Ballerina Tea: Benefits, Side Effects, and Preparations

Ballerina tea

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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Ballerina tea, also known as 3 Ballerina Tea, is a drink made from malva verticillata and cassia angustifolia. The tea is widely rumored to help with weight loss and weight maintenance. But people who drink the tea may suffer uncomfortable side effects. Scientific studies do not support the benefits of ballerina tea or its use as a health or weight loss aid.

What Is Ballerina Tea?

Ballerina tea is not made from tea leaves, as you might suspect. This warm drink is usually a blend of two powerful ingredients: malva verticillata and cassia angustifolia. Each Chinese herbal ingredient contributes to the effects of ballerina tea in a different way. 

  • Malva verticillata (Chinese mallow). Both leaves and seeds of this herbal plant (grown in China, and also in Africa, Europe, North America) are edible. Seeds of the plant may be used in diuretic products to increase urine production and reduce water retention. Chinese mallow might also be used as a laxative to relieve constipation or to treat kidney disorders. Some women also use this herbal product to stimulate the flow of breast milk. Currently, there is no evidence to support the effectiveness or the safety of this product. 
  • Cassia angustifolia (senna). This herbal ingredient comes from a shrub grown in India and China (some varieties are also grown in California). The leaves and the fruit of the plant are harvested to make the ingredient that is used in many commercial laxative products. Senna is an FDA-approved nonprescription laxative. Consumers may use the product to relieve constipation or to clear their bowels before having diagnostic tests (such as a colonoscopy) performed in a medical facility. 

Some popular brands of ballerina tea only list senna as an ingredient. Ballerina tea ranges in price depending on the brand and how much you buy. You can typically find a box of 18 bags for under $10.

How to Prepare

Ballerina tea (or 3 Ballerina Tea) is usually sold in stores and online as a dieter's drink. Consumers use tea bags to create the drink, but the strength of the tea can vary.

Usually, when people begin drinking the tea, they pour 2 to 3 cups of water into a cup with one teabag. Users are advised to drink the beverage three times a day after a meal. After a week or so of consuming a drink, they often decrease the amount of water used, eventually using one cup of water with one teabag. 

Caffeine Content

Ballerina tea is caffeine free, which makes it different than most teas geared toward weight loss. It is not made from actual traditional tea leaves, but rather, caffeine free plants.

Health Benefits

While there are claims that Ballerina tea is a powerful weight loss agent that can help you lose weight, these claims are unproven.

Fans of the drink sometimes also say that it can promote digestive health. And others claim that it helps to detox the body and even fight off disease. Unfortunately, these claims are not based on any scientific fact.

While you might lose weight with Ballerina tea, the changes that you see on the scale will happen as a result of lost water weight and the tea's laxative properties. There is no evidence that the tea burns body fat or has any power to increase your metabolism. Once your eating habits and your fluid intake returns to normal, your weight is likely to go back to normal as well. 

Unlike some other weight loss teas, Ballerina tea is not a stimulant. There is no caffeine in ballerina tea and it does not contain bitter orange or ephedra—two herbal ingredients that have been used for weight loss and are known to be harmful to the body.

The ingredients in Ballerina tea, Chinese mallow and senna, contain antioxidants called flavonoids that can help fight cell damage and reduce the risks of certain diseases. They also contain minerals and other plant compounds that may provide health benefits.However, the amount of vitamins and minerals you may get in a cup of Ballerina tea will be miniscule.

Side Effects

Because the ingredients in Ballerina tea increase bowel movements and urination, you're likely to experience some abdominal discomfort (and inconvenience) when you use the product. Senna is a known laxative and is often used to relieve constipation. Consuming it can lead to cramping, abdominal discomfort, faintness, and nausea.

Long-term use (more than two weeks) of products containing senna is not advised. Overusing ballerina tea may cause dependence on laxatives or problems with your bowels.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Ephedra

  2. Pizzino G, Irrera N, Cucinotta M, et al. Oxidative stress: harms and benefits for human health. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2017;2017:1-13. doi:10.1155%2F2017%2F8416763

  3. Manikandaselvi S, Vadivel V, Brindha P. Studies on physicochemical and nutritional properties of aerial parts of Cassia occidentalis LJ Food Drug Anal. 2016;24(3):508-515. doi:10.1016/j.jfda.2016.02.003

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Senna

Additional Reading
  • Senna. Medline Plus. The National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine.

  • Chinese Mallow. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database.

  • Senna. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database.

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.