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The Zendo Diet

By Shelley Moore ; Updated July 18, 2017

Tadin Zendo Dieter’s Tea is claimed to prevent the body from retaining fluid or storing fat in the intestines, and to boost the metabolism. The Zendo tea contains an herbal ingredient common in over-the-counter commercial laxatives. However, using any laxative for dieting, even so-called natural products, can be harmful to your health.

Considerations

Cassia angustifolia, known as senna, is commonly marketed for weight-loss benefits as an herbal ingredient in teas. Companies selling these products usually do not advertise the main purpose of senna as an herbal remedy, which is relieving constipation through stimulant laxative effects. Senna is the main ingredient in Ex-lax and other over-the-counter laxatives.

How Laxatives Work

The senna in Zendo diet tea stimulates the colon, causing it to contract and expel any material inside it. The only weight loss involved is temporary emptying of waste matter and fluid in the colon. Laxatives, including senna, do not prevent absorption of calories because they only work on the colon, not on the small intestine where calories are absorbed. In contrast to claims that senna boosts metabolism, chronic use of laxatives actually may slow the metabolism, cautions Health Services at Columbia University. Using laxatives for an extended time is commonly connected with eating disorders.

Side Effects

Numerous side effects are associated with diet teas containing senna including abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea and dehydration. The product labeling for Tadin Zendo Dieter’s Tea discourages using the tea if you develop diarrhea, loose stools or abdominal pain, stating that the active ingredient may worsen these conditions and be harmful to your health.

Warning

Regular use of laxative tea can damage the gastrointestinal tract. It can cause the intestinal muscles to weaken and have difficulty functioning without laxatives. This leads to chronic bloating and constipation.

Additional Ingredients

Tadin Zendo Dieter’s Tea also contains uva ursi, which the University of Maryland Medical Center says is toxic and can have side effects of nausea and vomiting. Another ingredient is Equisetum arvensis, known as horsetail, which has diuretic effects and can be used as an herbal remedy for fluid retention. Combining equisetum with senna may increase the risk of dehydration. In addition, equisetum may flush potassium from the body, which could lead to low potassium levels.

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