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When people think of tea, they most commonly think of a nice, warm glass of chamomile before bed or green tea for a little added boost of caffeine and energy in the afternoon. Teas are one of the many methods of delivering herbs to the body. They have been used for centuries and have been shown to be very absorbable.

Herbs and teas can have many benefits. A lot of herbs have an affinity for the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Helping with everything from diarrhea and indigestion to nausea and upset stomach, some teas may even be able to help with one of the most common digestive complaints: 便秘。

What Are Herbal Laxative Teas?

As the name suggests, herbal laxative teas are formulations that combine herbs with laxative properties to help promote bowel regularity. 

Herbs are obviously the main component that makes herbal teas so beneficial. But another reason why teas may be beneficial for relieving constipation is because of the brewing method. Teas are a great way of upping your water intake. Increasing water intake is a common recommendation from professionals for combating constipation. More water helps to soften the stool , making it easier to pass through the GI tract. 

5 Best Herbal Laxative Teas

Let’s look at some of the most common herbs you will see in herbal laxative tea formulas:


Senna is one of the most popular herbs in constipation formulas because of its strong stimulating laxative properties. Senna also helps promote softer stools, and you don’t tend to get rebound constipation like you can with some OTC drugs.


The root of the dandelion plant is considered a liver remedy. It helps support bile flow, which is needed for digestion and may indirectly help with constipation. Secondarily dandelion root contains inulin, a fiber which helps feeds probiotics (good bacteria) and increases water in the digestive tract, which helps to promote softer stool and bowel regularity.


Rhubarb has been used for its medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It’s one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine. It’s mostly known as being a tonic to the digestive system and when taken internally, it’s believed to work as a mild laxative.

Ginger is a very common ingredient in GI formulas. This is because ginger has long been known to assist in digestive discomfort, ease nausea and help decrease the and cramping that may occur with constipation.


Licorice is commonly added to GI formulas because it is hepatoprotective, meaning that it promotes the health of the liver. It also is added to many formulas to improve the taste and enhance the overall effect of the formula.

How to Choose an Herbal Laxative Tea

If you are looking to try herbs to support bowel regularity, you can find many of the previously discussed herbs in individual tea preparations or in a combination tea preparation.

When it comes to shopping for herbal preparations such as laxative teas, I always recommend looking for brands you can trust. Look for products that are non-GMO, certified organic, as well as screened for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial contaminants.

Many companies go the extra mile to verify the identity of the herbs found in their products. This is just an extra step of making sure you are getting what you pay for. One last tip to keep in mind is how the plant is harvested and extracted.

Herbal Laxative Tea Precautions

When it comes to choosing an herbal laxative tea, there are many things to consider. Most of these teas are not meant for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are experiencing nausea and diarrhea, as they may worsen these conditions.

I always recommend following the instructions on the label for safe use. As with most OTC laxatives, herbal laxatives teas also come with guidance for use. You should limit to a specific number of servings per day and do not exceed the length of time in which you are using the product. In general many products don’t recommend for using longer for a one week period.

You should always speak with your doctor before starting any herbs due to the potential for interactions with certain medications and their side effects.

If you choose to try herbal laxative teas and your constipation does not improve, make sure you follow up with your health care provider.


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