I am trying to develop a taste for tea.  So far I’m talking sweet tea from McDonald’s, at the theater and from Snapple.  Hot tea in a teapot--not so much.  The reason for the baby steps toward tea is because tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can consume -- it soothes stress, it helps prevent heart disease and stroke and it even helps preserve memory.

I guess I stopped reading too soon because what I didn’t know was that for some people it can raise the risk of kidney stones. At least that’s the findings according to researchers from Loyola Medical Center in Chicago.  Science says you can blame it on the high levels of oxalate in tea, a chemical that leads to the formation of small crystals made of minerals and salt that are found in urine. ( I don’t like where this is heading)

While these crystals are typically harmless, they can grow larger--so large they become lodged in the tiny tubes that drain urine from the kidney to the bladder. Kidney stones range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. They forgot to say they can hurt really really bad.  In fact, what I thought was gout, may well have been tea based oxalate and it was about as painful of an episode as I have endured.

SO, drink tea, live a long time but be in pain

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images

in all that  the extended time?  Back to the menu!