We Reviewed Flat Tummy Tea: Our Conclusion – Skip This Product
Last Updated on February 21, 2023
Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD
Flat Tummy Tea may be a popular “detox” tea claiming it will flatten your stomach, reduce bloating, and improve digestion. However, there is no research to back up these claims. Plus, there are significant safety concerns.
Key Takeaways (TL;DR)
- We are always leery when products include “cleanse” or “detox” in their marketing claims, as your liver can do this naturally. Most of the time, any cleansing product is based on unproven claims.
- The doses of individual ingredients are not provided on the product’s label or website, so it is impossible to determine if the product will provide any benefit.
- While some of the ingredients in this product have been studied individually in specific doses to show some benefit, the particular blend of ingredients in Flat Tummy Tea has not been studied.
- We recommend skipping this product because of the potential side effects from the laxatives in this product, specifically an increased risk of liver toxicity.
Flat Tummy Tea is a 2-step detox tea that promises to boost energy, speed up metabolism, and reduce bloating.
This tea is marketed primarily to young women, often referring to their potential customers as “babe” and “girl.” Many celebrity influencers also endorse it, including the Kardashian family.
There are 2 separate teas as part of the 2-step protocol: Activate Tea and a Cleanse Tea.
The program is designed to be from 2–4 weeks long, depending on your chosen protocol. Both the Active Tea and Cleanse Teas should be consumed.
- Week 1: One serving of Activate Tea daily in the morning and 1 serving of Cleanse Tea daily every other day in the evening.
- Weeks 2–4: One serving of Activate Tea daily in the morning and 1 serving of Cleanse Tea daily every 3 days in the evening.
Flat Tummy Tea costs range from $25–$39 depending on if you purchase the 2 or 4-week program.
The company has a no-refund policy for consumable product items once they are shipped unless the product is deemed “faulty.”
Flat Tummy Tea comes with many big claims, but there is very little evidence that it will deliver on any of them.
The tea contains multiple ingredients. Some of these ingredients have been studied individually, in specific amounts, to show some health benefits.
However, the manufacturer of Flat Tummy Tea does not provide the specific amounts of these ingredients, so it is impossible to know if they will provide any effect.
Furthermore, the specific blend in Flat Tummy Tea has not been studied as a whole to show that it works.
Below, we provide the summary of research on the ingredients for those who want to look into them in more detail:
Green Tea Leaf Extract (GTE): There have been many claims about green tea’s power to boost metabolism and result in weight loss, particularly by celebrities like Dr. Oz.
One small randomized controlled trial was conducted, which is the gold standard for research trials. The study showed increased leptin and reduced LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) levels in women taking a GTE supplement. (1)
Leptin is a hormone that increases hunger. Therefore reducing leptin levels may increase feelings of fullness and reduce the likelihood of overeating.
However, a research review reports that more human trials are still needed to confirm adequate dose and effectiveness for a large population. (2)
- Fennel Seed: Fennel is a plant that may boost metabolism and aid in digestion. However, studies have shown mixed results. (3)
- Caraway Seed: Caraway seed is a seed said to play a role in supporting weight loss and reducing appetite. One small study showed those taking caraway extract had greater weight loss and body fat loss. (4)
- Peppermint Leaf: Peppermint may reduce bloat but may be more effective in those who suffer from gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS. (5)
- Lemon Balm: This extract has most commonly been used to manage anxiety. There was only one small study that showed it might play a role in improving indigestion. (6)
- Licorice Root: One small study showed it might reduce symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. However, too much may actually cause water retention. If you have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease, it’s recommended to avoid it. (7)
- Dandelion Leaf: It contains a prebiotic fiber called inulin, which may help support healthy digestion. However, it’s unclear if the dose present in this tea is enough to produce any effect. (8)
- Cardamom Pods: Cardamom is a spice that may ease digestion, but specifically with ulcers. There is no proof cardamom helps manage other daily digestive woes.
- Senna Leaf: Senna is found in FDA-approved over-the-counter medications and acts as a laxative. However, if you don’t normally suffer from constipation, taking it could cause gas, diarrhea, and nutrient deficiencies.
- Cassia Chamaecrista Pods: This is an herbal laxative that comes from a similar plant as Senna and may work in the same way.
- Rhubarb Root: Rhubarb is a plant that may have a laxative effect. But, some research shows rhubarb supplements can actually cause dangerous side effects such as liver toxicity and increased risk of cancer. (9)
I would not recommend this supplement, especially for those with liver, kidney, or heart disease.
Potential side effects from taking Flat Tummy Tea may range from mild to severe. These side effects can include nausea, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea due to the senna. (10)
Additionally, preclinical studies have shown rhubarb may have toxic effects on the liver and kidneys and a potentially increased risk of cancer. (9)
However, many of these studies have been done in animals in doses higher than may be present in supplements.
Researchers state that more research is still needed to determine at what dose if any, rhubarb may be safe to take in supplement form.
There have also been some reports that in those 40 or older, taking more than 2 ounces of black liquorice per day can increase the risk of heart arrhythmia.
This product also contains caffeine in unknown quantities. There are risks associated with consuming too much caffeine, especially in certain populations.
According to the research, the average adult's upper limit for safe caffeine consumption is 400 milligrams [mg]. (11)
Common side effects from excess caffeine consumption in the general population include: (12)
- Frequent urination
- Muscle tremors
- Fast heartbeat
However, consuming too much caffeine can be more harmful in those more vulnerable to caffeine’s effects. These include those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and those who struggle with alcohol abuse or mental illness.
Caffeine may result in an increase in blood pressure and, therefore, can exacerbate blood pressure that is already high in an individual. (13)
Due to this, those who already have high or uncontrolled blood pressure should limit their caffeine intake and speak to their doctor for a recommended dosage. (14)
Lastly, there are other caffeine sources in the diet. It’s important to take note of other sources that can be consumed in addition to this product, such as coffee, tea, or soda. When combining multiple caffeine sources, exceeding the upper limit of 400 mg of caffeine per day can be easy.
For anyone thinking about taking this supplement, regardless of medical history, I would highly recommend speaking to your doctor first.
Instead of spending your hard-earned money on this product, or any other “detox” tea, try:
- Eating plenty of prebiotic and probiotic-containing foods to reduce bloat
- Getting regular physical activity
- Tracking your habits and diet to see what may be causing bloat first place
These are all more effective, long-term methods of reducing bloat and speeding up your metabolism.
In addition, we have curated helpful articles below of evidence-based advice that will help improve your gut health and support a healthy weight.
At WellnessVerge, we only use reputable sources, including peer-reviewed medical journals and well-respected academic institutions.
- Effects of green tea extract on overweight and obese women with high levels of low-density lipoprotein:
- The Effect of Green Tea Extract on Fat Oxidation at Rest and during Exercise: Evidence of Efficacy and Proposed Mechanisms:
- The Effect of Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) on Body Composition in Postmenopausal Women with Excess Weight: A Double-blind Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial:
- Antiobesity Effect of Caraway Extract on Overweight and Obese Women: A Randomized, Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial:
- Review article: The physiologic effects and safety of Peppermint Oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders:
- Effectiveness of a "cold dessert", with or without the addition of a mixture of digestive herbs, in subjects with "functional dyspepsia":
- Outcomes in patients with nonerosive reflux disease treated with a proton pump inhibitor and alginic acid ± glycyrrhetinic acid and anthocyanosides:
- Prebiotics, probiotics and your health:
- What we already know about rhubarb: a comprehensive review:
- Senna - Side Effects (Oral Route):
- The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review:
- Caffeine: How Much is Too Much?:
- Caffeine and Blood Pressure Response: Sex, Age, and Hormonal Status:
- Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease: A Condensed Review of Epidemiological Evidence and Mechanisms: