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Iaso Tea Review: Are Its Claims True? A Dietitian Explains

Written by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on September 1, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

2.5

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:2.8
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:1.0
  • Brand Transparency:2.0

Iaso Teas, both Original and Instant, are claimed to help with weight loss and detoxification. But the lack of transparency about ingredients and the high price suggests you might want to look elsewhere.

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Iaso Tea Review: Are Its Claims True? A Dietitian Explains

Pros

  • Easy to consume in tea or instant options
  • Tea is unlikely to have significant side effects

Cons

  • Lack of transparency about ingredients
  • The company is currently involved legal disputes over claims and ingredients
  • High cost for herbal tea
  • Original and Instant versions do not contain the same ingredients

What Is Iaso Tea?

Iaso Tea Original and Iaso Instant Tea are cleansing teas designed to help you detox, improve your digestion, and support a healthy circulatory system.

The teas also help support “productive” trips to the bathroom, which likely means it is a laxative.

Although the Original and Instant teas are both called Iaso Tea, the ingredients are not the same; I would expect them to be more similar.

There is also surprisingly little information about the amount of each ingredient and the benefits of the product on the website.

The ingredients are not even listed on the website at all. So I had to search for a nutrition label elsewhere.

Total Life Changes (TLC), the company that makes Iaso tea, used to have a downloadable guide to go along with their product, but it no longer exists on their site.

There is a video discussing the benefits of the tea where they cite a few studies on the ingredients and say, “search Medline if you want to find the study.”

Offering direct links to the studies would increase consumer trust in the brand, but they don’t link to any studies.

Based on their website, TLC seems to be pushing the multi-level marketing aspect of their brand, with lots of details about how to become a “preferred customer” and “part of the community.”

There is so little information about the benefits and ingredients of the tea available on the TLC website that just this would make me avoid this product altogether.

Unfortunately, there are a lot more downsides to Iaso tea than just a lack of information.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Since the Original and Instant versions of Iaso Tea are different, we reviewed their ingredients separately below.

Note that it is difficult to evaluate the ingredients in this product based on the current research as the manufacturer does not list dosages.

Iaso Tea Original

The Original detox tea is a blend of different herbs that have mostly laxative and anti-inflammatory properties. These herbs include:

Myrrh

Myrrh is a type of resin derived from trees native to Africa and Asia. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

It was commonly used to treat bacterial infections and inflammation. It is a digestive aid and is primarily used as a laxative.

Blessed or Holy Thistle

Blessed thistle is an ancient plant that has been used throughout the ages to treat many different illnesses.

It is commonly used to stimulate appetite, reduce inflammation, and improve indigestion. It also has diuretic properties, which may help you go to the bathroom more often.

Papaya Leaf/Carica Papaya Extract

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that may help improve digestion and also has a laxative effect. It may also help regulate blood sugar.

Persimmon Leaf

Persimmon leaves have been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine.

More recently, research has found that they may have many beneficial properties for health, helping reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar, and fight bacterial infections. The leaves also have diuretic effects.

Chamomile/Matricaria Chamomilla Extract

Chamomile is an herb rich in flavonoids commonly used for its medicinal and relaxation properties.

It may help improve sleep due to high amounts of flavonoid apigenin. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and may help improve blood sugar.

Malva Leaves/Marshmallow

Malva and marshmallow are two herbs from the same plant family.

Malva is commonly used for stomach problems and to reduce inflammation. Marshmallow is used for reducing irritation of the stomach and relieving constipation.

Ginger

Ginger is a root that can help soothe indigestion and helps reduce nausea. It has a laxative and diuretic effect.

Summary:

The ingredients in Iaso tea Original may have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and laxative effects. While these might help you go to the bathroom more often and help reduce inflammation, there is no way to know if there is an effective dose in each tea bag.

Iaso Instant Tea

Iaso Instant contains only 4 ingredients: chamomile, papaya, soluble fiber, and senna. It does not contain the other ingredients that are found in the Iaso Tea Original.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is beneficial for digestion, increasing nutrient absorption, and lowering cholesterol.

The Iaso Instant tea has 2 grams of dietary fiber, which isn’t a significant enough amount to make much impact.

Senna/Cassia Angustifolia Extract

Senna extract is a common laxative found in many products to relieve constipation.

Since there is no dosage information provided with this product, it is impossible to know if the dosage is meant to provide mild relief or if it will have you immediately running to the bathroom.

Summary:

Iaso Instant contains only two of the ingredients found in the Original version but adds fiber and a laxative. Because of this, I would assume that the Instant is more likely to have you running to the bathroom, but it is impossible to know since the dose is not listed.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Iaso Tea based on the available research:

  • Promotes digestive wellnessModerate Evidence
  • Supports the circulatory systemLimited Evidence
  • Encourages healthy intestinesStrong Evidence
  • Healthy weight management assistanceLimited Evidence

While ingredients like fiber, senna, ginger, papaya, and others support digestive wellness, it is impossible to evaluate their effectiveness in the product without knowing the amount of each one.

As far as the circulatory system and weight management claims, anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile, ginger, and papaya may in a roundabout way help support heart health and weight loss, but once again can’t be properly evaluated due to the lack of transparency.

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

To make Iaso Original, two tea bags are added to a quart of boiling water, then steeped for 4–8 hours. The tea is consumed twice a day before meals and once before bedtime.

Oddly, it takes 4 to 8 hours to steep. This seems like a very long time; I am not sure what the benefit is here.

The Instant version is obviously instant. You just mix the powder into water and drink.

Overall, due to the company’s lack of information and dosages, it is difficult to determine if Iaso Tea has any specific side effects.

Most of the herbs in Iaso Tea are commonly found in herbal tea blends, so safety concerns aren’t significant. However, there are a few exceptions.

My main hesitation is the amount of senna in the Instant product. While senna is considered safe for occasional use, it can cause digestive problems and diarrhea.

Some people are more sensitive to the laxative effects of senna than others. If you don’t know how you will react, I would recommend proceeding with caution.

Myrrh and blessed thistle have been used to terminate pregnancies; therefore, pregnant women should not consume this tea.

It is unclear if the fiber used in Iaso Tea is made from wheat dextrin. Therefore, those with gluten sensitivity should avoid it.

It is best to speak to your doctor before trying this detox tea.

Legal Troubles

It seems Total Life Changes has had some legal troubles in the last few years, which makes me even warier about their products.

TLC is currently involved in a lawsuit by a member of the military who claims the Iaso Instant tea had THC in it when the company specifically claimed it was free of THC.

This person tested positive for THC after drinking the tea and was denied a promotion because of it. An independent third-party found that the tea did, in fact, contain THC. This lawsuit is still pending.

The brand also received a letter from the Federal Trade Commission over false claims made about how the products could help lower your risk of Covid-19 and the earning potential of the multi-level marketing aspects of the business.

They were forced to remove all their claims, which may explain why their website lacks information.

Due to these two legal disputes, I would avoid any products made by TLC, including Iaso Tea.

Cost

Iaso Tea Original is $49.95 for 5 tea bags on the Total Life Changes website. It can also be found on Amazon, where a 10-pack of tea bags is $55.95, cheaper than on the TLC site.

For the Instant version, on the Total Life Changes website, 50 sachets are $59.95. On Amazon, 50 sachets are $69.95.

Paying $12 for one tea bag seems very excessive. Most boxes of “detox” tea you can find on Amazon run between $5–$15 for 15–25 tea bags.

Iaso does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their products, minus the cost of shipping.

How Iaso Tea Compares to Alternatives

There are dozens of detox teas with different herbal blends on the market. Many of these have mild laxatives and herbs that may also help support liver function.

Other than going to the bathroom more frequently, I wouldn’t expect much from any of these blends, including Iaso Tea. Overall, I do not recommend any detox teas.

If you want to detoxify, consider drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and avoiding toxins like alcohol.

Many of the ingredients in Iaso tea are supposed to help with improving bowel regularity.

If you are looking for a tea to help improve constipation, I recommend Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move Tea. It contains senna and a blend of other ingredients to help improve constipation.

This tea has the ingredients and amounts clearly listed on the label, so you know what you are consuming. Sixteen tea bags costs $26.70, about 1/10 the price of Iaso tea.

Overall, when it comes to teas, Iaso is very expensive with limited benefits. If you want to use tea to support your digestion, cheaper options are available with more transparency about ingredients.

The Bottom Line

Iaso Teas are an expensive version of herbal tea with some natural laxatives added.

Their lack of transparency over their ingredients, legal disputes, and the expensive price tag makes me want to run in the opposite direction from this company.

It is extremely concerning that there is a lawsuit over ingredients found in the tea that are not supposed to be there. This suggests that there could be other unwanted ingredients in the tea as well. It is a huge red flag.

As a dietitian, I would avoid this tea and brand completely. I don’t think drinking Iaso Tea will do much for your digestion, weight, or pocketbook.

A Word from Our RD

If you are looking to detoxify and lose weight, no tea on the market will be your magical solution.

The key to detoxification is to stop putting toxins in. This includes avoiding processed foods, alcohol, sugar, and smoking.

When you give your body lots of fiber, water, and a healthy diet, it can naturally detoxify through the liver, kidneys, and digestive system.

If your goal is to lose weight, a calorie-controlled diet with lots of fruits and vegetables paired with regular exercise is the best way to go.

Trying to use pills, teas, or other gimmicks to lose weight will only leave you frustrated.

Adopting a life-long healthy lifestyle is the best way to maintain a normal weight. Speak to your doctor or registered dietitian for the best plan for you.

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