Do Teas Help Detox Your Body of Drugs?
Addiction is serious and has negative effects on your physical and mental well-being. Deciding to detox your body so you can live a happier and healthier life is a brave and commendable choice. However, addiction is not something you can simply turn off. It takes time and effort to overcome. Many people turn to detox teas for help. Find out more about detoxing, along with the benefits and risks of detox teas.
What Is a Detox?
A detox is a process you undergo to rid your body of harmful substances like drugs and alcohol. Detoxing helps to lessen the physical harm and discomfort you experience as the drug leaves your system. There are two types of detoxes. One is when you choose to stop your drug use on your own. Medical detox is overseen by professionals and uses various therapies and medications to manage any side effects that occur.
Detox programs are different than rehab for substance abuse. Rehabilitation efforts are typically comprised of ongoing services that help an individual deal with the psychological and social aspects of stopping drug use.
Detox centers focus on the initial stages of recovery, where the person is trying to eliminate the effects of the drug from their body. During detox, patients are closely monitored for withdrawal symptoms and given medications that prevent the most harmful effects. Detox takes place before a patient enters a rehab facility to learn lifestyle changes and coping strategies to manage an addiction long-term.
The Detoxification Process
Patients that choose a medical detox go through three main stages.
When you enter a detoxification center, you’ll meet with a clinician who evaluates your condition. They also ask you about your family and medical history, as well as your drug or alcohol use. You must answer honestly and completely to get the best recommendations and care.
Once you complete the evaluation, your clinician recommends your necessary level of care and starts to put together a treatment plan. Levels of care include:
- Monitored outpatient
- Outpatient with daily on-site monitoring
- 24/7 supervision in residential detox with peer support
- Inpatient medical detox with 24/7 supervision and care for withdrawal symptoms
- Intensive inpatient medical detox with acute care for severe withdrawal
Medical detox is available as an inpatient, outpatient, or in a residential facility.
During the stabilization stage, you get your finalized treatment plan and start any prescribed medications and therapies. You receive support and monitoring for your level of care to allow you to detox safely.
Transition to Long-Term Treatment
After your detoxification treatment, you prepare for rehabilitation. Options include short-term or long-term residential treatment centers as well as outpatient services.
Drug Detox Side Effects
Quitting drugs suddenly after long-term use often causes several side effects, some of which are potentially dangerous. For example, long-term alcohol users could experience seizures, diarrhea, and even death. Rarely, detoxing from alcohol causes delirium tremens. This condition is life-threatening and may cause a heart attack, stroke, or death without proper treatment.
Opioid withdrawal rarely leads to death, but stopping cold turkey increases the risk of having cravings that cause relapses. The side effects you experience during drug withdrawal vary depending on the substance you used. The most common include:
- Mood swings and agitation
- Drug cravings
Symptoms of withdrawal vary in intensity and duration. Clinicians may use a tapering method to gradually wean you off medication to minimize them.
What Is a Detox Tea?
There are two main types of detox teas that are popular. One is for speeding along weight loss and boosting health. The other flushes drugs out of the body quickly, in an effort to detox or pass a drug test. Both of these typically contain diuretics that increase urine output and flush the kidneys. A side effect of diluted urine is higher creatine levels, which is a red flag in drug tests and is often caught as an attempt to fake the test.
These teas may have a base of a typical black or green tea with additional ingredients added to the blend. The various plants used in detox tea may have beneficial properties, but the problem is that these natural ingredients don’t have FDA approval. There is little research or testing done to determine if the teas are safe or even effective.
Does Detox Tea Work to Flush Drugs From Your Body?
One of the first stages of recovery from substance abuse is an initial detox to break your dependence on the drug. It’s normal to experience withdrawal symptoms during this time, some of which have the potential to become dangerous.
A supervised medical detox is best to monitor symptoms, stay comfortable, and increase your chances of recovery without relapsing. Some people choose to use other methods, like detox teas, to help flush drugs out of their bodies faster and try to lessen withdrawal symptoms. But, do detox teas work?
There is a lot of mixed information when it comes to detox teas. Some individuals make claims that they can practically work miracles for everything from weight loss to drug detox. They are often viewed as a quick fix to fall back on without making more intensive efforts to improve health.
Benefits of Drinking a Detox Tea
While many teas intended to aid in detox are ineffective or even dangerous, some have health benefits. Black, green, oolong and herbal teas are frequently used as part of an attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. For example, the catechins and polyphenols found in some teas have anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants that fight free radicals responsible for many illnesses. The combination of these two substances may help to prevent disease.
Another benefit of consuming detox teas is the increase in water consumption. Your body requires plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep the systems of the body functioning properly. Many people find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day. If this sounds like you, adding some flavorful teas to your daily routine is a simple and effective way to boost your water consumption.
Healthy Detox Ingredients
Although many of the ingredients found in detox teas are either useless or harmful, there are actually some detox ingredients that are healthy and beneficial. Some of them may even have properties that prevent uncomfortable symptoms. Read your labels closely and get advice from a trusted health professional to make sure you take the correct dosage and avoid any interactions with other medications and supplements.
Lemons are often used as part of a detox. They are full of vitamin C which fights free radicals to help ward off illness. Citrus is also great for the immune system since it works to balance pH levels. Drinking teas with lemon may aid in cleansing your system to flush toxins out of the body more quickly.
Garlic is good for the heart and detoxifying efforts. It has antibiotic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. The benefits stem from allicin, a chemical that boosts your white blood cell production.
Ginger is well-known to ease nausea, reduce bloating, and improve your digestion. It’s another food that is high in antioxidants and therefore good for the immune system.
Green tea also contains high levels of antioxidants that can help prevent disease. It may also protect the liver and aid in weight loss efforts.
These ingredients make a good addition to most diets if you wish to work on your health and wellness.
Risks and Concerns
Since detox teas aren’t regulated by the FDA, they can potentially have dangerous ingredients. Common ones like ephedra, ephedrine, and phenylethylamine are known to cause heart damage. Ephedra is now banned by the FDA because of the negative effects people experienced when taking it.
Most detox teas also contain caffeine. Using caffeine in moderation is typically safe for most people. However, when combined with these common detox ingredients, it can have harmful side effects. Too much caffeine or other stimulants may lead to an elevation in your blood pressure and heart rate. They also increase feelings of anxiety and make you feel jittery. These symptoms are generally just a nuisance that you need to put up with until the feeling passes. Although, if you have hypertension, certain heart issues, or psychiatric illness, they can cause real health issues.
The majority of detox teas contain diuretics that cause you to urinate more often. Losing too much water through increased urine output may result in dehydration. The excess fluid loss also eliminates essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and sodium. You may notice that you lose a little bit of weight due to the extra trips to the bathroom. This is water weight, not fat.
Senna is another common ingredient that you should watch out for. It’s an herbal laxative included in many teas to clean out your intestinal tract. The danger lies in consuming large quantities of senna too often. This causes diarrhea and vomiting that may lead to dehydration.
Some of the ingredients included in detox teas, even natural herbs, and plants, can interact with over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions. Check for contraindications before consuming any new product and do your research to vet the safety of any tea you decide to drink.
Side Effects of Detox Teas
Side effects of detox teas vary widely. Some people have none. Others experience mild discomfort, while still others are a serious threat to health. These side effects include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Lower levels of electrolytes
- Upset Stomach
- Heart attack
If you decide to use a detox tea, do your research to find one made by a reputable company with a transparent ingredient list. Pay close attention to the recommended dosage. Never take more than the instructions state. Monitor your reactions to the tea and note any symptoms that you have. Seek medical attention if you experience any unusual or severe side effects.
Length of Time It Takes for Detox Tea to Work
The time it takes for a tea to work depends on the ingredients and their quantities. Every manufacturer has a different blend. You may start to notice it taking effect after just a few hours, or it could take a few days to see a change.
How to Use Detox Teas
When you make the decision to use detox teas, it’s imperative that you closely follow the dosage information and instructions given by the product manufacturer. It’s usually best to start out using less than recommended and gradually increase your intake until you reach the correct dose. This gives your body a chance to adapt and may even lessen the likelihood of experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.
Drink your detox beverages at the same times every day. This makes it easier to avoid missing a dose. Time them to fit into your lifestyle and provide the maximum benefits. You might find that making a cup of tea in the morning and evening is the easiest for your busy schedule. Depending on the ingredients in your detox tea, an early morning cup could also provide you with some much-needed energy to help you get through your day. Save teas that contain any diuretics or laxatives for the evening.
For the right brew, boil your water and then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly. Water that is too hot can burn the tea and negatively affect its flavor. Allow the tea to steep for 1 to 5 minutes. Longer steeping times create a stronger brew. Try to drink more water for the duration of your tea detox to stay hydrated.
Other Detox Options
There is unfortunately no fast and easy way to flush drugs out of your body. The best approach to a detox incorporates healthy lifestyle changes and, preferably, support from trusted medical practitioners and substance abuse professionals. Here are some other suggestions that can aid your detox efforts.
Exercise More Often
Starting a new exercise routine is often challenging, particularly if you are struggling with addiction and not feeling your best. However, even a small amount of daily exercise begins to improve your physical and emotional resilience. Exercise is an excellent way to stop drug use by focusing on healthy pursuits and learning to take care of your body. Choose any type of exercise that you enjoy. Take a class, go for a daily walk, or begin a yoga practice.
Your diet has a big impact on your overall health. Processed foods, too much sugar, and unhealthy fats are tough for your body to digest. They have few vitamins and minerals. Instead of supporting your body, they can cause harm.
Stick to whole foods packed with nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are great choices. Include a helping with every meal and round out your plate with lean proteins, healthy fats, and grains like complex carbohydrates. It’s especially important to eat well and stick to healthy choices when your body is already under strain from illness or addiction.
Get More Sleep
Your body requires sleep to stay healthy. It’s in this deep, restful state that it can focus on repairing tissues and supporting crucial biological processes such as:
- The brain eliminates toxins
- Neurons reorganize to support better brain function
- Certain hormones are released and balanced
- Cellular repair
Allow yourself to sleep around eight hours every night to improve your memory, focus, and concentration. Getting plenty of rest is also necessary to keep your stress levels down and recharge yourself so you can face the challenges of the following day.
After the Detox
Going through detox isn’t the end of your recovery. It’s just the first step toward long-term recovery from addiction. Once you’ve successfully detoxed, consider entering into a rehabilitation program. These address the underlying reasons behind your drug abuse and assist you with overcoming any problems drug and alcohol addiction has caused in your life, such as legal, work, medical, and psychological issues.
Rehab includes behavioral therapies tailored toward your unique life circumstances. It teaches you how to once again function within society, your family, and your job. You also learn how to handle relapses and when to reach out for support or an alternative approach to your treatment.
Recover From Substance Addiction
If you are struggling with substance abuse and looking for ways to begin your recovery and detox your body, don’t rely on detox teas alone. Detoxing by yourself at home can be dangerous and hard to follow through until the end. It’s best to get the help of a professional who can assist you with detoxing safely and as comfortably as possible.
Get the support you need to identify the underlying causes and overcome your addiction. Contact Clean Recovery Centers today to find out more about our Detox services, residential program, and the Three-Phase Approach to treatment. We understand that everyone has different needs and will work with you to identify your strengths and help you find the best path to treat your addiction and change your life for the better.