Dear ETR: “How come there’s fluoride in tea?”

“Kelley Herring’s article ‘Brewing Up a Pot of Fluoride‘ came as a nasty surprise. I’m aware that there’s fluoride in tap water, but it never occurred to me that this toxin exists in tea as well. How come?”



Hello A.Y.,

What may come as an even more “nasty surprise” is that the fluoride level in one cup of black tea rivals that of nearly 8 liters of water fluoridated at 1 ppm.

Why? Because the Camellia sinensis plant from which we obtain tea has a unique propensity to absorb fluoride. In fact, it is known to accumulate more fluoride (from pollution in both soil and air) than any other edible plant. What’s more, the fluoride in tea is much higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL) set for fluoride in drinking water.

As I mentioned in my “Brewing Up a Pot of Fluoride” article, you can stay fluoride-free with green tea extract that has been cleared of fluoride. And here’s another option: Try herbal “teas” like Yogi Detox Tea. Boasting antioxidant-rich cloves, cinnamon, and ginger (with ORAC scores of 314,446, 267,536, and 14,840, respectively), this delicious beverage trumps green tea’s trivial ORAC score of 1,200, without any fluoride contamination.

– Kelley Herring

[Ed. Note: Have a question for Kelley or one of our other ETR experts? Send your query to and we may respond to you in an upcoming issue.]

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Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet. Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.