Since ancient times, people have always been looking for ways to get rid of toxins from their bodies. Some of the ancient “detox” practices that people have used include enemas, bloodletting, sweat lodges, detox teas, and fasting. They even used these practices for medical treatments until the wake of the 20th century. Today, detox teas have become popular among those who want toxins out of their system. But remember that detox teas are dietary supplements. So there are no FDA regulations to evaluate detox tea side effects. Many of the detox teas on the market contain some dangerous chemicals and drugs.
No doubt, detox teas might contain the typical tea ingredients, such as tea leaves. But then, some of them might also contain allergy-triggering or toxic substances. That’s why you should consult your physician before you attempt to use detox products. But if we will be honest with you, many of these teas will not expel any toxin. Many of them just make your body expel more water and you might lose some water weight. Aside from dangerous chemicals and drugs, they might also contain lots of caffeine and laxatives. All of these might cause severe health issues, including death in the long run.
Detox Tea Side Effects
We can’t say that all detox tea products are harmful. Some of them only include tea leaves. So they are not any different from regular teas. However, some others include harmful ingredients. Examples of such harmful ingredients might include the following:
- Powerful herbs, such as Senna
- Excessive caffeine
- Illegal chemicals, such as ephedra
Detox tea ingredients should typically energize your body. But they might also make you rush to wee and poo more frequently. As you continuously empty your bladder and colon, you may lose a few kilograms of weight.
Don’t be deceived, though. The fast weight loss you’re experiencing is due to water loss. The weight loss is not because you’re excreting toxins. That form of rapid water weight loss is neither safe nor effective. It can lead to dangerous health issues, including:
- Heart attacks
The following are common side effects that you may experience while taking detox teas:
1. Electrolyte imbalance
Frequent visits to the bathroom may make your body lose too much fluid. This may leave you dehydrated. And when you are dehydrated, your blood electrolyte levels would reduce.
Your body needs electrolytes for proper muscle function. So an imbalance of your electrolytes could trigger muscular spasms, as well as abnormal cardiac (or heart) rhythm. These are very serious health issues.
One of the powerful herbs you will often find in detox teas is Senna. This herbal laxative is a medically proven treatment for constipation. This herb is generally safe so long as you use it in moderation. But if you use large quantities of Senna, it may cause problems like severe diarrhea.
Diarrhea that resolves quickly is not a problem. But prolonged diarrhea could pose serious dangers. It could make you extremely dehydrated. This is what might happen when you use laxatives long-term.
3. Stomach problems
You might experience abdominal discomfort and pain when you take detox teas. Some common problems include cramps, gas, bloating, and nausea. These symptoms are usually due to the excessive laxative and caffeine ingredients that detox teas often contain.
Can You Trust Detox Teas?
As we have mentioned before, the FDA does not regulate the ingredients in detox teas. As such, you can’t totally trust their ingredients. Whether you buy them in local stores or online, they might contain dangerous ingredients.
Experts have even reported cases where toxins, drugs, and/or other dangerous substances were found in detox teas. In 2004, there was a high-profile case where investigators found fluoxetine (Prozac) in a popular detox tea brand.
Prozac is an antidepressant drug that can cause life-threatening adverse effects. It even poses more danger when taken with certain other medications.
More so, when these teas promise detoxification, they make this promise because the laxatives in them can somewhat influence your body’s system. Prolonged intake of these teas has the same effects as the prolonged use of a typical laxative.
With time, your body might begin to depend on them. This means that you might not be able to have regular bowel movements without them. That’s not all. You would need to steadily increase the dosage.
Just like alcohol, your body would build up some sort of tolerance to the active ingredients. And higher dosages come with increased risks. So you see why the prolonged use of any detox tea is not so safe.
Further, we must trash out the idea that your body might need any form of help to help carry out detoxification. This idea is quite misleading. If any tea claims to help detoxify your body, it might be nothing but hype.
There is a built-in system of detoxification in your body. And this system works 24/7. The process starts with your liver. It dismantles the toxins. Your kidneys then flush out the waste products. No detox tea can improve how these existing natural detox systems function.
Caffeine is another common culpable ingredient in many detox teas. It can cause negative effects, such as the following:
- Fast breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Ear ringing
You should think twice about using detox teas if you are on any medication. Some of the herbs and substances in detox teas can chemically react with medications. More so, the adverse effect of diarrhea might also decrease your mediation’s efficacy. The medication would rush out of your system before it is absorbed.
Detox tea side effects can be serious at times. And on top of that, they hardly deliver the promise of detoxifying your body or making you healthily lose weight. The best approach to detoxification and weight loss is to eat healthy, balanced meals, drink plenty of water, get lots of exercise, and sleep well daily.