For the last few months, my Instagram feed has been blowing up with friends documenting teatox experiments. Don't worry — this doesn't mean they're only consuming tea for an extended period of time! They're drinking multiple cups a day while keeping their diet healthy and clean with hopes of improving digestion, decreasing bloating, increasing energy levels, and in some cases, losing weight. While herbal tea has been a natural health remedy for thousands of years, no studies exist attesting to teatoxes' efficacy in terms of weight loss or detoxing the body, but after talking to a few girlfriends about their experiences, I decided to do some research, find the right brand for my needs, and take a two-week plunge.
According to the University of Michigan's Integrative Medicine program, it's safe to drink two to four cups of caffeinated tea per day, but it's not enough to just start sipping on whatever tea you have at home (or see online with pretty packaging). It's essential to read the ingredients carefully to ensure you're drinking tea that supports your health instead of harming your body. Some varieties of tea contain high levels of caffeine that can leave you feeling dehydrated and jittery, and many detox tea brands contain senna, a natural laxative that should not be consumed for longer than two weeks, according to the National Institute of Health. Overconsumption of senna can lead to potential heart problems, liver damage, or muscle weakness, and could upset normal bowel function, causing a dependence on laxatives. After reading these warnings, I decided to steer clear of a brand with senna and was also interested in a cup that was caffeine free. I finally settled on Your Tea's Tiny Teatox ($35 for 14-day supply) because of its short list of all-natural Chinese herbs, cassia seed, lotus leaf, radish seeds, orange peel, and barley sprout, plus a few health-conscious, clean-eating friends had recommended this particular plan.
Within two days, I noticed a calm boost of energy after each earthy cup, and even though I was traveling, my digestion was more regular than it had been in months. Multiple people commented that my skin looked awesome, and I noticed a slight reduction in belly bloat after eating. The only directions that arrive in the Tiny Teatox package instruct you to drink three cups a day, 30 minutes before or after meals. I drink a ton of water, so sipping three cups a day was easy in the office, but I found it a little more difficult to time it right on the weekends when I was out and about. I also started consuming my tea before dinner because the boost of energy that made my mornings awesome was not as helpful when I was trying to get to bed. Tossing and turning aside, my teatox experiment was very positive. I would absolutely do it again.