Detox teas have been used throughout history to treat disease, restore health and help speed along colds and infections out of the body. Some of these detox teas were even utilized and accepted as medical treatments up until the last century.
Today, these specific detox teas contain ingredients, which are explored in detail in the sections below. These ingredients give way to claims that the teas may improve liver and kidney function, prevent cancer, and reduce gastrointestinal issues via high antioxidant content.
It is further debated by scientists, researchers, and medical professionals as to whether or not “detoxes” are even necessary for the body. Yet with given evidence, certain detox teas tend to pose little or no adverse effects and may possibly encourage beneficial and preventative properties within the body.
1Indian sarsaparilla, found in many detox teas, has many gastric and anti-disease properties. A 2008 review examined various studies and literature on sarsaparilla and its benefits. The review thoroughly discussed each option, and concluded that sarsaparilla may prove beneficial for peptic ulcer disease prevention, antioxidant effects, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It was thought to improve gastrointestinal defensive mechanisms via these benefits. Researchers took it a step further and suggested it even had anticarcinogenic effects and that it could be used in the management of various diseases, such as heart disease (1).
Its antioxidant capacities have also been observed in numerous studies. A 2005 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology looked at sarsaparilla benefits in tea form. Researchers indicated that using this sarsaparilla tea, one may reduce oxidative damage throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The metabolism of it in the body also showed promise for anticancer effects. Researchers concluded the study by point toward more research needed to explore the possible chemopreventive properties that sarsaparilla may have (2).
A 2003 study also put forth that sarsaparilla may be a viable mechanism for antidiarrhoeal effects. It was observed in conjunction with S. typhimurium, E. coli and S. flexneri, showing promise in treating and preventing such conditions (3).
2In popular detox tea, cinnamon bark may have anti-oxidative effects, preventing damage or disruption throughout the body and gastrointestinal system. It may further prevent or decrease an individual’s risk of diabetes.
In 2007 review of literature and research, the authors found that it may have protective properties. However, treatment properties were not solidified, which led the authors to believe that it was a better preventative measure. Some studies showed it reduce cholesterol levels in individuals with raised cholesterol levels (4).
A 2008 published work established cinnamon bark as a possible means to alleviate and prevent diabetic complications. It is thought to do this through its antioxidant components (5).
3Detox teas containing ginger have strong evidence supporting its use in nausea, dizziness, and vomiting prevention. One review established ginger as a scientifically proven entity in reducing motion sickness, postoperative vomiting, vomiting during pregnancy, and easing gastrointestinal problems by stimulating proper digestion (6).
Another published scientific review explored ginger in relation to anticancer effects. They noticed a common trend of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in studies that examined the use of ginger (7).
In fact, one study also elaborated on how ginger has over 500 antioxidants that contribute to free radical scavenger activity, reducing damage and eliminating free radicals (8).
4Licorice-containing detox tea may have anti-cancer effects on the body and involving breast cancer (9). A scientific article explained the effects of licorice. It elaborated on how the use of licorice began in Ancient and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It also indicated that licorice is proven and suspected of having anti-inflammatory, antivirus, anticarcinogenic, and antiulcer properties. In terms of anticarcinogenic effects, licorice may suppress certain cancerous agents and protect cellular DNA from damage (10)
A 2000 study showed a derivative from licorice to have growth-inhibitory effects on breast cancer cells, meaning they did not continue to grow with this intervention (11).
5The ingredient, burdock, is another substance that may have antioxidant and damage preventative properties. A study published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society observed the free radical and antioxidant activity of burdock.
It was found that water yielded the most extract from burdock containing high antioxidant activities. This means that burdock in tea form would be ideal to obtain health benefits. The study also showed that burdock did have antioxidant effects via terminating free radical action and halting reactive oxygen species (12).
A 2007 study showed results including low side effects of burdock and prebiotic effects promoting optimal gut health (13).
However, a 2004 study demonstrated that heat treatment, such as that in detox teas, on burdock may slightly reduce its antioxidant effects. Further studies on specifically burdock tea could validate its use and capabilities (14).
6Dandelion root in detox teas may act as a natural diuretic and may also contain antioxidant properties. Published in 2010, a study explored dandelion root and its hypolipidemic and antioxidative effects. 28 male rabbits were enlisted for the study.
Researchers divided the rabbits into four groups. There was a normal diet group, a high-cholesterol diet group, a high-cholesterol diet group taking dandelion leaves, and a high-cholesterol diet root taking dandelion root. Results showed increased plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles in the dandelion leaves and root groups. Researchers inferred that both the root and leaf of the dandelion may protect against heart disease, atherosclerosis, and other oxidative stress illnesses (15).
An older 1992 study observed the traditional diuretic use of dandelion. Researchers concluded that the high potassium content in dandelion may contribute to its well-known diuretic effects and activity (16).
7The detox tea ingredient, black pepper, is thought to have benefits relating to the digestive tract (17). A review conducted in India suggested black pepper as a viable source of improving digestion, having anti-inflammatory effects, and possible antimicrobial properties (18).
A 2010 study found strong evidence that black pepper, combined with cardamom, may enhance the natural killer cell activity in the body. This shows its anti-cancer effects, as well as its impact on the immune system protecting not just the digestive tract but other systems as well. This balance also had pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties (19).
8Juniper berries have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial components (20). One study explored juniper berries when applied to the skin, not as a detox tea ingredient. The study showed its effects on processes in the body including inflammation, metabolism, immune response, cancer development, and healing. Researchers suggested juniper berries as a viable method for treating inflammatory conditions of the skin (21).
Another study observed the in-vitro activity of juniper berries in water. It was found that juniper berries decreased free radical activity, giving way to its antioxidant properties (22).
9Philodendron bark in detox teas may contribute to reduced stress. In turn, it may help tackle anxiety and fatigue. Stress can create issues throughout the body and make the body more susceptible to disease (23).
A 2013 study showed cortisol levels decrease when philodendron bark supplements were given to individuals. It also suggested it may reduce stress-related eating helping some individuals lose weight (24).
A 2014 study even suggested philodendron bark use in treating prostate cancer patients. Researchers found patients tolerated it well, and they observed a decrease in prostate-specific antigens in 81% of patients (25).
10Rhubarb, a common detox tea ingredient, may have anticancer properties. One review looked at rhubarb in relation to anticancer effects. There were a variety of scientific and cellular components that contributed to altered pathways, decreasing cancerous cells. It further inhibited the tumor cells from taking in glucose, and thus, limited their energy availability. Eventually, this led to cell death of the cancer cells (26).
11Skullcap root may further have antioxidant effects similar to other detox tea ingredients. A 2011 study explored and observed skullcap root in relation to its antioxidant properties. The study used 32 rabbits. These rabbits were put in four different groups.
The first group had a standard diet, the second group had a diet including a cholesterol supplement, the third group had a diet with cholesterol and skullcap root, and the fourth group had a diet including the skullcap root. Antioxidant systems and activities were higher in the cholesterol plus skullcap group. It showed that not only did skullcap root have antioxidant properties, but it may protect against high-cholesterol diet effects (27).
12Gardenia may have anti-inflammatory properties. According to various reviews and laboratory studies, gardenia has been examined and shown to have anti-inflammatory components (28).
It has also been indicated that extracts from gardenia may contribute to the growth of new blood vessels, aiding in the immune response (29).
13Another common detox tea component, winter melon, is also thought to have natural antioxidant properties (30). Most studies appeared to use the extract from winter melon tea to determine how these effects worked. Various extraction methods were used. However, studies showing a clear or direct association and correlation would help solidify these claim further (31, 32)
1Burdock may have decreased antioxidant abilities when heated, such as in detox teas. Thus, no effects may occur with its use (33).
2Burdock and other herbs may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Specifically those who are more sensitive to plant, flowers, ragweed, or herb products.
3Burdock may decrease blood clotting, specifically in those with bleeding disorders. It should not be consumed prior to surgery.
4Philodendron bark or other ingredients should not be used as isolated treatment strategies for medical conditions, like cancer. It is always best to take advice from your family doctor or healthcare provider as they know you, your health, and situation best.
5Detox teas can cause dehydration. Make sure you consume adequate amounts of water to balance it out.
6Cinnamon bark may cause low blood sugar. It’s important for those with fluctuating blood sugar levels or blood sugar issues to be aware and cautious. Yet, these properties aren’t necessarily thought to have strong influences on blood sugar.
7In some cases, individuals may experience fatigue, headaches, and water or sodium retention when taking licorice.
8Detox teas may cause IBS symptoms as well as fatigue and mood swings. Even though these teas are suppose to aid in digestive problems, they may create digestive issues, such as increased gas, bloating, abdominal pains, and discomforts.
9Specific weight loss teas may cause rare complications, such as seizures, heart attacks, or strokes.
10If the detox tea contains caffeine, you may experience sleep issues. Avoid drinking caffeine-containing beverages later in the afternoon and before bed.
Since all detox teas are different, there is no standard dose. Often 1-3 cups per day are prescribed, but it varies depending on age, gender and tea potency.
However there are doses for certain ingredients.
For Indian sarsaparilla, half a teaspoon twice daily is a common recommended dose, while dosages of powdered root range from 0.3 to two grams daily.
The effective dose for cinnamon is typically 1–6 grams or around 0.5–2 teaspoons per day.
Although there is a lack of human evidence to support the optimal dosage of scutellaria baicalensisfor supplementation purposes, the doses that appear optimal in rat and mouse models suggest that an oral dose of around 500mg of the root extract should be efficacious.
The dosages for rhubarb widely vary. Clinical trials used doses ranging from 50 mg to 50 g/day. For Chinese rhubarb in a crude powder form, a common dosage is approximately 10 – 30 g/day.
Dietary supplements often contain magnolia bark extract in doses between 200 mg to 800 mg taken daily.
Caffeine supplementation is normally recommended to be kept under 400mg/day. It is also ideal to keep it atlas 6 hours away from bedtime.
Do detox teas really work? Yes high quality ones can work well. Many cleanse teas also contain some levels of laxatives, usually the herb senna to keep things ‘moving’.
What does detox tea do to the body? Most tea recommended for detox contains herbs that nourish the liver, an organ responsible for clearing toxins from your body. Tea for detox assist your body to get rid of toxic waste which helps to improve digestive system, detoxify and cleanse the body, help you to reach your health/weight loss goals.
What should I drink for glowing skin in the morning? Start your day with a glass of hot water with lemon and honey. Hot water is known to help flush out toxins and when combined with lemon and honey, it’s enriched with antioxidants that help skin glow while giving you a Vitamin C boost.
Does detox tea make you pee? Yes, some detox teas contain natural diuretics such as dandelion root. Diuretics cause an increase in the production of urine. They do so by promoting the excretion of water and salt from the kidneys, resulting in a higher volume of urine produced.
How long does it take to cleanse your body? The materials that your body cannot use are sent to your large intestine, which finishes the digestion process by removing water, which takes 10 to 12 hours. It takes approximately 24 to 30 hours after the last food you took in to be completely processed, but it may take several days for it all to be eliminated.
Are detox teas dangerous? Unfortunately many low quality “detox” teas can be dangerous. A lot of the ingredients are designed to cause water loss, and as such can lead to major dehydration issues. Remember to always buy high quality teas.
Is sweating a sign of detoxing? More sweating for a few days as sweat can be a route to excretion of toxins. Spotty skin and pimples for a few days as the skin begins to detox itself. Increase in catarrh production for a few days though this is not a cold in the true sense of the word and so you should not be ill or have a fever usually.
How long does detox acne last? Sometimes the acne can be cystic depending on how toxic your body is. This kind of detox acne can take several short cleanses (usually 5-7 days each) or a rigorous cleanse to clear it up completely (these are usually several weeks or months long). You may notice that your acne heals but also forms faster during detox.
Does detox tea work for weight loss? Tea for detox assist your body to get rid of toxic waste which helps to improve digestive system, detoxify and cleanse the body, help you to reach your health/weight loss goals. It has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.
Can detox tea affect your period? Yes, stimulants found in detox teas can affect stress hormones, and that stress hormones are known to affect the menstrual cycle.
Can I drink detox tea before bed? It is not recommended to drink detox tea before bed as they may interfere with sleep. Most detox teas contain caffeine, probably because this stimulant may suppress appetite, trigger your digestive system to let go of waste, and help you shed water weight. A good rule of thumb, regardless of where your caffeine is coming from, is to nix it at least six hours before bed.
Most often, many of the ingredients are not indicated on the label. Detox teas and their ingredients aren’t regulated by the FDA. It’s, thus, important to do your research and consult with your doctor before enlisting in any sort of detox tea diet or remedy.
Interactions with other drugs may also occur. Most interactions or side effects are considered fairly mild, but this may vary depending on the individual. Yet, there is some scientific evidence that shows that popular ingredients in detox teas may have health benefits, such as antioxidative effects, anti inflammatory effects, and anticancer effects.
However, many individuals enjoy detox teas for their variety in herbal flavors. And as aforementioned, before using detox teas for health conditions or weight loss, discuss your options with your doctor.