Unexpected health benefits of expired tea revealed

Peking University study: Does drinking more than four grams of tea a day increase cancer risk? Is it really better to give up tea?

(ORDO NEWS) — Auntie Ma, 63, became dehydrated due to diarrhea and passed out. The family sent her to the local Tier 3 Hospital for emergency care . When Auntie Ma arrived, she was unconscious and her blood pressure dropped to 40/60 mmHg. After rendering assistance, her condition stabilized within an hour.

According to the doctor, such life-threatening diarrhea is most likely due to food poisoning. Family members noted that Aunt Ma sat at the same table with everyone that day, the food was the same. No one else had any problems.

However, they remembered that Auntie Ma took out tea that had been stored for several years and soaked it in water. Then the family said that the tea was probably damp and should not be drunk, but Aunt Ma stood her ground and said that it could not go bad.

An hour after eating, Aunt Ma suddenly developed severe diarrhea. She passed out during the night, so her family sent her to the hospital. During the examination, it turned out that a large amount of mold had entered her body, as a result, she was diagnosed with mycotoxicosis.

Peking University study: drinking more than four grams of tea a day is associated with an increased risk of cancer

Tea has always been considered beneficial to health. In August 2019, a team of scientists led by Professor Li Liming from the Institute of Public Health at Peking University conducted a study on the relationship between tea consumption and cancer risk. The results were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

As part of the work, data from more than 500,000 Chinese were analyzed, and long-term follow-up of 450,000 patients was also carried out. The researchers studied the relationship between tea consumption and six types of cancer (lung cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer).

The results of the analysis showed that in people who consumed more than four grams of tea daily, the overall risk of developing cancer increased by 26%, the risk of developing lung cancer by 62%, the risk of developing stomach cancer by 29%.

Does this mean that it is better to give up tea altogether? Not everything is so clear. In fact, tea is not a “scapegoat”.

After conducting an in-depth analysis, it turned out that many people who drank tea every day also had a habit of smoking and drinking alcohol regularly. Tobacco and alcohol are positively correlated with tea consumption.

After eliminating the influence of these factors, the risk of developing oncology was significantly reduced. But it’s still easier for people to blame tea for everything than to give up bad habits.

This study only scratches the surface of the relationship between smoking, alcohol consumption and cancer. It is better not to smoke or drink alcohol than to lean on foods that have anti-cancer properties.

Is it possible to drink tea that has been stored at home for a long time?

Even if you rarely drink tea, you can still find this product in your home. Many people believe that tea becomes more aromatic with age and that it has no expiration date. But this is a big misconception.

White and black tea

The shelf life of white and black tea is quite long. In a dry, odorless environment, the product can be stored for a long time without a definite period.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea is a fermented tea that can vary in flavor intensity. Lightly scented teas have a short shelf life of about two years, while more aromatic oolong varieties have a shelf life of three to ten years as they undergo a greater degree of fermentation and drying.

Red tea

Red tea is a fully fermented tea that can be stored for two to three years. The main thing is that the environment is dry.

Green and yellow tea

Compared to the aforementioned varieties, green and yellow teas generally do not go through the fermentation process, so their shelf life is relatively short, usually no more than 18 months.

Is it possible to drink expired tea?

It all depends on the quality of the tea. Even after the expiration date, if the storage conditions are suitable, it can be drunk without harm to health. However, if mold is found, the product must be discarded, even if it is not past its expiration date.

What harm will drinking moldy tea do to the body?

Moldy tea usually contains penicillin acid, chlorcyclizine, luteoskyrin, and other mycotoxins. When ingested, these substances can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms. Prolonged use of such a drink can lead to necrosis or cancer of the liver, kidneys and other organs.

What to do with expired and moldy tea?

In order to remove the mold, is it enough to wash the tea leaves with water? In no case! Although the mold appears to have affected only a small area, it most likely affected the entire tea. In this case, even if some of the fungi visible to the naked eye are removed from the leaves, the water in which these leaves will be brewed may also become moldy. The best way to get rid of such tea is to throw it away.
What to do with expired tea?


At home, a kettle, thermos and other utensils form scale during prolonged use. To remove it, pour the appropriate amount of spoiled tea leaves, brew them with boiling water, leave for a while, and then drain the water.

Absorption of the smell of food waste

Even if the tea has expired, the product still has a good ability to absorb odors. Unpleasant odors in the kitchen mainly come from the bins that store food waste. It is necessary to put some expired tea in the trash can to effectively get rid of the “aroma”.


Tea is a good fertilizer. Although expired tea is harmful to humans, it still contains nutrients. Watering the flowers with brewed tea will promote plant growth and make green leaves more lustrous.


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