Recently there’s been a huge interest in the best detox tea, sometimes called “teatox,” and a proliferation of companies trying to capitalize on that.
Finding a detox tea that works, and doesn’t have side effects like cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or pregnancy has proved challenging with questionable ingredients and over-hyped marketing.
Today, let’s explore a few of these companies, what their products entail (including ingredients), whether they’re actually safe, and what side effects they might have.
Comparison Guide to Teas
|No Laxatives / No Senna||Gluten-Free||Less than $30 for 2 Weeks||Contains Tea (for metabolism-boosting properties)||Contains Adaptogens (to reduce stress)||Contains Chinese Hawthorn (to remove stagnant buildup)|
|Skinny Me Tea||✓||✓|
Skinny Me Tea
Perhaps the most famous detox / weight loss tea is Skinny Me Tea from Australia that hit it big back in 2013.
So how does Skinny Me Tea work and what’s in it?
Skinny Me Tea promotes their SkinnyMe Teatox as “an all-natural detox and weight loss program designed to provide fast results and kickstart a healthier you.”
The tea cleanse has 2 parts: a daily “Loose leaf” tea and a “Colon Cleanse” tea. Below I explain traditional uses of some of the ingredients.
Loose Leaf: Sencha Green Tea (Japanese green tea, known for its polyphenols, including EGCG), Yerba Mate (a potent source of caffeine), Dandelion Leaf (used to increase appetite and act as a laxative), Ginseng Leaf (for energy), Lemongrass (for digestive benefits), Celery Leaf (kidney and liver detoxifier), Nettle Leaf (diuretic), Goji Berries (increase “Qi”), Açai Powder (calorie-dense antioxidant).
Colon Cleanse: Senna Leaf & Root (very strong, habit-forming laxative), Hawthorn Berry Extract (improves circulation), Barley (control blood sugar and promote weight loss), Lotus Leaf (reduce weight and stored fat), Lime Leaf & Extract (digestion), Psyllium Husk Seed (stool bulker), Phaseolus Calcaratus Seed (anti-inflammatory), Rhubarb Root (relieve constipation), Poria Cocos Stem Bark (diuretic and anti-anxiety effect), Valerian Root (muscle relaxant).
The Teatox comes in a 14-day or 28-day option, in which the loose leaf tea is drunk daily and the colon cleanse is drunk every other evening. The 14-day costs $35 and the 28-day costs $60.
Who is this for and who is it not for?
It is not for people sensitive to gluten. Barley is a gluten-containing grain!
It is also not for people who suffer loose stools, dehydration, or from an eating disorder.
This natural detox tea could be beneficial for people who suffer from occasional constipation or edema (water retention). But be careful, as the laxatives used in the product (senna) can be habit-forming, meaning if you don’t take them regularly you will have 0 chance of a having a bowel movement on your own (because your colon stops working!). Senna can also cause severe cramping and pain, loss of key minerals and nutrients due to watery and excessive bowel movements. You have been warned.
This may produce short-term weight loss: its a diuretic–meaning you’ll urinate more, which will reduce water weight. And there are some powerful laxatives in it, which can also help to flush food wastes faster (at the risk of nutrient loss, too). The caffeine will provide a stimulant effect, which may be ok if you’re not sensitive to caffeine.
However, it does nothing to address habits or lifestyle, and therefore I see no way the ‘weight loss’ could be maintained. Besides that, there have been reports of girls ending up in the hospital in severe pain or suffering from colon prolapse from taking this. Be very cautious.
Finally, it’s rather expensive for what you get. At only 21 servings of ‘tea,’ that’s $1.67/serving plus shipping.
Tiny Tea by Your Tea
Tiny Tea comes with BIG (dare I say, overblown?) claims, including: “reducing weight, easing bloating, increasing digestion functionality, improving skin clarity, increasing energy levels and alleviate issues associated with food intolerances.”
So how does Tiny Tea work and what’s in it?
Each teabag contains 2.5 g of the following herbs (translated from Chinese for you). Ingredients: Cassia (moisten the intestines and nourish the eyes), Lotus Leaf (reduce dampness to encourage weight loss), barley (see above), Radish seed (clear food stagnation), Orange Peel (relieve nausea and vomiting).
Again, this tea contains Barley, so it is not recommend for people sensitive to gluten. They do, however, have a gluten-free version.
Your Tea recommends you drink 3 cups of their daily detox tea each day, at least 30 minutes before or after meals.
The 14-day program costs $35, and the 28-day is $55, plus shipping.
This Chinese detox tea doesn’t have nearly the laxative and diuretic properties of Skinny Me Tea’s ingredients, which is very good from a health standpoint and is safer. Cassia does act to moisten and soften the stool, but without a laxative effect. This is much more gentle and mild approach, which is also why we chose cassia seeds for BeLight.
There is no actual Camellia sinensies “true” tea in Tiny Tea, therefore the drinker doesn’t benefit from polyphenols, such EGCG, known for the metabolism-boosting properties and antioxidants typically found in tea.
What is disconcerting with this company is they list all of the ingredients in Chinese pinyin, which feels like they’re trying to hide something. Why not put them in English so that people can do their own research and make sure they’re OK with all the ingredients? The opaque teabags also concern me as I’ve seen some very underhanded practices from slimming tea manufacturers. Chinese detox tea manufactures like to conceal laxatives in opaque teabags without declaring them on the ingredients list and I’ve found that buyers are (sometimes) duped.
At 3 tea bags per day, the 14-day program is $0.83 per teabag, which is more comparable with commercial teas.
Would I buy it personally? No, unless I really wanted to suss out whether they were hiding laxatives (I can tell by the taste). But, on the surface, this is the least harmful of the reviewed teas.
Try BeLight Tea before you commit: Get 2 tea bags for free — Just pay for shipping — For a limited time only
Queen B B-Tox
This Australian company has a more diversified product line, serving multiple health concerns, and as such, doesn’t seem like simply a copycat company.
B-Tox bills itself as a “healthy natural detox tea for your insides that helps rid the body of any unwanted toxins, increase the metabolic rate, suppressing appetite, to ultimately aid in weight loss.”
(Reviewer’s note: I continue to be amazed by the outright health and weight loss claims these companies make. I guess that’s why none of them are based in the US. These types of claims would receive warnings and even financial penalties under US FDA/FTC law.)
So how does Queen B B-Tox work and what’s in it?
The B-Tox is designed for a single 2-g teabag to be drunk each night of the detox before bed.
Queen B definitely doesn’t want the average consumer to know what’s in their tea–all the ingredients are written with the scientific names. What a joke! Nonetheless, I’ve decoded it for you. You can thank me later.
B-Tox contains Cassia angustifolia dry leaf (senna leaf, again a harsh habit-forming laxative), crataegus pinnatifida fruit (Chinese Hawthorn, helps with the digestion of starches and fats), alisma orientale tuber (Water Plantain / Alisma Rhizome is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a diuretic, and may harm the kidneys), plantago asiatica seed (Plantago / Qian Zi, diuretic and laxative), nelumbium speciosum leaf (Lotus Leaf, discussed above), Hordeum vulgare fruit (Barley, which contains gluten and above), citrus aurantifolia fruit (Lime, helps with digestion and reducing water) and cassia tora seed (Cassia seeds, above).
The 14-day program is regularly $26, currently on sale for $23.50, plus shipping.
The Queen B B-Tox is, like many of the others, primarily based on ingredients with a laxative or diuretic effect. Since they recommend drinking it before bed, I imagine the detoxer would be up half the night running to the bathroom. That doesn’t bode well for sleep, which we know is important to appetite and weight control.
Like Tiny Tea, is there is no actual Camellia sinensies “true” tea in it and so no benefit from catechins, or polyphenols.
At $1.86 per teabag, this is the second most expensive teatox program being reviewed.
I continue to be wary of any tea detox diet that relies solely on laxatives and diuretics as a means to an end. Buyer Beware.
A Canadian company that’s a very thinly veiled copycat of SMT, including colors, website look, name and everything.
So how does Skinny Teatox work and what’s in it?
Well this seems to be one of the great mysteries, as they don’t provide full ingredients list online. I sure hope they have an ingredient list on the packaging (otherwise they’re in violation of US FDA labeling laws.)
What Skinny Teatox does tell us is that their “products may contain all or some of the following: gluten (probably from barley and again problematic if you have gluten sensitivity), malva verticellata (also called Chinese Mallow, used as a laxative and diuretic), senna leaf (harsh, habit-forming laxative), cascara sagrada (reactivates colonic peristalsis to relieve constipation), arctostaphylos uva ursi (to relieve UTIs and constipation), ginseng (for energy), licorice (for digestion), chrysanthemum (cooling and relaxing), orange peel (to relieve stuffiness and tightness in the chest and ribs), cinnamon bark (balance blood sugar), cloves (increase digestive power), rhubarb (relieve constipation), and ginger (improve digestion and reduce nausea).” (Comments in parenthesis added.)
Skinny Teatox goes on to explain “Skinny Teatox produces a laxative effect and can be toxic in high doses. Do not consume more than once every two days.”
The 14-day program regularly costs $42, currently on sale for $35. The 28-day is regularly $60, on sale for $55. They also have a 7-day.
This tea cleanse is almost entirely based on the use of laxatives, which can be dangerous, addictive, and nutrient-depleting. While I have little doubt anyone who drank this would lose weight–diarrhea, water loss and dehydration, anyone!?!–it is in no way sustainable or healthy! You would gain all the weight back, and potentially more. Plus, even if you didn’t end up in the hospital from the stomach cramps or dehydration, you’d end up more constipated than before you began.
While having a ‘skinny look’ maybe be sexy or highly desirable, diarrhea and constipation are decidedly NOT.
In addition, this is the highest priced of the teas. While the cost for the 14 days or 28 is comparable to the others reviewed here, at 1 tea bag per 2 days, you get only 7 tea bags for $42. That’s $6 a tea bag!!! If you want to spend that much on tea, may I recommend an investment-grade pu-erh or Taiwan “Oriental Beauty” Oolong, both of which are some of the finest, most prized teas in production right now.
Run, run, far away from this teatox.
Bootea seems to be targeted at the UK market, with prices listed in Great British Pounds. With the shipping charge, it comes out to over $30 for a 2 week program. This is by no means a natural detox tea, as their website says “natural flavorings,” which usually indicated added flavors derived from natural ingredients; and it completely fails to list the ingredients at all.
Warning: The Bootea ‘teatox’ has been associated with failures of oral contraceptives due to the laxative effect. Meaning, if you’re taking a birth control pill while drinking Bootea, you might end up with an unwanted pregnancy. Eeek!
I cannot in good faith recommend any of these weight loss / detox teas. Between their questionable morals promoted via social media (of super skinny girls exhibiting tendencies toward eating disorders and laxative abuse), the high prices they charge for very cheap laxatives (senna can be purchased for $0.99 a whole box), and for their over-reliance on laxatives and diuretics as a means to weight loss, which is neither healthy, nor sustainable, these supposedly natural detox teas are not a good nor safe choice for anyone.
BeLight Tea contains Pu-erh Tea (discussed below), Hemp Seeds (curb hunger and cravings, and moisten the intestines), Cassia Seeds (moisten the intestines), Gynostemma (alleviate stress), Lotus Leaf (clear dampness and aid weight control), Chinese Hawthorn (remove stagnant food and clear fats).
These ingredients work together synergistically to curb cravings, reduce hunger, ease digestion, reduce stress (and stressed-driven eating), and support weight control. You may have noticed some of the above teas contain similar ingredients; this is because there is an understanding in Chinese Medicine that these specific herbs help to process and remove toxins.
Pu-erh is a fermented dark tea containing EGCG, Gallic Acid, and an active enzyme which are thought to shrink fat cells. It also naturally supports metabolism, balances digestion, and aids the removal of fats and wastes. Research suggests that drinking Pu-erh tea each day can counteract the effects of fats and oils in food, while supporting weight control, a smaller waist, and lower BMI levels.
The other five herbs in Belight Tea work based on the principles of Chinese medicine to reduce “dampness”, which is thought to cause water retention and fat storage. They also help to nourish the intestines, to increase passage of wastes, removal of excess fats, and clearing of stagnant foodstuffs.
Belight Tea can help you to change your habits: to break patterns surrounding needless snacking, eating between meals and when not hungry; to reduce consumption of sugary and calorie-rich foods; and to support you in your action plan to shed fat and find and maintain a healthy weight for you.
True lifelong weight loss is about changing behavior and committing to lifestyle modifications that can be sustained in the long term. It is about dealing with underlying issues like emotions, stress, sleep, digestive and hormonal health, exercise and of course, food choices and quantity.
That’s why with BeLight Tea, we encourage mindfulness around drinking the tea–to be aware of how the tea guides you away from snacks and sugar, how drinking BeLight can reduce stress-induced eating, how it helps stabilize energy so you don’t need a high-calorie pick-me-up to get through the afternoon, and how BeLight eases digestion so you don’t have the heaviness and oftentimes resentful feelings of being overstuffed, and how this makes you feel good and confident in your body.
More self-love. More awareness of, and love and honor toward your body. A better body image and a happier you. All of these matter far more to create a positive lifestyle and perspective that truly leads to long term, sustainable, weight management.
Try BeLight Tea before you commit: Get 2 tea bags for free — Just pay for shipping — For a limited time only
Leave a comment below: Have you used tried a teatox? Which one? What was your experience?