Green tea is often lauded as a super healthy beverage, but not all tea is created equal: in fact, a teenager just got seriously sick after drinking too much tea with a potentially dangerous chemical in it. It's scary stuff, but don't toss all of your tea packets in the trash just yet - this isn't your run of the mill Teavana beverage we're talking about here.
According to The Daily Mail, an unidentified teen went to the hospital after developing symptoms including severe nausea, joint pain, and dizziness. The doctors sent her home with antibiotics to treat what they assumed was a urinary tract infection, but it wasn't long before the teen returned to the hospital for the same symptoms. She then developed jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes and skin caused by the swelling of the liver, which clued the doctors in on the seriousness of her symptoms.
Though the teen denied taking illegal drugs or drinking alcohol - other things that could cause liver swelling - she did tell the doctors about one important thing she was doing differently, which was drinking green tea she ordered from China that was supposed to promote weight loss. That's when things started to click for her medical team, and they demanded she cut the beverage out for good. After a two-month hospital stint, her symptoms ceased - but they never would have had she continued her tea regimen.
The teen had been downing at least three cups a day of the tea, but she didn't really know what was actually in her daily beverage. According to The Daily Mail, it was the inclusion of the leaves and buds from the Camellia sinensis shrub that caused the teen's scary symptoms and liver swelling. Unfortunately, there was no way for the teen to know that this ingredient was dangerous - most herbs and supplements go unregulated by the FDA, so it's all too easy for one to fall into the trap of purchasing "healthy" tea, drink it, and then suffer serious consequences.
If there's a lesson to be learned from this teen's story, it's to never ingest anything that you don't can't verify the ingredients of - especially if it's making major claims like rapid weight loss. Green tea in itself is a healthy beverage, but the ingredients that some companies add to it may do far more harm to your body than good.