Filled tea cup surrounded by a teaspoon, teapot, teabag and ingredients.
23 January 2020

Diet and “detox” teas pulled from sale after Consumer NZ investigation

Teas contained a pharmacy-only medicine.

Several brands of diet and “detox” tea have been withdrawn from sale after Consumer NZ found they contained a pharmacy-only medicine.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said the teas contained senna, a source of sennosides, which are used to treat constipation.

Companies need consent from Medsafe to advertise or sell products containing senna. However, none of the teas had this approval.

Ms Chetwin said it was concerning companies didn’t appear to be aware of the rules. Senna can lead to liver damage if taken for too long.

The brands found by Consumer NZ included Healtheries Naturally Slim teas, sold at supermarkets.

Three Healtheries teas were removed from sale following Consumer NZ’s investigation: Healtheries Naturally Slim Lemon Tea, Healtheries Naturally Slim Superfruit Acai and Blueberry Tea, and Healtheries Herbalax Senna Peppermint Tea.

Other teas removed from sale included Senna Klenz, promoted as a detox tea and sold at health food stores, and a senna “teatox” advertised by influencer and personal trainer Sera Lilly on her website

“These types of products make various claims about weight loss or ‘detoxing’ but they can be little more than laxatives in disguise,” Ms Chetwin said.

She advised consumers not to waste money on diet and detox teas. “There’s no good evidence these products provide any benefits and they could even do you harm.”

Detox claims were also meaningless, she said. “You don’t need to buy a pricey tea to ‘detox’. Your body is already primed to get rid of toxins by itself.”

Advertising or selling pharmacy-only medicines, such as senna, without consent can result in a fine of up to $100,000.

Member comments

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Natasha F.
13 Apr 2020
Awesome #Not

Great explanation, however, there are some of us who can use it responsibly. I'd rather have a cup of tea, than take 10mls of lactulose (Dr prescribed) and end up vomitting from that revolting stuff.

Cherry D.
08 Apr 2021
Gentle laxative with no side effects

Was really peed off to find we couldnt buy something we had been buying and using for 30 years. It is amazing and sure beats taking glue and vomitting or shoving alien pessels in my rectum. Cant even find it in our health shop now. HELP!

Susan S.
23 Jan 2020
Alpine Tea

Thanks for the explanation of what happened to Alpine Tea. I used to drink it daily with no ill effects.