March 30, 2015

SkinnyMint Review: My Teatox Experience

I'm usually pretty healthy but I went through an awful period of indigestion and bloating last November. Every now and then the problem reappears :(.

Now, if you've been on Instagram a lot, you might have seen the phrase "teatox" (e.g. tea detox) and the name "SkinnyMint" floating around. Basically, you drink a special concoction of tea for x days, which reduces bloating and flushes out toxins. Sounds simple enough...

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Look at my Instagrammable photo of my teatox pack!

After some research, I purchased a SkinnyMint 14 Day Starter Teatox pack. I thought there'd be little harm trying, and it was way cheaper than a juice cleanse programme. Bonus point to SkinnyMint for free shipping too! 

My pack came quickly enough. The packaging is pretty and rather Instagram-worthy, which is probably how the brand got its Instagram following. They also have an ongoing hashtag, #DaretobeGorgeous

The 14 Day Starter Teatox includes a Morning Boost pack containing 14 teabags drunk daily, and a Night Cleanse pack containing 7 teabags drunk every alternate night. Also included was this cute card which cheerfully mentioned that with exercise and healthy eating, you could lose weight! I hate to be snarky, but as they say: "No shit, Sherlock."

Anyway, the Morning Boost tea contains (descriptions from their website):
  • Green Tea - energizing, fat burning, immunity boosting
  • Yerba Mate - stimulating, curbs appetite, boosts metabolism
  • Nettle Leaves - antioxidant, natural diuretic, rids constipation
  • Dandelion - antioxidant, nutrifying (does this word even exist?), digestive
  • Guarana Fruit - cleansing, endurance, weight loss
  • Grapefruit Leaves - cleansing, immunity improving, fat reduction
  • Strawberries - antioxidant, brain food, fat burning
  • Pineapples - nutrifying (that word again!), digestive, antioxidant

The Night Cleanse contains:
  • Ginger Root - anti-bloating, digestive aid, aphrodisiac
  • Orange Leaves - rids constipation, sleep aid, smooth skin
  • Lemongrass - relaxant, pain relief, anti-bacterial
  • Senna Leaves - natural laxative, anti-bloating, weight loss
  • Peppermint - anti-bloating, digestive and colic relief
  • Licorice Root - antacid, soothes menstrual cramps
  • Hawthorn Berries - circulation, anti-anxiety, digestive
  • Psyllium Husk - natural laxative, promotes colon health

The ingredient which raises slight cause for concern is senna leaf. Senna irritates the bowel lining to cause a laxative effect, so I'm a little leery of possible long-term effects (SkinnyMint's full teatox programme is 28 days). Senna is not recommended for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers, those who experience electrolyte disturbances and other conditions (read WebMD here). 

My SkinnyMint experience in summary:
  1. I was definitely more awake, coffee-free for 2 weeks - a big achievement, since I have 2 cups daily. The Morning Boost has a fruity taste - very easy to down.
  2. I had no difference in toilet activity, but then again I have an amenable body - no allergies, adapts to medications easily, etc.
  3. I was less bloated, which was nice because I could see some of my abs. Disclaimer: I exercise intensively, 3-5 times of gym per week minimum, including weight lifting and running. I've also been eating cleaner, so it really could have been the combination of exercise and healthier food that has made me leaner.
  4. The Night Cleanse had a pleasantly spicy taste, and was a nice ritual before bedtime. Did I sleep better? Mixed results there - but then again, I'm an overactive dreamer. 
  5. No significant change in complexion.

Would I do it again? Perhaps not - the jury is still out on the actual health benefits of teatoxes, although the ingredients sound beneficial enough. I wouldn't advise continuous teatox-ing - you could possibly over-stress your system as in the case of senna leaf.

As for losing weight? To quote my brother, "Abs are made in the kitchen." Now there I go to get my greens and lean proteins... 

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