The popularity of detox teas, or “teatoxing”, has surged in popularity the last few years.  With losing weight ranking high on resolution lists this year for many people, the idea of drinking tea to shed the unwanted pounds is an attractive option.  But are these detox teas safe?  And do they deliver on their promises?

Teas are well documented as offering a variety of health benefits from lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, increasing mood and energy, to helping to maintain weight.  Green and black teas are rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals and are key to the natural cleansing process.  However, detox teas claim to go a step further, declaring to help shed pounds and fat quickly.

What’s in a Detox Tea?

There are countless detox teas available on the market that vary in price from relatively inexpensive to considerably pricey.  Nonetheless, they all tend to contain the same herbal ingredients – most notably the senna leaf.  Though it may seem harmless in name, senna is actually an FDA-approved nonprescription laxative.  That’s correct – most detox teas contain a daily dose of a laxative.  This laxative is will do its job eliminating waste from your digestive tract, which may make the stomach appear flatter, but the amount of fat in the body remains the same.  Similarly, detox teas also contain caffeine and diuretics.  Diuretics aid in the loss of water weight, which may make the body feel lighter.  Again, since no actual body fat is lost the weight is typically gained right back.

What’s the Verdict?

Adding black and green tea as an addition to a healthy diet is a great idea, but leave the detoxing to your liver (hey, that’s why we have one).  The only fail-safe, proven method to lose weight remains the same:  a healthy diet and exercise.