For years, celebrities have endorsed all kinds of products that appear on TV, magazines, billboards, and even social media. One significant trend lately is to promote detoxifying teas.
It’s no secret that consumers care about their health and physical appearance. With the rise of quick-fix products, some may worry that these teas are also unhealthy and ineffective in the long term. Are there truths to these myths?
What are Detox Teas?
People have spent thousands of years trying to eliminate the toxins they believe are in the body. Some historic practices include sweat lodges, bloodletting, fasting, enemas, and detoxification tea. Many of these were even used as medical treatments until the 20th century.
These days, drinking detox teas remains a popular choice. You might have even seen celebrities using them, especially with the well-known “Master Cleanse” diet.
The Difference Between Detox Teas and Cleanses
Though these terms are often used in the same way, they are technically different products with their own purposes. Depending on your goals, you might use one or the other, or both at various points.
What Do Cleanses Do?
A cleanse is when you eliminate the junk food in your diet with nutrient-rich foods with lots of fiber. These foods make you feel better while also taking better care of your organs, making the kidneys and liver work more efficiently. A primary focus is to release stagnation in the GI tract to stimulate waste elimination. Properly eating nutritious foods and fiber help get rid of excess water and bloat.
Cleanse teas are primarily focused on helping the GI tract to relieve stagnation. Common ingredients include fennel seed, cinnamon, ginger, senna, and green tea.
Benefits of Detox Tea
Detox is a process that allows your body to get rid of accumulated toxins like alcohol and heavy metals; cleansing the body of these toxins also helps your kidneys and liver. Food alone cannot detoxify the body, but eating better foods makes the organs healthier and better at their assigned tasks. These diets are usually paired with fasts because they are more restrictive than simple cleanses.
A batch of detox tea is usually a combination of herbs meant to encourage urination and stimulate the liver and kidney. Commonly used ingredients include coriander, fennel seed, dandelion root, and milk thistle.
Whether or not the tea is good for you depends on the ingredients used to make it. If you’re unfamiliar with the component, look them up. It’s best to source your tea from a dedicated tea merchant; specialty supplement vendors may have questionable sources for their teas.
Like any dietary supplement, detox ingredients aren’t FDA-regulated. In fact, some teas from questionable sources have previously been found to contain dangerous chemicals not listed on the package. This is why it’s essential to be able to trust the vendor you get your teas from.
It’s a good idea to discuss your plan to use a home detox product with a doctor before using it.
Detox Tea Benefits: Are They Safe?
Most doctors agree the best way to a healthy lifestyle is to maintain a quality diet, get a good amount of exercise, and remain hydrated. Teas that promise body detoxification often neglect to mention that our bodies already perform that function naturally when given a chance.
Drinking detox teas regularly over several weeks or months will lead to digestive problems. These teas have laxative components, and the regular stimulation to your bowel can lead to a dependency on the ingredients to keep performing their functions. In other words, when you stop drinking the tea, you may feel constipated and need to use potent laxatives to resume bowel motions.
Teas that contain stimulants can lead to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can further lead to feeling jittery, anxious, and like you’re on edge. People who live with cardiac illness, hypertension, arrhythmias, and certain psychiatric illnesses can struggle even more from these detox tea side effects.
Dehydration is another possible complication. Many detox teas contain diuretics to stimulate urination, but this makes you lose more water than usual; this loss of water weight is why you may see your weight drop by several pounds after a few days. The sometimes substantial diuretic effect can also lead to a loss of potassium, sodium, and other essential elements for heart and muscle function.
The secondary challenge is the concern that these teas promote negative self-images. Couple this with social media, which also contributes to negative body images, and many worry about physical beauty’s toxic commercialized standard. Celebrities may reinforce this narrative by claiming they’ll look and feel as good as they do if they try a particular tea, neglecting to mention they receive a commission on sales.
In reality, proper weight loss and sobriety require more help than that. Most celebrities have access to personal trainers, nutritious food, and health professionals who can help them maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
How Can Tea Detoxify the Body?
Every day, we drink gallons of tea, and many swear by it. How does tea detox the body?
Chances are that you’ve heard about the many benefits of detox tea and green tea:
- Helps burn fat: Green tea contains antioxidant properties that speed up your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn more energy even when you’re not actively exercising.
- Improves immunity: It helps fight against colds and the flu.
- Super medicine: Some reports claim green tea can guard against arthritis, diabetes, and certain cancers.
- Hydrating: Against the common narrative that tea is dehydrating, green tea has re-hydration effects similar to water.
- Neurological: Green tea may be able to prevent neurological and degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Detoxing can also help you feel more energized and less bloated by flushing the system and assisting the kidneys and liver with their natural functions. Antioxidant rich tea encourages the body to produce more detoxing properties while boosting your immune system, protecting the liver from toxic substances like alcohol.
Detox Tea Side Effects
Many detox teas are simple mixes of various leaves, just like regular tea. Others may contain harmful chemicals that can become dangerous in large enough doses, including:
- high caffeine levels
- illegal chemicals, like ephedra
Cleansing teas are supposed to give you energy, but they may also send you to the bathroom for long periods at a time. Emptying your bladder and colon more often can lead to mild weight loss, but you mostly lose water rather than toxins.
Though these teas may have chemicals to “speed” things along and help you be more active, the above ingredients can lead to serious health problems, including:
- heart attack
Are Detox Teas Good for the Liver?
Several medical treatments exist for liver disease, but no studies show that detox supplements can fix the damage.
In fact, some teas can harm your liver; liver injuries caused by dietary and herbal supplements are on the rise. For example, green tea extract may cause damage similar to that caused by hepatitis. Likewise, other teas with inappropriate chemicals can lead to electrolyte problems that can turn deadly in severe cases.
Other things to keep in mind include:
- Some companies may use substances that are unsafe in larger doses. Others make false claims about their treatment potential.
- Unpasteurized juices can cause illness, especially in the elderly or those with weak immune systems.
- If you have diabetes, check with your doctors before making any changes to your normal diet.
- If you have kidney disease, a cleanse with huge amounts of juice can worsen the condition.
- Maintaining a fasting diet as part of a cleansing program can lead to headaches, dehydration, and feeling weak or faint.
- If you have liver damage from hepatitis B, fasting and detoxing can worsen the damage.
Best Tea Cleanses
The following products have strong customer reviews that claim a long list of detox tea benefits. Some varieties are anti-inflammatory while others boost alertness or improve the immune system.
- Yogi Tea: It counters “everyday impurities” by assisting the kidneys and liver.
- Triple Leaf Detox: Caffeine-free tea made with Chinese herbs to cleanse the body.
- Rishi Tea Tumeric Ginger Tea: Made with turmeric powder, orange peel, ginger root, and bits of licorice root.
- Republic of Tea Get Clean No. 7 Tea: Comes with natural almond and vanilla flavors.
- Pukka Herbs Organic Herbal Tea: A good choice for a simple cleanse.
- Traditional Medicinals Everyday Tea: A bittersweet tea with goji berries, stinging nettle, and licorice root.
- Bea’s Wellness Tea Blend: Removes impurities and promises to leave skin healthy and good-looking.
- Gaia Herbs Cleanse and Herbal Tea: Aimed toward liver support and detoxification.
How Long Does Detox Tea Take to Work?
The amount of time it takes for a certain tea to work depends on the manufacturer and blend. Yogi Detox’s maker recommends a 30-day regimen in which you drink three cups every day. Check the box for the most accurate information.
Coastal Detox Can Help
The best detox tea in the world can’t help someone safely detox from drugs or alcohol at home. Coastal Detox can help; contact us today to find out more.