Green Tea and Drug Interactions

Adenosine – Hospitals use adenosine to regulate unstable or irregular heart rhythms; green tea can inhibit its stabilizing effects.

Antibiotics, Beta-lactam – Green tea can essentially make beta-lactam antibiotics more effective; it can help reduce bacterial resistance to treatment

Benzodiazepines – Drugs like diazepam, lorazepam, and other medications often used to treat anxiety fall under the benzodiazepine family. Caffeine, like that found in green tea, can decrease the sedative-effects of these medications.

Beta-blockers, Propranolol, and Metoprolol – In general, caffeine can increase blood pressure in people taking blood pressure and heart disease meds like these.

Blood Thinning Medications (Including Aspirin) – The Vitamin K found in green tea makes blood thinning meds ineffective; green tea is also a no-no with aspirin in general because they both prevent the clotting of platelets, and when combined, can increase risk of bleeding.

Chemotherapy – Studies haven’t yet been conducted on humans, but some research suggests green tea can help increase the effectiveness of chemo meds (i.e., doxorubicin and tamoxifen). It is also suggested, however, that green and black tea can stimulate a gene in prostate cancer cells that make them stronger against the chemotherapy. In other words, prostate cancer patients should avoid both black and green tea while receiving chemotherapy.

Clozapine – If drinking green tea, wait at least 40 minutes before taking clozapine in order to preserve the anti-psychotic effects of this medication.

Ephedrine – Green tea mixed with ephedrine can cause insomnia, tremors, agitation, and weight loss.

Lithium – Used to treat manic depression, lithium’s levels in the blood can be reduced by green tea.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) – MAOIs, like phenelzine and tranylcypromine, are used to treat depression. Combining them with green tea can cause a hypertensive crisis, or severe increase in blood pressure.

Oral Contraceptives – Stimulating effects of green tea may be prolonged when combined with oral contraceptives, which tend to extend the amount of time caffeine stays in the body.

Phenylpropanolamine – In 2000, the FDA urged manufacturers to remove this longtime ingredient in over-the-counter and prescription cold and cough meds and weight loss products from the market. When phenylpropanolamine is combined with caffeine, the results may include mania and severe increase in blood pressure.

Tea Time

True teas—white, green, oolong, and black — all come from the same ancient plant and contain varying levels of caffeine, vitamins, and antioxidant-packed polyphenols. But a hot cup of tea won’t always hit the spot. So why not combine it with food or try cooking with it? Explore the food world a bit.

The best way to ensure you have the water at the right temperature is to get yourself a cooking thermometer.

White Tea | Steep time: 1 to 3 minutes at 165° to 185°
Because white tea is so delicate, it’s hard to cook with, but you can easily pair it up with food to accompany a meal. Try white tea with either poached pears or ice cream to enhance the flavors of both.

Green Tea | Steep time 2 to 3 minutes at 165° to 185°
Green tea is a great match when sautéing scallops or shrimp with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Oolong Tea | 3 to 5 minutes at 180° to 195
Oolong tea is a great liquid for poaching fish or lobster. Oolong can also be used as a spice and to braise meat.

Black Tea | Steep time: 3 to 5 minutes at 210° to 212°
Black tea is great for grilling chicken, fish, and veggies with full-bodied black tea leaves (Assam or Kenyan), ground ginger, coriander, black peppercorns, brown sugar, and salt. Black tea also makes a great red wine substitute when cooking.

Eco Dry

Plant it
The average household runs 392 loads of laundry a year. As of January 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy requires washers to use 21 percent less energy. This, combined with earth-friendly detergents, may be a step in the right direction, but what about your dryer sheets? Used to help remove static cling, these little sheets can pack quite a punch as it relates to chemicals and waste.

Water it
Don’t just toss ‘em! You can use them for multiple loads or around the house for dusting your TV screen, removing hair from pets, furniture and clothing and eliminating the musty smell from books. Try an alternative! Make your own with reusable rags dipped in essential oils. This can add a natural good smell to your freshly laundered clothes. Get the static out before it begins. Remove your clothes from the dryer about five minutes before they are totally dry. Keeping clothes in the dryer past their “done” time is the No. 1 cause of static.

Grow it
Make an organic cotton sachet filled with dried herbs like lavender. These are great gifts and can serve as multiple use ‘dryer sheets’. Offer to help a friend with their laundry, and share some green tips while you’re at it. Make a “Green Your Wash” challenge and invite your friends to participate. Organize the goals of what you want to accomplish (natural cleaners, smaller loads, less water, cut back on dryer sheets, etc.). Decide on a due date, and then come together and share your progress. You can even make it a contest for a little added motivation.More info at

Clean Better: Better Vacuum Choices

Vacuum cleaners keep our homes dirt and dust free, or so we hope. However, often times, dust, dander, and allergens are left floating in the air after our cleaning session. There are some saving graces on the market though. Many models have air filters in them that do a better job then the average Hoover. Natural Health Magazine gives us their best choices.

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Breathe Easier
If your vacuum takes a bag, breathe easier with Arm & Hammer Odor Eliminating bags. They contain baking soda that naturally removes odors caused by mold, bacteria, and fungi that can be on your floors. They also trap allergens such as dander, dust mites, and ragweed pollens.

DIY Stain Remover
The Next time you need a stain remover for stains and odors, thy this recipe from Annie B Bond, the executive producer of Carez’s Green Living Channel. Mix equal parts liquid dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and apply to stain with a sponge. Blot the area and reapply if necessary and then use warm water to rinse the area.

Live Green

Living space choices can reduce your carbon footprint substantially. Maybe a yurt’s not in your future, but more and more eco-living communities are developing around the country. In our area, think modular home communities (where your carbon footprint is a fraction of what it is in a traditional 1500 sq. foot house), smaller homes with unwatered lawns (less is more for our planet), or even geodesic homes.

The Buckminster Fuller Institute lists all kinds of advantages to geodesic dwellings, efficiency prime among them (, but the few you’ll see in our region probably won’t be for sale anytime soon. If you’re house hunting, know that green realtors aren’t completely unheard of. Jeff Hoel is a green realtor in Menomonie, one of the very few in a 100 mile radius ( of Eau Claire.

If you’re building, there are lots of options ( you can consider to reduce the effects your home might have on the environment without sacrificing style and luxury.

Don’t even get us started on thermal mass homes ( or underground homes (, which use the earth to insulate the home and ultimately save loads of energy. The bottom line: what you choose to live in can make as much difference as how you live in it.