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Iaso Tea Review: Detox Tea Scam or Na?

Iaso Tea Review

Have you heard about Iaso tea (or IASO tea) as a great way to lose weight and improve your health?

The product comes from a company called Total Life Changes and the implication is that this tea really can make you lose weight and improve your life overall.

But, is that really true?

Can Iaso tea really live up to all of the hype that surrounds it? For that matter, is it really possible for tea to have such a radical impact on your life to start off with? 

Well, Total Life Changes would certainly like you to think so: 

Iaso tea marketing

But does the hype match up to reality? We’re going to find that out in this Iaso tea review.

Before we begin though, let me make one thing clear. This isn’t going to be like most other ​reviews. For one thing, I don’t have a stake in the outcome. I’m not a distributor for Total Life Changes, so it doesn’t really make a difference to me whether you buy the products.

However, I am passionate about nutrition and learning what is real and what isn’t.

Over time, I’ve found that there is so much contradictory information about nutrition out there. Likewise, there are a lot of ways to lose weight that do actually work for some people and many more fads that can cost a lot of money but do little to no good.

So, I’m interested in seeing which of those camps Iaso tea falls in.

Iaso Tea Ingredients

With Iaso tea, the basic content is that you drink the tea twice a day to see ‘amazing’ benefits. In most of the marketing, the key focus is actually detoxing, not weight loss. However, many distributors promote the product as a weight loss tool as well and even write ​reviews focusing on that apparent benefit.

Lose 5 lbs in 5 days

But, what does the tea actually have in it?

Well, according to the marketing, it contains 9 different herbs, which are as follows:

  • Persimmon leaves
  • Holy thistle
  • Malva leaves​​​
  • Papaya
  • Ginger
  • Myrrh
  • Chamomile
  • Marsh mallow leaves
  • Blessed thistle

You’re probably familiar with some of those and not others. So, let's take a brief look at them.

Ginger

Of all these ingredients, ginger is the most well-studied. There can be no doubt that it offers health benefits and is a powerful addition to the diet. Some advantages include the ability to treat stomach upsets and to provide pain relief in some situations. 

But, none of those benefits directly related to weight loss. There has been a little research in this area. Animals studies suggest that compounds from ginger and ginger itself can suppress the development of obesity (1,2). Ginger can also lower fasting blood sugar levels in rats and humans (3,4). 

A pilot study suggested that a hot ginger drink increased energy used and lowered hunger (5). But, that study just involved 10 participants. The outcomes could also have been the result of the hot drink, not the ginger. 

So, there is some evidence but it's pretty limited. There are also many more effective ways to get ginger in your diet.  

Myrrh

Myrrh comes from tree bark. It is used in traditional medicine and as a flavoring for food and drinks. It has various potential benefits including the ability to fight coughs and congestion, decrease arthritis pain and reduce swelling (6,7).  

While there is some evidence for these benefits, the scientific support is limited. It's also unclear how much you would need or how strong the outcomes are. 

That aside, none of the proposed advantages are related to the claims Iaso Tea makes. Myrrh is unlikely to promote weight loss, improve skin tone or increase energy levels

Papaya

Papaya itself is sometimes associated with weight loss, partly due to the nutrients present in the fruit itself. It may also help improve digestion (8). However, these benefits are typically associated with eating the fruit, not using it as an ingredient in tea. 

Some research also suggests that compounds in papaya leaves can help fight obesity (9). Even so, that research is focusing on isolating the compounds and researching them further. There's no significant evidence that supplementing with compounds from papaya will promote weight loss.  

You're also likely to see more benefits from the fruit itself. 

Chamomile

Some evidence supports chamomile as a way to decrease symptoms of depression (10). It may also help decrease anxiety and prevent an upset stomach. 

As such, the ingredient may reduce the risk of side effects. By reducing depression symptoms, it could potentially increase energy. But, that aspect only has only been shown in people with clinical depression. 

Again, the research suggests some minor benefits - just not ones related to Iaso Tea and weight loss.

Marsh mallow leaves

These leaves are often used in medicine, primarily as a way to decrease pain. They can also help treat constipation and stomach lining inflammation. These effects suggest a minor laxative effect but it's unlikely to be very strong. 

Research on this ingredient is very limited and there seems to be no link to weight loss or energy levels

Persimmon leaves

As a fruit, persimmons offer various nutrients, along with health benefits. The leaves also contain beneficial compounds. These can help in reducing inflammation, improving the immune system (11,12)and also have antibacterial properties (13). 

The leaves may also help control blood sugar levels (14). This last impact could possibly help with weight loss. But, the link between blood sugar control and weight loss isn't strong, and the research into persimmon leaves is in its early stages. 

Holy Thistle and Blessed Thistle

These two names actually refer to the same ingredient. It's not clear why Iaso Tea lists it twice.

Wellness Mama has an article on some of the benefits of blessed thistle. These include acting as a stimulant and improving digestive function. Oddly, blessed thistle can also stimulate appetite. That seems counterproductive in a weight loss product. 

There have been some studies into health benefits. But again, nothing that specifically relates to weight loss

Malva leaves

This is another ingredient that's common in traditional medicine and hasn't been studied much. 

Alternative medicine sometimes uses the plant to treat stomach and bladder problems, along with relieving irritation in the mouth. It's unclear why the herb is included in Iaso Tea or what benefit the company expects it to have. 

Overall Implications

As you can see, there isn't a large amount of support for most of the herbs. The studies that have been conducted are typically small, limited in scope and/or poorly designed. In fact, that pattern is true for pretty much every herb out there.

Even if the observed benefits are accurate, most of them don't apply to any of the claims that Iaso Tea makes. It's difficult to see how these ingredients would promote weight loss. Even if they did, the effects would be as dramatic as what Iaso Tea claims.

Furthermore, most of the studies that have been done on these herbs will have used different amounts than you actually get in the tea. At the same time, none of these ingredients are especially unusual. Many of them will appear in digestive supplements or supplements to increase bowel movements.

Herbal supplements

So, there really is little evidence that these herbs will offer any health benefits all beyond increasing bowel movements for some people.

And, despite what the company implies, increasing your bowel movements isn’t necessarily good for your health – as I’ll explain in the next section.

Now, there is a chance that some of these herbs will offer health benefits and that these simply haven't been proven by research.

However, even if this is the case, it's likely that any benefits will be small.

After all, there is already a huge number of different herbal teas and herbal supplements on the market and most of the time people notice barely any health benefits from them. There isn't anything particularly revolutionary or unusual about Iaso tea to suggest that this product would be any different.​

The ingredients in Iaso tea are simply a selection of herbs and there has been limited research into the potential benefits that they could offer

Health Benefits of Iaso Tea – Fact versus Fiction

If you look at some of the marketing for Iaso tea, you’ll notice that there is a lot of health benefits associated with it. For example, this is one list of benefits that I found:

26 benefits

Now, there is one very important thing to note here.

Most claims like these aren’t actually made on the Total Life Changes site at all. Instead, they are from external websites.

The reason for this is the business model. Total Life Changes is a MLM. This approach means that individuals act as distributors for the company, earning money by selling the products. Many of them seem to promote the products online, using various websites and social media profiles.

This is also why many of the marketing images are poorly made. For example, the one above has PROOF stamped on it (the word is in white, you may have to look carefully), while the one below still has the watermark from a stock photo site:

Benefits marketing

This pattern is extremely important – because it means that the company isn’t directly making the claims.

Now, Total Life Changes is probably giving people information about these ‘benefits’ but distributors are the ones doing the promoting. This trick lets the company get around having to prove any of those benefits – because technically it cannot control how distributors promote the product.

In fact, if you look on the Total Life Changes site, they only say that the tea cleanses the intestines and gets rid of toxins and parasites. That’s a pretty general claim – and doesn’t even say that doing so offers any health benefits at all.

Actual product marketing

Realistically, Iaso tea just consists of 9 different herbs, most of which haven’t been researched extensively. 

Certainly, there are some potential health benefits of these various herbs but there simply hasn’t been enough research to prove anything. Additionally, you’re not really getting a lot of those compounds in with two cups of tea a day.

Detoxing

One of the key benefits of this tea is supposed to be that it detoxes you.

Detox hype

I don’t want to go into detoxing in depth here (as I’ve covered it elsewhere). Likewise, the site Runtastic highlights some of the complexities of detoxes and what the claims mean.

However, the whole idea of detoxing is a complete myth.

For one thing, the word itself is pretty much meaningless. It implies that you are getting rid of toxins. My first question is, which toxins? Nobody actually says, mainly because nobody really knows.

Because of this, there isn’t really a way to test whether a detox works. Instead, most people rely on how they feel and their bowel movements.

But, that’s not a good measure.

For one thing, how you feel is incredibly subjective.

If you believe something is going to make you feel better – most of the time it will. The same thing happens if you believe that something will make you feel worse. In scientific literature, this is called the placebo effect and it’s very powerful.

This is one reason why so much self-help advice focuses on how you view yourself and the world, and on the power of positive thinking.

What about bowel movements then? They’re less subjective.

The problem with bowel movements is that people assume that more bowel movements are a good thing. The general idea is that the more you get out of your body – the better it is.

I’ve even seen some sites talk about how we have fecal matter in our intestines that isn’t removed during normal bowel movements (which incidentally, is one of the motivations behind edemas as well). Total Live Changes even mentions something about this in their product description.

Cleanse the intestines

This is a very human concept. We think that things being clean is good and dirty is bad.

But, the body doesn’t work that way, not really. Instead, it’s a messy and complex system with many inter-related parts. In fact, the body already has a system for dealing with toxins and it is very effective at doing this.

So, excessively promoting bowel movements is not necessarily a good thing at all and could very easily cause health issues.

In fact, this is the reason why you should talk to a doctor if you plan to drink the tea regularly, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are elderly or have any serious health condition.

It's also worth noting that there is very little evidence that detox diets do anything good at all and the studies that have been conducted are
heavily flawed. ​Yet, despite the lack of evidence, the popularity of detox diets continues - partly because people feel better afterwards, or at least, they convince themselves that they do. 

Now, there is some evidence that our bodies can become inefficient at detoxing over time if we don’t get enough nutrients and have an unhealthy diet. The idea here is that our bodies can get overwhelmed, which is actually the argument behind detoxing to start off with.

But, a detox product isn’t really the answer for that type of problem. After all, this type of product mainly focuses on flushing out your system – which isn’t likely to help anything. Furthermore, even if you actually could remove toxins in this way, it isn’t a very good long-term solution.

Instead, if your body isn’t detoxing itself well, the aim would be to get your kidneys and liver doing their jobs properly. The best way to do that is to simply work on a healthy lifestyle, including less processed food, more nutrients and more exercise.

In some cases, it may be necessary to talk to a doctor as well, as some health conditions can affect the ability of the liver and kidneys to function properly.

Likewise, one key reason that people's bodies aren't clearing toxins efficiently is simply that they're not getting enough fiber. Again, a healthy diet can help to resolve this issue, while simply drinking tea won't help with fiber at all.

There is no evidence to support the health benefits associated with Iaso tea and the idea that it helps people to detox is simply a myth

Iaso Tea Reviews Online

If we’re going to look at how good Iaso tea actually is, then we need to consider what people actually think of it.

This is actually a tricky area because Total Life Changes is a MLM. The MLM structure means that there are many distributors for the company out there. Those distributors earn money by selling products from the company. So, they have an interest in making those products appear as good as possible.

In many cases, distributors will write glowing reviews for a product – making it seem much better than it is.

One thing that I look at is the reviews on Amazon, like for a one-month pack of the tea. The reviews are interesting because there is a mixture of positive and negative. 

This pattern is always concerning. It tends to happen with products that are controversial, those that are very individual-specific or ones that are scams. 

It's also a bad pattern if you want a product that works. If there are many negative reviews, there's a good chance that you won't see health benefits. 

So then, let's look at the individual reviews. 

First of all, there are some positive ones. 

Weight Loss Success
Weight Loss 1

There are also people who just haven't seen outcomes. 

No Current Results
No Results

Other people have experienced Iaso Tea side effects. Most of the negative reviews fell into this category. 

Cramps
Stomach Pain
Headaches 2

Some of the side effects are to be expected, as Iaso Tea does seem to increase bowel movements. Even so, they're not encouraging and could have negative health implications.

For that matter, many reviews highlight side effects. This is never a good pattern. I would expect a few such reviews for any product but I counted dozens for Iaso Tea. 

When considering these views together, it's clear that Iaso Tea isn't foolproof. It may work for some people, especially when combined with a healthy diet. But honestly, it's not going to have a dramatic impact. If you did lose weight, it would mostly be from water, rather than fat. 

Reviews for the tea are all over the place, suggesting that some people see benefits and others simply don't

Can You Lose Weight with Iaso Tea?

From the research I’ve shown you, it’s pretty clear that Iaso tea doesn’t live up to all the hype that surrounds it. Likewise, it isn’t a revolutionary weight loss product, not by any means.

Additionally, as I mentioned before, it isn’t actually going to detox your body.

So, is it useless?

Not entirely.

Tea, in general, can actually help with weight loss in a few different ways.

One way is in terms of behavior. It takes time to make a cup of tea and drinking one also takes a while. In most cases, you’re probably not eating something at the same time, especially if your focus is on weight loss.

This also makes tea good for managing food cravings.

woman drink green tea

You also end up getting a decent amount of water when you drink tea. Now, getting enough water is actually a key component of successfully losing weight and it can even make you feel full for a time (15).

Both of those processes do contribute to weight loss.

Beyond those benefits, the whole idea is pretty much hype.

Now, it is true that you may lose a little bit of weight at first when you use the tea. For example, the marketing suggests that you lose 5 lbs in 5 days, although actual users may lose closer to 2 or 3 lbs.

The thing is, your first week’s weight loss is always going to be irrelevant.

When you start any type of diet, the very first thing that you lose is water. Water weight is easy to lose (and easy to regain), so it’s pretty much meaningless.

Instead, the relevant information is how much weight people lose from the tea alone months into the process. Not surprisingly, the marketing doesn’t talk about this at all.

Of course, there is one more thing to consider.

Iaso tea would help you lose weight simply because you are having more bowel movements. But, that’s not really weight loss – not the type that counts.

It may be possible to lose some weight with Iaso tea but the same can be said for any tea. Furthermore, any weight loss potential isn't connected to detoxing or the herbs in the tea

Final Thoughts

After looking at everything that I’ve researched and examined for this​ review, I can safely say that Iaso tea isn’t that unusual. More than anything the tea is just a combination of herbs that may offer health benefits but probably won’t.

The most likely impact of drinking the tea is simply an increase in bowel movements, although some of the reviews on Amazon suggest that even that doesn’t happen for everyone.

Realistically, most people who lose weight or feel better after drinking this tea probably changed their lifestyle at the same time or are experiencing the placebo effect. There certainly isn’t much about the tea itself to suggest that it would cause significant weight loss or improved health.

Unfortunately, this product seems to be just another example of a company cashing in on people’s desire to lose weight and get healthy. 

A good alternative is simply to rely on green tea. This would offer considerably more health benefits, without all of the detox hype or extra bowel movements. ​

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18 thoughts on “Iaso Tea Review: Detox Tea Scam or Na?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this very informative and well-written review of Iaso Tea. This is not one that I have heard of before, but I have bought several other brands with the same claims. My results were very much like the reviewer that started off with “This tea is okay…..” It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype of weight loss from drinking tea. I don’t like they idea that they are MLM, so I will certainly stay away from Iaso tea.

    Reply
    • As a general rule, you’re likely to get more benefits and fewer risks from drinking regular tea (particular green tea) than with these detox options. Realistically, detox teas are somewhat concerning and their long-term effects on health could be damaging. Besides, there is little evidence that detoxing actually offers any health benefits, despite all of the hype.

      Reply
  2. Greetings Vince,

    Well this is an eye-opener! It’s interesting that I’m reading this now, because I was thinking of engaging in a 10 day detox, starting before the end of the month. I just assumed that having more bowel elimination would be a good thing.

    Although the name Iaso sounds familiar, I may be confusing it with another company; it seems rather unethical for distrubuters to give rave reviews, without sharing any personal testimonials.

    You mentioned green tea may prove to be a better alternative; would this be something to drink throughout the day, or would a specific time be better.

    I appreciate the thoroughness of your review Vince;
    it’ll definitely cause me to do more research on detoxing.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • I suspect that people are legally supposed to disclose when they endorse a product that they have a financial connection to. However, most don’t.

      As for detox, there isn’t any evidence that increased bowel elimination is good for health – except for people who are constipated. Indeed, it’s easy to see how forcing your body to excrete more than it wants to would be negative. After all, there’s a reason that you’re not supposed to rely on laxatives for health or weight loss – and many detox teas have the same general function.

      Reply
  3. Detoxing is great if it’s done in a healthy manner. Laso tea does not seem so in that way. Your review is very informative about this. As a long time green tea drinker, and many other different types of teens, I’m always looking for new teas to try.

    But reading your review makes me want to stay away from this one. Nowadays because weight loss is such a huge industry, so many brands are coming up with weight loss teas. Some of them don’t even care that there is no real research done into it. Endorsing something that may eventually be unhealthy is beneficial to no one at all.

    Reply
    • I’m interested in what you say about detox being healthy, when done in the right way. What do you mean by this?

      My research suggests that the general concept of detox isn’t going to help at all and laxative-based detoxes may harm the body.

      Now, some types of detoxes may be healthy, such as those that rely on whole foods and options such as superfood smoothies. But, those approach still aren’t likely to actually decrease the body and probably won’t offer many benefits at all.

      Reply
  4. I’m always interested in nutritional supplements to aid in my health. I like drinking green tea, for the benefit claims. I do like the taste of green tea also. What can you tell me about the taste of this iaso tea? I like a supplement that really tastes good, so that I can enjoy and actually look forward to drinking it. I think though that most all health claims are greatly exaggerated. That’s just the nature of marketing I think. so I always read these things with that understanding. But nutrition is so important, that if I can get even a fraction of the advertised benefits, I’m happy. I didn’t quite get the cost breakdown. How much per day would it cost to take it twice a day as directed?

    Reply
    • The tea is a combination of herbs, so it’s going to taste like those. The taste would be particularly influenced by ginger and chamomile. But, that being said, it wouldn’t taste much like green tea – as there aren’t actually any tea leaves in the mix.

      As for cost, a 30-day supply is around $45, which I highlighted in the very first image of the post. So, you’re looking at an average of around $1.50 per day.

      But – I honestly doubt that you would receive any benefits. There is little evidence that that the individual components are significant to health, especially not in the quantities that you would consume in the tea.

      Reply
  5. Losing weight is a task that everybody is desperate to accomplish yet hesitant to complete. It can’t be helped. Sometimes it’s stress, and other times it’s simply excuses. That’s why people look for quick remedies like the laso tea you mentioned. It’s very clear that it does not work in terms of significant weight loss and keeping that weight off permanently. However, the herbs you stated doesn’t sound too bad to be honest. It might not be some kind of miracle combination of herbs, but at least it’s not some kind of weird laxative that forces people to dehydrate themselves. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
    • You’re right about the laxative side of things. Many such teas do have laxatives in them, sometimes in the form of senna. That practice is extremely concerning for health so it’s nice that Iaso tea doesn’t have that.

      Reply
  6. Hello, Vince.
    Thank you for a very good review of Iaso tea, yet another detox hype indeed. I am a keen lover of drinking green tea and have been doing so for many years.
    I believe that it is much healthier than many other herbal teas out there, but this is just my opinion (maybe I am right, maybe not)
    I have seen Iaso tea selling on Amazon, but a one month supply for $45 was just too much for me to pay for tea.
    You made it very clear to those who might fall far the detoxification promotion that Iaso tea is not really making an impact.
    A very good review and valuable information indeed.
    I have learned about yet another herbal tea through your review.
    Cheers, Jacob

    Reply
    • Yes, there is a ton of hype surrounding this type of tea.

      Honestly, you would get many more benefits from simply drinking green tea and you would also save a significant amount of money in the process.

      Reply
  7. Hi Vince,
    This is a very comprehensive review. Besides knowing more about Iaso Tea, I also understand a lot more about detoxing. Yes, you had a great article on Detox. I read.
    I had a not so good experience with Detox Tea many years ago. All I can say is that It wasn’t pleasant at all. You were correct to say that it is better to add more fiber to our diet. A bowl of rolled oats with fruits and nuts for breakfast or lunch helped my constipation problem.
    Stay Healthy!
    Sharon

    Reply
    • Thank you.

      Detox tends to be mostly a scam and simply hyped up marketing. Realistically, you’re always going to be better controlling what you put into your body, rather than trying to force it to excrete everything negative.

      Reply
  8. Hmmm…. I’ve been taking a lot of laxative pills to help digestion and prompt more bowel movements… but this is only because I know I don’t eat a healthy balanced diet, and I’m trying to get it out of my system every time I binge a bunch of food. But it always give my stomach such an awful crampy feeling! I know that this is all wrong anyways, and that I should just eat properly… but maybe this tea will at least be a better start then OTC laxatives?

    Reply
    • The tea doesn’t have the same intense ingredients so in that sense it would be healthier than laxatives. However, that pattern of behavior is a dangerous one and you should seek medical attention. Realistically, you shouldn’t be using laxatives to flush out your body like that – regardless of what you’ve eaten. The long-term impacts for health can be very significant.

      For that matter, it’s dangerous to take laxatives in the long-term, which is why they come with warnings.

      Reply
  9. I bought into the hype. But I’m cashing out after just two weeks. Yes I had the 5 lb loss in one week and know its water weight. I am now experiencing some gastric discomfort (excess gas), headaches and I am not sleeping well at all. Going to pick up Lipton green tea this week and replace cravings for a cup or glass. Thanks for the very informative article. I know better than to buy into hype!

    Reply
    • That does sound fun. It matches the side effects that reviewers mention as well. Regular green tea should be much better for you and certainly has fewer side effects.

      Reply

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