relief.

Drinks such as peppermint tea, green tea, and many more can have some surprising benefits. They’re also nice to drink, and keep the body hydrated.

However, it’s often important to drink in moderation. Avoid teas that are high in caffeine, contain lots of sugar, or have added milk. 

What Types Of Tea Are Good For Diarrhea?

Green Tea

Green tea is made from the camellia sinensis plant, which is also used to create black and oolong tea. With a herbal flavor, a natural earthiness, and a light and refreshing finish, it’s a popular choice of tea.

Although naturally caffeinated, green tea contains a lower level of caffeine than black tea.

There is plentiful research into the health benefits of consuming green tea. The health-promoting effects have undergone extensive study, to understand how green tea is beneficial.

Green tea has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the H.pylori infection, which can cause indigestion, abdominal pain and even lead to stomach ulcers. Research has also shown green tea reduces the likelihood of diarrhea in those undergoing radiotherapy.

Moderation is necessary when drinking green tea, as the caffeine content can worsen diarrhea. Be aware of green teas containing artificial sweeteners, which can also lead to diarrhea.

Widely available, bags of green tea are steeped for several minutes in hot water.

Ginger Tea

Ginger has long been a popular herbal remedy for diarrhea, and recent studies show strong links between consuming ginger and easing diarrhea.

Studies have shown that ginger can offer nausea relief, and potentially help gastrointestinal disorders. Ginger can also fight E.coli, a common cause of diarrhea, and help inhibit its growth.

Studies have also been conducted into the use of ginger for fighting nausea, which concluded that it was an effective and inexpensive treatment.

Although fresh ginger can be overwhelming, ginger tea is a much more palatable blend of spicy and sweet.

To make ginger tea, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sliced or grated ginger to hot water. Steep for five minutes (longer for a stronger taste), and drain. Add lemon or honey for flavor.

Peppermint Tea

With a refreshing taste and a strong aroma, peppermint tea is often the first choice when it comes to easing stomach problems.

Animal studies have been conducted, concluding peppermint tea relaxed the gastrointestinal tissue, has analgesic and anesthetic properties, and antimicrobial and antiviral effects.

A study on the effects of peppermint oil on diarrhea as a symptom of IBS concluded that peppermint could reduce abdominal pain. Although the study focused on peppermint oil, the results are encouraging.

The strong smell of peppermint has also been studied, with the results showing that even the scent can potentially reduce nausea and vomiting.

Bags of peppermint tea are widely available in grocery stores and health food stores. Peppermint tea can also be brewed by adding the dried leaves to hot water, and allowing them to steep for over 5 minutes.

Black Tea

Like green tea, black tea is made from the camellia sinensis plant. Black tea is very commonly enjoyed, and there’s plenty of research into the health benefits of this popular drink.

Black tea has been studied exclusively to determine its properties as an anti-diarrheal drink. The study found that black tea could be helpful against many forms of diarrhea.

Black tea tablets have also been used to treat children with non-bacterial diarrhea. Animal studies have also shown that black tea can be an adjunctive treatment for E.coli induced diarrhea.

Even though black tea can be used to treat diarrhea, it’s important to do so in moderation. As a naturally caffeinated drink, too much black tea can actually have an adverse effect and worsen diarrhea. Intake should be limited to no more than 2 cups per day, to avoid further stomach issues.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a herbal tea that comes from the chamomile flower. It is naturally caffeine-free, with a floral taste that’s earthy without becoming too sweet.

With a light flavor and delicious aroma, chamomile tea is often known for being soothing and calming. It’s a popular choice to drink before bed, or when feeling anxious or stressed. Chamomile tea may also be useful for treating diarrhea.

Studies conducted have shown that chamomile can reduce diarrhea in infants, treat gastrointestinal disorders, and reduce nausea. Animal studies have also shown that chamomile can reduce diarrhea, and potentially prevent it from occurring.

Although these studies often use chamomile extract, similar properties could potentially be observed in the tea.

Chamomile tea is widely available in pre-made bags. Or, add a spoonful of dried chamomile leaves to hot water, steep for several minutes, and strain.

Fennel Tea

Fennel tea is perhaps the least well known of the teas on this list, but it’s a popular choice in herbal medicine. It has a soft licorice flavoring that can be incredibly refreshing.

Fennel tea is often used to treat various ailments, including diarrhea. With anti-inflammatory effects, it can be soothing on the stomach, reducing pain and easing cramps.

Other studies have researched the effects of fennel at reducing the growth of E.coli, and inhibiting bacteria. Drinking fennel tea can also promote bowel movements, and promote a healthy gut.

Fennel tea can be made from fennel seeds, or from the roots and leaves of the fennel plant. Add a teaspoon of dried seeds to a cup of hot water and brew, or pour hot water over leaves and roots, and strain for 10 minutes. 

Fennel tea can often be bought in bags from health food stores.

Tea and Diarrhea Final Thoughts

Choosing the right tea can make all the difference. Drink in moderation, especially if caffeinated, and experiment with flavors until you find what works for you.

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Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Sheila Jennings

    Sheila Jennings is a 4th-year medical student and also freelances as a content writer on gut health, nutrition, and food. She lives with IBS and has learned how to keep her symptoms at bay through a healthy diet and exercise. She wants to educate others on what they can do to take back control of their gut health and live like they used to.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.