Tea is big business and it’s getting bigger, with sales rising year on year in the United States. Our obsession with this hot drink can be felt in every grocery store, every online retailer and every tea room and coffee house in the country. But as this industry increases, so do the questions about just what is being sold.
One such question concerns the differences between detox teas and weight loss teas. What are the differences and which one should you avoid?
Detox teas contain ingredients designed to flush your body. They are effective and to an extent they are healthy, but there are exceptions.
Ingredients like milk thistle, for instance, are fantastic. They are designed to support your liver, which is responsible for the natural detoxifying process in your body. The truth is, you don’t need to “detoxify” regularly because your body does it for you, but there is nothing wrong with assisting your liver with this function and in ensuring it remains healthy while it performs it.
Detox teas can also contain mild diuretics that also help with digestion, such as dandelion root, nettle and licorice. There is nothing wrong with aiding digestion and improving mobility a little bit because most of the people who drink teas like this do so because they have problems with their bowel.
The issues comes when strong laxatives are used in combination with strong diuretics. This stops being a detox tea that can assist your body’s natural processes and it starts being a tea that forces your body to eject waste and does so at such a rapid rate that you can cause serious harm to your bowel and bladder. It amounts to laxative abuse after all.
Senna leaf tea is okay when consumed on its own and in moderation. Diuretics are also fine. But when you bring all of these together into so-called detox teas then the line between healthy and unhealthy becomes a little blurred.
Weight Loss Tea
Teas that contain diuretics and laxatives are often labelled as weight loss teas. This is very worrying, because these teas do nothing to burn fat and repeated use of them will do much more harm than good. It’s also being sold on a lie, because people buy them believing they can burn fat when in fact they’re just expelling waste a little quicker than they would otherwise.
Healthy weight loss teas are ones that make use of natural caffeine sources such as green tea, yerba mate and matcha. But these teas are often sold on the same shelves and even by the same brands as the unhealthy weight loss teas.
It’s a minefield, and one that can be hard to avoid. The only way to stay on top of all of this chaos is to check the ingredients before you buy and to make sure you understand the purpose of every single ingredient that goes into the tea you drink.
You can also skip the weight loss and detox teas altogether, enjoy a nice serving of afternoon tea with all the trimmings and leave your diet for another day. That’s what we do.