A large potion of herbal teas on the market seem to be geared around flushing water or waste out of your body. You have diuretics and laxative teas. Both of these should not be overused or abused, both can cause problems, but when used in moderation they are also both incredibly effective and helpful.
But which laxative teas are the most effective, which ones trigger the most side effects, and which ones should you buy?
Herbal Laxative Tea
There are a few herbal laxatives that you will find on the ingredient list of laxative teas, detox teas, colon cleansing teas, and whatever else they are calling them this week. Some of these are similar, some of them are useless, but most of them have some kind of benefit:
- Psyllium Husk: A bulk forming laxative that gels together and then passes through your gut as a gelled lump, forcing other waste out in the process. It’s great as a drink on its own, but not as a tea. It’s often added to laxative teas just to have an extra ingredient, but because of the way it reacts with water only a small amount can be used before you’re no longer drinking a liquid and that small amount is not beneficial at all.
- Senna: This is the main ingredient in laxatives like Senokot, Ex Lax and more. It is a plant and the extracts are used for the tea, but you can also buy extracts standardized to a higher level in tablet form.
- Rhubarb: This vegetable has a natural laxative effect and was highly southt-after for this by opium addicts in Victorian times, being one of the few available natural laxatives. It contains sennosides, which act in the same way as senna.
- Aloe Vera: The latex of this miraculous plant has a natural, cleansing laxative effect, not unlike senna. In fact, it’s very hard to distinguish between the two in terms of how quickly they act and how they act.
- Cascara Sagrada: Often combined with aloe vera and other herbs, this OTC laxative should be consumed in tablet form.
- Buckthorn: Buckthorn another name for Cascara Sagrada as the latter comes from the former.
Natural Laxative Tea
All of the laxative teas and supplements we mentioned above are natural and you can also buy them in organic form if you choose. There are, of course, laxatives that can be consumed in tablet and tea form that are not natural, but these are typically not available over the counter and they are of no interest to us.
One of the best natural laxatives that we didn’t include above, but that may qualify as even more natural, is prune juice. It’s not quite a tea, but you can make it into one if you choose. Just take a cup of it, heat it up and then drink. It’s super sweet and may be hard to swallow, but the heat helps and it also speeds up the mechanism of action. In other words, it makes you go to the toilet quicker.
To make a tea out of prune juice, simply add a shot or two of the stuff to another type of tea. You can use it to sweeten senna tea or aloe vera tea, giving you a double whammy. You can also simply add it to black tea, benefiting only from the prune juice.
Prune juice works because it contains a sugar that slowly draws water into the gut. If you are constipated this helps to smooth the transition of waste and eliminate constipation, often acting in a few short hours. If not, then it can be a little less helpful and a little more…messy.
Is Green Tea a Laxative?
Green tea may have a similar laxative effect, but nowhere near as much as the other herbal laxative teas and natural laxative teas mentioned on this page. It does not draw water into the gut like prune juice does and it does not stimulate the bowel to the way that aloe vera and senna do.
However, it may have some impact. On the one hand, green tea is a great way of getting fluids into your body and the more water you drink, the more lubricated you gut will be and the smoother the transition of waste will be. More importantly it also contains caffeine and this can help to stimulate the bowel to an extent.
If you have ever woken up sluggish in the morning only to drink your morning tea or coffee and then rush to the toilet 20 minutes later, then you will have experienced the immediate effect of caffeine on constipation. However, this is only really true if you are experiencing relatively normal bowel habits and just need something to kick start your bodily processes. It becomes less true if you are backed-up and need something to trigger a drastic change in your gut.
Laxative Tea for Weight Loss
Anything that labels itself as a “slimming tea” but uses senna as a main ingredient should be avoided. Not only are they misleading you here—tricking you into buying a tea you think will help you lose weight, even though that weight will be fecal matter you would have expelled anyway—but they are exposing you to all kinds of problems from laxative abuse.
These teas are often consumed daily by customers who think they are natural and harmless, not realizing that daily consumption is tantamount to laxative abuse and suffering the consequences as a result. They are also priced higher than they should be, with the customer paying up to $3 per cup for something that contains nothing more than cheap senna and flavorings.
The Best Laxative Tea
The best laxative tea is senna. Simple as that. It’s a natural, herbal laxative that can be consumed in tablet form or in tea form. It tends to produce quicker effects when consumed as a tea, but only slightly and it is much easier to take in tablet form. In both cases you will need to wait several hours for it to take effect—it’s not something that will kick in straight away.
There are other herbal remedies that can help with this issue as well and we have mentioned many of these above. But the best laxative tea is simple senna. As cheap, effective and safe as you could ask for.