BMJ Case Reports 2015; doi:10.1136/bcr-2014-208534

Chinese green tea and acute hepatitis: a rare yet recurring theme

  1. Simon Gompertz1
  1. 1University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sebastian Thomas Lugg, Sebastian.Lugg{at}
  • Accepted 9 September 2015
  • Published 23 September 2015


A previously healthy 16-year-old girl presented with signs of acute hepatitis. On initial enquiry, she had not taken any prescribed or ‘over-the-counter’ medications, and there was no recent travel history. Further investigations revealed no viral, autoimmune or metabolic cause of hepatitis. Only following specific questioning did she reveal that she had, in the preceding 3 months, regularly consumed internet ordered Chinese green tea, which contained Camellia sinensis. After ceasing green tea consumption, there was a rapid and sustained recovery of her hepatitis. The authors discuss the probable cause of herbal tea in this case of acute hepatitis, and the importance of awareness of this rare yet recurring theme for patients and clinicians alike.

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