Can Black Tea Help Stop Excessive Foot Sweating?

Excessive sweating of the feet, also known as plantar hyperhidrosis, is a common condition that can cause embarrassment and discomfort. The search for effective and natural remedies has led some to wonder if drinking black tea may help reduce excessive foot perspiration. In this article, we’ll explore the potential effects of black tea on sweaty feet.

What Causes Excessive Foot Sweating?

Sweating is a normal bodily function that helps regulate body temperature. However, some people have overactive sweat glands that produce more sweat than necessary regardless of temperature. The exact cause is unknown, but contributing factors can include genetics, hormonal changes, stress and anxiety, obesity, and certain medical conditions.

The feet contain more sweat glands per square inch than any other part of the body. This makes them prone to excessive sweating. Plantar hyperhidrosis affects an estimated 3% of the population and tends to be hereditary. It can occur along with excessive sweating of the underarms, hands, groin, and other areas.

Can Black Tea Help?

Black tea contains various compounds such as polyphenols and tannins that may have antiperspirant properties when consumed regularly.

Several small studies have found modest reductions in sweat production after 1-6 weeks of daily black tea consumption. Most studies used 3-6 cups per day and compared black tea to a placebo tea. The most significant effects were seen with Thai and Indian Assam black tea.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that drinking 6 cups of Assam black tea per day for 1 week reduced self-reported sweat severity in 50 young male volunteers compared to a placebo.

Another study in 2013 saw reduced foot sweat production in a small group of people who consumed black tea extract for 6 weeks. The antiperspirant effects peaked at 4 weeks.

However, a larger 2016 study in the International Journal of Dermatology found no significant difference in feet sweat production between a placebo group and groups consuming 3 cups daily of black tea or green tea for 4 weeks.

Potential Mechanisms

The polyphenols and tannins in black tea may help constrict sweat glands and decrease sweat output when consumed regularly. These compounds may also reduce foot odor by inhibiting bacterial growth.

However, the effects appear small and inconsistent across studies. More extensive research is still needed, especially larger and longer-term human trials. Any antiperspirant effects likely depend on the tea variety, brewing time, individual biochemistry, and the underlying cause of excess sweating.

Other Lifestyle Remedies

While black tea may potentially help reduce foot sweating, other lifestyle remedies can also be considered:

  • Wearing moisture-wicking socks to help absorb sweat
  • Using over-the-counter antiperspirants on the feet
  • Applying alum stone blocks to the feet
  • Using talcum/baby powder to absorb moisture
  • Going barefoot when possible to air out feet
  • Washing feet with antibacterial soap and drying thoroughly
  • Avoiding socks/shoes that restrict air flow
  • Managing stress, anxiety, weight, and trigger foods

Early research shows black tea may potentially reduce foot sweating, although the effects are modest and not consistent. Along with lifestyle changes, black tea could be a simple addon complementary therapy for managing the symptoms of plantar hyperhidrosis. However, more human research on larger scales is still needed. Speak to your doctor if bothersome foot sweating persists despite home remedies.