According to celebrity gossip, teatoxing has some high profile fans. One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, TOWIE stars Jess Wright and Ricky Rayment and Made in Chelsea star Caggie Dunlop all apparently swear by British Teatox tea Bootea.
Kendall Jenner from the Kardashians is reportedly drinking 12 cups of detox tea a day and following a diet consisting on raw vegetables. Many other celebrities are also jumping on the teatox bandwagon.
So what is the appeal of Teatox Tea? More importantly is it safe and what does it actually do? We find out.
What is a Teatox Tea?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that a teatox tea is much the same as any herbal tea or green tea but the truth is very different.
Teatox teas are not the same as herbal or green teas. Many people drink green tea these days and it is excellent for health and weight loss. Some herbal tea infusions can also come with health benefits and make a welcome change to regular tea.
Camomile for example may help you sleep and is caffeine free. Peppermint tea may aid digestion.
Teatox Teas are also herbal teas, but they contain added natural laxatives and diuretics with the idea of making you lose waste matter and water from your body.
Some people believe that this is good for health and weight loss.
This process is usually described as a detox simply because it sounds a lot better than the reality, which usually sees you spending an increased amount of time in the bathroom.
Teatox teas and herbal teas can become mistaken for each other because the manufacturers and marketers of teatox teas make many of the same health claims as the promoters of herbal and green teas.
So is Green Tea a Teatox Tea?
Green tea is actually derived from the same plant Camilla Sinensis as the normal black tea that you drink such as PG Tips, Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea.
The big difference comes down to the manufacturing process. Green tea does not undergo the same oxidisation process as black tea and as a result is very high in antioxidants – molecules that can help protect your cells against free radicals – the cells that can cause illnesses such as cancer. Boosting your antioxidant levels can also help weight loss because it increases the speed of your metabolism.
Many foods such as green vegetables and fruits are also high in antioxidants and if you want to keep fit and healthy, a balanced diet will help. Drinking green tea supports a healthy system too.
A Teatox tea is not the same as any of these. Essentially a teatox is an herbal tea, which often contains green tea or harmless herbs, but the big difference is that it will also contain a mix of powerful laxatives and diuretics. The idea is that you will lose “waste” and feel healthier for it.
Many people believe that because we live in a polluted world and ingest non-natural unpure foods, caffeine, alcohol and medication, our livers become “overstressed” and our digestive system needs to be flushed for inner cleanliness to remove so-called stagnant waste matter or toxins.
There are countless claims about the benefits of detoxing.
It is supposed to rejuvenate your skin and hair, help you lose weight and benefit your digestive system by removing so called dirty waste matter from your digestive system.
Lots of people do it and some people say they feel better for the experience. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce are big fans of detoxing and there is an underlying feeling that a detox will help you lose weight and revitalise your inner energy.
However, detoxing is not good for you and there is no medical evidence that taking laxatives and diuretics is good for health.
According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson speaking in an interview with Fitness magazine.
Our bodies have organs such as the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, and digestive system to remove these unnecessary substances every day without the help of any special detox diet or potions to help it along.
The colon cleansing claims of detoxing are equally unproven. A spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association said;
it’s ridiculous to think of your digestive system and your colon as a purification plant or a sewer that needs to have its pipes flushed through and a holiday
Source: DailyMail article
If Detoxing does not work, Why are Detox Teas So Popular?
Detox teas are very popular right now. They seem to promise improved health and weight loss and they come with some powerful and appealing advertising that peddle the so called benefits of detox for weight loss without mentioning the lack of medical evidence or side effects.
Naturally, you will never find a detox tea on the market that says, “actually, there is no reason for detoxing or any evidence that it works.” Teatox teas are big business and all the time people buy them, the companies behind these supplements will just keep on churning them out.
A detox tea has a healthy image and because it contains natural herbal ingredients, it does not seem as serious as taking a supplement in tablet form.
Would celebrities such as Louis Tomlinson be as keen to admit to taking a laxative pill, as he is to claim he takes detox tea Bootea? We doubt it would do much for his image for his fans to picture him sat on the toilet.
The same can be said for all the celebrities.
What Ingredients are Contained in Teatox Teas
The ingredients in Teatox teas vary. Usually they contain a blend of ingredients such as green tea and ginger root. You may find caffeine ingredients to give you a lift such Yerba Mate leaves or Gotu Kola. Sometimes a teatox will contain ginseng or ingredients that come with claims of health and wellbeing.
However what they all have in common is that they will contain plenty of ingredients designed to increase urination and in most cases (although not all) ingredients classified as laxatives.
Here are some of the most common teatox ingredients. These show up in most Teatox teas in varying quantities.
- Dandelion: commonplace garden plant – well known as a diuretic
- Fennel: Well known spice that is both diuretic and laxative
- Nettle: Diuretic
- Lotus leaves: This is major ingredient in Skinny Tea and is a gastrointestinal irritant that causes a laxative effect. Requires further clinical evidence into effects and side effects.
- Psyllium seeds: Laxative – major ingredient in OTC laxative Fybogel
- Senna: This is a common cure to constipation and is a very strong laxative. The NHS advises you should only take it for no longer than 7 days and it can cause a range of side effects and reactions. Despite this advice, Senna is an ingredient in many teatox teas including Bootea.
- Liquorice: This may have many medicinal benefits but should always be taken in moderation because of potential side effects. Well known laxative effect.
- Hawthorn: Diuretic that may have health benefits but can cause many drug interactions and side effects.
- Cassia Seeds: Laxative sometimes used in Chinese medicine and known for causing side effects such as the uterus to contract. Requires medical testing for safety
None of these ingredients look very safe or healthy and taken over long periods of time will cause a range of unpleasant side effects.
Potential Side effects to Teatox Teas
Teatox teas do not look dangerous if you look at the various advertising claims, but don’t be fooled. They can cause a long list of potential side effects and very few teatox supplements provide any health warnings.
There is also a lot of negative feedback for many of them and many customers have experience side effects.
You may find that a teatox tea will cause a range of effects including:
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach cramps
It is important to ensure that you drink plenty of water while you are using teatox teas because using laxatives and diuretics can cause dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration include;
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Heart palpitations – such as sensation of pounding heart or rapid beat
- Inability to sweat or urinate
- Weight loss
Some of the Most Popular Teatox Supplements
There are numerous teatox supplements on the market and we have covered several in previous Watchdog reviews.
Let’s take a quick look at some of them.
One of the most popular is Bootea, which is on sale from Holland and Barrett and seems to have struck a chord with a list of UK celebrity clients. The advertising claims that it will help promote weight loss, help you detox naturally and enhance energy levels.
It looks safe and healthy right down to the appealing packaging. The idea is that you take one blend of tea in the morning and the other at night time.
However, a look at the ingredients list and things are not quite as wholesome looking. The principle ingredient of the night time blend is the well-known strong laxative Senna leaves combined with liquorice root.
According to the advertising;
The Bedtime Cleanse tea (to be consumed just before bed) works while you sleep cleaning out the digestive system, helping to prevent excess calories from being absorbed and stored as fat.
This Teatox has caused a range of unpleasant side effects, according to users, including chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain and stomach cramps. It really is not very good for you.
See our Bootea review for more information.
Cha Yi Tea
This teatox looks like an ordinary green tea that may promote good health but beneath the explanations about the health benefits of Oolong green tea you will find Cassia seeds and Lotus leaves lurking in the ingredients list.
Neither of these ingredients are proven to be safe and both will see you spending increased time in the bathroom.
We covered Cha Yi Tea in a previous Watchdog review.
Slimming solutions Teatox
This supplement is similar to Bootea and includes two blends of teabags.
The daytime blend, which contains some mild stimulants and diuretics such as nettle and dandelion. The nighttime blend contains strong laxative combination Senna and liquorice extract.
You can expect to experience side effects.
Skinny Tea Detox
Again, the two-teabag formula, one for daytime use and one for use at bedtime. The daytime formula contains some healthy ingredients including Green tea, Goji berry extract and Jasmine tea. It also contains nettle extract to increase urination.
The night time teabag contains Senna Leaf and nothing else. We cannot see why taking a potentially dangerous laxative at night time should be good for health or weight loss.
This is described as a detox and colon-cleansing supplement and comes with advertising that claims that any health and weight issues are caused by toxins. So there’s only one way to get rid of those, right? This supplement contains what they describe as Locust Plant, which is a variety of Senna. Expect to become very well acquainted with your bathroom,
So Why Take Teatox Teas?
There really is no sound reason why you should bother with taking a teatox.
This supplement craze is potentially dangerous and made worse because the advertising always makes a Teatox tea look so healthy and beneficial.
However, for most people any side effects may only be temporary and as long as you do not use Teatox teas for long periods of time or do not have underlying health issues you should be OK.
Taking a detox for a week or so may not cause too many long-term problems and ensuring you drink plenty of water will help avoid dehydration. If you experience side effects such as diarrhoea, our advice is to discontinue use.
Despite medical advice, people are drawn to detoxing and this questionable practice is not going to go away anytime soon.
When it comes to Kendall Jenner and her practice of drinking 12 cups of detox tea a day, apparently the people around her are concerned about her health. What she is doing is incredibly unsafe and it will not make her thin or healthy. Of course it is possible that these claims, like most claims related to the Kardashians, have been exaggerated.
So the secret behind Teatox Teas? Simple they don’t work, stick to green tea instead!