If you live with digestion problems, feel sluggish, or are trying to lose weight, you may have thought about trying a detox.
The term ‘detox’ has been floating around the wellness industry for decades, but humans have been trying to rid their system of toxins for centuries.
However, our body has an automatic detox system that rids itself of dangerous substances and toxins.
Detoxing isn’t necessary, though ingesting particular items may improve your body’s capacity to remove toxins. Detox tea is a popular product that claims to do so, but does it work?
You’ll find out more about detox tea in this post, including what it does, if there are any benefits, and potential side effects related to its consumption.
Detox Tea: What Is It?
Tea is made from plant leaves, often taken from the Camellia sinensis plant. Various types of tea leaves are refined and brewed to produce different tea varieties, like black tea, oolong tea, and green tea.
Detox teas claim to encourage the body to eliminate harmful toxins from its system.
These teas are made with particular ingredients, including:
- Senna leaf
- Dandelion root/leaf
- Chamomile flower
- Ginger root
- Rhubarb root
- Hibiscus flower
- Cumin seeds
- Bitter melon extract
Some of these teas can involve diuretics, such as:
- Stinging nettle extract
- Eucalyptus leaf extract
Some may use laxatives, including:
- Senna pod
- Fennel seed extract
- Cascara bark powder
- Rhubarb root powder
Detox tea bags are brewed in hot water to make the tea. Certain manufacturers may add natural dyes to add color to the beverage.
Detox Tea Claims
Some of the most believed detox tea claims are that it can improve your overall health and aid in weight loss.
Even though some fiber-rich foods may aid your digestive system, detox teas don’t count. They can have unwelcome side effects related to laxative ingredients.
Detox tea may seem to aid weight loss, but this is the result of water loss. The diuretic effect releases electrolytes and water through the urine.
You’ll lose a few pounds of temporary water weight, which will return after you go back to your normal diet.
Studies have shown that green tea can aid in weight loss, but this is related to frequent consumption, not after a short ‘detox’ period.
Does Detox Tea Have Any Benefits?
Some detox tea brands contain safe herb or tea leaf blends which are just like regular tea products. These detox teas may contain ingredients that have been used for their health benefits throughout history.
If you go for high-quality products from trustworthy brands, you may receive some health benefits, as outlined below.
Green tea extract contains antioxidants that can fight free radicals to prevent oxidative damage. These may protect the cells by stimulating enzymes that counteract dangerous chemicals, particularly when the body experiences stress.
Licorice is another ingredient that can encourage white blood cell production, preventing cell damage.
It can also hinder bacteria and virus activity, but take caution, as it can be dangerous in larger quantities.
Aid Liver Detoxification
Milk thistle is full of antioxidants and flavonoids which can aid liver function. These can help your liver destroy toxins and handle nutrients.
The antioxidants can also prevent free radical damage, which may also protect against cancer.
Ease Digestive Problems
Ginger can soothe digestion problems and alleviate nausea from pregnancy or motion sickness.
Peppermint can also ease IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and indigestion. It’s ideal for soothing menstrual cramps by soothing abdominal cramps, and may even hinder painful convulsions in certain organs, like the stomach, uterus, and intestines.
Marshmallow root is high in mucilage which can aid constipation. This is a sticky ingredient that can bulk and soften the stool, making it easier to pass bowel movements.
Potential Side Effects Of Detox Tea
Some detox teas are made with dangerous ingredients, like chemicals, pesticides, and harmful amounts of caffeine.
These ingredients aren’t approved by the FDA, while other weight loss items may contain harmful ingredients which aren’t included on the label.
Here are some of the potential side effects linked with detox teas:
Poor Nutrient Uptake
The substances in detox tea blends can affect your body’s ability to take up nutrients and digest food.
If you take vitamins or certain medications, avoid drinking these teas, as they can make these products less effective.
Some of the ingredients in detox tea blends can interact poorly with OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription drugs, like diuretics, beta-blockers, diabetes medication, hypertension drugs, and heart medication.
Too Much Caffeine
Detox teas can be incredibly high in caffeine. Too much caffeine can lead to conditions like:
- Poor sleep
- Fast heart rate
Caffeine in these teas can also affect your usual sleep cycle. This can stop you from reaching deeper sleep states, making you feel even more tired during the day.
Detox teas can contain senna, a substance that can lead to diarrhea. This can make your body lose significant electrolytes, like chloride, potassium, and sodium.
Using laxatives for a long time can affect your regular bowel function and digestive system.
Rather than regularly eliminating waste, the body can become reliant on laxatives, struggling to eliminate waste without them. This can lead to a toxic colon, increasing your risk of colorectal cancer.
Detox teas with laxatives can affect your body’s electrolyte balance, particularly if you drink the teas for over two weeks or on an empty stomach.
Electrolytes are needed for proper nerve and muscle function. For instance, low calcium levels can influence cardiac rhythm, while a lack of potassium can lead to sharp leg cramps.
A Note About Weight Loss
If you’re tempted to try detox teas to aid weight loss, remember that there is hardly any proof that they work. A lot of the claims are related to animal studies or poor research.
It’s better to lose weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise, instead of relying on risky products which won’t even work.
Detox teas can help your body rid waste temporarily, but eliminating toxins from your diet will work better than these products.
Avoiding processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol can go a long way, as well as increasing your intake of berries, citrus fruits, and cruciferous vegetables.
These are full of antioxidants and fiber which can fight cell-damaging free radicals.
Detox teas can also contain harmful ingredients, so it’s best to avoid them and opt for a healthy lifestyle instead.