Iaso Tea is an instant tea used for weight loss. It's manufactured by a company called Total Life Changes (TLC), that describes the product as "convenient...cleansing" and used "to aid your weight management goals."
But does Iaso Tea contain ingredients shown in research studies to cause weight loss, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Iaso Tea? And why was the product's manufacturer sued in 2021?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Iaso Tea Original and Iaso Instant Tea based on clinical studies, to give our take on whether or not these products are likely to be effective for weight loss.
We'll share our concerns about one of the active ingredients in both products, explain why Total Life Changes was sued in 2021, feature unsponsored customer reviews, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Iaso Tea for the best price.
Iaso Tea Original Review
The Total Life Changes website has two different ingredient lists for Iaso Tea Original at the time of updating this article, which is entirely unacceptable and which is a consumer safety issue.
Both versions are shown above, and you'll note that the right image contains one additional ingredient (senna).
Senna is a laxative ingredient that may cause short-term weight loss due to water loss, however we cannot identify any medical studies suggesting this ingredient is effective for long-term weight loss in humans or animals.
We recommend avoiding senna entirely because a medical review found that this ingredient can cause liver injury when used at high doses for long periods of time. The dose of senna in Iaso Tea is not published.
Papaya leaves is the second-listed ingredient. We cannot locate any medical research suggesting that this ingredient is effective for weight loss, nor does TLC share any on the product page, so we'll consider this ingredient ineffective.
Chamomile was shown to cause weight loss in a medical review published in the Experimental and Clinical Sciences journal, but nearly all of the studies analyzed used chamomile extract (which is a more concentrated version) rather than the raw chamomile leaves used in this product.
In the three animal studies where chamomile tea rather than extract was used, no weight loss effect was noted.
Ginger is clinically shown to cause weight loss in humans, as we documented in our PhenQ reviews article.
We're unable to identify any clinical studies suggesting that the remaining active ingredients cause weight loss.
One good thing about this product is that it's free of unhealthy inactive ingredients (it doesn't contain inactive ingredients at all).
Overall, we strongly recommend avoiding Iaso Tea Original due to the ingredient disclosure failure by the brand, and due to our concerns about long-term use of senna.
We consider this product somewhat likely to support weight loss, given the inclusion of ginger.
When we initially published this article, Total Life Changes had a separate ingredient disclosure issue that we documented (the company listed two colloquial names of the same plant on the ingredient list, which suggested these were two distinct ingredients).
We consider these recurrent ingredient disclosure issues to be a sign of a low-quality brand.
Real People Try Iaso Tea
A YouTube creator named "Love Your Natural" claims to have lost weight using Iaso Tea, and shares some "hacks" that she claimed worked for her:
A TikTok creator named Nadia A. Nieves has a video on Iaso Tea, and claims in the description that it caused stomach pain:
@nadiaa.nieves Yall my stomach is killing me lmaooooo #fypシ #iasotearesults #jokesbapackbapack #nursestiktok #cryingchild ♬ Ah ah ah - kriptozavr
Iaso Instant Tea Review
The ingredients in Iaso Instant Tea are shown above.
Maize dextrin was shown in a 2017 meta-study to cause weight loss in overweight and obese adults.
However, it's challenging to determine whether or not Iaso Instant Tea will have this effect, since the brand fails to publish the individual ingredient dose.
Senna extract is a laxative that we consider to be questionable from a safety perspective, as we documented in the review of Iaso Tea Original above.
Papaya extract is clinically shown to cause weight loss in animals, however as we documented in our ProbioSlim review article, we can't find evidence proving the same effect in humans.
Chamomile extract may be effective for weight loss, as we documented in the review of Iaso Tea Original.
Overall, we consider Iaso Instant Tea somewhat likely to cause weight loss, because it contains some research-backed active ingredients, but we're unable to identify any clinical studies suggesting that these ingredients are effectively dosed.
We strongly recommend against using this product, due to the inclusion of senna extract at an undefined dose.
Why Was Total Life Changes Sued?
In 2021, the manufacturer of Iaso Tea faced several lawsuits over an alleged hidden drug ingredient.
Plaintiffs alleged that Iaso Tea was causing failed drug tests and lost employment opportunities due to the unspecified inclusion of tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, according to WSOC-TV.
The above-linked news investigation tested samples of Iaso Tea at an independent laboratory, and the lab reported trace amounts of THC; enough to cause a failed drug test.
We consider this to be a major red flag about the brand's quality control, and we recommend that consumers avoid Total Life Changes entirely in light of this information.
At the time of updating this article, it's unclear what the status of the lawusits is.
Is "Detox" Tea Unscientific?
Iaso brands many of their products as "detox" (short for "detoxification") tea.
There is an unfortunate trend in the wellness space where tea brands make arguably unscientific claims related to "detoxification" and "cleansing." The popular brand Herbalife makes similar claims.
One of the most popular YouTube videos on the questionable health effects of detox tea is published by a YouTube creator named Doctor Mike:
Our Clean Weight Loss Picks
There are food-based nutrients which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.
Dietary fiber was shown in a medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition to cause 16 pounds of weight loss in 6 months when combined with moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline).
MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.
MCT oil was shown in a meta-study to cause more than one pound of weight loss over 10 weeks. This equates to potential annualized weight loss of 6 pounds per year with less than one tablespoon's worth of MCT oil per day.
Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil product, because the only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts. and it currently costs only $15.50 for over a month's worth of product.
Ginger intake "significantly decreased body weight" according to a 2019 meta-study on ginger and weight loss that analyzed data from 14 clinical trials.
Pique La Ginger is our top ginger product, because it's an organic tea in convenient crystallized form, and all that's needed is to pour the powder into a glass and add hot water.
All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.
Where to Buy Iaso Tea for the Best Price
Iaso Tea is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of updating this article:
Iaso Tea Original (5-pack)
Brand website: $54.95 (plus shipping, link)
Iaso Instant Tea (50-count)
Kate Minimalist: $93.49 (link)
Brand website: $59.95 (plus shipping, link)
Amazon: $57.50 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)
Iaso Tea Original only seems to be sold on the brand's website, but Amazon currently has a better price Iaso Instant Tea than the brand's website.
However, the Amazon listing is from a third-party seller, so it may be cheaper to purchase directly from the manufacturer.
Pros and Cons of Iaso Tea
Here are the pros and cons of Iaso Tea in our opinion:
- Free of unhealthy inactive ingredients
- Mostly positive online customer reviews
- Original contains active ingredients shown to cause weight loss
- Instant contains active ingredients shown to cause weight loss
- Ingredient discrepancy for Iaso Tea Original on brand's website
- Brand had previous ingredient disclosure issues
- Company sued over allegations that some products contained THC
- Independent laboratory found some products to contain THC
- Brand makes questionable "detox" claims
- Senna can cause liver injury at high doses
- Frustrating experience using brand's website
- Brand's website charges for shipping