Detox teas, or popularly called “teatox” have become trendy among everyone from actresses and models to beach-goers and body-hating young girls.
First, I don’t think anyone should hate their body, and I definitely don’t agree with the teatox culture that encourages body hate or promotes one specific (often unattainably thin) body type.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s actually look at what a detox tea does.
What is a teatox?
Most teatox detox teas are sold as a quick-fix for weight loss, less bloating, and the ambiguous ‘detoxification.’
To achieve this, many teatoxes and slimming teas rely heavily on senna, a plant-based laxative that can be very habit forming. If consumed over an extended period of time, the body can become reliant on senna to have a bowel movement because the peristaltic action of the colon and large intestine try to compensate for the increased bowel frequency by slowing down their action. In some cases, the body stops peristalsis altogether, leading to severe constipation if and when the senna is removed. When taken in excess, it can cause diarrhea, dehydration, nutrient deficiency, painful abdominal cramps, and in extreme cases, bodily shock (this young girl ended up in the hospital for drinking too much of a senna-based detox tea).
Even for the few teatoxes that don’t contain any senna (or other strong laxatives), most are still offered as “cleanse” or otherwise detoxifying tea. I think most people, myself included probably, could use a little extra detoxification in their life, but the question is, detoxing from what? Environmental chemicals? Negative thought patterns? People that pull you down? Too much stress? Intestinal buildup? Alcohol?
Assuming the goal is to detox from environmental chemicals and intestinal buildup (e.g. caused by poor digestion, slowed bowel transit time), I do think these detox teas can be helpful as a short-term one-off cleanse. And I don’t disagree with the need to cleanse *occasionally* (whether a teatox is right approach is debatable).
Why a teatox doesn’t really change anything
But people oftentimes get started on a teatox and stay on it, or use it continuously as if they are perpetually on a cleanse. But that begs the real question: why do you even need to detox? And why continuously? What about your lifestyle and your eating habits is causing you to become so filled with toxins–so weighed down–and have poor digestion?
We all have a liver, whose primary function is cleansing and detoxing. We all (should) have a bowel movement that occurs naturally and easily at least once or twice a day. These are the body’s natural detoxification processes, along with respiration (exhaling) and sweating.
Therefore, if you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, breathing deeply, and eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies in addition to other nutritious foods, there shouldn’t be a constant need for do a supplemental cleanse or teatox.
And this is why I don’t think detox teas fundamentally change anything.
If anything, a teatox is merely an excuse to eat more junk, knowing that it will ‘fix you later.’ It encourages poor diet, bad habits, and careless, caustic attitude toward one’s health.
Certainly herbs and tea (as in teatoxes) can help you lose weight, ‘lose the bloat,’ and have more energy, but they only do so in the very immediate term (for a few hours, and perhaps lasting as long as 1-2 days). For example, having diarrhea multiple times a day from senna (or other laxatives) will help you lose weight in the form of hydration and some fecal matter as well. When you’re going to the bathroom that frequently and losing that much water, of course you’re going to be less bloated. And caffeine in tea (or coffee or similar stimulants found in mate, guarana, etc) will increase energy, temporarily.
A teatox doesn’t improve health at a fundamental level–it’s not a magical drink to the perfect body with Energizer Bunny-type energy.
What actually matters
To have good health, fitness, digestion, and energy, you have to look at the root causes, understand the underlying issues, and seek holistic change. Start with important questions like, why do you need/want to lose weight? If you even need to lose weight, what’s causing your elevated weight? Why are you bloated? Do you have digestive issues? Why is your energy low? Are you not sleeping enough?
The problem is, none of these issues are solved by a teatox.
These key questions of health are addressed by lifestyle, habits, and diet.
For example, eating processed food, fast food, sugar, and fried foods as your main source of calories will never lead to weight loss, no matter how many times you do a teatox. It just sets up a binge-cleanse cycle, which I guarantee will be worse for body and well-being.
A teatox doesn’t make you stronger, leaner, fitter–it doesn’t actually change body composition–better nutrition and lifting weights will. A teatox doesn’t correct digestion problems caused by poor diet or insufficient good bacteria–more vegetables and perhaps a probiotic will make a bigger difference. You still have to make the commitment and do the work. A teatox is just a cop-out.
If you want to truly change your health, your body, and your well-being, stop with the teatox, and start with better habits.
When you’re ready to change
This is also why I hate having Belight Tea lumped in, or labeled a “teatox,” because Belight is not about ‘quick-fixes’ that don’t really change anything. Change is hard–I get that–and that’s why a teatox is an easy choice. But happiness with your body and your health sometimes requires action on the tough stuff.
That’s why Belight Tea was developed–to help you work through the challenging times of becoming healthier and making better choices. It’s the coach encouraging you, gently nudging you, guiding you, helping you along the way. Belight Tea is about supporting your body and your efforts to live a healthier life and make better nutrition and eating choices. It’s not an overnight solution, but neither is true health.
You must commit to your own progress. Belight will help make it easier and make the results of your efforts more apparent (flatter stomach, easier digestion, better appetite regulation, stable energy, fewer cravings, and more.)
I like to think of Belight Tea not as a quick-fix, but as a quick tool, an easy go-to when you need support on your journey to better eating and vibrant health. You make the commitment, Belight makes it easier.
Whether it’s Belight Tea or any detox tea, no tea or herbal remedy is going to solve all your problems–only you are in charge of your life and your health.