When you hear the word ‘teatox’, you probably think ‘laxative tea’. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.
The aim of Digestive Herbs (formerly TinyTea) is to assist and maximise digestion, improving overall health. Rather than sending you on hourly visits to the bathroom.
“Recently there has been a great amount of discussion around herbal detox tea formulations and their harsh laxative influence. The cause for concern comes from the ill affect the ingredients may have in upsetting digestion and affecting how medications can then be absorbed. The main offender and common ingredient in such teas is senna leaf, widely known for its laxative effect on the body.” Dr. Nat TCM., explains in further detail here.
Let’s cover a few things about laxative teas first.
What Is Laxative Tea?
Using a combination of stimulants or herbs to promote bowel movements and relieve constipation. They often use the senna leaf for its anti-inflammatory and purgative qualities.
Dr Nat Kringoudis TCM., explains in detail:
“Senna leaf (laxative) is famous for its ability to purge the body and can be successfully used for a very short time to relieve constipation. Its effect is quite rapid, with a pending bowel motion very urgent and most often painful, that tends to follow consumption. It isn’t advised for senna to be consumed for a long period of time nor would I suggest for it to be used as an ongoing solution to weight or constipation. It effectively speeds up the digestive process meaning you don’t properly get a chance to absorb the nutrients in your food, leaving your body robbed of the essentials. When it comes to medications (like the pill for example), the same goes – without them being absorbed into the blood stream, they can become ineffective. Not only can this be dangerous for those with serious health concerns but a reason why unwanted pregnancy may occur where laxatives and the contraceptive pill are involved. Furthermore, the long-term effects of purgatives can be damaging to your digestive system, gut health and bowels. It’s for these reasons that we have been very careful with how our blends have been created.”
Concerns about Laxative Tea
Laxatives are diuretics, the combination of this and their purgative effect means they cause short-term loss of water weight, resulting in dehydration. This ‘weight-loss’ will last until your next glass of water.
How Is Digestive Herbs Different?
Digestive Herbs (formerly TinyTea) does not contain Senna leaf, nor does it cause your body to purge itself. Instead, we use mild herbs that nourish and cleanse your digestive system. The goal of our Tiny Tea is to restore your body back to optimal health, and once it’s working efficiently, you can begin to lose weight. We don’t want you to become dehydrated or dependent on laxatives. Instead, we want to improve your gut function so that you can absorb all the nutrients you need and feel better than you ever have before.
Dr Nat TCM. puts it nicely…
“We’ve made no secret of just how Tiny Tea works. Its main action is to support healthy digestion via its special ingredients that synergistically work together to achieve this so nicely.”
Why laxative teas don’t work
Dr. Nat TCM. has written a whole blog on this , in short, she explains that the ‘flush out’ you experience from laxatives is caused from irritating the bowel. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water from your stool and expel the waste product. Laxatives cause the intestine to absorb less water, making the stool more watery, hence, rapid expulsion.
Extended use of laxatives, will cause your body to be severely depleted of fluids.
Laxatives are useless for weight-loss since laxatives act on your bowel (large intestine), and by that stage, the only things left from your food is water and waste. One which you need, the other was on its way out anyway – so to speak.
The only true effect of laxative use is dehydration.
“Laxative teas will prevent the body from absorbing essential nutrients and over a period of time, you’ll end up eating more as your body goes into survival mode – that’s the worst kind of weight loss technique I’ve ever heard of!
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, when we take teas with laxative effects, we further weaken the spleen function. Other symptoms of a weak spleen lead to fatigue, stomach pain, emotional upset, dizziness and poor memory. A weak functioning spleen will have trouble extracting nutrients from food which will eventually result in severe overall depletion. For women, it creates a level of complexity around their menstrual cycle too.”
So you see, we’re pretty anti-laxatives around here, and for good reason.
Photo via @whiskeyandwaffles_