Is Herbal Tea Against the Word of Wisdom?

Mormons typically find it difficult to drink beverages containing caffeine such as coffee or tea as it would go against their spiritual doctrine, yet many seem fine with drinking cola drinks or chocolate that also contains caffeine – an apparent contradiction in behavior.

The Word of Wisdom is a scriptural health code given to Latter-day Saints by God, found in Section 89 of their Doctrine and Covenants. It prohibits certain foods and drinks while suggesting others.

When it comes to beverages, the Word of Wisdom strictly forbids hot beverages such as coffee and tea as these contain caffeine.

Church officials have clarified that herbal tea is acceptable as long as it does not contain Camellia sinensis (tea). Such beverages, known as tisanes, typically consist of blends or infusions of dried fruits, flowers, herbs, spices and even medicinal benefits – some even claim them for medical uses!

Tisanes differ from traditional tea, which is composed of the leaves from Camellia sinensis plants, in that they typically do not contain caffeine and lower levels of antioxidants, making them safer for those looking to avoid caffeine intake. Furthermore, they may offer health benefits thanks to ingredients like ginger, chamomile, hibiscus, rooibos (red tea), mint, echinacea and black pepper which may all play an integral part of making up these beverages.

These ingredients have long been utilized as remedies for ailments like colds, weight loss, insomnia and heartburn. Furthermore, tea tisanes contain nutrients and antioxidants such as polyphenols, quercetin, vitamin C folic acid and potassium that have also proven beneficial.

Even though limited research exists on this subject, some herbal teas are thought to provide relief for conditions including anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, indigestion and stress. Therefore, it is vital that church policy does not conflict with Word of Wisdom regarding tea consumption.

At its heart, this issue of reverence for God involves obeying His commandments. Deviating from them could cause unnecessary hardship and confusion; we should focus instead on understanding what they actually require of us and understanding God’s true desires from us.

Once we understand it correctly, following God’s Word shouldn’t be so difficult. Instead of making excuses and justifying our lives without regard for Heavenly Father’s wishes, let’s live lives that honor him by living our lives according to his will.

*This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project and has been modified for reposting. The Good Men Project is an initiative dedicated to supporting and celebrating good men, and helping them address issues they encounter daily in life. For more information about their mission please visit their About page.

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