Herbal Laxative Tea
Many diet aids and slimming agents are portrayed as safe, natural remedies because the ingredients are most often comprised of herbs and spices. However, herbal remedies can be very powerful and must be used responsibly to be safe. While these ingredients and teas may be FDA approved, the are still regularly recalled for causing health issues and may be unsafe due to the concentration or combination of certain ingredients. This doesn’t mean that all laxative teas are off limits, though. Many traditional cultures, including the Chinese have used these herbs safely for hundreds of years. Read on to learn more about why, when and how to try laxative teas.
Using Laxative Teas Safely
While laxative teas are often touted as having a slimming effect or promoting weight loss, using them on a long-term basis for this purpose can actually have a negative effect on your overall health. Laxative teas should not be used solely for weight-loss purposes but can help those who suffer from irregular bowel movements or intermittent constipation. The high antioxidant content of teas has an inherent detox effect, and those containing safe ingredients such as peppermint and chamomile can be safely consumed on a daily basis to promote regular bowel activity. Black tea is another common and safe option known for its mild laxative effect. Some other ingredients to look for include:
- Dandelion root
Possible Side Effects of Laxative Teas
Stimulating a bowel movement is the obvious, and intended, side effect of consuming laxative teas, but you may also experience others depending on the ingredients in the tea. Mild abdominal cramping and discomfort is considered normal if you are using a tea that has senna as a primary ingredient, especially if you have been dealing with constipation. You may also experience loose stools or diarrhea. While most people are able to use mild laxative teas as needed without experiencing any major side effects, abusing laxative teas can lead to serious issues:
- Laxative dependence. This occurs when the digestive system gets to used to having help and can no longer work without a laxative present. This is a very serious condition that can lead to death if not treated appropriately.
- Dehydration. Any time you have loose stools or diarrhea, you risk becoming dehydrated. It’s important to keep up with your fluid intake while using a laxative tea. Stick to water or unsweetened fruit juice to help replenish fluids without causing blood sugar issues.
- Potassium imbalance. Diarrhea and dehydration can also affect the amount of potassium in your body. If this gets thrown out of balance, it can result in weakness, muscle cramps and heart palpitations.
if you experience moderate to severe side effects after using a laxative tea, it’s best to discontinue use and consult with your physician before continuing with any at-home remedies. It’s also not recommended for women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant to use these teas without checking with their doctors or midwives first.
Noteworthy Brands That Offer Laxative Teas
If you’re interested in using a laxative tea, these brands and blends are a good place to start.
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Smooth Move Tea. Senna and licorice are the primary active ingredients in this tea, but it also contains a blend of other herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger and orange peel for taste.
- Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular Tea. Senna, anise and dandelion all provide a stimulating effect to this sweet and spicy tea, thanks to the stevia, cinnamon, ginger and clove also present.
- The Republic of Tea Get It Going Tea. Ginger balances out the laxative effect of senna in this blend and is reported to help reduce abdominal cramping. Licorice is also present for a soothing effect.