Let me start by saying, I’ve studied herbal medicine and I am a huge tea drinker/lover!
Certain antioxidant-rich herbs can have powerful affects on the body – from the ability to strengthen the immune system by reducing oxidative stress to lowering cholesterol and aiding in proper digestion.
When it comes to the highly endorsed instagram “detox teas” –
You will either hear people against them: “Your body doesn’t need a tea to detox, your body can detox itself” or people promoting them: “This detox tea gave me energy and helped me beat the bloat!”
Usually, the people completely against detox teas do not understand the power of herbal medicine.
Usually, the people promoting the detox teas on instagram are getting paid thousands of dollars.
It is important to know that we are all bio-individuals and that there is no “one size fits all” approach.
In a healthy individual – the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin and lymphatic system all work together in harmony to detoxify itself and remove excess toxins from the body.
Of course – not all of us are “healthy individuals” and some people can use some extra assistance!
Who can benefit from a detox?
If you’re someone who constantly experiences symptoms of constipation, bloating, headaches, low energy/fatigue, bad breath/body odour – you likely have excess amounts of toxins built up in the body.
When you have excessive amounts of toxins built up within the body (whether it’s from too much alcohol, drugs including prescription drugs, pesticides in foods and environmental toxins) – your organs will have to put in overtime to engage in it’s normal processes.
This does not mean you need to buy a $50 detox tea off instagram.
You can start adding things like lemon, cucumber or apple cider vinegar to your water or buy a $5 herbal tea at your local grocery store that works to support a healthy liver and kidney function.
The issue I have with the highly endorsed instagram “detox teas”:
Most people using these “detox teas” are looking for weight loss.
It is important to know that weight-loss and fat-loss are not the same thing.
Most of these “detox teas” endorsed on instagram actually do not have ingredients that support liver and kidney function or work to boost the metabolism – they are basically just herbal laxatives.
Drinking a herbal laxative tea will temporarily yield weight-loss, but it will be water weight that is lost – not fat.
The most common ingredient in almost every detox tea is called “senna”.
Senna basically works by irritating the lining of the bowel, which causes a laxative effect.
While there is a time and a place where senna can be helpful, using a laxative everyday is not healthy and can have serious side effects.
Not only do herbal laxatives cause electrolyte loss and dehydration (which can lead to an array of different health concerns) – overuse can lead to physical dependence (your colon can lose its muscular integrity and lose its ability to properly function) and physiological dependence (relying solely on herbal laxatives to have a bowel movement).
Take home message: Save your money on overpriced herbal laxatives and support your body’s natural detoxification processes by eating a whole food based diet, staying hydrated, getting regular movement in and reducing your toxic load (poor diet, alcohol, cigarettes, environmental toxins, skin products).