Teatoxes are a growing trend that seem to be popping up everywhere – from Instagram shots of people with perfectly flat tummies drinking their ‘favorite teatox’, to full blown Youtube video reviews sharing their ‘amazing’ results. Whenever I come across a new teatox – whether it be through a paid or unpaid review – I’m always a bit skeptical. For one, there’s a lack of evidence in that these herbal cleanses provide any significant detoxification benefits. And two, a lot of times they contain strong laxatives that keep you constantly running to the bathroom. Yes, you may lose weight, but it’s temporary water weight that you’re losing, not fat.
After having my first negative experience with a teatox, I had since avoided teatoxes with strong laxatives, sticking instead to gentler, laxative-free ones like Stay Lean Tea and Baetea. I loved those two – they were tasty, loaded with healthy ingredients, and safe on my tummy. Then Bootea caught my eye due to the sheer popularity of it. It does in fact contain laxatives, but after my initial hesitation, I decided to give it a try.
What is the Bootea 14 Day Teatox?
The Bootea 14 day teatox is labeled weight loss, cleansing, and slimming tea. According to their website, their teas ‘contain a blend of natural ingredients that are pure, natural & preservative free‘ that ‘have been used for centuries for health and well-being purposes‘. The goal of the Bootea teatox is to help you get back on track with a healthy and active lifestyle. They use the word to ‘teatoxes’ to describe the way the body goes through a ‘natural process of elimination, by removing unwanted ‘toxins’ & built up waste matter, from your body via the lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin‘.
The Bootea teatox comes with the two tea blends above – one for the daytime and one for bedtime. At first glance, the Daytime Tea looks to be quite healthy as it contains herbs that are known to support a healthy liver (like dandelion leaf, ginger, and lemongrass).
On the other hand, the Bedtime Cleanse concerned me a bit because of the laxatives, as well as some not-so-common ingredients like Fenugreek seeds and Psyllium seeds. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list, along with their benefits and side effects.
- Chinese Oolong tea – Contains caffeine which sharpens thinking skills and improve mental alertness. (5)
- Maté leaves – Contain high levels of flavanoids and antioxidants, and are effective for weight loss.
- Ginger Root – Ginger root is a medicinal herb used primarily for the treatment of Dyspepsia (discomfort after eating), this includes the symptoms of bloating, heartburn, flatulence, and nausea. (3)
- Fennel seeds – A diuretic.
- Lemongrass – Contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds which help in providing a range of medicinal aids. The main component is lemonal or citral, which has anti-fungal and antimicrobial qualities. (4)
- Dandelion leaf – Supports liver health, nourishes bones and joints, stimulates urinary function to promote cleansing, encourages fat metabolization, and promotes normal blood sugar levels and helps purify the blood. (3)
- Ginseng root – Used to improve digestion and for loss of appetite, as well as for vomiting, inflammation of the colon (colitis), and inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis). (345)
- Gotu Kola leaves – Energizes the central nervous system and rebuilds energy reserves, strengthens the adrenal glands while cleansing the blood to treat skin impurities. (234)
- Nettle Leaves – Weed with diuretic properties.
- Senna leaves – Senna is a natural plant that contains a chemical called sennoside, which irritates the lining of the bowel and creates a laxative effect. According to the American Herbal Products Association, the leaves are harsh and the association warns against long-term use. They suggest that products containing Senna leaves should come with a health warning. (Senna Web MD)
- Peppermint leaves – Used medicinally to treat bloating and stomach disorders.
- Fenugreek seeds – Used to relieve indigestion and stomach pain. (123)
- Liquorice root – Believed to have a laxative effect.
- Burdock root – Medicinal herb that works a laxative.
- Hawthorn leaves – Used medicinally for digestive problems and works as a diuretic. (Web MD)
- Valerian root – Natural herb that may help you sleep.
- Psyllium seeds – A source of dietary fiber.
Bootea’s ingredient list definitely rings some warning bells – particularly the Bedtime Cleanse with its Senna leaves, Burdock root, and Liquorice root – all of which have laxative effects. Considering how strong Senna leaves can be, I’m surprised that they decided to add even more laxatives to the list. Regardless, I wanted to test out the teas myself to see how my body responded to both.
How to Take the Bootea Detox
- Daytime Detox (Morning tea) Directions: Take every morning upon rising, or whenever you get a chance. Pour a cup of near boiling water over one Daytime tea bag and leave it to infuse for 3-5 minutes before drinking.
- Bedtime Tea Bags Directions: Take every second evening before bed (starting day 1) for the duration of the teatox. (They do warn you that ‘if you have specific health requirements or history you should take this drink ONLY as professionally prescribed by your healthcare practitioner’). Pour a cup of near boiling water over one Bedtime tea bag and let it infuse for 3-5 minutes – Drink!
Possible Side Effects of Bootea
On Bootea’s website, they mention that the only possible side-effects are those associated with the laxative effect of the Senna Leaf that’s a present in the Bedtime Cleanse. These effects are typically induced 8 hours after consumption, and can include stomach cramping and more frequent visits the bathroom, however they warn that they should not include diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, or severe cramping. Bootea says ‘if any of these side-effects occur (depending on their intensity) adjust the strength of the Bedtime Cleanse tea bags by soaking the tea bag for less time than usual (around 30 seconds less), or cease the use of the tea and consider consulting your GP. The latter are not usual reactions and could indicate an allergy to one of the ingredients in the tea‘.
They also mention that the laxative effect of the Bedtime Cleanse can cause dehydration, so it’s important that you drink plenty of water while you’re taking it.
If you still have reservations about the laxative effects of the Bedtime Cleanse blend, Bootea suggests using them on the weekends or a day off, and then seeing how your body handles it. Meanwhile, they say to continue drinking the Daytime blend daily, as it has little to no side effects.
My Bootea 14 Day Teatox Review
How Does It Taste?
Daytime Detox – This blend is very mild tasting, and neither sweet or bitter. It’s very ‘drinkable’, though, if you’re someone who typically likes their teas sweetened, then you may want to add Stevia or honey.
Bedtime Detox – This blend has a very strong and distinctive odor straight out of the bag. Once steeped, this translates to a slightly stronger tasting tea, which I personally enjoyed. However, if you’re used to sweeter teas, you may find it unpleasant. Again, you can add Stevia or honey to balance out the bitterness.
How Do You Take It?
The Bootea teatox works like most other teatoxes on the market – you basically drink a blend in the morning (or whenever you get a chance), then drink the Bedtime Cleanse blend every other night. The tea is very easy to make, especially since the blend comes pre-bagged. All you have to do is pour a cup of near boiling water over a tea bag and then let it infuse for 3-5 minutes before drinking. Since there is a warning about ‘over-infusing’ your tea, it’s important to watch the clock with this one, as a longer steep could increase the tea’s laxative effects, causing more cramping and trips to the bathroom.
My Experience & Results
I’m always cautious with teatoxes, especially when it comes to steep time – I like to keep it at a minimum. I decided to start with 3 minutes to be safe (they recommend 3 on the packaging; 3-5 minutes on their website), since I have been quite sensitive to laxative-based teatox blends in the past. After taking my very first cup of the Bootea Daytime Detox, I noticed no immediate effects on my body. Then, after about an hour in, I started to feel some ‘tummy grumbling’ and light cramping, and I even got a little gassy. No trips to the bathroom though.
That same evening, I took the Bootea Bedtime Cleanse. Not watching the clock on this first steep, I let the tea bag sit for about 8 minutes. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any unpleasant effects throughout the night, nor did I have any unusual experiences the next morning. I didn’t have to run to the bathroom as soon as I woke up, and things went like normal for the rest of the day. This continued for the next 3 days (steeping at around 5 minutes for the Bedtime Cleanse). Gassiness was the biggest issue, but otherwise, things went on smoothly.
It wasn’t until day 4 that I experienced negative side effects. Fortunately, this all happened on a Saturday while I was at home. For almost the whole day, I experienced stomach cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom (I counted 4 times within a 4-hour period!). It was like my stomach was violently trying to get rid of whatever was in there. And let’s just say, it was clear I was losing water. I decided to take a day off from the teatox and then pick it up again the next day, sticking with a reduced 3 minute brew time going forward.
Soon enough, on day 7, I was experiencing the same side effects – cramps and frequent bathroom trips – and it continued through til day 14. Every time I went to the bathroom, it was clear that my body was losing an abnormal amount of water. I also noticed a significant increase in my appetite beginning the second week. Typically I’ll feel satisfied eating 3-4 small meals with some light snacking in-between, but I remember eating 3 large meals and still feeling hungry. I could only assume the laxatives were to blame – it’s as if they were flushing out all the food I was taking in. I checked my weight throughout, and needless to say, I didn’t notice any changes*.
Now, if you’re able to keep your food intake consistent, then of course you’re going to lose a few pounds, but it’s likely going to be from 1) water loss and 2) lack of calorie intake since your body is constantly ‘flushing out’ your system. This is by no means a healthy way to lose weight, especially if you’re exercising while on the teatox – you absolutely need the calories, or else your body will start to take proteins from your own muscles. It’s also by no means an effective long-term plan if you want to continue to keep the weight off.
*For the purpose of testing purely the tea’s weight-loss effects, I did not make any changes to my exercise routine or diet. (And honestly, considering the stressed-out state this teatox put my body in, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting additional stress on it through exercise. If I was serious about losing weight, I’d want my body feeling healthy and balanced, not weak and deprived.)
Final Thoughts on Bootea
Overall, the Bootea teatox has some beneficial aspects – the Daytime Tea in particular has a decent ingredients profile and seems fine when taken on its own. However, after my experience, I’d recommend skipping the Bootea teatox program altogether, and instead, giving one of the safer teas out there a try, like Baetea or Stay Lean Tea. Those two tea blends are both free of strong laxatives, plus they boast many beneficial herbs and ingredients to keep your body healthy, happy, and feeling good. However, if you’re still set on trying out Bootea, just remember to follow their instructions – like limiting steep time to 3-5 minutes (I’d recommend starting with 3) and saving the Bedtime Cleanse for weekends only (or not using it at all!).
Have you tried the Bootea teatox, or one from another brand?
If so, what was your experience like?
Explore some of my favorite teatoxes (laxative and/or side-effect free):