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When is the Best Time to Drink Detox Tea?

When is the best time to drink detox tea? The spring isn’t just time to clean out our homes.  Many people add their bodies to their spring cleaning list.

photo of green tea with supplements with text that says when is the best time to drink detox tea

Drinking detoxifying tea is a delicious way to support your body’s natural detoxification ability while you are on a cleanse or working on digestive issues like bloat and constipation.   If you suffer from a gluten allergy or another digestive disorder like IBS a gentle detox tea can help alleviate inflammation occurring from gluten ingestion or other factors.  (If you have crones or colitis you shouldn’t drink detox tea with senna)

At the grocery store in the tea aisle there are tons of teas labeled as “detox tea”.  And there are even more weight-loss products on social media advertised as detox tea. But which detox tea should you buy? Is it safe? Also when is the best time of day to drink detox tea? Is there a difference between AM and PM detox tea? Read below for answers.

What Does Detox Tea Actually Do?

A good quality detox tea made with only natural herbs can help with sleep, focus, constipation and high blood pressure.

Detox tea uses a combination of herbs to rid your body of toxins and clean out your digestive tract. Ultimately a detoxifying combination of herbs in tea provide small amounts of nutritional therapy. They can help with liver function, kidney function, increase energy, and hydrate you.

On the other hand gimmicky detox teas that are filled with bad ingredients like caffeine and ephedra do more harm than good. They can cause you to become sick, dehydrated, dizzy, have a heart attack, stroke or even die. More than likely they’ll just make you go to the bathroom and get dehydrated. However you should always read the label to make sure the detox tea blend in question is only made from natural organic herbs.

Drinking natural detox teas can be apart of a healthy lifestyle and slightly improve you’re overall health.

What is the best time to drink detox tea?

The answer to when is the best time to drink detox tea depends on the type of detox tea you drink.  There are two main kinds of detoxifying teas on the market. 

  1. (Non-laxative)Non stimulating General blood detoxifiers 
  2. (Laxative) Stimulating intestinal detox teas that make you poop

When Should You Drink AM Detox Tea (without laxatives that may be caffeinated)

Non stimulating detox tea recipes contain a mixture of gentle herbs that lightly promote detoxification without herbs that irritate the neurological system to act as a laxative.  These types of teas are safe for most people to drink.  Products that are labeled as an AM detox tea may have caffeine from green tea or other sources.

For the best result you should drink detox tea in the morning on an empty stomach. 

Detox tea can do it’s job best when your body is empty after the night time fast.  Drink detox tea before breakfast.  That way the tea can absorb into your bloodstream quickly and the herbs can work their magic to help further along the detox process. 

Detox teas are simply more effective when the body is already in a state of detox.  After you eat breakfast your body stops detoxifying and focuses its energy on digesting what you ate. 

Drinking AM detox tea at the wrong time can cause indigestion since drinking large amounts of water after eating will dilute your gastric juices.

You can also have a cup a few hours after breakfast digests. If you don’t eat breakfast you can sip detox tea all morning.

If you’re drinking a detox tea that has caffeine in it like green tea then you should only drink it in the morning. If you drink caffeinated detox tea in the afternoon you’ll have trouble going to sleep.

When is the best time to drink detox tea with senna? (PM tea)

Laxative teas are often marketed as a “PM detox tea” and not as a laxative. Detox tea’s that are labeled as PM teas usually have senna leaf. So check the label for senna. If you see it listed it’s going to make you go to the bathroom.

Laxative teas can be habit forming and dehydrating if you use it too often.  Most people can benefit from a clean out once in a while.  But if you over use detox tea with laxatives (more then once per week) your body can develop a dependency. This means you’re colon will expect to wait for the simulation from the herbs before it will produce a bowel movement.  

However, if you decide to drink a laxative detox tea with stimulation herbs like senna or Swiss Kriss the best time of day to drink it is night time. 

It takes 8 hours for detox tea to produce a bowel movement. So you the best time to drink it 10 hours before you need to leave the house the next day.  You should drink it at least 1 hour or 2 after you eat dinner. Because you don’t want to mix laxative tea with food.  

If you drink laxative tea at 10pm you’ll have a bowel movement between 6-8 am the next day.  Make sure you’re home or at least near a bathroom since the bowel movements caused by detox tea come on suddenly like diarrhea. Especially if you’re a first time drinker.  You wouldn’t want to have an embarrassing accident! 

My recommendation is to drink smooth move tea an hour before bed, 2 hours after dinner. That way your stomach can clear itself out before you add tons of liquid. Drinking a lot of hot water (the main ingredient in detox tea) will dilute your hydrochloric acid (HCL) and weaken your digestion. So try to drink detox tea on an empty stomach.

How to Drink Detox Tea

Most detox teas will have their own instructions. But if you’re drinking regular tea without any added products like powders or shakes the process remains the same.

  1. Use your favorite kettle to bring water to a boil.
  2. Select your favorite mug suitable for hot drinks. Add 1 to 2 teabags and your sweetener of choice like stevia.
  3. Pour the hot water gently over the teabag while holding the tag at the end of the bag so it doesn’t fall into the mug.
  4. Gently lift and lower the teabag into the water. Let it steep for 4-5 minutes before you drink it.
  5. Drink your tea! Be careful since it might be hot.

Here are a list of common ingredients of detox tea!


Chamomile is known for having an overall relaxing effect on the body, it helps relax the stomach and provide relief for stomach cramps, IBS and gas. It is used to help reduce fevers in children, lower anxiety and relieve insomnia.  While some studies to support these benefits have been preformed chamomile has not been proven to cure any of these ailments, it simply provides some comfort and relief. Allergic reactions to chamomile are not common but if you’re allergic to similar plants like ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies be cautious when drinking chamomile tea.


Senna is a leaf popular in India used to cure constipation. It has a strong stimulant laxative effect. It’s a great treatment for occasional constipation but should be used only once in a while to help those with high blood pressure and constipation. Symptoms can include cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, chest pains, abdominal cramps and more. See the sections above for more information on senna.


Dandelion is known for being a diuretic. There is little known on the effects of dandelion since there isn’t much research. Traditionally dandelion has been used in natural medicine in Mexico and North America. Diuretics are commonly found in detox teas to promote flushing of the blood and kidneys. Allergic reactions are rare but if you’re allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies a reaction isn’t impossible.

Licorice Root

Licorice root is known for helping eczema as a topical treatment but in tea form it is used to treat cough, menopausal symptoms, digestive systems. Anise as it’s otherwise known, is also used as an antiviral and antibacterial aid. Like most natural remedies very little official research has been done. People also believe that consuming licorice candies helps prevent sore throat that can occur as a result of surgery or cough.

Licorice can have some serious side effects for people with high blood pressure or who are pregnant. It can cause high blood pressure and low potassium levels. In pregnancy it can cause early birth or birth defects. Alternatively, licorice’s ability to lower potassium can be good for people on renal diets.

Red Rooibos

Red Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that allow our body to fight off inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies have also shown that it can help burn fat.

Rooibos is considered to be safe but if you drink it in excess (like ten cups per day) it can cause liver problems.


Peppermint is commonly used to help digestive disorders but the menthol in it can make GERD and acid reflux worse. It’s hard to drink enough peppermint tea to cause adverse reactions. Peppermint is believed to help reduce pain from tension headaches, migraines, fight bacterial infections and relieve mensural cramps.


Turmeric is famous for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. When paired with black pepper it becomes 2000 times more effective! Turmeric is popular in Indian cooking and Ayurveda. It’s used to treat arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression, and many others conditions. Very few if any allergies to turmeric have been recorded but you shouldn’t eat it in large quantities if you are pregnant or breast feeding.


Burdock root is considered to be high in antioxidants and is known as a blood detoxifier. Since burdock cleanses the blood it makes sense that it can help with skin issues.


Ginger is one of the most popular herbs used in remedies today. It is known for relieving nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness and chemotherapy. Some remedies for mensural cramps also include ginger. This root’s over all effect on the body is settling and relaxing.

It’s one of the more studied herb due to it’s popularity. Of course some side effects including nausea, heart burn, indigestion and burning mouth and throat can occur.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is commonly known as “silymarin” and is used as a remedy for hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes and indigestion. A few studies have been done on milk thistle but results are hard to quantify. Milk thistle is generally used to help treat the liver which is a major player in the body’s natural detoxification. This must be why it’s included in many detox teas.

Some side effects from silymarin that have been reported include lowered blood sugar (people with type 2 diabetes beware). It’s considered safe to use in small doses by pregnant women.

Stinging Nettle

Nettle is a powerful herb that is known to treat the immune system. Some side effects can be upset stomach. If you are brewing nettle tea from fresh nettles use gloves because touching the plant can cause a rash! Maybe that’s why it’s called “stinging” nettle.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is the juice from inside of a cactus. It has a slight laxative effect and an overall cooling and anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal tract. Reducing inflammation helps restore the colon’s natural peristalsis which reduces constipation.

Is it safe to drink detox tea every day?

A gentle detox tea is safe to drink every day. Any tea with senna in it should not be consumed more then once per week and even less than that. 

Senna is a combination of herbs that works like magic to treat constipation. However it comes with risks and some people should not consume senna at all.  Too much detox tea can cause discomfort.

Possible Side Effects from Drinking Laxative Tea with Senna

Senna is an herb that works like a strong laxative. It works by irritating the nerves in your digestive system which causes them to contract. As they contract the intestine draws more water into itself to help the body flush out what ever is irritating it. (In this case its the senna). The effect of stimulating the muscles in the colon and drawing water into it helps move stool. In a perfect world this happens with no symptoms.

If you aren’t used to senna it can cause some mild to severe reactions. Common symptoms associated with drinking senna tea include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Bowel Movements
  • Stomach Cramps

The best brands of detox tea are made with a natural formula without any harmful additional ingredients like preservatives, caffeine, diuretics, ephedra, drugs, pesticides or artificial flavors. Natural detox teas are made with a variety of the herbs described above and are no more harmful than regular tea. It’s best to stick to detox tea made from natural herbal ingredients. If you don’t buy a good quality detox tea it could have harmful substances that can make you sick including:

  • Caffeine – Too much caffeine can cause chest pain, anxiety, heart attacks, dehydration, diarrhea, stomach cramps and muscle cramps.
  • Diuretics – Diuretics make you pee out excess water. Getting rid of water weight will make you look thinner and loose a few pounds. However diuretics can cause symptoms like headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, low potassium and excessive urination.
  • Laxatives – Stimulant laxatives can cause symptoms like nausea, muscle cramps and vomiting. In the short term laxatives can dehydrate you. Long term effects of regular laxative use are laxative dependency, an atonic colon and chronic constipation. These symptoms are long term and very hard to cure.
  • Ephedra – An illegal substance that was banned by the FDA because it has been associated with heart attacks, seizures, stroke and sudden death.

Best Detox Tea Brands

Brands of detox tea that market their products as “weight-loss” tea are more likely to have these substances. Always read the back of the container and check my list of recommended detox tea brands below! These teas have fewer side effects, don’t cause liver damage, cause less abdominal discomfort etc.

  • Yogi Detox Tea – Yogi detox tea clearly lists it’s ingredients. All of the ingredients in yogi detox tea are natural herbs. None of them include laxatives like senna. I have been personally drinking this tea for years and have enjoyed mild effects. You can safely drink this tea any time of day every day.
yogi detox tea box
  • Smooth Move – Smooth Move tea is made for constipation. It’s main ingredient is senna. It’s free from harmful ingredients and is safe to use to treat occasional constipation. Remember senna can cause mild to intense symptoms and should be avoided by people who are dehydrated, weak or sick. Don’t use this tea more then once per week. If not less. You’re better off doing an enema than drinking this tea regularly to treat chronic constipation. I like bringing it on trips when I travel to help with headaches from travel related constipation.
smooth move detox tea

Dangerous Detox Tea Brands to Avoid Drinking

Social media has made these trendy detox tea regimes popular. But under the veil of marketing these products just don’t appear safe. Most of them are just laxative teas rebranded as detox teas. Many of these teas are not approved of the U.S. food and drug administration.

  • BooTea – Bootea appears to have only natural ingredients in both it’s day time and night time blends. The company recommends that you drink bootea for 7-14 days. The night time blend contains senna leaf. As discussed above senna should only be used once a week at most. Drinking laxative tea (which is what bootea pm tea is) will cause dependency.
  • Slendertox – I couldn’t find the ingredients on the website which is a red flag. I would avoid this product. You can find similar teas designed to help you sleep with clearly marked ingredients in the tea aisle at Whole Foods
  • Flat Tummy Tea – Is another glorified laxative tea. It’s main ingredient is senna and it’s marketing is all about having a flat stomach. The dangers of laxative abuse are thinly veiled by the marketing behind this product. Lets call a spade a spade. Flat tummy tea is a laxative tea. Not being clear about what a product is can lead to abuse and laxative dependency.

Not to mention that these detox teas are expensive. The safer brands I recommend cost only four or five dollars and a box will last you months if not years.

Can I Drink Detox Tea On A Regular Basis?

You can drink detox tea without senna every single day if you would like to. If you want to improve your health you can swap coffee for detox tea. Drinking a cup of tea is definitely healthier than drinking cups of coffee.

If you want to drink detox tea every day for health reasons that’s fine but you should make sure to drink a good quality detox tea made with natural ingredients.

Detox tea made with senna should only be used 1x per week at most. If you don’t suffer from chronic constipation or bloat the best time of day to drink detox tea is never.

Does Detox Tea Make You Poop?

Detox tea can make you poop depending on what ingredients are in it. Detox tea is a broad term used to describe any tea that’s marketed for detox. Some of the ingredients commonly found in detox tea formulas are used to treat constipation. Detox tea can make you go to the bathroom in it’s efforts to rid the body of toxins.

  • Senna – A strong laxative effect used in laxative teas and supplements. This supplement is often the active ingredient in laxative tea. The rest of these ingredients have a more gentle laxative effect.
  • Camomile
  • Dandelion
  • Black Tea
  • Peppermint
  • Marshmallow Root
  • Rhubarb
  • Green Tea

Can Detox Tea Help You Loose Weight?

Clearing out your system once in a while can help manage chronic constipation, bloating and gas. When the digestive system is clear your metabolism can increase. This is not always the case. In most scenarios detox tea helps you to loose water weight and waste but nothing more. To loose real weight you need to eat well too. In case of over use laxative teas can cause you to become dependent, slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain and water retention.

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