This might be a little bit gross but I hope members will put up with it.

Tea works as laxative, exactly which element or ingredient of black tea works as laxative, to be specific, which element or ingredient of black tea makes us excrete?

I will delete the post, if it is off-topic, once I get the answer.

1 Answer 1


Basically, theobromine and theophylline (see e. g. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Theobromine), which is similar to caffeine. There are even some people doing coffee enemas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_enema), although the effect in those is probably less laxative than poisonous.

For the laxative effect of theobromine see e. g. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.158139 (theobromine in cocoa), for the laxative effect of theophylline by osmotic diarrhea see e. g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1907685 (from 1991).

Black tea has also been used to actually treat diarrhea, e. g. in children (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871214/).

  • Strange! if black tea works as laxative then how it i s used to actually treat diarrhea? Apr 12, 2020 at 15:35
  • May be dose dependent, and different mechanism afaik. Don't have more time to research atm.
    – Thomas
    Apr 12, 2020 at 16:18

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