Do Tea Detoxes On Instagram Really Work? Eh, Not So Much

On social media platforms, we’re able to convey a certain image or idea of “healthy living” that is actually contrary to healthy habits. You’ve probably seen oodles of endorsement posts for teatox companies without even realizing it. But do teatoxes really work? What is it exactly?

In this article published yesterday by Racked, writer Chavie Lieber goes in to crack the mystery surrounding those teatoxes celebrities shill on Instagram, highlighting the sketchiness within.  If you’ve managed to gain a decent following on Instagram from all of your pics of homemade smoothies and selfies while clad in gym clothes, chances are you’ve been approached by one of the many teatox companies with an endorsement plea of some kind.

Even if you’re like me and you have no interest in following health trends and/or fitness models, you’ve still at least seen an endorsement come up on your feed. Celebrities across the spectrum have cashed in their checks, and they’re not in the least bit subtle when advertising either. Take a look at Nicki and Britney’s Insta posts.

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My favorite thing about these posts is that they aren’t even seen actually using the product. It’s very clear that this is strictly an ad as opposed to a candid shot of their glamorous daily routines.

How did this trend even begin? Who are these companies infiltrating our feeds?

“It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly was the original teatox brand, but the companies in play today are all remarkably similar. A simple search on Instagram will bring you to Lyfe Tea,Fit Tea, Skinny Bunny Tea, SkinnyMint, TinyTea Teatox, Flat Tummy Tea,ShowGirlSlim, Baetea, Naked Me Tea, and My Beauty Tea. The list goes on. Most of them are mysteriously operated, with no discernable press representation or even employees made available to answer questions.”

Okay, well that’s super sketchy. Can I at least know what it is?

“On the packaging, these brands promise the tea “promotes fat burning,” “reduces bloating,” “makes you feel light,” and “cleans the digestive system.” In other words: these teas act as laxatives. The primary ingredient in nearly every single evening “detoxifying” tea is senna, an FDA-approved plant found in Ex-Lax and a number of its stimulant laxative competitors.”

So it’s basically just taking laxatives. That can’t be good. What does science have to say about all this?

“”It can cause cramping, indigestion, dehydration, and is also just not particularly pleasant,” says Scott Gavura, an Ontario-based pharmacist and writer at the medical watchdog site Science-Based Medicine. “Taking a laxative when you think you’re bloated or overweight is not something you want to do from a medical perspective. That’s not healthy to yourself, and if you take it for a long period of time, it can be disruptive for your digestion and to the bacterial flora in your colon.”

Funny, none of the celebrity endorsees included this information in their posts. Be careful of Instagram and it’s falseness.  I had a friend that had a “healthy lifestyle and fitness” Instagram account at the height of her eating disorder. If you’re curious about a health trend or product, it’s always best to ask an actual doctor and not just use whatever product Britney Spears is holding.

I highly recommend reading the full piece on Racked, as well as “I Tried a TeaTox and Nothing Happened”, before making any purchases for yourself.