Yes, I do get headaches, nausea, and sometimes stomach cramps. Can't drink the stuff. I have tried hundreds of different kinds and qualities of green tea, over several decades. I can drink black tea, but not green. I've tried using only purified water, distilled water, different water temperatures and steeping times, etc.
Perhaps it is partly the salicylates. I can't use coconut oil, for example. But, according to the list I've linked to, English Breakfast tea is higher in salicylates than green tea. I don't know if salicylates increase according to type of camellia sinensis, region, harvesting time of day, harvesting season, or other factors. That list seems insufficient, to me. I wish I had a more exhaustively researched list.
I have a camellia sinensis bush, and I notice that eating the tiny new leaves gives me a slight bit of the same reactions I get to green tea. The flower petals, too, but less so. The pollen, however, is the most amazing food. It is a wonderful pollen.
Here is some info on salicylate content of various foods:
Here is a post Emma wrote a few years ago about why some folks can't drink green tea:
Nasty antioxidants in green tea
[The text following is Emma's. She has links in the blog post.]
There are a group of synthetic antioxidants that range from E310-E312 called the gallates, including propyl gallate, octyl gallate and dodecyl gallate. They’re on the “nasty antioxidants” list. They’re based around gallic acid, also known as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid – that’s right, they’re closely related to benzoates.
If you paint your skin with benzoates, you will get an instant rash. They’re thought to cause angioedema and urticaria by triggering not histamine but serotonin release.
Gallates reportedly cause the same effects as benzoates. These chemicals are notorious; they cause the full range of health problems like asthma, eczema, and the ADHD behaviour we’re familiar with in food chemical intolerant kids. Failsafe parents describe their children as having screaming fits when they are exposed to unlabelled antioxidants.
I had a small epiphany last night after reading something about green tea that had been posted on FailsafeNT. The chemical name of green tea extract had never struck me before.
Green tea extract is basically catechins, which make up as much as 25% of the dry weight of the tea. I once tried to lose weight on green tea extract, and I felt really run down, irritable and awful the whole time, and I kept recycling the same 2lbs on the scale.
The names of the catechins are: epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the most abundant polyphenol of all. That’s right. Green tea is made of gallates. Green tea extract has been portrayed as a source of “wonderful” antioxidants. In actual fact green tea appears to be made up of the richest natural source of nasty antioxidants. Go look at the drawings of EGCG and gallic acid on wikipedia if you don’t believe me. EGCG is just a couple of gallic acid molecules tied together via another molecule, all arms protruding.
EGCG is even marketed as a “fountain of youth” for skin cells because it smoothes out wrinkles. Is this because, like other dodgy anti-wrinkle cosmetics, it’s causing angioedema? It’s marketed as an anti-inflammatory. Is this because it is acting like aspirin to block the all-important arachidonic acid pathway? Obviously if this is the case, it will cause asthmatic and pseudo-allergic reactions.
It’s really no wonder I had such horrible reactions to green tea extract, and in more recent trials, awful arthritis pains when I drink green tea.
Now I don’t care how many times EGCG helps me to recycle the antioxidant value of vitamin E, if it makes run around like a mental case until I fall over and burst into tears, I don’t want it in my body.