Does Smooth Move Tea Work?

Smooth Move is an herbal tea manufactured by Traditional Medicinals of Sebastopol, California, which has been producing herbal teas since 1974. Smooth Move tea comes in four flavors, including its original citrus blend, plus chamomile, chocolate and peppermint. It also comes in a capsule, and both tea and capsule contain ingredients that make them effective for alleviating constipation.

Close-up of a teacup and teapot. (Image: TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images)

Powerful Stuff

The primary active ingredient in Smooth Move tea and capsules is senna leaf, which is FDA-approved as an over-the-counter laxative. Senna stimulates the bowel to alleviate constipation. Smooth Move also contains licorice root and ginger; both act to prevent cramping that may otherwise result from ingesting senna. A variety of additional natural ingredients serve as flavorings.

Right Before Bedtime . . .

Traditional Medicinals advises steeping a teabag in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes; it's best to drink it just before going to bed. Same with the capsules; take two of them just before bedtime, and drink plenty of water -- one cup should do. Both the tea and the capsules generally work within six to 12 hours, or not too long after you get up in the morning, according to Traditional Medicinals.

A Few Words of Warning

Smooth Move is safe for relief of occasional constipation, but do not use it for more than seven days at a time, because chronic use can interfere with natural bowel function. Avoid herbal preparations containing senna if you have digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease or if constipation is accompanied by abdominal pain or inflammation. Pregnant and lactating women should use senna blends with caution. Excessive use of senna leaf and licorice root can cause a dangerous lowering of potassium. If constipation persists, call your physician.

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