Who doesn't love a cup of tea in the afternoon on a chilly day?! But are there low histamine teas? Thankfully there are many options, and I've set out so many delicious options below.
It's often the case that black tea isn't thought to be the best idea on a low histamine diet, and green tea seems 'iffy' as well. Coffee appears very individual, with some enjoying a few cups a day, but others none at all.
In this post I detail some low histamine teas as well as coffee alternatives too. For each I look to the SIGHI list for histamine, and give their rating of different foods. However, you should always follow the histamine list given to you by your doctor or dietician.
As always, this post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or dietetic advice in any way. Please consult a medical professional for all matters regarding your health and diet.
- Is black tea low histamine?
- Is green tea low histamine?
- How to buy low histamine teas
- Fruit teas
- Apple tea
- Pomegranate ginger tea
- Spiced teas
- Ginger tea
- Turmeric tea
- Herbal teas
- Sage tea
- Rooibos tea
- Floral teas
- Lime blossom tea
- Chamomile tea
- Elderflower tea
- Coffee alternatives
- Ginger turmeric latte
- Iced turmeric latte
- Flavoured warm milks
- Frequently asked questions
- Related posts
Is black tea low histamine?
It is first important to note that there is very little consensus on which foods are high histamine (Sanchez-Perez et al., 2021). If only there was one list that everyone agreed on right?! Rather frustratingly, low histamine foods are the subject of much debate.
Black tea is typically understood to be high histamine or 'higher' histamine. It rates as '2' on the SIGHI list, on their range of 0-3, and has a 'H' for high histamine content. It's also important to note that tea contains caffeine, which can be mast cell activating (SIGHI). An average cup of tea has 47mg of caffeine, but can contain as much as 90mg (Healthline).
Although this is just a personal anecdote, both my doctor and a dietician provided me with histamine lists that advised to avoid black tea.
Is green tea low histamine?
Green tea is more debated in terms of histamine than black tea. It also contains caffeine, although less than black tea (or coffee). Healthline describes that there is an average of 35mg of caffeine in an 8oz serving.
On the SIGHI list green tea is rated as a '1' but as blocker, that is, it is an inhibitor of diamine oxidase or of other histamine degrading enzymes (SIGHI). Given that people with histamine intolerance typically have low diamine oxidase (DAO) levels (Schnedl et al., 2019), further inhibiting its production would seem problematic.
How to buy low histamine teas
One of the most important aspect of buying teas is to check the ingredients label. Some teas come as blends, or may have other ingredients that are not suitable on a low histamine diet such as citrus or certain spices.
Another consideration is whether you prefer to purchase organic teas, or tea bags that come in unbleached bags. This may not affect histamine levels, but are still decisions to make at the grocery store!
Making fruit tea at home is quite easy to do, and packed with healthy ingredients. Plus it's delicious of course! To make this kind of low histamine tea, simply add fresh fruit to a small pot, boil, steep for 5 minutes or so and then strain through a sieve. You can play around with combinations, adding in spices or a little maple syrup if you like.
To make apple tea simply add fresh chopped apple to a pot, and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve, then pour into your glasses.
Pomegranate ginger tea
My pomegranate ginger tea combines fruit with a little spice. All you need is pomegranate, ginger and a sweetener if you like. It's caffeine free, comes together in 15 minutes and is so pretty in colour too!
Spices are a little debated in terms of histamine, so be mindful of personal sensitivities. My post on low histamine herbs and spices may be helpful for more information.
Ginger tea is super simple, and has such a delicious kick of flavour. Simply add some slices of fresh ginger to boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes.
On the SIGHI list, ginger scores 1 with a note, 'Small amounts are well tolerated'. Anecdotally, I've found that many people with MCAS or histamine intolerance find ginger to be helpful, given that it is anti-inflammatory. However, we are all individual so check with dietician if unsure.
Turmeric tea is another super simple and flavourful tea that you can easily make at home. It's often combined with ginger to up the flavour even more, and with a sweetener such as honey.
Simply steep turmeric and any other ingredients being used in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Strain, and pour into your cups.
Turmeric scores 0 on the SIGHI list, so is considered low histamine. However, there are people who are not able to tolerate it as it is high in oxalates.
As low histamine teas go, herbal varieties are some of the most popular I think, and especially mint. They are also very easy to make, either from bags or picking your own leaves if you have some growing in the back yard!
Peppermint tea is such a staple for many, and a popular alternative to black tea. It can be enjoyed two ways:
- Peppermint tea bags - the kind you buy from the store with dried peppermint.
- Fresh mint tea - my favourite, simply pick fresh mint leaves and steep in boiling water. It has a lighter and more 'fresh' taste than tea bags.
Peppermint tea scores 0 on the SIGHI list.
Sage tea is less popular than peppermint tea where I live, but it's growing on me (and I have a plant in my back yard which means it's very easy to make!).
To make sage tea, steep sage leaves in boiling water, along with a sweetener if you like. Strain into your cups and enjoy!
Sage tea scores 0 on the SIGHI list. Interestingly, Healthline notes that sage tea 'contains several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds', although they note that more research is necessary.
Roobibos or red bush 'is a tisane traditionally made by fermenting the leaves of the flowering shrub, Aspalathus linearis' (BBC Good Food). It's naturally caffeine free with a slightly nutty and sweet taste.
Rooibos tea has a score of 0 on the SIGHI list.
Lime blossom tea
Lime blossom tea (also called Linden tea) is sweet and floral, and very delicious! It's most commonly used in tea bags so you simply pour on boiling water and steep. You can also make it yourself by steeping fresh flowers.
SIGHI scores lime blossom tea as 0 on their list.
Renowned for its calming affects, chamomile tea has a light floral taste and is slightly sweet. I like to add a touch of honey to bring the flavour out even more.
You can either buy chamomile tea bags or make your own at home!
Is chamomile tea low histamine? Chamomile tea scores 0, so is low histamine on the SIGHI list. It 'contains antioxidants that may promote sleepiness, and drinking chamomile tea has been shown to improve overall sleep quality' (Healthline).
Similarly to chamomile tea, elderflower tea is slightly sweet with a floral taste. It's a little more difficult to track down as tea bags, or at least where I live. I've only seen it mixed with white tea, which isn't really suitable on a low histamine diet.
You can, however, make it elderflower tea at home with elderflowers, steeped in boiling water and perhaps with some honey for sweetness.
Elderflower tea as such isn't rated on the SIGHI list, but elderflower cordial scores 0.
Coffee is particularly debated in terms of histamine. Through conversations with my low histamine friends on Instagram, I've had very opposing opinions! A poll I did had 59% saying they tolerated coffee well. I've had comments such as 'what, but I drink it all the time and I'm fine with it?!', to 'can't touch a drop'. It definitely seems quite individual, and interestingly a dietician said the same to me.
With coffee, it's high in caffeine which can be an issue for those on a low histamine diet. Personally I only ever drink decaffeinated coffee and one using the Swiss water process if possible. As I mention in my coffee and MCAS post, I tend to limit my intake to one cup a day at the most, and avoid if my symptoms are playing up.
On the SIGHI list coffee scores 1 with a note, 'Caffeine stimulates nerves and bowel, which may be mast cell activating'. There isn't mention of decaffeinated coffee unfortunately.
If coffee doesn't work for you, or you just fancy some other options, there are other 'faux' or alternative coffee ideas that may be more suitable for a low histamine diet.
Ginger turmeric latte
Turmeric lattes are full of flavour and health benefits if you are OK with the ingredients used. Warming and cosy, they are the best coffee alternative I find!
My ginger turmeric latte combines a little spice with non-dairy milk and a sweetener and comes together in just 5 minutes on the stove top!
Iced turmeric latte
For summer, my iced turmeric latte is so refreshing! We use a blender to combine the ingredients which gives that perfect frothy top just like coffee. Super simple and easy to do.
Flavoured warm milks
Frequently asked questions
Black tea is understood to be high histamine, and is rated as such on the SIGHI list. They also note that it is a blocker of diamine oxidase or other histamine degrading enzymes.
Peppermint tea is low histamine. It can be made using tea bags, or you can make your own mint tea with fresh leaves. As with all foods however, we may have personal sensitivities.
Chamomile tea is a low histamine tea. As with all foods however, we may have personal sensitivities.
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Sanchez-Perez, S. (2021) 'Low-Histamines Diets: Is the Exclusion of Foods Justified by their Histamine Content?', Nutrients, 13(5): 1395.
Schnedl, W. et al., (2019) 'Diamine Oxidase Supplementation Improves Symptoms in People with Histamine Intolerance', Food Science Biotechnonology, 28(6): 1779.