ALKALOID AD - Skopje
Blvd. "Aleksandar Makedonski" 12
1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Telephone: + 389 2 2465 361

FAQ

If you put less water than the quantity prescribed on the packaging, then the tea would be more concentrated, its taste and flavour stronger, but without any side effects. The tea dose (dry herb/blend) which should be used for preparation of the tea ( infusion) is calculated on the basis of official data from literature and it is safe to take in the body. No health risks for the consumers in such cases.
If you put more water than the quantity prescribed on the packaging, then the tea would be diluted, its taste and flavour less strong, but without any side effects. The tea dose (dry herb/blend) which should be used for preparation of the tea (infusion) is calculated on the basis of on official data from literature and it is safe to take in the body. No health risks for the consumers in such cases..
On each packaging you can read precisely how hot the water should be for the tea preparation. The extraction of different herbs depends on the temperature of the water used for extraction. Some herbs have better extraction in boiling water (at 100°C), due to solubility of their active ingredients in such water. Other herbs, containing specific, thermally unstable active ingredients, should be prepared in tepid water in order to prevent their destruction. Such example is the marshmallow root tea, which, due to the mucilage present, should be prepared with tepid water. Mucilage is a thermally unstable ingredient, extracted in tepid or cold water. If the tea is prepared with cold or tepid water, but not with boiling water, as prescribed, the active ingredients from the herbs will not be sufficiently extracted (infused) , i.e they will not pass fully into the water. In such a case, the tea would be diluted, even tasteless and flavourless. Its active ingredients will not be extracted in the tea (infusion). No health risks for the consumers in such cases. In rare cases, when the tea is prepared with cold or tepid water, but not with boiling water, as prescribed,, and when the herb contains microorganisms within the limits set by regulations (in accordance with quality specification), there is a possible risk that the microorganisms are not destroyed by the cold water (they are destroyed by steeping in boiling water for at least 3-5 minutes). Such situations might cause side effects, nausea in the gastrointestinal tract of the consumers. There is health risk for the consumers in such cases.
Mostly, the root, rhizomes, barks, fruits from the herbs (the solid parts of the herbs) should be prepared by short-term boiling (3-5 minutes, decoct preparation method), so that their active ingredients could be extracted into the water. If the tea is intended for a certain indication (health claim), it may have no effect, as the active ingredients will not be extracted into the water. If the tea is prepared only by steeping into boiling water, but without actually boiling it for 3-5 minuts, as prescribed, the tea might have no effect for the prescribed indication. No health risks for the consumers in such cases.
In this case the tea would be diluted and with less strong flavour, due to the insufficiently extracted active ingredients. No health risks for the consumers in such cases. In rare cases there is a risk that the microorganisms are not destroyed during the short-lasting steep in the boiling water (they are destroyed after a minimum of 3-5 minutes steep in boiling water). Such situations might cause side effects, nausea in the gastrointestinal tract of the consumers. There is health risk for the consumers in such cases.
If the tea belongs to the class of green, black or white teas, then, the longer the herb is infused, the more tannins are extracted into the water (tea). Tannins are substances contained in the herbs which cause shrinking (astringent effect), and have a very bitter taste. By steeping any of the above mentioned herbs for a longer period, the bitterness of the tea is increased and the taste worsened. The tea is too bitter and is not recommended to drink if steeped for much longer than 5 minutes. Nausea and vomiting caused by stomach irritation due to large quantities of tannins are rare, but possible effects. There is health risk for the consumers in such cases. As for domestic teas, such as mint, chamomile, linden and the like, there is no threat if the herb is steeped in the water for a longer period. The tea can be consumed without any side effects. No health risks for the consumers in such cases. From the medicinal teas, i.e. teas intended for certain indications, we will single out the teas containing the so-called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are hepatotoxic and genotoxic, affecting the function of the liver if overconsumed. Such herbs are coltsfoot and comfrey. If a tea contains either of these herbs, and they are steeped for much longer than the prescribed time, side effects, such as dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea are likely. These teas must be used only as prescribed in the preparation method. There is health risk for the consumers in such cases. Each herb is specific. It is recommended not to consume the tea if it was left to steep for more than 30 minutes.

Although it dependes on the quantity consumed, still, each herb (tea) has its maximal daily dose which should not be exceeded. This mostly refers to the medicinal teas or the teas intended for certain indications. The likelihood of overdose on domestic teas, such as chamomile, mint or linden is really slight, virtually non-existent.
The most common side effects which might occur as a result of tea overdose are as follows:

  • hypersensitivity, stomach cramps, gastrointestinal disorders and irregular stool (consumption of sena leaf and buckthorn bark for a period longer than 2 weeks)
  • hypersensitivity, hepatotoxicity and genotoxicity ( consumption of comfrey root and coltsfoot leaf for a period longer than 10 days)
  • hypersensitivity, over-caffeination, headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, irregular palpitation ( over-consumption of black or green tea leaves)
  • hypersensitivity, gastrointestinal disorders, such as nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, chest pain, tremour and dry eyes (prolonged over-consumption of valerian root)
  • Hypersensitivity, nausea and vomiting caused by stomach irritation due to presensce of large quantities of tannins (prolonged over-consumption of bearberry leaves)
For almost all herbs, protection from light is essential as required by most pharmacopoeias. This is due to the fact that when the herb is exposed to light, the colour of the leaves, flowers and all other above-the earth parts fades away quickly. Additionally, light exposure speeds up the chemical processes which help decompose or transform the herb’s ingredients. To maintain the quality of the herbs, temeprature – another important factor, should be considered. In accordance with a rule set by van’t Hoff in 1884, each increase in temperature by 10оС causes the herb to double its reactions. The changes in the ingredients may be accelerated by the heat, too. The content of the volatile ingredients (essential oils) is rapidly lost by increase in temperature. Therefore it is necessary to store the herbs in a cool place. Primarily, the herbs should be stored in a dry place in a cellar, not in a dry, warm place, like a roof. Increased humidity has two negative effects on the herbs' stability: it stimulates the activity of some enzymes (mostly glycosidases) which decompose the ingredients in the herb and increase the risk of microbial growth, such as mould. For this reason it is recommended to store the herbs at dry places with relative humidity not higher than 60 % (Wichtl). There is health risk for the consumers in such cases.

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