Tea For Altitude Sickness: 5 Best Teas

Tea For Altitude Sickness: 5 Best Teas

The high altitude is a big problem for travelers, and there's evidence to show tea for altitude sickness can help. With years of experience with herbs and natural ingredients, we'll review in this guide everything you need to know about tea for altitude sickness.

Tea For Altitude Sickness

Tea is a wonderful drink and popular beverage around the world , but did you know that it can also help you get acclimated to the high altitude?

While there's not a lot of science behind tea helping altitude sickness — there's plenty of cultural, antidotal, and ingredient-specific evidence like with the indigenous people of South America using it for centuries. With its many health benefits, many herbs used, and being rich in antioxidants — tea for altitude sickness can help support your body.

What Tea Helps With Altitude Sickness?

There are many types of tea that culturally have been used for high altitudes. From the Andes mountains in South America to the  Himalayan mountains near Nepal and Tibet — herbs and teas are deeply rooted historically and medicinally recognized such as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

While you may not reverse altitude sickness, rather teas for altitude sickness may help support your body in high altitude conditions. We'll cover herbal tea for altitude sickness, muna tea for altitude sickness, and much more.

5 Best Teas For Altitude Sickness Include:

1. Coca Tea

Coca tea for altitude sickness, known as mate de coca, is a popular remedy in the Andes mountains and particularly in the Peru. Tourists in places such as Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and Cusco are sure to hear of Coca leaves from the locals.¹

Sacred to the Incas, Coca tea have been used as a remedy for ailments including sore throat, headaches, and upset stomachs.¹ Modern research has proven Coca to enhance physical performance at high altitudes.²

Although illegal in the United States, it's easy to find in South America and especially in Peruvian marketplaces. You can buy the leaves and steep your own tea.

2. Muna Tea

Muna tea is very popular in both Nepal and Peru among the locals. In Cusco alone, it's reportedly sold in hotels and restaurants because of altitude sickness.³

With digestive properties as a mint tea, it's used to ease stomach issues³ and also stated to be used for headaches.⁴ As great alternative to Coca tea, and much more widely available such as Amazon.

3. Ginger Tea

Ginger is been used medicinally since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to fight nausea and vomiting.⁵ Long used in both Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, modern experts such as Dr Axe promote ginger for altitude sickness.⁶

Ginger tea is commonly found in many teas — including medicinal and herbal teas from Yoga Tea, Vahdam, Traditional Medicinals, Numi, and Tazo.

4. Green Tea

Although there's no studies to back up green tea helping altitude sickness, green tea carries two benefits that may help with high altitudes. High in antioxidants and caffeine, these properties have subtle evidence in high elevations to support the body.

Dr. Ebert-Santos describes that "caffeine can help prevent the onset of acute mountain sickness."⁷ Furthermore, a study shows antioxidants to be a promising approach to high altitude.⁸ Green tea has both these attributes.

5. Black Tea

Out of all of these altitude sickness teas, black tea is one that has a study based on it at Mt Everest. Black tea given to the mountain expeditions members was found to have a positive effect on mood, reduced fatigue, and no signs of dehydration.

Black Tea is not only the most common in America, it's the most consumed tea in the world. This makes it easily accessible no matter what country or high altitude location you're visiting or climbing.

This concludes our research on teas that help with altitude sickness based on the science — including coca tea, muna tea, ginger tea, green tea, and black tea. Remember, tea is not a substitute for medical attention if you are experiencing severe symptoms of altitude sickness. If your symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention immediately.

What Is The Best Drink For High Altitude?

There's many electrolyte and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Liquid IV, that consumers grab for high altitudes. But are they the best drinks?

There's some evidence that electrolytes may help with high altitudes, and that electrolytes can deplete including sodium. Based on the fact that you can replenish electrolytes like sodium relatively easy with a good diet and even salty snacks, it appears that teas could be the best drink for high altitude.

With more diverse options, and what appears to be stronger evidence and research, teas could be an essential thing to pack for your next mountain climb. As listed above, the top teas for altitude sickness based on research include — coca tea, muna tea, ginger tea, green tea, and black tea.

What Is The Best Tea For Altitude Sickness?

We'd vote that coca tea is the best. Coca tea for altitude sickness is not only wildly popular in the Peruvian culture and history, it has numerous modern studies done on it.

The University of Chicago, the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, and Andean Institute of Andean Biology in Peru all did research on coca as a high altitude remedy.[²] [¹⁰] [¹¹] Coca leaves altitude sickness mechanism is that it may suppress erythropoiesis via the active ingredients cocaine and ecgonine.¹¹

Although coca may be the best for altitude sickness, unfortunately it's the hardest to find or use as it's illegal in United States. Therefore, the other teas for high altitudes should be highly considered, unless you're visiting a country like Peru.

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1. Coca Tea Altitude Sickness
2. Does Chewing Coca Leaves Influence Physiology at High Altitude?
3. Medicinal Plants For Altitude Sickness - Coca, Muna
4. Tips To Avoid Altitude Sickness Including Tea
5. A randomized comparison of ginger and dimenhydrinate in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
6. Traveling into Thin Air: Altitude Sickness Prevention (+ 4 Natural Treatments)
7. Mountains And Caffeine
8. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
9. The Effect Of Drinking Black Tea At High Altitude On Hydration Status And Mood
10. Coca: High Altitude Remedy of the Ancient Incas
11. Coca Chewing and High-Altitude Stress: Possible Effects of Coca Alkaloids on Erythropoiesis