If you're eager to lose weight, it's tempting to try anything that promises results. But those are often empty claims from marketers who want to sell a product. Take China Slim Tea, for instance: It's meant to be used as a short-term laxative, and any weight you lose is only temporary.
Here's everything you need to know about the slimming tea, including whether it works, if it's safe and healthier ways to lose weight.
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China Slim Tea will not help you lose weight, and taking it frequently can harm your health, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Does China Slim Tea Work?
When you saw the bright green label boasting the product name China Slim Tea Dieter's Delight, you may have been intrigued. How does slimming tea work — and can a tea really help you lose weight?
The answer is no, dieter's teas don't work and will not help you shed pounds.
Some research has shown that green tea extract — a very concentrated form of tea — may have an effect on fat metabolism, but the mechanism is not well understood and evidence from human trials is scarce, according to a March 2013 review in Advances in Nutrition.
Besides, China Slim Tea doesn't contain green tea extract — nor is it a form of green tea at all — so this potential benefit doesn't apply.
What's in China Slim Tea?
The only ingredient in China Slim Tea is senna. Senna is an herb, the leaves and fruit of which are used medicinally. Its main use is as a laxative, and it is approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use for that purpose, according to the NLM.
Per the NLM, senna is effective for short-term treatment of constipation and is also sometimes used to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy.
But senna has not been proven effective for any other uses, including weight loss. Despite claims, it's also not a proven treatment for hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome or anal fissures.
You should not use senna if you have abdominal pain or diarrhea. Pregnant or nursing people should also check with their doctor before using senna, as it may not be safe for them, according to the NLM.
Laxatives and Weight Loss
Some people think that laxatives aid weight loss by reducing or preventing the body from absorbing calories from food. And according to the National Eating Disorders Association, people who binge eat may use laxatives after a binge to help push out food before the calories can be absorbed.
In reality, though, laxatives do no such thing: They can't prevent absorption of calories. However, they may cause increased fluid loss, according to Barnard College. This can make you temporarily weigh less on the scale, but it is only water weight loss, not fat loss. As soon as you replace those fluids, your weight will go back up.
What's more, this rapid fluid loss can lead to dehydration.
Are There Any Side Effects of China Slim Tea?
Not only does China Slim Tea not work when it comes to weight loss — it can also potentially lead to the following side effects:
1. It Can Cause an Electrolyte Imbalance
Long-term laxative use can have serious effects on your health. Laxatives can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, including electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This can contribute to heart function disorders, muscle weakness and other problems, according to Columbia University.
2. It Can Mess With Your Digestive Function
Regardless of whether you drink slimming tea on an empty stomach or with a meal, China Slim Tea may cause side effects like an upset stomach, cramps or diarrhea, according to the NLM.
Regular use of laxatives, including the senna in China Slim Tea, can also lead to intestinal blockages, according to the National Health Service.
Long-term senna use can also harm your overall bowel function, per the NLM. This can lead to laxative dependence, where you rely on laxatives to go to the bathroom and thus further reinforce bowel damage.
3. It's Linked to Liver Damage
Long-term use of senna has also been linked to liver damage, per the NLM. As a result, you should not exceed the recommended dose or use senna for more than a week.
Is It OK to Drink China Slim Tea Every Day?
It's not safe to drink China Slim Tea every day, as long-term use of senna has been linked to side effects like liver damage and dependence, per the NLM.
Are There Any Benefits to Drinking China Slim Tea?
Senna is a laxative, which means it can help ease constipation, according to the NLM.
However, you shouldn't use senna for more than a week, unless under doctor supervision. And even modest senna use can still produce side effects like upset stomach and diarrhea, so you may be better off trying a natural remedy for constipation or asking your doctor about the best supplement to ease your symptoms.
Are There Other Types of Slimming Teas That Do Actually Work?
No — teas and any other products or fad diets that claim to help you lose weight quickly are ineffective at best and harmful to your health at worst, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Is China Slim Tea Safe?
Even if you've read positive China Slim Tea reviews, the truth is that this teatox is not safe or effective for weight loss.
Remember, senna can cause side effects like diarrhea and cramping, and long-term use of the ingredient can lead to lasting bowel damage, according to the NLM.
Instead of putting yourself in harm's way, lose weight safely with lifestyle changes (more on that in a moment).
Losing Weight Safely
Don't rely on pills, powders or teas promising quick weight loss, per the Cleveland Clinic. Anything that seems too good to be true typically is (including the purported China Slim Tea results), and some of these quick fixes can be dangerous.
The truth is that weight loss isn't easy. It takes a commitment to eating a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet and exercising regularly, according to the Mayo Clinic. No matter what a box of tea or a bottle of pills tells you, diet and exercise are the only proven effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Rather than focusing on finding a magic potion or pill — or tea — that will help you slim down, concentrate on reducing your calorie intake from processed and fast foods and increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
In addition, incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine, aiming for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and at least two strength training sessions per week, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Senna"
- Columbia University: Go Ask Alice! "Diet Teas ... or Diet Tease?"
- Advances in Nutrition: "The Effect of Green Tea Extract on Fat Oxidation at Rest and During Exercise: Evidence of Efficacy and Proposed Mechanisms"
- National Eating Disorders Association: "Laxative Abuse"
- Barnard College: "The Facts About Laxatives"
- National Health Service: "Laxatives"
- Mayo Clinic: "Weight-loss basics"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Fad Diets"
- Mayo Clinic: "How much should the average adult exercise every day?"