Diet tea is tea; tea is natural; so diet tea must be natural, too. Right?  Well, that’s what I thought.  Call me naive.

In late spring I started contacting companies who produced weight loss tea to see about exporting to the U.S. And now I’ve spent the last few weeks inside these companies going in depth dissecting diet teas.

In the first round of  research, the strangest thing I found in the tea was the use of a crushed shell of an insect similar to a cicada.  How this aids weight loss, I’m still not sure.

In the factories recently I ripped open tea bags, I studied leaves, I compared compositions, I analyzed colors, tastes, smells, I tasted and I felt the effects.  During that experience I found out a lot more disappointing and disconcerting things about diet teas.

  • A certain very popular UK diet tea intentionally misleads (dare I say, lies) to their government and their customers.
  • Many diet teas are actually pressed into granules or pellets that look like fish food just so you can’t tell what’s in them.  Have you ever ripped open the tea bag to find out what’s really inside? Is it natural? Is it herbal? Is it even tea-based?  Are you drinking what they tell you you’re drinking?
  • Most weight loss teas, some openly, some not-so-openly use senna leaf. Senna is addictive–if you take it away, your digestive system doesn’t function, as in, you can’t go #2. And eventually you need more and more to create the same effect. In the long run, it is damaging for your health, especially your digestive tract.  This is why the FDA requires a warning on the label.
  • Slimming teas, at least those sold in China, often have as high as 5 or more times the U.S. allowed limit of pesticides and herbicides–I guarantee you, those aren’t natural.
  • What if they produce the tea in such a way you get 3x the efficacy of the contents of the tea bag? Do you still consider that tea? Is it natural?

All of it certainly makes me wary!

Perhaps the real questions are:

  • Does any of this matter? Does the desperate dieter care what’s in their tea?
  • Does anyone care if it is natural?
  • If the drinker doesn’t see the inside of the bag, does it matter what the contents look like?
  • Can diet tea only work with this many questionable practices?

Then the challenge becomes developing a natural, tea- and herbal-based, effective, non-habit-forming, honest, transparent weight loss tea.

I undertake that challenge.