What is pu'er tea?
Pu-erh tea — or pu’er tea — is a unique type of fermented tea that’s traditionally made in the Yunnan Province of China. It’s made from the leaves of a tree known as the “wild old tree,” which grows in the region.
Although there are other types of fermented tea like kombucha, pu-erh tea is different because the leaves themselves are fermented rather than the brewed tea.
Pu-erh is usually sold in compressed “cakes” of tea leaves but can be sold as loose tea also.
Many people drink pu-erh tea because it not only provides the health benefits of tea but also those of fermented food.
May promote weight loss
There’s some limited evidence to support the use of pu-erh tea for weight loss.
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that pu-erh tea may help synthesize fewer new fats while burning more stored body fat — which can lead to weight loss (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).
Yet, given the lack of human studies on the topic, more research is needed.
Additionally, pu-erh tea is fermented, so it can also introduce healthy probiotics — or beneficial gut bacteria — into your body.
These probiotics may help improve your blood sugar control, which plays a key role in weight management and hunger (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
A single study in 36 people with overweight found that consuming 333 mg of pu-erh tea extract 3 times daily for 12 weeks resulted in significantly improved body weight, body mass index (BMI), and abdominal fat measurements, compared with a control group (6Trusted Source).
Still, this research doesn’t prove that drinking pu-erh tea can help you lose weight. These studies employed highly concentrated extracts, which contained the active ingredients of pu-erh tea in much higher doses than those you’d get from drinking it.
Several animal studies have observed that supplementing with pu-erh tea extracts benefit blood fat levels (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
Pu-erh tea extracts may help reduce cholesterol levels in two ways (10Trusted Source).
First, pu-erh tea increases how much dietary-fat-bound bile acid is excreted in the feces, thus keeping the fat from being absorbed into your bloodstream (10Trusted Source).
Second, in animal studies, pu-erh tea also decreases fat accumulation. Together, these effects can decrease heart disease risk (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
Yet, animal studies using concentrated extracts do not prove that drinking pu-erh tea will have the same effects in humans.
May boost liver health
Because it can help decrease fat accumulation, pu-erh tea may help prevent or reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease in which excess fat accumulates in your liver. However, this has only been noted in animal research so far (16Trusted Source).
Another animal study also found that pu-erh tea extract may protect the liver from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin (17Trusted Source).
This is a promising area of research, but human studies are needed before any claims about pu-erh tea and liver function can be made.
Pu-erh tea is relatively safe, and most drug interactions are due to its caffeine content. Some drugs that may interact with caffeine include antibiotics, some stimulants, certain heart medications, and certain asthma medications (19Trusted Source).
If you have any concerns about your caffeine intake and your medications, you should consult your healthcare provider.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Caffeine is the biggest concern regarding pu-erh tea during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Although pregnant women don’t have to completely cut caffeine from their diet, they shouldn’t overdo it. Experts recommend no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy (19Trusted Source).
As pu-erh tea can have up to 100 mg per cup (240 mL), it can be added to a pregnant woman’s diet in moderation as long as she’s not regularly consuming any other beverages that are high in caffeine.
Breastfeeding women should also limit their caffeine intake to about 300 mg per day, as small amounts of caffeine can pass into breastmilk (20Trusted Source).
For general use, take 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) twice a day. Take on an empty stomach before bed. Do not take in excess. Please consult with a doctor before using, especially if you are on any medications. Can be placed under your tongue or added into a beverage.
**** Disclaimer ****
I do not diagnose, prescribe, recommend or treat.
If a person is considering trying a Pu'er tincture for medicinal purposes, they should speak to their healthcare provider beforehand to ensure that it is safe for them to do so.
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