Detox Teas by Dr. Sara Celik Naturopathic Doctor
Blog Fitness + Nutrition

Detox Teas – Why Scientists Say They’re Useless?

Detox teas are hot! And why wouldn’t they be? In today’s fast-paced world, so many people are seeking easy ways to detox.

Gone are the days of coffee enemas, lemonade fasts, and chalky shakes.

Detoxing must fit into a busy lifestyle. Otherwise, people just won’t detox.

Although detox teas are on trend, they are not new.

They’ve been around since ancient times.

With just two cups of tea per day — consumed in the morning and evening — detox teas claim to reduce bloating, combat fatigue, and help with weight loss.

Are detox teas as good as they seem? Are they even safe?

Celebrity endorsements, user testimonials, and astonishing before/after photos posted all over the Internet are convincing.

These endorsements have spiked great interest in this fresh way of detoxing.

But can tea really do all of this?

There’s no denying that tea offers a multitude of health benefits.

The polyphenols found in green tea offer a host of positive benefits – helping those with fatty liver and assisting with weight loss.1

Let’s take a look at common ingredients found in detox teas.

Evening blends often contain ingredients such as ginger, peppermint, and fennel. These ease digestion and help minimize belly bloat.

A morning cup typically contains ingredients such as yerba mate or oolong, which helps boost energy.

To support a healthier liver, blends often add milk thistle, dandelion, or burdock root.

These herbal ingredients have been traditionally used to protect the liver from damage and enhance detoxification.

Cilantro binds heavy metals like lead and is found in many detox teas.2.

Other common ingredients curb appetite throughout the day .

As a result, less calories are consumed.

The morning blends provide many health benefits and can be consumed daily.

It’s the evening tea that is questionable.

Also referred to as digestive tea, the evening blend is usually a strong laxative, therefore it can irritate the colon over time.

Unfortunately, the ingredients in the bedtime tea are typically far from gentle. They may cause severe abdominal cramping, intense diarrhea, and in rare cases, dehydration.

Avoid Senna or Cascara Sagrada in tea blends.

This herb can be unsafe when not used properly.

I do not recommend using this herb beyond a week, as it can lead to vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte depletion, and dependency.

Some detox tea companies recommend long-term use of this herb, which is highly unsafe.

Drinking tea alone won’t detox your body.

Since the liver is the major detoxification organ in the body, it’s working to filter toxins 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately, most detox teas are not strong enough to combat the poisons in today’s toxic world.

Our toxic load is difficult to manage.

Two cups of tea per day may help, but on its own, will not be enough.

As an example, think about the body burden from most personal care products.

A handful of daily shaving cream contains a shocking 23 synthetic ingredients such as Isopropyl Isostearate, Phthalates, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

All of these may be linked to hormone disruption and weight gain.

For optimal results, you need more than just tea.

It’s not possible to reverse the negative effects of eating fast food regularly, drinking excessively, and leading a poor lifestyle with just 2 cups of tea per day?

Here are 5 ways to make your detox tea cleanse more effective:

1. Nourish your body with cleanse-friendly foods.

Eat real food from the earth.

Certainly a diet that is rich in liver cleansing foods is a good idea.


  1. cruciferous vegetables
  2. dark leafy greens
  3. garlic
  4. goji berries
  5. beets
  6. ginger
  7. artichokes
  8. avocado

2. Avoid processed sugars, alcohol, and artificial ingredients.

Man-made sweeteners, MSG, BHT, EDTA, FD & C colors are just a few ingredients to look out for.

3. Consume enough water.

Consume 35 ml of water per kilogram of body weight and increase dietary fiber to 30–35 grams per day.

Excellent sources of fiber are chia seeds, flax seeds, and acacia gum.

4. Drink one freshly made green juice or smoothie daily.

Use ingredients like spinach, kale, chlorella, parsley or spirulina.

5. Eat adequate protein.

This will provide your body with the energy that it needs to cleanse.

Aim for hemp protein, wild caught fish, or organic turkey/chicken.

Engage in regular exercise.

Exercise boosts circulation, promotes lymphatic elimination, and enhances sweating. If possible, end your workouts in the dry sauna, which will stimulate further sweating and toxin release.

Although it was once believed that harsh detoxification methods were the only way to reduce toxins, today we understand that a gentle approach is much better.

Although detox teas are touted as one of the best ways to reduce toxins, tea is not as potent as herbal supplements.

You may want to avoid cleanse programs that promise drinking tea is enough to rid the body of toxins. Without implementing dietary changes, you won’t notice much difference at all with the teas on their own.

And with tea being one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world, the market is saturated with low quality detox teas.

Although scientists say detox teas lack evidence, celebrities like Kendall Jenner swear by them.

My advice?

Detox teas can be beneficial when combined with a cleanse-friendly diet, adequate fibre and plenty of water. But on their own, they’re not as effective as you’ve been told.

Dr. Sara Celik
Dr. Sara Celik is a Canadian licensed Naturopathic Doctor with 15+ years of experience serving patients in Ontario. She is a sought-after speaker and passionate leader in the Health & Wellness industry carrying a wealth of experience in the field of women's health and fertility.

Dr. Sara has appeared on multiple radio shows/podcasts, the W Network, Breakfast Television and CP24. For almost 5 years, she worked as the National Spokesperson for a well-known digestive wellness brand, educating across the globe on gut health. Dr. Sara has been named a rising star in Canada receiving the Generation Next award for her outstanding contribution to shaping the future of Canada’s grocery industry. She frequently contributes to large publications and has been published in Best Health Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Sweat Equity, Grocery Business, Inside Fitness, Canadian Living, Elevate, HELLO, and ELLE Canada.

Dr. Sara’s approach to healthcare is not as easy as taking a pill. The “quick-fix” approach is not one she subscribes to. While there’s a pill for just about everything, rarely do prescription drugs stop the course of disease - they merely mask symptoms. Dr. Sara believes true health requires a commitment from both the doctor and the patient.

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