Tea Detoxes Don't Work. So Why Are They So Popular?
We all love a quick fix. Look no further than the boom of tea detoxes, the latest trend in the diet industry. Racked investigated the rise of the teatox, and why it's especially so prominent on Instagram.
Racked reached out to Vancouver-based nutritionist Jillian Trigg, who was inundated with requests on Instagram by various teatox companies to become a paid sponsor for their brand. After some due diligence (she couldn't find anything research about the teas' claims), Trigg declined the requests.
However, celebrities picked up what Trigg left behind. Teatoxes are the newest celebrity endorsement—and the least complicated. Actresses, musicians, reality TV stars and social media personalities are touting the tea from the comfort of their own home via one selfie on Instagram. No travel, photo shoots, or commercial tapings
are required for the promotion. Teatox companies with product placements in videos require celebrities to promote their brand on IG first as part of the package deal.
Like most fad diets, transparency is a problem. Very few brands promote what is in their teatoxes (most use senna, a laxative) and fewer list side effects. The FDA doesn't regulate teatoxes but is aware of the industry and have no immediate plans to take teatoxes off the market.
While the teatox sponsorships are lucrative for celebrities ($3,000 up to $250,000),
Trigg feels they are doing a disservice to the fans:
"Tea is not evil. Telling girls they will lose 15 pounds by going on a teatox, that is evil," Trigg says. "I work with some clients who are young girls and when they say they want to take a teatox because they feel bloated, I have to explain that it's not actually going to ‘detoxify' them and that these companies are just devaluing hard work."