Mold is not a pleasing sight, especially if found in tea. In this article, we would be discussing the effects of drinking moldy tea.
Microorganisms in any food including drink can cause discomforts like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts.
However, if the mold is not much, the stomach acid would most likely be able to kill the microorganisms.
So if the quantity of the microorganisms is small, you might not experience any serious discomfort as the stomach acid will be able to kill them.
But if consumed in large quantities it might be hard to kill them all and some of them would find their way to the intestines.
Those who are allergic to this would also experience respiratory discomfort alongside gastrointestinal symptoms.
In this article, we would be discussing in detail how this organism develops in tea and the consequences of drinking moldy tea.
Would Moldy Tea Make You Sick?
Mold is a fungus that develops and grows on wet organic matter. It grows on organic matter that shows signs of decay.
The growth of mold on a food item is a sign that it is already decaying. It is most often linked to the spoilage of food and drinks.
So the short answer is; yes. It is not advisable to drink any beverage that already has microorganisms growth on it.
There is a chance that drinking a moldy tea would make you sick.
It is also possible that moldy tea may not make you sick. This is because some factors discern how sick you would be when you consume a moldy drink.
We would be discussing these factors below.
One of the factors that determine if you would get sick from drinking a moldy beverage is how much microorganism is in it.
This is because the body has its natural defenses to fight against germs.
Stomach acidity is one such natural defense mechanism. This stomach acid is capable of killing microbes and preventing any microorganisms from getting absorbed into the intestines.
It makes anything that enters the intestines safely. But the stomach acid would not be able to kill a large number of microbes at a time.
If there are too many microbes in the food or drink you take in there would be an overload and some might be able to find a way to the intestine.
This can cause you some discomfort depending on how much was able to get into your system.
If you drink too much moldy beverage, there would be an overload and the stomach acid would not be able to neutralize all the microbes. Some might find their way to the intestines and wreak havoc.
But if the quantity of microorganisms you ingest is small there would be less chance of you falling ill.
The stomach defenses would be able to kill them and prevent them from getting into the intestines for absorption.
But consuming microbes in large amounts can have a dangerous impact on your health.
However, it is difficult to tell how much would be considered too much, because our bodies react differently when exposed to microbes.
All things being equal, a few sips however isn’t expected to cause serious issues in an adult.
There are over 100,000 types and species of mold. As you may have guessed some pose more danger to humans than others.
Some species of these microorganisms generate secondary metabolites that are toxic (mycotoxins).
The species that produce mycotoxins are very dangerous, in some cases, they might even cause death.
But the good news is mycotoxins are found more in plants and there is a very low chance of your drink having a mold that would produce mycotoxins.
However, if such is found in a drink it would cause illness in anyone that consumes it.
People react to microbes’ ingestion differently. We don’t react the same way to microbes ingestion.
Some people have allergies. And some persons for some other reason may have a higher chance of getting sick from drinking moldy tea.
To some others being in close contact with a mold-infested beverage can cause them some health issues.
General Health Condition
The body’s natural defense system which is the stomach acid can fight off small quantities of microbes as we earlier mentioned.
However, some situations might make a person not able to produce sufficient stomach acid (hypochlorhydria).
When someone who already has this condition drinks a moldy tea the chances of getting sick from it is increased.
Similarly, any condition that compromises the body’s immune system and digestive systems would make it less competent to kill microbes. This increases the risk of falling ill.
What Are The Symptoms of Mold Allergy?
Signs and Symptoms Of mold allergy (Allergic Rhinitis) include;
- Stuffy Nose.
- Itchy eyes and throat
- Dry skin.
- Itchy nose
- Watery eyes
How Long Does It Take For Tea to Grow Microbes?
Some factors determine this. The essential factors are; humidity, temperature, and airflow.
The ideal temperature for mold to grow is between 32F and 120F. 80F on average.
If tea is left out at room temperature the risk of microorganisms growing on it is increased.
When the environment is humid your drink is more likely to grow microorganisms.
In the face of an ideal and favorable environment, microorganisms would grow in your tea between two to seven days.
But in unfavorable conditions and environments, it would take longer for your drink to grow microbes.
Ingesting microorganisms can make you sick. Your chances of getting sick are less if you consume a small amount that your stomach acid can kill before it gets to your intestines.
Mold is not hard to detect in tea, it often grows on the surface and is visible. It is usually green, black, or gray and it looks like fur.
It might also taste and smell off. Storing your tea in the refrigerator would help reduce the risk of developing microbes, hence you can enjoy it without risking your health.