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Dear Gramps,

When I was younger a missionary told the woman I was baby sitting for about a type of tea that was okay to drink however I can not remember what it was and was wondering if you knew. It was something she could make into Ice tea and have on a daily basis, it was darker in color? Thank you


Dear Lynn,

From your description I would imagine that it was some type of  herbal tea.  It would be difficult to say which herbal tea  she was drinking as there are a number of them.  The problem with herbs is that not all of them have been analyzed as to the effect on the human body.  Health care professionals have indicated that some herbs can be detrimental to the body.  Prior to drinking any herb tea, I would consult with a health care professional whether it is safe or not.

In D&C 89, the revelation called the Word of Wisdom, it states:  10 “And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—  11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and thanksgiving.”  Also in D&C 59 it states:  17 “Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;  18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;  19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.”  These scriptures use the words “wholesome” and “good”  in describing the herbs that are for the use of man. A definition current in Joseph Smith’s day was “plants of which the leaves or stem and leaves, are used for food or medicine, or in some way for their scent or flavor.”  In one sense, at least, herbs are simply edible plants.

There are other drinks such as Postum which was made from wheat bran, wheat, molasses, and maltodextrin from corn. It was discontinued in 2007.  This drink came into being as a subsitute for coffee during the war when coffee was rationed.  There are several other drink mixes made from diffrent grains.  Refering to the 89th section again:  17″ Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. ”

As with all food and drink, one must use wisdom in determing if they will consume it or not.  Though “herb” and “grain” drinks are not against the Word of Wisdom, they would be considered mild drinks, we neet to use good judgement in their use.  Normally they do not contain caffeine, they are not stimulants and they are not habit forming.  There are several reports that indicate any extremely hot drink is not good for the mouth, throat or stomach.

In recent years the use of Green Tea has increased dramatically in the US.  It has been used in Asia for centuries for its so called medicinal value.  Green Tea is made from the same leaves, though a different process is used where it is not fermented, as regular tea.  It is very high in caffeine and the processing is not controlled by the FDA.  Searching on the internet you find several articles written by health care professionals detailing the potential risks of Green Tea.  One of those risks is esophageal cancer though promoters will tell you one of the benefits of Green Tea is to reduce the risk of cancer.  Green Tea would be classified as the type of tea that is forbidden by the World of Wisdom.


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