Is Detox tea good for you?
A very popular diet and tea term are 'Cleanse' and 'Detox'. But what are the differences between these two terms, and what - if anything does cleanse and detox tea actually do? And is detox or cleanse tea good for you? Read on to find out!
Why do a cleanse or detox anyway?
The biggest reason a lot of people do a cleanse or detox is for weight loss, and this is where a lot of the industry focuses its marketing on. There are additional reasons we'll cover shortly, but the majority of these diets focus on weight loss as the ultimate benefit.
What is the difference between a Cleanse and Detox?
While these terms are used often interchangeably, they have different purposes. So depending on your goal, you may do one or the other, or both in different stages.
What does cleanse tea do?
A cleanse is the process where you eliminate junk food and replace with fiber and nutrient rich foods. These foods will not only make you feel better, but it will help all your organs, including liver and kidneys work more efficiently. A big focus is on releasing stagnation from the GI tract and helping with elimination. Eating properly, along with fiber will help you get rid of bloat and excess water and other "junk".
A cleanse tea is usually focused towards releasing stagnation and helping your GI tract. Green tea, fennel seed, senna (a natural laxative), ginger and cinnamon are often found in cleanse formulas.
What does detox tea do? Is detox tea good for you?
What does a detox tea do differently? Detox is the process that helps your body, and more importantly your kidneys and liver get rid of accumulated toxins such as heavy metals. Food itself cannot detoxify your body, but eating the right type of foods can help your kidneys and liver do their job better. These diets tend to be much more restrictive than their cleanse counterparts. They are often paired with fasts.
A detox tea would generally be a combination of herbs that simulate the kidney and liver and encourage urination. Some of the well known herbs and spices used are fennel seed, coriander, milk thistle, and dandelion root. The question boils down to - is Detox tea good for you? It all depends on the ingredients used. If you are not familiar with them, it would be a good idea to look them up. Sourcing tea is best form a dedicated tea merchant. Some vendors (i.e. specialty supplement vendors) may have questionable sources.
Choosing between a cleanse and detox tea
As mentioned before, a common reason for a cleanse is to lose weight. A detox is more of a shock approach and may be used in situations where you ate a lot of bad food or had too much to drink. Detox regimens are usually shorter term in duration. But the key is for you to understand your goals and choose the appropriate approach that will help you reach them. There are also many different diets, but how do you know which one works? A great tool is to use the annual ranking of diets by US News and World Report. One piece of advice - if you are using diet to overcome a medical condition, weight loss or to reduce your reliance on OTC drugs, try to seek out a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (DO). They specialize in alternative medicine yet have the same level of education and licenses to practice medicine as an MD. Coordination with a physician is always important especially for diets that are more nuanced.
Using cleanse and detox teas in the diet - is cleanse and detox good for you?
Since tea is considered a food, it is simply another ingredient that you can consume in conjunction with the cleanse or detox diet you are using. Regardless of the teas you use, remember they are a tool used in addition to your diet. Drinking tea alone will probably have little effect by itself.
Many diets, for example - the Sirtfood diet, aka the 'Adele' diet start off with a strict initial phase, followed by a maintenance phase. Detox and Cleanse tea can be incorporated into this phase by consuming daily. As you achieve your goals, you can reduce the the use of these teas.
Supplement with "regular tea"
Besides teas specific to cleansing and detox, a good diet supplemented with pretty much any tea will be beneficial. Old school advice eating a varied diet also applies to tea. Using green, white, purple, oolong, black, and pu-erh tea will expose you to all the benefits and can be used in most cases indefinitely without side effects. For weight loss and diets, the bias will be towards green or un-oxidized teas. But you can easily drink a black tea in the morning and switch to green tea later in the day.