Senna: Why detox teas containing this ingredient are dangerous

Olivia Petter
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Search #teatox on Instagram and you’ll find more than 700,000 images of lithe-limbed bloggers and influencers praising the benefits of detox teas, which claim to promote weight loss, reduce bloating and cleanse your system in short periods of time.

It’s predominantly an influencer-led industry, with reality stars, fitness icons and even Hollywood celebrities like Demi Lovato flogging tea cleanses to their followers for unknown sums, typically under indicative hashtags such as #ad and #spon.

However, that could all change as the ASA have issued a complaint against an ad for Flat Tummy Tea, as promoted by Geordie Shore star Sophie Kasaei.

(Instagram/SophieKasaei_)

The incriminating post from one week ago has since been deleted, but featured the reality star holding sachets of the tea, crediting it for reducing water weight and subsequently giving her a flat stomach.

The ASA found that Nomad Choice, the company in charge of Flat Tummy Tea, "did not hold scientific data to support their claims that the tea ingredients could help with water weight loss" and therefore found that it had breached rulings.

“There are strict advertising rules surrounding health claims that can or cannot be made be made for food and drink products. These rules apply equally to claims made by influencers on behalf of brands and, in the case of the Instagram post promoting Flat Tummy Tea, they weren’t listed as authorised claims and therefore broke the advertising rules,” a spokesperson for the ASA told The Independent.

The ad, in its incriminating form, has since been banned.

Experts have revealed the dangers of drinking "detox" teas containing senna, which the Flat Tummy Tea's cleanse tea contains, as it is classified by the NHS as a medication used to treat constipation.