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Flat tummy tea is one of the more recent detoxifying teas (also known as teatoxes in some circles) to hit the health and fitness industry in recent times.
Furthermore, flat tummy tea is said to boost energy levels, support the body’s metabolism, while also staving off fatigue and lethargy.
Flat tummy tea differs somewhat from other detox teas available in the market in that it traditionally offers two unique tea blends, one to be consumed during the night, and the other consumed during the morning.
The morning tea is suggested to prepare the body’s digestive system for the coming day, increasing metabolism and boosting energy to ensure you start your day on an ‘all natural high’.
In comparison, the night-time tea is suggested to clean the digestive system, removing toxins from the digestive tract, whole simultaneously reducing water weight and abdominal bloating – making you both look and feel better.
Flat tummy tea offers two packs; one lasting 2 weeks in duration, and a second that lasts 4 weeks, and the premise is quite simple.
It is suggested that you consume the morning tea upon waking, with breakfast, and the night-time tea before bed – and while there are some dietary based recommendations made to go with the tea detox, it is said that no other dietary changes our necessary to see the positive effects of flat tummy tea.
To gain an understanding of how flat tummy tea really works, we are going to take an in depth look at its key ingredients and how they interact with the body – this will allow us to establish whether flat tummy tea does indeed work, and whether there may be any side effects associated with its consumption.
It is also important to note that many of the ingredients found in the morning tea are also found in the night tea, so that is why we will not distinguish between the two.
Cardamom is spice commonly used regularly in traditional eastern cooking, and has long been suggested to improve health and boost energy.
Cardamom is high in the key minerals Iron and Manganese, both of which are known to aid in the metabolic processes of our cells, which improves our capacity to breakdown glucose and fats for energy, while simultaneously increasing the rate at which we metabolise fat for energy – both of which can contribute to weight loss over time.
As a bonus, cardamom contains anti-carcinogenic compounds that are said to fight free radical formation in the body, reducing the risk of developing cancer, while also stunting the growth of cancerous cells .
Now, looking at Senna leaf as one of the key ingredients of the night time tea, I started to scratch my head a little – Senna leaf is an FDA approved, non-prescription, laxative .
Senna leaf is used frequently to treat heavy constipation, and is even at times used prior to a colonoscopy to cleanse the gut and digestive tract. As a result, the laxative-like affect that Senna leaf will have on the body will lead to fluid loss, creating a perception of weight loss, without any real fat loss occurring within the body.
More importantly, Senna leaf has been shown to be unsafe when taken orally for more than two weeks at a time, as it has the potential to alter the normal function of our bowels, creating a laxative dependence (ultimately rendering the body unable to excrete faecal matter without the aid of senna leaf).
Dandelion leaf comes directly from the Dandelion Plant (who would have thought…), and been used traditionally in eastern medicines for centuries.
It was once suggested to treat skin disease and other skin issues, although recent research suggests that this is not the case. In fact, similar to senna leaf, dandelion leaf has actually been shown to act as diuretic in humans, increasing the rate at which the kidneys produce and excrete urine .
Again, this will promote the loss of fluid from the body, resulting in the perception or appearance of weight loss, but will not actually contribute to any fat loss (and may actually lead to dehydration when consumed over a lengthy period of time).
Green tea is hands down the most commonly occurring ingredient found within detox based teas due to its apparent associations with improved health and weight loss.
The regular consumption of Green tea has shown to result in an increase in the rate fat is broken down and used for energy in the body, while also increasing the resting energy expenditure of the body.
In doing so, green tea can actually promote fat loss by making fat readily available to be broken down for energy AND increasing the amount of that energy we burn at rest .
Additionally, green tea has also been linked to improvements in the function of the digestive system, which may lead to improved gut health and reduced bloating.
Peppermint is a plant that has been used traditionally in cooking purely for its smell and taste, although recent research has suggested that it may act as an intestinal aid.
The oral supplementation of peppermint has been shown to improve digestive health considerably, while also reducing bloating of the gut and improving the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
The root of the liquorice plant has been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine where it was thought to aid digestive processes, improving digestive health and overall health and wellbeing.
Interestingly, there is limited scientific evidence to suggest that liquorice does impact the digestive system positively. In fact, the consumption of liquorice root has been shown to increase cortisol production while simultaneously reducing resting blood levels of testosterone .
As a result, the consumption of liquorice root may actually increase systemic inflammation, impacting the digestive system negatively. This may actually lead to bloating, and limit the effective capacity of the digestive system to absorb nutrients, while also promoting potential weight gain.
Carraway seed (also known as Nigella Sativa or Black Cumin) is a compound that has shown to impact general health in a positive manner, albeit at a very small magnitude.
Additionally, the consumption of caraway seed has shown promise as an immune booster, in which it may increase the capacity of the immune system to fight infection while also acting as an anti-allergic compound.
In saying this, further research is needed to support these claims.
Upon closer inspection, Flat tummy tea contains a number of ingredients that are typical of detox teas in general.
These ingredients, including green tea and peppermint leaf, have shown to improve digestive health while also increasing metabolism. Both of these factors may promote weight loss while also reducing the likelihood of developing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, among a number of other digestive issues.
Although it is important to state that although flat tummy tea does indeed contain some ingredients that support its somewhat lofty claims, there are a number of ingredients included within its formula that may actually be to the users detriment – with particular emphasis on Dandelion and Senna leaf.
Both of these compounds have shown to act as severe diuretics when consumed orally (such as that seen in tea…). As such, these compounds will result in fluid loss from the body, which may create the perception of weight loss – but will not actually lead to any real fat loss.
Furthermore, the excessive use of these compounds can lead to a number of health issues, including diuretic reliance, as well as a number of other digestive issues.
Despite what has been a relatively positive reception from its users, it would be expected that those consuming flat tummy tea regularly might experience weight loss through an increased loss of bodily fluids. Despite this, it is unlikely to promote any real fat loss.
Furthermore, considering that some of the ingredients have shown to have dangerous side effects it becomes difficult to recommend flat tummy tea as either a means of weight loss or as a tool to improve digestive health.
While it may reduce bloating of the gut, while also reducing the likelihood of developing digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, the negatives of this supplement far outweigh the positives.
1. Bhattacharjee, B., & Chatterjee, J. (2013). Identification of proapoptopic, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-invasive and anti-angiogenic targets of essential oils in cardamom by dual reverse virtual screening and binding pose analysis. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14(6), 3735-3742. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23886174
2. Morales, M. A., et al. “Is senna laxative use associated to cathartic colon, genotoxicity, or carcinogenicity?.” Journal of toxicology 2009 (2009). Viewed at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2009/287247/
3. Clare, Bevin A., Richard S. Conroy, and Kevin Spelman. “The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15.8 (2009): 929-934. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678785
4. Dulloo, Abdul G., et al. “Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 70.6 (1999): 1040-1045. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10584049
5. Ford, Alexander C., et al. “Effect of fibre, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis.” Bmj 337 (2008): a2313. Viewed at: http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2313.short
6. Sigurjonsdottir, Helga Agusta, et al. “Liquorice in moderate doses does not affect sex steroid hormones of biological importance although the effect differs between the genders.” Hormone Research in Paediatrics 65.2 (2006): 106-110. Viewed at: http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/91302
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry! You can contact him via the "About Us" page.