Iaso Tea is a brand manufactured by a company called Total Life Changes (TLC). They make some questionable health claims about the tea, such as “detoxifying” and “weight-management assistance”.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Iaso tea based on medical research and explain why we don’t believe it will have any effect on your weight. We’ll also suggest a natural weight loss alternative that is cheaper and likely to be more effective than this tea for weight loss.
Iaso tea contains a blend of botanical ingredients: holy thistle, blessed thistle, persimmon leaves, papaya extract, malva leaves, marsh mallow, myrrh, chamomile and ginger.
Just from the first two listed ingredients, we can tell that this company is incompetent because these are two names for the same plant. Both “holy thistle” and “blessed thistle” refer to a plant with the botanical name Cnicus benedictus. The fact that TLC lists them separately indicates they believe these are two different compounds.
We can’t find any medical research suggesting that this plant is effective for weight loss.
Persimmon leaves are the third-listed ingredient, and while there exists one animal study suggesting that this plant may be effective for weight loss, it’s almost certainly underdosed in Iaso Tea. The rats in the study were consuming 5% of their diet in persimmon leaves.
The fourth ingredient in Iaso Tea is papaya extract. This ingredient may be effective for weight loss, but we can’t say conclusively because TLC doesn't publish the dosage used. One clinical trial on rats found that papaya juice supplementation had anti-obesity effects. A medical review of papaya’s effects on metabolic syndrome, published in the Nutrients journal, analyzed three animal studies on papaya and weight. In two of them, the animals lost weight.
Malva leaves (botanical name Malva sylvestris) is the fifth ingredient in this tea. We can’t find a single study even investigating this ingredient for anti-obesity effect, never mind proving it’s effective. Since TLC doesn’t publish any, we’ll conclude this is another ineffective ingredient.
Marsh mallow is another ingredient that appears to be ineffective for the stated health claim. We can’t locate a single study in any medical database suggesting this plant is useful for weight loss. It’s typically used for reduction of cough and cold symptoms.
The seventh ingredient in Iaso Tea is chamomile, which is generally used for its proven anti-stress effect. A recent medical review of chamomile for obesity suggested the compound may be effective, but nearly all of the studies analyzed used chamomile extract (which is a more concentrated version) rather than raw chamomile powder. In the three animal studies where chamomile tea rather than extract was used, no weight loss effect was noted.
The final ingredient is ginger, which has been associated with reduced body weight in an extensive medical review. The researchers assessed 14 individual medical trials on ginger and body weight and found that the spice reduced body weight and fasting glucose. Notably, most of the studies assessed used regular ginger powder rather than extract.
Since TLC doesn’t publish the ginger dosage we can’t determine if this ingredient will be effective in their formulation. Most of the studies in the medical trial used 1 gram (g) or more daily of ginger.
Overall we find Iaso Tea to be poorly formulated, with only 3 of the 8 ingredients even potentially effective for weight loss. Since TLC doesn’t publish the dosage of any ingredients, we can’t determine for certain whether any ingredient will be effective based on medical research.
Misleading And Unscientific Health Claims
There is an unfortunate trend in the wellness space of tea brands making unscientific claims that they cause “detoxification” in the body. The popular brand Herbalife makes similar claims.
In healthy adults, the liver and kidneys manage detoxification as we’ve covered in more detail in previous reviews of detox products, and we haven’t found any medical research suggesting that random blends of herbal teas optimize this biological process.
Medically-assisted detoxification may be necessary for people who’ve been exposed to high levels of heavy metals like mercury, but outside of these rare cases we haven’t come across any research suggesting that regular people need detoxification support, and of course TLC doesn't provide any medical citations for these health claims.
TLC also claims that Iaso Tea “supports the circulatory system” and “encourages healthy intestines” without any citations or proof.
No Medical Experts On Staff
TLC’s Meet the Team page doesn’t reference any doctors or other medical experts. We generally recommend avoiding health supplements which are formulated by people with no medical experience. The process of formulating a research-based health product is extensive, and involves surveying medical trials to ensure the product will be effective and safe. This isn’t a process that most people without medical credentials can complete.
We’ve noted a trend in prior reviews that companies manufacturing health products without any medical experts on their team tend to create poorly formulated products with confusing and unscientific health claims, and that appears to be the case with TLC.
Better Weight Loss Alternative
Increasing dietary fiber intake is the safest and most well-studied way to reduce weight over time in our opinion.
As we noted in our review of Lipozene, dietary fiber intake has been proven to be associated with weight loss in medical studies in a dose-dependent fashion. This means that the more fiber consumed, the greater weight loss.
The reason this works is because fiber fills up the stomach without adding calories. There are expensive fiber products like Plenity, but we believe that just increasing dietary fiber is the cheapest and safest way to lose weight.
Foods like lentils, beans, oats and nuts are all high in fiber. If you consume these categories of foods you’ll feel satiated because of the dietary fiber, so a high-fiber weight loss diet tends to be more sustainable because it leads to fewer hunger cravings.