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Popular 'Cure-All' Tea Can Cause Toxic Reactions

eloped shortness of breath and throat tightness an hour after drinking the tea. This patient was also treated for a presumed allergic reaction and discharged.

The researchers caution that "these four cases highlight the use of a specific alternative therapy with [the] potential for toxicity." Neither the tea?s claimed therapeutic benefits nor its adverse side effects have been reported widely in scientific literature.

Srinivasan and co-authors warn that this "health" beverage could in fact be harmful to some consumers, even though no direct link could be made between drinking the tea and the adverse reactions reported, because of the small number of cases and the unethical aspects of testing the tea for toxicity in humans. The authors also urge that patients who experience unexplainable symptoms and the physicians who treat them consider that those symptoms could be side effects from alternative therapies, such as drinking home-brewed Kombucha tea.
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Contact: Margo Alderton
jgim@mail.med.upenn.edu
215-823-4471
Center for the Advancement of Health
8-Oct-1997


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