Organic is of no use either: many types of tea contain substances that can be harmful to the body. Experts therefore advise changing the variety regularly and not drinking too much – you can find out the background here.

There are some products that are manufactured with substances that can be bad for the body. But sometimes harmful substances also occur naturally – this means that supposedly healthy foods can also have negative effects in the long run.

This also applies to tea, spices and salads, for example. Many plants naturally contain so-called pyrrolizidine alkalies (PA), the decomposition products of which can be dangerous in the body, especially for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. Here’s what to look out for.

Certain PAs can damage the liver and even change the genetic material in cells, which can lead to the development of cancer. This has been shown in animal experiments.

Since the substances occur naturally in plants, they also end up in our food. This mainly affects products with herbs, but also honey and some dietary supplements. Due to the damaging effect, statutory maximum levels for PA in such products have been in force since July 2022.

List of foods with high PA concentration:

The good news is that, at least in most teas, the amount of PA has fallen sharply. In herbs, this has not changed much over the last few years.

What you can do: If you drink a lot of tea frequently, then you should change the types of tea regularly and not just drink herbal types. It is better to have fruit tea or a completely different drink. By the way: Organic products are not an alternative here, since the PA occurs naturally in the plants.

If you occasionally collect herbs in nature, then do not take any unfamiliar plants with you. Be careful not to accidentally pick other herbs.