Side Effects of Detox Tea: What Should You Expect?

what are the side effects of detox tea
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Are you wondering if there are any long-term risks linked to drinking detox tea? You have heard about its endless health benefits, but what are the side effects of detox tea?

Consumed excessively and too frequently, detox tea can result in a couple of unfortunate scenarios. What’s worse, many detox tea blends aren’t even FDA regulated.

To give you peace of mind, we’ve done the initial research to find out the possible side effects.

From stomach issues to anxiety, learn about what you can expect to happen when drinking detox tea for the first time.

Side Effects of Detox Tea

A cup or two of detox tea once in a while will not cause any serious complications. 

However, over-indulging on detox teas or consuming potent blends regularly are associated with several health issues.

Below are eight side effects of detox tea that you should be aware of:

1. Loose Stool or Diarrhea

Detox tea, especially those targeted to help with constipation, contains powerful laxatives like senna leaves.

Senna is a powerful herb that can help clean your bowel.

However, if you drink senna-based teas every day or more than a cup a day, you might suffer from diarrhea.

Consequently, dehydration and fatigue due to water and electrolyte loss are other side effects of drinking detox teas with laxatives.

If used for a prolonged time, your body might get an unhealthy dependency on laxatives.

In the long run, drinking too much laxative-based detox teas can cause chronic digestive issues.

2. Sleep Disruption

About 100 mg/day of caffeine is believed to aid human cognitive function. However, consuming more than 400 mg/day can be harmful.

Regrettably, many detox teas are a blend of caffeine-rich herbs and teas. A cup generally contains more caffeine than other health drinks, such as green tea.

While caffeine helps boost energy and makes you feel more ready to take on your day, caffeine overdose can disrupt your sleep cycle.

It can make it more difficult for a person to fall or stay asleep. Also, it is one of the major reasons why drinking detox tea before bed is not recommended at all.

Moreover, overconsumption of caffeine may lead to agitation, restlessness, headache, or tachycardia.

That said, note that laxative-based detox teas are often formulated to be consumed at night because it can take eight hours for the laxative to take effect.

3. Worse Anxiety

Anxiety disorder has victimized many U.S. individuals.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reported a 36.4% to 41.5% increase in symptoms related to anxiety and depression from August 2020 to February 2021.

Commercial detox teas formulated with stimulants such as caffeine and guarana are not for individuals suffering from an anxiety disorder.

These ingredients increase anxiety, irritation, tachycardia, and restlessness.

If the condition worsens, it can severely impact the brain and body due to unnecessary overstimulation.

What’s more, when guarana and senna are combined in a recipe, the side effects are considered detrimental to human health.

To be safe, please refrain from drinking any kinds of herbal teas with shady ingredients if you suffer from an anxiety disorder.

4. Harmful Drug Interactions

Detox tea might contain potent herbs, and many of these exhibit slight or even strong medicinal properties. However, a lot of detox teas aren’t FDA regulated.

If you’re taking any over-the-counter or prescribed medications, ingredients in the detox tea might interact with these drugs, increasing or decreasing the drug’s efficacy.

In addition, if you suffer from diarrhea as a side effect of the detox tea, the potency of whatever medication you’re on might significantly decrease.

Diarrhea affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, hence the decreased drug efficacy. 

That said, you should not drink detox tea if you have a chronic health issue or are under medication.

However, if your doctor suggests any herbal tea supplement to target your health concerns, feel free to consume it as prescribed.

list of side effects of detox tea

5. Abdominal Issues

Over the years, multiple cases of abdominal cramps, discomfort, bloating, and nausea due to detox tea have been reported. 

These side effects are often associated with caffeinated and laxative ingredients in detox teas.

However, they are most likely evident in avid detox tea drinkers who drink potent slimming herbal teas daily or more than once daily.

6. Electrolyte Imbalance

Detox teas are associated with multiple cases of acute hyponatremia, a condition wherein the sodium in your blood is too low.

Laxatives in detox teas might encourage you to visit the bathroom more often, thus making you feel lethargic and dehydrated.

These are not the only side effects.

Dehydration can cause extreme electrolyte imbalance in your body, which might further cause serious muscle issues.

7. Unknown Ingredient Label

Unfortunately, many commercial detox tea brands do not disclose their ingredient list. And those that do, do not mention the ingredient concentration.

Moreover, some detox teas, although rare, might also illegally contain antidepressants or other potent plant compounds that overstimulate the brain.

In 2014, fluoxetine, an antidepressant drug, was found in a Japanese detox tea called “Toxin Discharged Tea.”

What’s more, ephedra, which consists of ephedrine compounds, is found to have more than 800 reactions.

Ephedra is closely related to adrenaline and energizes and stimulates the body. It can have a range of severe and unpredictable side effects, from seizures to heart attacks.

So, since the FDA doesn’t regulate ingredients in detox teas, there’s no way of understanding what you’re putting in your body.

While trying to get “detoxified” and healthy, the detox tea might be doing more harm instead.

There are multiple pieces of research on most of the ingredients, but there aren’t any when it comes to commercial detox teas themselves.

For this reason, one shouldn’t rule out the chances of unforeseen side effects either.

8. Allergic Reactions

As discussed earlier, herbal detox teas are composed of herbs, fruits, and flowers believed to have medicinal properties.

Not all brands disclose their entire ingredient information.

If you have allergic reactions to any herbal ingredient and if that ingredient isn’t disclosed on the packaging, you might have an unexpected allergic reaction.  

How to Consume Detox Tea Safely?

The most crucial tip when consuming detox tea with caution is learning to understand the ingredients list.

Instead of trusting the exaggerated benefits or what the packaging box says, research on your own by reading authority papers.

In addition, if you have any health condition or are currently under medication or birth control pills, please consult your health provider.

Drinking a cup of detox tea sold by a trust-worthy brand once in a while is probably not a big deal. 

However, it can lead to issues if you abuse it and drink more than a cup daily.

Finally, know that you needn’t trust or purchase every next detox tea that your favorite influencer or celebrity markets. 

Instead, you can make your own blend by using herbs and ingredients that are safe to consume.

As mentioned above, many herbs frequently used in detox teas have been scientifically proven to have medicinal value.

So, treating such ingredients as medicine and not as an aesthetic is imperative. After all, not everyone needs to drink detox tea for good health.

Nevertheless, if you want to incorporate detox teas into your lifestyle, be very skeptical, research, and most importantly, don’t overdo them.

Adding Detox Tea to Your Diet 

Detox teas are generally praised for their remarkable benefits, from the reduction in water retention to anti-oxidant properties. 

However, if consumed recklessly and too frequently, these herbal potions might do you more harm than good.

Once again, please be as cautious as you can be while choosing the appropriate detox tea for you.

In the case of individuals suffering from an underlying health issue or in pregnant or breastfeeding females, please talk to your health provider first.

If doing so is not possible, do thorough research by taking scientific evidence-backed posts and articles as your resource.

We wish you a safe and healthy detox!

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