While my beverage of preference may well always be coffee, when I first went on a low histamine diet, I glommed onto bags of chamomile tea for comfort. Soon, stewed bits of fresh ginger with coconut milk became a ritual in the evenings, and I began looking for other low histamine teas.
For weeks I was too scared to even add honey to my tea, and it’d be months before I found a decent powdered coconut milk, but teas have become a part of my usual morning routine.
This guide to low histamine teas covers over a dozen different types of tea for histamine intolerance sufferers and those with mast cell activation syndrome.
Some of these are actively anti histamine teas, while others are merely safe to consume if you’re histamine-sensitive. Buying organic tea over conventional is said to be better for preventing allergy symptoms, but it also helps to generally stick to eating low histamine foods.
You’ve probably noticed from a quick skim that none of these teas actually contains tea leaves, meaning no black, green, white, oolong, or pu-er tea bases. That is not because they are all high histamine foods, but rather they all of those contain some level of caffeine, which can theoretically block the clearing of DAO (diamine oxidase).
This can lead to a histamine reaction, so caffeinated teas are generally not recommended for people whose histamine levels are still very high. However, if you can tolerate caffeinated coffee, research and anecdotal evidence lead me to believe that it may be okay for you to drink regular teas at some point.
That point would be once you’ve finished the elimination diet portion of living low histamine, though only as long as you’re still eating low histamine overall. For your ease in the moment, each low histamine tea is divided into one of three categories, so hopefully you can find one you like. Happy steeping!
Low Histamine Teas
Ginger Tea: Quite possibly the most universal tummyache tea, ginger has been used for millennia to soothe the stomach and fight infections in many parts of the world. This natural antihistamine tea has been upheld time & again in lab tests, proven to fight inflammation, stabilize mast cells, and inhibit viral activity.
From the beginning of my low histamine journey, I’ve made my own ginger tea with chopped fresh ginger and boiled water, plus a bit of manuka honey if I’m using it to replace dessert. I also love making this lemon basil tea with slices of fresh ginger; it’s hard to go wrong when making an herbal tea.
You can even boil dried ginger or ginger powder in water with any number of spices, and then carefully strain it all to create your own masala chai (with or without cinnamon, depending on tolerance). Click here to see the organic ginger teas currently available on Amazon.
Rooibos Tea: Also known as redbush tea, rooibos is made from the leaves of Aspalathus linearis, a shrub native to South Africa. Traditionally this low oxalate tea has been brewed much like a black tea, though the flavor is smoother, earthier, and notably sweeter.
Green rooibos is even lighter and more vegetal than red, making it more comparable to a green tea. It’s also unfermented and contains higher levels of antioxidants relative to red rooibos, though it’s harder to find and therefore slightly more expensive. Click here to see the organic rooibos teas currently available on Amazon.
Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil): Tulsi has long been used in its native India as both a spice and a tea, brewed either fresh or dried. The herb is packed with nutrients, particularly Vitamin K, a potent anti-inflammatory, and is known to affect H2 receptors and stabilize mast cells against excess histamine release.
Its flavor packs quite a punch, though, with a mildly bitter and moderately spicy flavor that can be overwhelming for some people. If you’d prefer to grow your own tulsi for tea, make sure pinch off any flowers growing on the plant, as they cause the leaves to turn bitter. Click here to see the organic tulsi teas currently available on Amazon.
Peppermint Tea: It’s not just a decongestant! When consumed as an herbal tea, peppermint seems to act similarly to a H2 inhibitor, stabilizing mast cells and even keeping seasonal allergies at bay.
Peppermint tea is available alone of course, but it goes beautifully as the base note in blends, particularly with lavender or chamomile flowers. Click here to see the organic peppermint teas currently available on Amazon.
Spearmint Tea: The most common mint in the market, spearmint is renowned for its antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties, as well as its lovely scent. Similar to peppermint, spearmint is great for brewing with dried or fresh leaves, though it also has numerous culinary uses for which peppermint would be too harsh.
I personally tend towards spearmint tea as it’s also great for lessening symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Its flavor differs from peppermint because it has a much lower menthol content, lessening the cooling effect on the tongue. Click here to see the organic spearmint teas currently available on Amazon.
Chamomile Tea: Highly lauded as a relaxant, chamomile tea is a popular choice at nighttime, as it’s also great for soothing the stomach after a meal and even keeping nausea at bay. The tea is made from the dried buds of the chamomile flower, and has a very light florality with a touch of bitterness.
Just beware that chamomile is in the same family as ragweed, so you may want to avoid it if you have a severe ragweed allergy, as it may induce symptoms of an allergic reaction, regardless of chamomile histamine levels. Click here to see the organic chamomile teas currently available on Amazon.
Lavender Tea: Most famous for their fragrant oils, lavender flowers make for a potent low histamine tea, best enjoyed in a blend with other floral favorites, like chamomile. Their tea form tastes like a mild version of the enchanting scent we now associate with some of our favorite soaps and perfumes, but the flavor itself is light. Click here to see the organic lavender teas currently available on Amazon.
Hibiscus Tea: Some people swear by hibiscus tea for their Vitamin C fix, but it’s always been too sour for me. That said, hibiscus (also known as flor de jamaica or roselle) tea is known for its bright red color, which in fact is revealing of its elevated antioxidant content.
Polyphenols are the particular group of antioxidants which contribute that pigment, though hibiscus also boasts abundant mast cell-stabilizing compounds, such as quercetin. I highly recommend sweetening your roselle tea with manuka honey, as it won’t increase the histamine level of the beverage.
Plus, the antioxidant effect of hibiscus will balance out any sugar-induced inflammation. Click here to see the organic hibiscus teas currently available on Amazon.
Moringa Tea: While you may have heard of moringa oleifera more in the context of smoothies, moringa is a very nutrient-dense leaf native to the Indian subcontinent. It’s been used there for centuries to treat malnourishment, and not only are moringa histamine levels low, but it also has strongly antioxidant & antimicrobial properties and is known to stabilize mast cells.
It has a strongly grassy and hay-like flavor when eaten, but when brewed into tea this effect is greatly lightened, and it lacks the bitterness of many other herbal teas. Click here to see the organic moringa teas currently available on Amazon.
Sage Tea: with a mild minty, almost bitter undertone, sage tea is usually enjoyed as a blend with other botanicals, though it can be consumed by itself. Much like the sage smudges you may have seen in incense shops, this low histamine tea is fragrant and strong.
Sage tea pairs well with ginger and other members of the mint family, such as basil or spearmint. Click here to see the organic sage teas currently available on Amazon.
Nettle Leaf Tea: Nettle tea is perhaps one of the best-advertised teas for histamine intolerance, as stinging nettle is commonly consumed as a supplement in capsule form (as if you need another pill).
But if you’re looking for a tea that’s rich in mast-cell stabilizing substances and easy to prepare, this earthy and grassy herb may be the pick for you. Click here to see the organic nettle leaf teas currently available on Amazon.
Dandelion Root Tea: Dandelion is the first ingredient in the digestive bitters I take before most meals, because the plant is very protective of the liver and therefore aids in effective detox. That is furthered by stimulating the production of bile and stomach acid, making it a great option for before meals.
Just beware that it’s rather bitter, so you may want to combine it with something more naturally sweet, like chamomile or ginger. Click here to see the organic dandelion root teas currently available on Amazon.
Milk Thistle Tea: As one of the most commonly-used herbs to support liver detoxification, milk thistle is also an antioxidant and an antiviral, known to boost functioning of the immune system.
It boasts a mildly bitter and earthy flavor with a slight sweetness, often compared to dandelion root tea, though it’s more commonly sweetened and enjoyed in the evenings. Click here to see the organic milk thistle teas currently available on Amazon.
This post from Healing Histamine lists a few of the teas above in addition to a couple of her own, but she goes a bit more in-depth into the science of each.
Low Histamine Creamers
Much like with my low histamine latte, my preferred creamer for beverages is usually pure coconut milk powder (no maltodextrin), though there are several other options to consider.
These days when I’m eating mostly antihistamine foods and overall healthily, I have no issues adding a little heavy cream (dairy) to my tea or coffee (as long as I take a lactaid). But since we can’t be perfect all the time, I’ve listed a few backups which may also work for you.
- Oat milk
- A dollop of plain coconut milk ice cream
- Cubes of almond milk (for summertime)
- Homemade macadamia nut milk
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk (in moderation)
- Powdered coconut milk (without additives)
Low Histamine Tea FAQ
Tea leaves are not high in histamine, but they contain some level of caffeine, which is said to block the clearing of histamine. Most herbal teas are low histamine and safe to consume with histamine intolerance.
Is green tea high in histamine?
Green tea is low in histamine, but green tea histamine levels are not as relevant for most people as the caffeine, which supposedly delays the clearing of histamine.
Is matcha high in histamine?
Matcha histamine levels are low, like with other forms of green tea, but the actual histamine is less relevant than the caffeine, which supposedly delays the clearing of histamine.
Black tea histamine levels are low, but it is higher in caffeine, which supposedly delays the clearing of histamine.
Much like other green teas, matcha histamine levels are low, but it contains moderate amounts of caffeine, which supposedly delays the clearing of histamine.
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Saturday 18th of February 2023
I can't drink the Tulsi Tea you recommended ..any idea why?
Saturday 18th of February 2023
I have absolutely no idea why, especially without knowing what happens when you try— does it make your throat itch? You don't like the taste? Do dried herbs give you a rash? There are an endless number of reasons you may not like or tolerate a tea, but thankfully there are a lot of herbal alternatives to fill that space. I highly recommend trying out a few others to find one you tolerate & enjoy.
Sunday 29th of January 2023
Thank you! This is a beautiful website, and I'm really grateful to have found it. I struggle with histamine intolerance and am always tempted to cheat on my diet, and of course pay for it, so it's really nice to have a beautiful, inspiring resource to come to, for mental refreshment!
Monday 30th of January 2023
Thank you, Lucia! I'm very guilty of the same over the last few years— "cheating" is especially tempting when you're dealing with the mental symptoms that can come along with histamine issues, including depression & anxiety. I've found that following good food sourcing & storage habits helps me maintain a bit of resiliency to let the cheating have limited impact (most of the time! Benadryl has become a good friend...). I'm hoping to eventually find a consistent routine of antihistamines to increase that resiliency, but for now, I'm glad you're finding the tips helpful, too. You've got this!!
Tuesday 17th of January 2023
This is so helpful, thank you!!
Tuesday 17th of January 2023
It's my pleasure! I'm glad you found it helpful, Brooke. :)
Monday 4th of July 2022
Great suggestions. Does seeping time increase histamine in teas? Or refrigerating to use for several? Other foods build histamines quickly unless frozen.
Tuesday 5th of July 2022
No, steeping time won't increase histamine unless you get into hours of time, but it will generally increase the bitterness of the brew, often making it unpalatable. Even for herbs I wouldn't brew more than 10-15 minutes. I would also not refrigerate for more than 24 hours, as all sorts of histamine-producing bacteria can enter a food once it's exposed to air, so be cautious. I highly recommend trying tea ice cubes, especially for the summer!
Wednesday 19th of January 2022
Can pre-packaged teas be used, or do all ingredients need to be fresh? I was recently diagnosed and still figuring these things out!
Wednesday 19th of January 2022
Organic pre-packaged teas will probably be fine for most, but if you seem to be more sensitive/still find yourself reacting, consider buying organic teas in bulk and using a tea ball to brew. Good luck with it all, Susan! It can be difficult, but you can do it.