Constipated? Green tea is a natural laxative
04/08/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

Green tea has many evidence-based health benefits: it can make your heart healthier and it helps lower your risk of various types of cancers. You can also drink this beverage if you're constipated and looking for a natural and effective laxative.

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables function as laxatives or foods or drugs that loosen stools and increase bowel movements. Beverages like coffee also have a laxative effect. But can the same be said for green tea? Some people report that green tea acts as a laxative while others don’t see a difference in their bowel movements after consuming the beverage.

Both black and green tea come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis. However, the teas are produced using different fermentation or oxidation processes. Black and green tea contain some caffeine. (Related: Eating a mango every day prevents constipation.)

Caffeine is a stimulating agent that triggers the nervous system. It also promotes bowel movements, which means caffeine is a natural laxative that helps relieve constipation.

Factors that affect green tea's effectivity as a laxative

Green tea can help loosen stools, but its effectivity depends on certain factors like brewing time, consumption time, and quantity.

Brewing time

Green tea has less caffeine compared to coffee and black tea. A cup of coffee has 100 milligrams of caffeine, but the same serving of green tea only has around 14 to 60 milligrams of caffeine. The longer you brew green tea, the higher its caffeine content.

Green tea brewed for 60 to 90 seconds contains about 35 mg of caffeine. This is enough caffeine to stimulate bowel movements.


Consumption time

Drinking green tea first thing in the morning can help ease constipation since its caffeine content will act as a mild laxative. Before you eat breakfast, drink some green tea to get your bowels moving.

The tea will make your colon contract and push things forward via a process called a gastrocolic reflex. The effect of this reflex is most intense after eating your first meal for the day.


As long as you drink green tea in moderation, it won't loosen your bowels. You can safely have two to three cups of green tea per day. However, if you're drinking the tea for the first time, limit your consumption to only one cup so your body can get used to it over time.

Don't drink too much green tea if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The health benefits of green tea

Green tea can promote bowel movements in first-time drinkers because of the following reasons:

It improves colon health. 

Mucoid plaque forms in the gastrointestinal tract. In time, this mucus coating hardens, which can weaken your immune system and cause digestive problems. Green tea helps clean the colon by flushing out mucoid plaques and toxins.

It improves liver and kidney function.

Green tea contains polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and other catechins. EGCG and other catechins improve liver and kidney functioning by flushing out environmental toxins that enter your body through some of the foods that you consume.

Can green tea cause diarrhea?

The caffeine in green tea makes your intestines take in more fluid, and this makes you excrete more liquid when you defecate. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may have shorter transit time and looser stools. Having diarrhea can make you dehydrated, which can be prevented by drinking less than one cup of green tea.

Additionally, green tea works as a diuretic. The caffeine in tea has a stimulating effect on the urinary system, and this means you may urinate more frequently after drinking tea.

If you are suffering from constipation, drink green tea to naturally relieve your symptoms.

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