Will Tea Aggravate an Ulcer: A Closer Look

August 5, 2022

Under most circumstances, tea won’t cause an ulcer to worsen, but this does depend on the cause of the ulcer. The good news, though, is that in many instances, tea can actually improve an ulcer.

As a dietician, ulcers are a pretty common complaint. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize what actually causes or aggravates ulcers. Due to this, I will often have to answer questions like will tea aggravate an ulcer.

In the following post, I will show you the factors behind an ulcer and how tea will rarely cause the issue to worsen. In fact, I will be letting you in on how some types of tea can actually help your ulcer to heal faster:

What Aggravates a Stomach Ulcer?

Before I tell you why tea may not necessarily cause your ulcer to get worse, I first want to talk about why ulcers form and what can aggravate it. The reason this information is important is because there can be different causes of ulcers. And, the cause can often determine whether or not tea can have an impact on your condition.

Peptic ulcers occur when stomach acid eats away at the surface of the stomach or the small intestine. This may result in a painful sore that may bleed on occasion. Now, in most instances, your stomach is protected by a mucosal layer.

However, if anything causes either the mucosal layer to thin out or for the levels of acid to rise, then an ulcer can form. The three most common causes of stomach ulcers are:


You can often find Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the layer of mucosal layer that lines the stomach and the small intestine. Under most circumstances, this bacteria doesn’t cause any issues or discomfort. In the event that there is an increase in the bacteria or it is provided with a more habitable environment, then an ulcer can form.

Frequent Use of Specific Pain Relievers

Aspirin and many medications that fall under the category of NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the small intestine and stomach. If you use these on a regular basis, it can eventually lead to an ulcer, particularly if you take NSAIDs over a longer period of time.

Certain Medications

There are some medications that, when taken in combination with NSAIDs, can increase the risk of ulcers. These medications include steroids, SSRIs, anticoagulants, and others. It is a good idea to do some research about various combinations or ask your doctor if you suffer from frequent ulcers.

Now, there is a common belief that spicy food, smoking, alcohol, and stress can cause ulcers. However, this isn’t the case. They are considered risk factors and can increase your chances of developing ulcers, but they will not cause the condition themselves.

Woman Lying On Couch

Can You Drink Tea If You Have an Ulcer?

In most cases, you can absolutely drink tea if you have an ulcer! Here is why:

First and foremost, green tea has found to be quite effective against the bacteria that causes ulcers. Therefore, drinking green tea after being diagnosed with an ulcer may help to promote healing and allow you to get rid of the ulcer more quickly.

To add to this, black tea and the theaflavins found in this brew can also help to advance the healing of ulcers. It is particularly effective when used alongside medications that treat ulcers due to an increase of gastric acid in the stomach.

And, in general, the catechins in tea have worked to prevent ulcers. Thus, even if drinking tea won’t necessarily cause your ulcer to heal faster, at the very least, it is unlikely that the drink will exacerbate the effects of the ulcer.

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The Exception: The Effect of Tea on Gastric Acid

For the most part, tea isn’t going to negatively impact your ulcer and may actually help it. However, in some individuals, tea can increase the level of stomach acidity. Naturally, this can irritate an existing ulcer and can potentially raise the risk of others developing as well.

Due to this, you do have to consider the impact that tea has on you. Do you tend to notice gastrointestinal discomfort after drinking tea? Or, is there an increase in acid reflux? If so, you may want to stay away from tea until your ulcer is healed up. It should be noted that adding milk to the brew may help to minimize the acidic effect.

Young Lady Smiling With Cup Of Tea

What Kind of Tea Can I Drink with an Ulcer?

It is clear that green tea and black tea can help when you have an ulcer. However, are there are other brews that you can try as well? Yes, there is some evidence that certain herbal teas can help to soothe or prevent ulcers.

There is some evidence that fennel – and the drink made from the plant – can help to treat damage caused by ulcers. As a result, this brew can be quite useful in healing the ulcer while it exists as well.

Another tea to add to your list is tea made from dandelion extract. In one study, dandelion extract was used to treat ulcers by decreasing the production of stomach acid. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the body too.

Another animal study found that marshmallow root could work to prevent ulcers. It was especially useful against ulcers caused by the overconsumption of NSAIDs. Thus, if you have to take NSAIDs for another medical condition, marshmallow root may reduce the risk of ulcers.

It is clear that tea does more good than harm when it comes to ulcers. At the same time, you do have to be careful about consuming this beverage if you have been diagnosed with an ulcer. It is best to speak with your doctor as they can tell you how your diet can impact the issue.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you should definitely check out our Pinterest page. We have tons of other posts on the effective of tea on digestive health, general wellbeing, and more.

About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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