Aaron Chy, PharmD Student
Just another trend?
Last week we shed some light on how weight loss supplements supposedly work to burn fat and shed pounds. But another line of products that’s recently gained as much attention is detoxifying teas. Claiming to be natural, healthy and safe, many of these tea companies claim to cleanse the body of toxins, regulate imbalances in the body, help shed weight and improve bodily health overall. But what do these products do that supposedly makes them different than regular weight supplements?
Currently, there are easily hundreds of detox tea recipes out there, each one different in the amount, and the combination of ingredients they use. These ingredients are typically natural extracts or herbs that have at some point been linked to various health benefits.
There are countless additives out there, but here are a few common ingredients we’ve found, and their supposed uses:
- Green tea extract
- Weight loss, preventing cancer1
- Ginger root
- Diarrhea, flatulence1
- Licorice root
- Sore throat, menopause1
- Milk thistle
- Promoting good liver health1
- Heart failure, acid reflux1
- Natural laxative1
Do these products work? Are they safe?
The idea behind many detox-teas is that by combining more than one of these ingredients, products can be marketed as fantastic “cure-alls” that offer multiple health benefits at once. However, in reality, the science behind these health claims are not always of the best quality, and in many cases, modern research does not show a large benefit behind these products at all.1
On the other hand, these products have a very real potential to cause side effects, allergic reactions, or interfere with medications and chronic illnesses. In the end, natural does not always mean safe, and caution is always recommended when choosing products such as these.
As always, consult a healthcare practitioner if you’re curious about how these products can affect your lifestyle. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
- Natural Medicines. (2018). Green Tea, Ginger Root, Licorice Root, Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Senna [Monograph]. Retrieved from https://naturalmedicines-therapeuticresearch-com.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/