The Gross Reason to Avoid These Celebrity-Endorsed Weight Loss Teas

April 29th 2016

Many celebrity-endorsed tea brands that are supposed to detoxify the body are mostly comprised of the key ingredient in laxatives, according to a recent investigation by Racked.

teatoxFacebook/Bootea -

You've probably seen the teatox before.

On Instagram, sponsored posts of young, attractive users posing with herbal "detoxing" tea (teatox, for short) are an increasingly common sight. That's because brands such as Bootea and Teami pay influential Instagram users to endorse their products — as much as $250,000 per post.

But while the teatox products are marketed as herbal supplements that naturally cleanse the body of toxins, help you burn calories, and reduce bloating, many of them really just make you use the bathroom. The key ingredient, senna, is an FDA-approved plant commonly found in stimulant laxatives such as Ex-Lax.

"Some teatox brands offer full disclosure about senna and its effects. Others don't list ingredients or make them a little bit harder to find, requiring consumers to do their homework," Racked reports. "Those that are more upfront explain you could experience 'a churning tummy' that will require you to 'visit the bathroom more often,' but they're also quick to assure customers that you should 'not experience diarrhea' — even though many do attest to this side effect."

Senna isn't necessarily dangerous, but experts say it shouldn't be used as directed by teatox companies.

The idea of going on a teatox diet involves consuming the senna-based product multiple times per day for up to two weeks straight. Excessive use of senna can cause cramping, indigestion, and dehydration, pharmacists say. What's more, these teatox products promise "quick fixes" for weight-related problems that aren't backed by science.

"The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak," Edzard Ernst, an academic physician, told The Guardian. "There is no known way — certainly not through detox treatments — to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better."

ATTN: reached out to Bootea and Teami for comment, but representatives for the companies were not immediately available.

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