A teenager in Birmingham developed hepatitis after drinking daily three cups green tea bought online from China. She started feeling dizzy and complained about joint and stomach pains.
The 16-year-old Yemen-born initially was believed by doctor to have urinary tract infection. She was given antibiotics and sent home, but the symptoms got worse after taking two doses of the prescribed medicine.
She was thereafter admitted to A&E hospital and doctors there found her liver was swelling and skin turning yellow. She was suffering from jaundice. The girl needed critical attention and doctors believed she may have developed hepatitis.
Hepatitis can be caused due to the exposure of liver to harmful substances including alcohol or by a virus.
Asked about her habits she denied to have ever taken alcohol, illegal drugs and over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol. The teenager also added she had not lately traveled to abroad and never had a blood transfusion.
On further questioning the sufferer revealed to have bought online Chinese green tea that claims to help in weight loss. Doctors investigated the ingredients of the tea and found a shrub called Camella sinensis to have caused the severe illness.
The leaves and buds of the shrub are generally used to make drinks.
After two months of treatment, including few days in hospital, the girl recovered and her liver functioning returned back to normal.
In the past too couple of studies had linked green tea to liver damage. Several cases of illness have also been reported after ingesting tea leaf powder, tea extracts and tea infusions in diet pills.