February 24, 2016

10 Reasons to do a Tea Detox.

Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Do you have enough energy right now? How many hours did you sleep last night? Was the last thing you ate good for you? How are your stress levels? Can you focus on the work you’re supposed to be doing?

When I qualified as a Naturopath, I was excited about the power plants have to address the symptoms brought on by modern day life. I love how simple, pure and natural these herbal remedies are—as well as effective.

When I did my first detox I was amazed at how quickly my body and mind adjusted to a low-caffeine, better-slept and less-stressed state. Simply fixing these three elements and getting them back in balance during a 14-day tea detox reset so many parts of my being. I felt a bit like lead for the first few days, then the mental clarity and calm set in and I realized just how much caffeine must have been coursing through my veins all that time!

As I write this article I am three days into another detox, focused on lots of tea, running to help boost circulation, light, clean eating and no caffeine or sugar. I have been far less irritable and woke before my alarm after the best sleep I can remember in weeks. Most days I am not craving anything sweet (though I did yesterday!). It’s a small victory to accomplish these small challenges we set for ourselves. I am not starving or uncomfortable, just flexing willpower and quickly seeing the positive feedback from some lifestyle changes. Flexing the willpower “muscle” is a good way to become more disciplined and deliberate.

It is so important to be strong in body and mind to cope with modern pressures. If we are tired, hormonal, stressed or hungry our defences are weak. We are likely to snap or make poor judgements. The good news is, there is something we can do to give ourselves a strong mind, body and even more importantly, a strong connection between the two.

Why Do a Tea Detox?

One of the main reasons to do a tea detox (also known as a teatox) is a chance to cleanse your body and clear your head. After 14 days of drinking a good quality detox tea, we notice that we feel quite different. Our bodies will be stronger and healthier. Our minds will be clear and calm. We have reset and recalibrated all the of the major organs of the body, flushing out unwanted toxins, waste and fluid. The tea detox resets old habits to healthier ones. And, when we create a new habit, one that has huge health and wellness benefits, we might just choose to continue with it.

The Benefits of a Tea Detox

1) Weight Loss. A tea detox can help us lose the bloat, much of which is water retention. Drinking tea before meals helps curb the appetite and fills the stomach, leading to smaller portions and less over-eating. We’ll have also lost a lot of the cravings for unhealthy foods such as sugary treats or late night snacks, as you’ll be efficiently burning the energy from your food so won’t get blood sugar crashes. The substitution effect can be strong too—milky coffees, sodas or alcohol are replaced with a zero calorie, zero sugar option. I always lose a few pounds in the first week of a detox with my herbal tea, as I am prone to fluid retention.

2) Energy Levels. As we unclog our bodies of unwanted toxins, our energy will soar. Plus, we’ll be feeling lighter and leaner, which will be noticeable as we put our clothes on, see our reflection and move about. Our digestive system will be properly breaking down the food we eat, burning the energy slowly and steadily, and absorbing the nutrients easily through the gut wall. This proper metabolism of food gives us long lasting energy, and being properly hydrated will help lift our energy levels further (there is no upper limit to how much tea we can drink in a day).

3) Hormones. Hormones can be water or fat soluble, meaning different hormones are stored or carried in totally different parts of the body. A detox can help “clean our blood,” helping to rebalance hormones and avoid future bloating, cramping or moodiness.

4) Sleep. A major benefit of sticking with a two-week tea detox is kicking the coffee habit. Within a few days we will be caffeine free, and although it will be a tough few days for some of us (this was me!), we’ll soon find it easy to start our day without it. Our mind will quiet and early on in the detox we should experience some amazingly long, deep sleeps.

5) Intolerances. Food intolerances can disappear during a tea detox. A proper detox tea, prepared by a Naturopath or similar professional, will not contain Senna (a laxative). The herbs in a good quality detox tea are soothing for the gut—ginger, cinnamon and cloves. The active ingredients in the herbs help gently release all of the gunk that sticks to the colon and intestine. This rather unpleasant looking gunge can be flushed through the body, allowing us to process and digest food more easily. A detox tea with Senna causes the opposite—cramps and inflammation of the gut wall, resulting in poor digestion, hunger (as food is not metabolized) and dehydration.

6) Skin. Our skin is the largest organ shielding us from the toxins floating around in our environment. Toxins from air pollution, skin products and anything we come into physical contact with are mopped up by our skin and held there until cleansed. We can use the power of herbs to flush our skin from the inside out. The rebalancing of hormones, the additional hydration and the astringent herbs lead to a radiant glow and fresh, clear skin.

7) Headaches. Heavy metals and other pollutants can cross the blood brain barrier and are thought to be a case of headaches and migraines. A detox can help flush toxins (though beware, the first couple of days may cause headaches if prone to them—this is a good sign and evidence of the nasties entering the blood stream and getting ready to be expelled!).

8) Reduce cravings. As we metabolize food better, we’ll extract the full nutritional value, keeping us feeling full for longer. We’ll also break our habits of starting our day with coffee and needing to prop up energy levels through the inevitable crashes that follow later in the day.

9) Habits. The new habit of drinking tea several times during the day gives us a few minutes to ourselves. Enjoy the mindfulness, the ritual and the time to really enjoy it. Indulge with gorgeous tea ware and choose solitude or company—whichever you need most.

10) Clear thinking. We will be in a steadier state, a bit more Zen and a definitely less frazzled. Our sleeps will be deep and our appetite clipped. We’ll not need to pop out for a coffee to stay focused and we’ll be way less stressed.

For more on the benefits of tea, read this great article published in the New York Times recently.

What to Look for in a Detox Tea?

Organic, caffeine-free loose leaf herbals teas prepared by a Naturopath are the safest and most effective for your tea detox. Avoid Senna. Be sure to find one that you like the taste of as you are going to be drinking a lot of it! Dandelion, Liquorice and Fennel are a good base. If we notice the taste of the tea changing it’s a sure sign it is working! Many people find the tea bitter at first, but this is a sign our body needs more bitter herbs. Within days you’ll be experiencing quite a different cup of tea, and looking and feeling like a new person.


Relephant Read:

I Drank Warm Honey Lemon Water Every Morning for a Year (Here’s What Happened).


Author: Sophie Howard

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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