I’ve heard a lot about detox teas lately, so having never tried one before I did what any person addicted to tea would do—I ordered several different brands to try out side-by-side. Today I want to talk a little bit about what effects these teas had when I tried them and of course, how safe these teas are to consume. Let's start with the most important question first:
Are detox teas safe?
Detox teas may be made up of herbal, all-natural ingredients, but they aren't safe for everyone to consume. Many of the herbal ingredients have negative interactions with both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. You should always talk to a doctor before starting a detox regimen or herbal supplement.
This is something I can't stress enough.
If you aren't able to consult with your doctor, you may want to consider using the WebMD Vitamin and Supplement checker or Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to learn more about the ingredients in your detox tea and possible interactions you may encounter. Do not rely purely on my information or information from these databases to determine whether it is safe for you to begin a detox or teatox regimen. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice.
I also feel that it must be said, you should never give detox teas to children. The laxative effect these teas have will cause severe dehydration and may cause an electrolyte imbalance or other serious healthy issues. That's right, detox teas work as a laxative—in other words they make you poop—a lot. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case you weren't aware. I also promise to keep the talk about poop to a minimum—this is a food blog after all. But all joking aside, detox teas can cause severe dehydration even in an otherwise healthy adult, it's one of the rarely talked about, yet dangerous side effects of these teas.
Do detox teas really work, or is it all hype?
I think that largely depends on which brand you choose and what you're hoping to get out of your detox regimen. If you've overindulged recently and are looking to get your diet back on track or are having some trouble keeping things regular, you may see some benefit from a detox regimen when combined with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. But, if you're looking to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, you'll most likely be disappointed. The weight loss you generally see from detox teas isn't sustainable because many times you've lost water weight thanks to the laxative effects of detox teas rather than actual pounds. Once you stop your detox regimen and go back to your normal diet the weight will slowly come back and sometimes bring a few spare pounds along as friends.
For the sake of today's post I tried out three different brands of detox teas over several months time: 14 Day Cleanse - Organic Detox Tea from Green Root Wellness, 14 Day Detox Tea from Hint Wellness, and E-Z Detox Tea from YoungYou International. What I discovered was that these teas definitely had a cleansing effect (I've never spent to much time on the toilet in my life) but they also left me feeling tired, run down, and cranky. My detox regimen also affected how often I could leave the house as I needed to stay fairly close to the bathroom at all times—something I hadn't really considered in the beginning.
Did I see any weight loss? Not really, I lost about 4 pounds over the course of three months, but my weight tends to fluctuate by around 5 pounds on a month-to-month basis anyway.
Which detox tea should I choose?
That's actually a question I can't answer for you, but I can give you some helpful hints to point you in the right direction.
There are teas out there that claim you can loose 14 pounds in 14 days, achieve a perfectly flat tummy, eliminate buildup of toxins & impurities, and win the lottery—if only you would drink them every day. Look for a tea that doesn't make wild claims about what their product will accomplish.
Make sure the tea you choose has a complete and accurate ingredient list so you can make the most informed choice possible before starting your detox regimen. During the course of my research I ran in to a detox tea that only listed scientific names for the ingredients. Not only was this information misleading, but there were numerous misspellings in the ingredient list making it impossible to track down what ingredients were actually in the tea. If you aren't 100% sure of what's in your tea you can't possibly keep an eye out for ingredients that are unsafe or that will interact with other medications.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies or are allergic to ragweed avoid teas that contain burdock root or echinacea—they're all in the same family and are frequently included in teatox and detox teas. These ingredients can cause a severe allergic reaction in some individuals as well as breathing trouble.
Another ingredient to watch out for is senna. It's often included in detox teas to get things moving—it's frequently used to treat constipation. If you’ve ever tried a detox tea and reacted poorly to it check the ingredient list for your tea, you’ll likely find it to be one of the first two ingredients. Senna is a laxative and is known to cause gas, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, and severe stomach pain or cramping. It also interacts with a large number of medications and may cause them not to work properly. This is an ingredient I would personally avoid altogether, but at the very least you'll want to make sure it's towards the bottom of the ingredient list as there will be less of it in your tea.
Would I try another teatox or detox tea?
Absolutely not! First of all, not a single one of the teas I tried tasted good, they all had an unpleasant underlying medicinal flavor which was only barely masked by the added flavoring used in some of the blends. Personally I'd rather spend money on a high quality green tea (which has been shown to reduce appetite naturally) and focus on changing my diet. Loosing weight has been a struggle for me, but I don't think detox teas will have a place in my diet and weight loss regimen.
In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Green Root Wellness, Hint Wellness, and YoungYou International have provided me with a sample of their product at a discount for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.
This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.