If you’ve visited any social media sites in the last year, you’re likely to see a number of ads for detox teas. It seems as though these teas are miracle-workers — the Instagram ads always depict healthier, happier people who seem to glow as a result of their tea.
But what’s the real story behind these “teatoxes,” and is there a healthy and natural way to drink detox teas without harming your body?
Why Do People Detox?
Normally, your kidneys and liver are responsible for detoxification, which refers to the process of filtering heavy metals and other potentially toxic materials from your blood and body. However, a poorly functioning liver can sometimes cause these toxins to build up in your body, leading to negative health effects.
As a result, many people choose to try a detox; a process that involves adjusting your diet and lifestyle in order to support your overall health. It can involve elements like following a cleansing diet, adding exercise or meditation and of course, drinking a detox tea.
While the effects of detoxing are still being studied, depending on your body type, age, and other factors, a natural detox may make a difference for you.
What is a Detox Tea?
Next to water, tea is the most-consumed (and cheapest) beverage available today, and it also offers a number of potential health benefits (you can read more about the health-supportive properties of tea here). According to a 2014 article,
Tea consumption has also been shown to be useful for prevention of many debilitating human diseases that include maintenance of cardiovascular and metabolic health. Various studies suggest that polyphenolic compounds present in green and black tea are associated with beneficial effects in prevention of cardiovascular diseases, particularly of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
A detox tea is a tea that usually contains added herbal ingredients (along with the green or black tea leaves) and is designed to support your body’s natural detoxification processes. Two popular schools of natural health, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, promote detox tea to support overall health, a healthy weight and healthy metabolism, and healthy energy levels.
What’s Wrong with Most “Teatoxes”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with drinking tea for detoxification (in fact, we love our detox teas!), but unfortunately you can’t just drink any tea that claims to be a detox tea and expect to see positive results. In fact, some of these teas may actually have a negative effect on your health.
Many of teas that claim to be detox teas contain an ingredient called senna leaf. On its own, senna may offer a number of health benefits, but is primarily used to support healthy elimination and bowel health, as it is classified as a “stimulant laxative.” Unless you have specific issues that may benefit from senna leaf, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), cautions against long-term use, as it may contribute to electrolyte loss and eventually dehydration.
How to Do a Healthy Tea Detox
The best way to achieve healthy detoxification is to incorporate a detox tea as part of a full body detox, which involves not just drinking tea, but also following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and making sure that your body gets the nutrients it needs from healthy sources. You can get our step-by-step guide to a seven day full-body detox here.
When choosing a detox tea, look for a blend that contains ingredients designed to support the health of your liver and the other organs that play a role in detoxification. Choosing a tea that is high in antioxidants also promotes overall cell health because these antioxidants protect your cells from harmful free radicals.
The Ultimate Detox Teas
Although we can never pick a favorite, below are just a few of the detox teas we can’t get enough of. As you’re drinking tea, be mindful of your other habits. If you cleanse for two days and then go back to eating fast food, you likely won’t see the results you want. Taking the time to make healthy life changes in addition to choosing the right products will help you on your health journey.
Cleanse and Detox Herbal Tea
This delicious herbal blend from Gaia Herbs is made with ingredients that naturally support detoxification and liver health such as burdock root and artichoke. It also offers antioxidant support from Rooibos (African Red Tea) to protect cells from free radical damage. Essential oils of lemon and peppermint add a pleasing taste, and the caffeine-free formula makes it easy to drink any time of day!
Flor-Essence Gentle Detox Tea
This blend from Flora contains eight herbs designed to support detoxification, including slippery elm, sheep sorrel, burdock, and red clover. It also seeks to support digestive system health, support colon cleansing, and soothe your gastrointestinal system. The formula is gentle enough for everyday drinking.
While we sometimes associate tea drinking with cozy sweaters, rainy weather, and cheerful mugs, drinking tea also offers a number of potential health benefits. Try a detox tea today, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more healthy inspiration!