The Health Benefits of Flat Tummy Tea

Reduce Bloating, Increase Energy, Cleanse

teapot and cup of tea with herbs in the kitchen

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Flat Tummy Tea is an herbal supplement that is designed to be consumed in the form of a tea. Marketed as a "2-Step Detox Tea," it includes two different types of tea:

  • Activate - a debloat tea
  • Cleanse - a body cleansing tea

Each tea contains its own variety of herbs and spices that, when used together, are said to reduce bloating and detoxify the body.

Ingredients

The ingredients used in Flat Tummy Tea vary from the debloat tea (Activate) to those found within the body cleansing tea (Cleanse).

Activate Ingredients

Flat Tummy states that the ingredients used in the Activate tea aid in metabolism and digestion, reduce oxidative stress, and support energy. They include:

  • Peppermint leaf
  • Lemon balm leaf
  • Licorice root
  • Dandelion leaf and root
  • Cleavers leaf
  • Fennel seed
  • Green tea leaf
  • Caraway seed
  • Cardamom pods

Cleanse Ingredients

Flat Tummy claims that the seven Cleanse ingredients "help support the body's natural detoxification process." Some are the same as those found in the Activate tea; others are only in this tea. They are:

  • Senna leaf
  • Peppermint leaf
  • Cassia Chamaecrista pods
  • Licorice root
  • Caraway seed
  • Dandelion Root
  • Rhubarb root

Health Benefits

Flat Tummy claims that its teas help reduce bloating, boost energy, support metabolism, detoxify the body, and decrease water retention. It also says that they help maintain a healthy immune system. However, the company does not provide any scientific evidence to support these claims.

Peppermint Leaf

While peppermint has been used for thousands of years, often to help ease digestive disorders, most of the research conducted has been on this plant's oil and not on the leaf. That said, peppermint, in general, does offer some health benefits.

For example, a 2017 review reports that peppermint has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. That makes it good for the immune system. A 2019 study adds that it also appears to offer some protection against bloating.

Though, again, these studies are about peppermint as a whole. This makes it still unclear whether peppermint leaf offers the same benefits.

Lemon Balm Leaf

Lemon balm has been studied for its many numerous health benefits, some of which include:

These effects could make you feel better physically and mentally, thus giving you more energy. And many of these studies specifically involved the use of lemon balm leaf, making it easier to accept this potential claim.

One remaining question is how much of this ingredient the tea contains. The supplement's label doesn't say. Therefore, it's unclear whether Flat Tummy Tea offers enough lemon balm leaf to provide these benefits.

Licorice Root

Flat Tummy uses the U.K. spelling for licorice root on its label, which is liquorice root. Often used as a sweetener, licorice helps protect the body's cells from becoming damaged or inflamed.

However, some researchers warn that licorice isn't always beneficial. For example, a 2012 research article indicates that it can elevate sodium levels while decreasing potassium levels.

This is generally when intake is excessive which, again, is difficult to say whether it applies to Flat Tummy Tea because its labels don't give amounts.

Dandelion Leaf and Root

There's not a lot of scientific evidence for dandelion's effects, though some promote it as a diuretic. This may be why it is included in Flat Tummy Tea, to help reduce bloat by decreasing the body's water weight.

Though, some pieces of research have connected dandelion leaf and root with better blood sugar control. This can help prevent energy crashes. It would also supports a healthier metabolism.

A 2020 study found that dandelion leaf and lemon balm together reduces inflammation in the liver. Since the liver assists with the waste release process, one could argue that, when combined, these ingredients might aid in the detoxification process.

Cleavers Leaf

Cleavers (Galium aperine) is a climbing weed that goes by a variety of names, such as gripgrass and Velcro plant, because it tends to cling to things. One review of this weed indicates that it boosts immunity and aids in fluid retention. However, it talks mainly of the seeds and not necessarily the leaves.

Another review looked at eight different wild plants and found that cleavers was one of the most effective for helping to remove heavy metals from the body, reducing their toxic effects. This review did use aerial parts of the plant, which are the parts that grow above ground and would include the leaves.

Fennel Seed

Many people are familiar with fennel as a vegetable, using it in some recipes, but are less familiar with its seeds. Fennel is known to contain many healthy compounds, as well as being a good source of nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

In India, it is a custom to eat fennel seeds after a meal as a way to promote digestive health. When served in tea form, it is said to help with bloating, heartburn, and other digestive issues.

Green Tea Leaf

Some people drink green tea for its healthful benefits. Among them are better digestive health and improved mental alertness, with not enough studies to support claims relating to weight loss.

The one thing to know about green tea is that it does contain caffeine. Like other teas that contain caffeine, such as as High Octane Tea, this is great if you want more energy but not so good if you are sensitive to this ingredient.

And nothing on Flat Tummy Tea's packaging talks about it containing caffeine. This could be an issue for people trying to limit or eliminate this substance from their diet.

Caraway Seed

Several recipes call for the use of caraway seeds, some of which include those for rye breads, stews, cakes, and biscuits. These seeds give the foods a nutty or peppery flavor.

One study of 70 overweight and obese women found that consuming 30 ml of caraway extract per day led to a greater reduction in weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage–without changing their diet or level of physical activity.

This suggests that caraway may be effective was a natural weight loss supplement. Again, the question is whether Flat Tummy Tea contains enough to provide this effect.

Cardamom Pods

Research indicates that cardamom is good for reducing inflammation, also noting that it appears to provide the most positive benefits for a person's oral health, helping to protect against periodontal infection and disease.

Cardamom has also been said to help the body metabolize sugars, yet there isn't a lot of research to say for sure whether this herb actually works for this purpose. Though one study did find that it helped metabolize fats, resulting in healthier cholesterol levels.

Senna Leaf

The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that senna (Cassia angustifolia) is an herb that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an over-the-counter laxative. This herb is also in other teas, such as ballerina tea.

However, long-term use of senna leaf—which is defined as use over two weeks—is not recommended, nor is taking it in high doses, as it can potentially lead to heart function issues, weak muscles, liver damage, and more.

The Library of Medicine adds that senna can also potentially interact with birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, blood thinning medications, and diuretics. When combined with licorice (which is also in Flat Tummy Tea), it could cause your potassium levels to get too low.

Cassia Chamaecrista Pods

Also known as partridge pea or prairie senna, Cassia chamaecrista is often used to assist with the removal of solid waste, with its popularity growing at high rates in certain areas of the world, such as India where demand for this type of herb increases as much as 15% per year.

One review of the Cassia species states that this category of plant can help reduce inflammation, decrease cholesterol, improve immune function, and more. However, it can also interact with drugs that lower potassium levels, which includes corticosteroids.

Rhubarb Root

Like many of the other Flat Tummy Tea ingredients, rhubarb root acts as a diuretic and laxative. Research also indicates that it is not recommended for people with gout, rheumatism, epilepsy, or a history of kidney or gall bladder stones.

The Bottom Line

While some of the herbs in Flat Tummy Tea may offer potential health benefits, they might also come with a few risks. It is also unclear how much of each ingredient is in the tea, making it also unclear whether this product offers an amount high enough to offer benefits but low enough to be safe for use.

Possible Side Effects

With so many of the tea's ingredients having diuretic or laxative properties, it seems like users will likely spend a lot of time in the bathroom. This poses risks related to dehydration and malnutrition.

Both of these effects could work against any positive results associated with weight loss or detoxification. And if you are not experiencing constipation, these ingredients may not be warranted or even safe.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) explains that laxatives are not a good weight control method, with laxative abuse potentially leading to major health issues, possibly even death, due to a loss in water, minerals, and electrolytes.

The NEDA cautions against the use of laxatives for weight loss.

The NEDA goes on to explain that many times, "laxatives are misused following eating binges, because the individual mistakenly believes that the laxatives will work to rush out food and calories before they can be absorbed—but that doesn’t really happen."

So, not only might this tea leave you running to the bathroom repeatedly, if you eat more calories that your body needs, using a laxative isn't likely to stop those calories from being absorbed. Take in too many calories over time and this can lead to being overweight or obese.

Lastly, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience jitteriness, headaches, or other symptoms when you increase your intake of the Activate Tea. According to the company, there is just a small amount of caffeine in the tea (about two milligrams per cup), but if you sensitive, this may still be too much.

Flat Tummy Tea is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Dosage and Preparation

If you choose to invest in a Flat Tummy Tea program, you can choose from the two-week or four-week protocol. Both programs follow the same schedule.

In the morning, you drink Activate Tea before or during your breakfast. Then in the evening, you drink Cleanse Tea every other night during week one, and then every third night during weeks two through four.

No other changes to your routine are required, but the company does provide a list of tips that will help you get better results. Some of the tips follow the general recommended guidelines for nutritious eating and weight loss. For example, it is recommended that you cut back on your alcohol intake, practice slow and mindful eating, and consume smaller portions.

However, the company also recommends that you cut back on your intake of vegetables. This tip goes against healthy eating guidelines recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services.

The tea comes loose, so you will need a tea bag or strainer to make Flat Tummy Tea. Also, the company suggests that you add honey or lemon if you don't like the taste. Adding ingredients will change the nutrition facts. For instance, honey will boost your sugar intake and carb count.

Flat Tummy Tea Reviews

It is easy to get excited by some of the Flat Tummy Tea reviews and online pictures. But it is important to consider the source of each review. You'll see many reviews posted by reality TV personalities and other influencers. These celebrities often get compensated (in some form) for their endorsements.

Some social media channels require that influencers clearly mark content that they are being paid to post (look for #ad in the post). But not all social media channels make the requirement known, and not all influencers follow the rules. So it is important to view these photos and reviews somewhat skeptically.

If you read comments under Flat Tummy Tea reviews on Amazon or other sites, you might get a better sense of customer satisfaction and concerns. Many customers report little to no results, but others claim that the tea was effective. There are also YouTube videos that both support and criticize the product.

Some customer comments mention difficulty tolerating the tea—for example, some mention gassiness or diarrhea.

How do you know which reviews to believe? As with any product, results will vary from person to person. Reading the actual product claims—which are regulated to some extent—may be more helpful than reading product reviews on the company's website or on social media.

Other Questions

What most curious consumers want to know is: does Flat Tummy Tea help you lose weight? In the small print, the company says that they don't make weight-loss claims. However, they also say that some customers see results when they combine the tea with diet and exercise.

Keep in mind that anyone is likely to see results when they diet and exercise—with or without the tea. Plus, some of the weight loss will likely be water loss since many of the ingredients act as diuretics.

A Word From Verywell

It can be tempting to seek out quick fixes when you want to slim down quickly. However, you don't have to buy any product to make healthy, lasting changes to your body. Remember that any herbal supplement—even a product that claims to be natural—is not necessarily safe or effective.

When that supplement contains diuretics or laxatives, even natural ones, it does come with some risks. It can change your body's internal environment negatively, reducing its ability to function as it should. If diuretic or laxative use is excessive, it can even be fatal. The liver naturally does an excellent job of removing waste and "cleansing" your body, so additional products are not necessary (unless directed by a healthcare provider).

Seek guidance from a healthcare professional to make sure that any herbal supplement you take is safe. If you are looking to lose weight, consider investing in an appointment with a registered dietitian who can put together a personalized eating program that you are likely to stick to long enough to see real results.

It's also recommended that you speak to your doctor before beginning a Flat Tummy Tea program. This helps ensure that it safe for you given your health and medical conditions

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