Herbal Laxative Tea
Diet Slimming and Constipation Relief?

What can go wrong with drinking herbal laxative tea as a dieter's slimming aid and constipation reliever? Do better alternative exist?



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We hear the word herbal and automatically associate it with something good healthy and natural.

For the most part, herbals are wonderful. Unfortunately, when used improperly, they can be harmful.

As you scan through this page, you will understand why stimulant laxative herbs such as senna leaf and rhubarb root are especially dangerous when consumed in large quantity.

The FDA is on red alert. There have been 4 case reports of young women who died, of which herbal diet tea may be a contributing factor.

Slimming Aid?

Drinking herbal laxative tea is unlikely to help you lose weight. This is because a laxative acts on the colon only after the food has been absorbed through the intestine.

This is confirmed by a 1995 FDA study, which found no significant calorie loss after drinking laxative tea.

The idea that if your body purges what has been eaten, then you will naturally lose weight is flawed.

There are two problems with this.

Over time, you need more and more of this tea to produce the same effect. After awhile, you will become dependent on the tea in order to have a bowel movement of any sort.

You may also suffer from malabsorption of nutrients due to chronic diarrhoea. Important nutrients are being stripped from your body leading to overall poor health and lack of energy.

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Constipation Relief?

If you suffer from constipation, you may be looking into an herbal laxative tea as an alternative to the stronger-over-the counter laxatives.

Many stimulant laxatives sold over the counter or prescribed by physicians can have harsh side effects. You may be inclined to believe that a nice cup of herbal tea won’t have as many side effects.

Well, it depends. The difference is in both the ingredients and quantities.

There are two types of laxative herbs. A herb such as milk thistle is milder. It works to soften the stool that aids in elimination.

Stimulant laxatives herbs work by irritating the walls of the intestine to increase peristalsis. Over time and especially with abusive use, it can damage the intestines.

Stimulant Laxative

Stimulative laxative include senna leaf, rhubarb root, buckthorn, aloe, castor oil and cascara.

All of these can cause severe side effects and the FDA has proposed that warning labels be placed on teas that contain high quantities of them.

Don't be fooled when some people claims that these herbs are categorized by FDA as "generally recognized as safe". This is only true when these herbs are used as food flavoring in very small quantity.

Herbal laxative tea has these herbs as their main ingredients. Side effects can range anywhere from diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, chronic constipation, fainting, and even death.

People who suffer from chronic constipation will encounter these symptoms with stimulant laxatives sold over the counter as well. And just as with those types of laxatives, over-dependence can occur.

Recommendation

If you suffer from chronic constipation, try using the milder herbal laxative teas or a stool softening herb such as milk thistle.

Reading the label carefully. If the ingredient list includes many stimulant herbs at the beginning of the list, it is probably a harsh laxative tea.

In addition, adjusting your diet to include plenty of water and fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables is highly beneficial. Exercise will help.

If problems are still experienced, a bulking agent such as flax seed or psyllium husks may be used.

Permanent Weight Loss

Good things happen slowly.

Scientific studies have shown that permanent weight loss comes slowly and steadily at a rate of about 1-3 pounds per week. This is achieved through diet, exercise and behavioral changes.

Are you ready to learn about green tea diet?

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References

FDA (1997). Dieter's Brews Make Tea Time A Dangerous Affair. http://www.fda.gov/FDAC/features/1997/597_tea.html

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