Probiotic Tea: Is this for real?

Josh writes:

Tea with probiotcsThis Thanksgiving, my grandmother had a lemon ginger tea from Bigelow, which had probiotics in it. I was surprised to see a dry tea that did not need refrigeration but still claimed to have probiotic properties. The tea was delicious. Even if the probiotic element might be questionable, would it be harmful to consume the tea anyway?


A. Probiotics are hot these days and adding some to your product is a sure way to increase sales. But does tea made from these tea bags contain any beneficial bacteria?

Actually, it does! Bigelow has selected a special strain of probiotic known as Bacillus coagulans. This particular strain is highly tolerant to heat as well as extremes in pH balance. As a result, it can survive both boiling water and stomach acid!

OK, so the bugs actually make it to your gut. But do they do anything for you once they get there? Possibly, yes.

Consuming bacillus coagulans on a daily basis may have positive effects on digestive function, including reduced gas and bloating after meals. (Ginger’s not bad at this, either.)  The probiotics might also have modest anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties–although these have not been linked to any specific health outcomes such as a reduced risk of colds.

The tea is certainly safe to consume and the probiotics might add some modest benefits above and beyond the herbs. Enjoy it in good health!

28 thoughts on “Probiotic Tea: Is this for real?

  1. I use this tea to soothe my stomach, but always questioned the probiotics in it! Great information, thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s 2018 and I’m enjoying my first cup. I combination of one ginger lemon probiotic and one soothing chamomile with some honey. I know from experience the ginger works. It’s pretty good stuff as far as I can tell. I wouldn’t want to drink gallons of it.

  3. Wonderful! I was concerned that the probiotics claim was just marketing and no benefit to me. I enjoy the flavor, and my digestive performance does seem enhanced.

    1. I drank it for the first time tonight. Now there is a party in my belly and and the music coming out is pretty loud. Lol!!

    1. I don’t know if scientific study has an answer for you. But, I can tell you I’ve been drinking 1-3 cups daily for a long time and have had no problem from doing so.

  4. Ive been reading up on probiotics and learned from a few doctors at a summit that taking probiotics can be bad. The reason is we need many strains (at least 900) to properly keep our digestive system working properly. By taking only a few strains we risk over populating with only a few and killing off the others that we also need. It was suggested by all the doctors to consume fermented foods instead to receive the many strains. Kimchi, sauerkraut, miso etc. Dr Zach Bush is the only name I remember now. The tea is great and by adding some raw fermented foods our tummy’s should stay healthy and happy.

  5. I was skeptical but I was suffering from constipation due to pregnancy so I wanted to try anything except laxatives because they make me nauseous and they make my bowel movements basically all liquid because I can only have the osmotic ones. I’ve been drinking this and the lavender chamomile tea with probiotics and, after a few days, I’ve been able to go and have been regular ever since. I use one tea bag a day and keep filling the water until it’s spent. This is the only thing I’ve done different so it’s definitely this that’s caused the improvement. This will be in my cabinet forever now.

    1. This tea could support general gastrointestinal health but shouldn’t be a substitute for appropriate medical treatment for those conditions. Most ulcers are caused by infection with the h. Pylori bacterium, which is best treated with targeted antibiotics.

    1. OK, but if you pour boiling temperature water over the tea, it will immediately cool to below 100 degrees, thus unless you’re boiling your tea bags (who does that?) you wouldn’t be “treating the tea at 100°C for 2 min.”

    2. PATP stands for Pressure-Assisted Thermal Processing, so unless you are also putting your tea under 600 MegaPascals while it steeps you are probably ok 🙂

  6. In the study linked above, the bacteria died. They were in tomato juice, at 600 MPa (600 megapascals, which equals nearly 6000 times pressure at sea-level), after two minutes at boiling temperature.

    For a start, the temperature of the tea doesn’t stay at 100°C. The question brought me here via web-search was “If I don’t boil the tea with the tea bag in it, can the bacteria survive?”

    Then factor in the pressure the study uses to effectively kill (most of) the bacteria in the sample. Here’s a link to convert 600 MPa to 5921.54 atm (standard atmospheres).

    I’m comfortable with the idea that the bacteria do survive their dunk in my hot tea water. Thanks for the link to the above study.

  7. By definition, “Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body”. (

    The keyword here is live microorganisms.

    In a tea bag that contains dry tea, the bacteria strains in it had to be dried, therefore killed.
    The only way you can have a true probiotic is by drinking a fermented liquid where the broth is the blend of herbs and the bacterias that grow in there.

    1. If probiotic bacteria could not survive being dried, then probiotic supplements wouldn’t exist. Apparently, bacteria can survive being dried, and even frozen! And remain viable.

    2. I too was skeptical about the survival of the bacterium, given that other probiotics have to be refrigerated to survive. The key here is that it’s not the live bacteria in the tea bag, it’s their spores, which survive being dried, also heat and stomach acids, and then germinate in your gut.

    1. I don’t know for sure but you might want to boil the water in the microwave first and then add the tea bag, just to be sure.

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