‘Teatoxes’… what’s the deal?
Towards the end of last year I noticed a new craze seem to be hitting the realms of Instagram and the internet throughout the world… ‘Teatoxes’. A style of detox in which you drink a herbal tea concoction to help eliminate bloating and aid weight loss etc.
It seems pretty appealing to many since eating habits don’t change dramatically, you are simply adding in the tea (obviously healthy eating is recommended). I can see the appeal this holds. Intrigued by the ever-growing 'before and after' photos showcasing ‘amazing’ results I wanted to give a Teatox a try for myself to understand from a personal point of view the pros and cons and also be in a more informed position to advise my clients who may have questions. For me it was not a case of seeking weight loss specifically, but I will say as someone who often has issues with bloating I was curious to see if this could help.
There are a couple of main manufacturers who supply to the UK. Bootea and Your Tea. There are also many other brands word wide (an maybe more in the UK that i;m not aware of).
I decided to opt for Your Tea since their teas DO NOT include herbs with laxative effects- such as senna (whereas Bootea does) more on that at the bottom of the post.
Note: The tea was kindly supplied to me by Your Tea following my email to them, but all words, opinions, photos and experiences are entirely my own. I had no other incentive to write this post other than curiosity and a desire to be better informed!
I think one of the reasons ‘teatoxes’ are so popular is because they seem a lot less scary than other forms of cleanse or detox. The idea of going on a juice cleanse or drinking copious amounts of green smoothies or only eating soups or shakes can be quite overwhelming and also restrictive and impractical in many people’s minds… Whereas the concept of a tea cleanse is ‘adding in’ and not ‘taking away’. This is much more in line with my own philosophy where ‘crowding out’ cravings and unhealthy foods is always my first point of call. I guess that’s why the general concept of a teatox felt more in tune with me, particularly as it's also another opportunity for people to add more liquid into their diet something which I find so many people still struggle with day to day.
Tea drinking is also something of a ritual, an act of mindfulness steeped in culture. I was actually excited about the opportunity to drink the three cups of tea each day as another reason to slow down and take time out for five minutes a few times each day. Regardless of the teatox… we should all do this a lot more!!
Ok, so let’s get down to it!
What is a teatox?
Tea + detox = teatox. Essentially, it’s a 'supplement' that incorporates various teas/herbs designed to aid weight loss, boost energy, and cleanse the body.
Why I chose Your Tea?
As explained below, The Tiny Tea Teatox does not include Senna Leaf (Fan Xie Ye) in it's ingredients, this is a natural laxative that I wanted to avoid. I also liked the fact that the company is connected with nutritional expert Dr. Nat Kringoudis; who has a lot of sensible advice and a credible nutritional/herbal medicinal background..
Which product did I try?
I tried the Tiny Tea 28 day Teatox (you get 84 teabags per box to drink 3 times per day 30 minutes before each meal). There is also a 14 day version available as well as a gluten free version. They also have other products available such as 'Skin Magic' and 'Fertility Tea'.
What are the ingredients?
A blend of Chinese medicinal herbs: Jue Ming Zi, He Ye, Shan Zha, Lai Fu Zi, Chen Pi, Mai Ya. I researched these herbs in further detail and found that most of them are used to help relieve food stagnation. On other words, help push things along and get rid of 'sludge' and toxins that may not have found there way out of the body.
What does it taste like?
Like a strong 'herby tea'. It's quite a strong taste and the special blend of herbs aren't a flavour I can draw a similarity too to help describe. I may take a little getting used to for some but I actually really quite liked it (i don't like regular tea) and found it a pleasure to drink. I would say that had that not been the case I would have struggled to drink the three cups per day!
What did I experience?
Ok, I'll be honest. If you are waiting to hear me say... "I lost 7 pounds and gained a totally flat stomach" you'll be disappointed. I didn't actually experience much by way of side effects at all. I enjoyed the process, it made me more mindful and the notion of drinking the tea 30 mins before or after a meal meant that I snacked less which for me was a really good thing (I am a picker!). I didn't noticeably see any changes in bloating either. That said I certainly didn't experience any negative effects either.
I have a few suggestions for why this could be the case:
- My diet is already very 'clean'. No sugars or inflammatory foods, plus I drink a lot of digestive herbal teas such as ginger and peppermint already on a daily basis.
- I think my bloating/digestion issues are predominately stress related and so tea drinking alone will not alleviate this (the mindfulness may help long term!).
- In relation to the 'stagnation relief' of the herbs I researched, it seems this is more relevant to heavier foods more prone to stagnation such as animal products, which if course I don't consume, so in that case these herbs did not assist me a great deal. I could see in principle how someone with a typcially rich and heavier diet could potentially experience more significant benefit.
I'm undecided about the benefits of the Teatox. I like the idea in principle as a gentle way to cleanse the body, and the way it fits in with everyday life. BUT I don't think that everyone would experience the benefits of the 'before and after' photos as seen across Instagram. I think the effectiveness largely depends on the nature of your diet to start with and also any other ailments (physical or psychological) you may be dealing with.
That said, I do think the ritual of tea drinking and the benefit of increased fluid intake is a good thing. Therefore making up your own herbal tea blends, or drinking a digestive tea in including herbs such as peppermint, ginger and fennel could potentially be just as beneficial in many ways and is something I would recommend (I loooooove my fresh lemon and ginger in the mornings and peppermint tea leaves in the evening!)
...A few extra notes on types of Teatox (if you are still reading and haven't gone to sleep yet!)
It’s also important to make sure the products’ ingredients are safe. An ingredient of some concern found in many other teatox brands (not Your Tea) is senna leaf. This herb is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a nonprescription laxative used to treat constipation and to clear the bowel before a colonoscopy.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there’s insufficient evidence that senna promotes weight loss. But it does irritate the stomach lining to produce a laxative effect and can contribute to stomach discomfort, cramps, and diarrhea. Using it for more than two weeks (as you would following many teatox plans) is discouraged since it can cause abnormal bowel function or changes in electrolyte levels that can lead to heart problems, muscle weakness, liver damage, and other harmful effects. Since our bodies naturally cleanse and purify themselves by processing and eliminating them through sweat, urine, and faeces, using laxatives like senna if there’s no real medical could be deemed unnecessary.
If you are interested to check out Your Tea for yourself you can find them HERE.
So, tell me...
Have you tried a 'Teatox'?
Would you try one?
Do you drink your own herbal tea blends and feel any benefits?
Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.
Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places: