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What are the most bitter teas?

by Dianna Leon

Have you ever wondered which are the most bitter teas ? Some infusions gain this flavor due to small mistakes made at the time of preparation. However, bitterness is a characteristic trait of other beverages made with plants.

It’s true that not everyone likes to drink a drink with a strong, bitter taste, which makes many people turn up their noses. However, know that these teas have several medicinal properties and are good for the body.

Among the main positive effects of these drinks is the improvement of the gastrointestinal tract , since most of them are rich in substances that can stimulate the production of gastric acid and bile.

In addition, some of them also help to fight infections, protect the liver and can enhance the weight loss process.

Faced with so many benefits, it’s even worth putting them on the list of teas to drink. That’s why we’ve separated for you four types of teas that are bitter but have several health benefits. Keep reading and learn more about them!

What are the most bitter types of teas?

1. Mugwort

Mugwort ( Artemisia vulgaris ), also known as wormwood or St. John’s Wort , is a plant well known for its bitter taste and its various medicinal properties.

The herb’s bitter taste is mainly derived from two bitter substances. The first is found in greater amounts in the plant, absintin .

The second compound is called artabsin , which is a flavonoid. This substance is a type of aromatic compound and natural pigments that are responsible for the bluish hue of mugwort leaves. (1)

One of the main benefits of mugwort tea is due to the herb’s hepatoprotective property .

In other words, it is rich in compounds that protect the liver against damage caused by the abuse of substances, such as alcohol and medication, as well as the accumulation of fat and the action of microorganisms. (two)

In addition, wormwood tea is widely used as a digestive stimulant. By aiding in the production of gastric acid, it also helps to reduce intestinal gas and also serves to relieve intestinal discomfort.

Another popular indication for infusion is to treat muscle pain, inclding menstrual cramps. It is also used to regulate the menstrual cycle, as it acts as a powerful uterine stimulant and is a powerful natural pain reliever.

The drink made from the leaves of the herb also works by preventing the proliferation of microorganisms that cause infections, helps reduce nausea and improves sleep quality, as it is a mild tranquilizer.

But despite all these benefits, the tea should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding or for people who have gastrointestinal problems, such as gastric ulcers, due to increased stomach acid.

Its use should not be done for long periods, as mugwort contains substances that can damage the nervous system when consumed in excess. Therefore, it is also prohibited for those who have epilepsy. (1)

See how to prepare the infusion!


  • 1 liter of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon of mugwort leaves.

Method of preparation

Heat the water and mugwort until it boils. When it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and cover the pan for about 10 minutes. Soon after, just strain and drink up to three cups a day, without sweetening.

2. Dandelion

Another very bitter tea is dandelion, a plant that is considered a weed in Brazil, but has several important medicinal properties.

The offinale taxaracum , also known as bitter, has this flavor because of the presence of substances known as sesquiterpene lactones.

These complicated-name substances are naturally produced by some plant species and serve to protect the plant from predators. So the taste is quite bitter. (3)

Herb tea may not have a flavor that everyone will like, but it is full of benefits, especially in reducing body fat .

This is because the dandelion carries in its leaves a compound called chlorogenic acid. It prevents the liver from releasing an enzyme responsible for turning carbohydrates into glucose.

In this way, the body uses the sugar ingested faster and needs to look for other sources of energy, which comes from fats. Thus, the infusion favors the reduction of cholesterol and overweight, as it increases the burning of body fat.(4)

The tooth dandelion also acts as an anti – cancer and anti-diabetic, because of chlorogenic acid. It also acts against infections and protects the body from oxidative stress. (3)

Another positive point for the infusion is that it has several nutrients, such as vitamins A, B1, C, D and PP. In addition to minerals such as iron, copper and potassium. It is also a powerful diuretic agent , increases the amount of urine, and has a laxative effect.

As it is also used in food, dandelion has no contraindications. However, care must be taken as the herb can cause allergies.

Too much of it can also cause a drop in blood pressure , due to the diuretic effect, and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is necessary to consume with care.(5)


  • 1 liter of filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons of dandelion.

Method of preparation

Place all ingredients on the fire in a pan. When it comes to a boil, turn off and cover, leaving the infusion muffled for about 10 minutes. After that, just strain and drink the tea no more than three times a day.

3. Carqueja

The trimera Baccharis , popularly known as gorse, is another herb that produces a very bitter tea.

This, as with the herbs already mentioned, is derived from the composition of the plant, which is rich in flavonoids and sesquiterpenes. As mentioned before, these substances produce bitterness as a defense for the plant. (6)

However, even though it doesn’t taste as pleasant, carqueja tea brings a series of health benefits. The main ones are for the gastrointestinal tract, which includes organs such as the stomach, liver and intestines .

For this reason, the infusion is very indicated to stimulate digestion or in the treatment of gastric ulcers. This is because, in addition to protecting the stomach, it also accelerates the healing of existing injuries. (7)

The drink also accelerates the weight loss process. This happens because the herb stimulates the functioning of the intestine, reducing the swelling caused by constipation and also reduces appetite .

In addition, this infusion favors the burning of fat, especially that which is accumulated in the abdominal region. Thus, it also improves the functioning of the liver, which is one of the organs most affected by the problem. (8)

Finally, carqueja is also a potent diuretic, being indicated to stimulate the functioning of the kidneys and protect the body against infections, due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

However, it is always important to remember that there are some contraindications. Pregnant women should avoid consuming the herb, as it is abortifacient.

People who suffer from hypoglycemia, that is, low glucose, should also avoid it because it causes a decrease in blood sugar levels. (9) You’ve seen the benefits, now check out how to prepare gourd tea!


  • 1 liter of filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons of carqueja.

preparation mode

Bring the water to a boil until it comes to a boil and turn off when it starts bubbling. Then add the carqueja leaves and leave the pan covered for about 10 minutes.

Finally, just strain and have a cup after meals, respecting the limit of a maximum of three cups a day.

4. Bilberry

Bilberry ( Peumus boldus ) also contains large amounts of substances known as sesquiterpenes and also some types of flavonoids.

Therefore, the tea prepared with the herb leaves is usually quite bitter, which does not please all palates. (10)

However, just like the other herbs on this list, it is also full of medicinal properties that are good for your health. Especially for the stomach, as the infusion helps digestion and prevents the formation of gas.

In addition, boldo has the ability to prevent the formation of ulcers. As it is antibacterial, it prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria to the body.

Another positive point of consuming the infusion is that it is analgesic, reducing pain in a natural way. (11)

The liver is another organ protected by the components of boldo. When consumed in infusions, the herb does not only protect the liver from damage caused by ingesting alcohol and medications, but also stimulates liver function.

That’s because bold can stimulate the production of bile, a liquid that works as a detergent and is essential in the digestion and absorption of fat ingested through food. (10)

Another benefit of consuming the herb is for those who suffer from diabetes. That’s because bold tea helps lower blood glucose and is anti-inflammatory. These two properties help to control the disease and lessen the damage caused by excess blood sugar. (12)

However, even if the plant presents all these benefits, it is necessary to be careful with the contraindications . For example, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and young children should not consume bold because of the high risk of miscarriage and increased colic.

People who use controlled medications should consult a doctor before starting to consume boldo, as the herb can interact with some types of substances. (11)


  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of boldo leaves.

preparation mode

Just heat the water until it starts to boil. Then add the boldo and cover the container. With the heat off, let it steep for about 10 minutes.

Finally, just strain and consume the drink still hot and unsweetened. Consumption should be no more than three cups a day, after main meals.

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