Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea Conversations Migraine headache and tea

5 replies, 5 voices Last updated by  lazyliteratus 4 years, 11 months ago
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  • #9862


    We have a certain tea in the house right now that causes me to have migraine headaches. Its tea from the Castleton Estate in Darjeeling and it pretty much the only tea I’ve determined to cause this. Generally, 9 out of 10 times when we have it, about an hour later I come down with a mind-numbing migraine that pain killers have no effect on. I tried to do some research on tea triggered migraines and all I could find was this (rather comical) thread about it.

    I am not prone to headaches at all, but when I get them, they tend to be debilitating to the point that the only solution is driving urge to sit in a dark, quiet room for awhile (getting away from light is about the only thing that helps). Nevertheless, I find it interesting that, so far, I’ve narrowed it down to this specific tea. The tea itself is delicious and the estate known to be a high-quality producer, though I don’t think it is organic.

    Because it is only this one tea, it makes me wonder, pesticides or chemicals, or perhaps through the processing it just has higher content of normal tea-related chemicals that my body doesn’t like. It just seems terrible that I, as a tea lover, should have to experience migraines from such a delicious cup of tea.

    Any thoughts on this? Am I the only one around here who gets these triggered by a teacup?

  • #9863


    It happens to me when I drink herbal teas but usually it is not that severe.

  • #9865


    I saw that @lazyliteratus gave this tea a poor review on Steepster. He loved the 2011, but not the 2012. On the other hand Geoff you brewed it for 30 seconds? Super short? The person after you steeped it for 5 min and liked it, big difference in styles. I steep it for 2-3 minutes, boiled water and I enjoy it. It’s not the best I’ve ever had but I find myself refilling my cup again and again. Probably because Pete stops drinking after one cup. I don’t get any headaches from it, but there a few teas that might do that. I find Tazo’s “Awkake” tea is one. I rarely drink it though.

  • #9867


    @jackie @peter – Are you guys referring to the Castleton Moonlight? I actually had that twice in 2012 – one from Lochan (which I received from you), and one from Thunderbolt Tea (which I received from Benoy Thapa). The difference in both was night and day, and – presumably – they were the same tea; Castleton Moonlight 2012 2nd Flush, a Darjeeling oolong. The 30 second steep-time indicated on Steepster was the first gongfu-style steep I did to it. With Darjeeling oolongs, I tend to do it that way, <i>then,/i> a Western prep to see the difference.

    If the Moonlight @peter is referring to is the same one that you guys sent me last year, I guarantee you that it’s spoiled. Not sure how. Oxygenation, molding, I dunno.

    That said, I’ve recently been prone to headaches if I have tea on an empty stomach. Doesn’t matter what kind – green, white, black, what have you. Or if I have tea with something super salty. Same effect. Some of it might be dehydration, but another contributing factor might be sinuses. Compounded with that, caffeine of any sort is a known aggragant for anything head/sinus related. (At least for me, anecdotally-speaking.)

    The only tea that I don’t get headaches from on an empty stomach are sheng pu-erhs. That’s it.

  • #9866

    Robert Godden

    You are right, @peter, the thread is hilarious.

    I use all tea, but mainly greens and whites as a treatment for migraines. I have about 18 catalogued migraine symptoms and they arrive in various forms,. I have been hospitalised with migraine on half a dozen occasions.

    Each time I am hospitalised, the treatment is the same – drip-fed fluids. The link between migraine and dehydration is well established. So, in general, tea is a great treatment. I usually get an imperial pint of tea (Pai Mu Tan or Silver Needles is preferable), an imperial pint of fresh water and a small packet of something salty, like corn chips or popcorn, and just take turns on them over as short a period as possible. Usually in a darkened room. Also I have found ice on the head helps, wrap it in a towel first (the ice, not the head).

    With regard to a particular tea causing it; that’s just you! If there is no other correlating factors (for example, if you only ever have the Castleton after a jousting tournament, a six mile run and a feast at the Chilli Appreciation Society) then in my experience, you cross that off your list and move on.

    The real mystery here is why Geoff only steeped for 30 seconds.

    A little bit of research has suggested that Star Anise is good for: 

    Asthma, breath freshener, bronchitis, colds, coughs, digestive aid, flatulence, flu, hiccups, menopausal discomforts, migraine, muscle aches, nausea, pleasant dreams, rheumatism, sneezing, stomach cramps, vertigo, whooping cough.

    Who knew there was a cure for pleasant dreams?Whilst I don’t know how many of the others you suffer from, this is virtually the same as recommending this fine product for the tea trade store:

  • #9875


    @thedevotea – The 30 second steep time was for when I was doing it gongfu-style. Moonlight is a Darjeeling oolong. I was playing around with it.

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