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The Most Common Side Effects of Taking Flat Tummy Tea, Says an RD

Out of all Flat Tummy products, Flat Tummy Tea is notably the most popular one, and it’s a herbal tea. 

Flat Tummy Tea by Flat Tummy Co is a popular weight loss tea that promises to help you lose weight quickly.

It has been touted by many celebrities and lifestyle influencers on social media.

Many consumers wonder about its promise of weight loss, as well as health claims and ingredients.

This review is not a sponsored or affiliate post, but rather, an honest look at this product and its claims, from a registered dietitian. 

Flat Tummy Tea 

Flat Tummy Tea is the signature and original product of Flat Tummy Company.

It is actually two separate teas that you take at different times per day, and claims to help people lose weight, reduce bloating, and flatten their tummy.

You can order a 2 week or 4-week program.

Their detox teas are weight loss products, more specifically dietary supplements marketed toward women, with the company often calling their customers “babe,” and using light pink packaging.

The product claims to help customers “move lbs,” or lose pounds, and reduce your bloating.

The company Flat Tummy Co. has received attention with its distinctive pastel marketing on social media channels, as well as receiving endorsements from celebrities and influencers, such as the Kardashians.

What Does Flat Tummy Tea Do?

Flat Tummy Tea claims to speed up metabolism, reduce your bloating, and boost energy.

The two detox teas are formulated to work together and claim to help flatten the tummy.

Flat Tummy Co. also claims its product contains natural ingredients that are known to help you cleanse your system.

Users are to drink the Activate tea in the morning, and the Cleanse tea later in the day or evening.

You can order tea for either a 2-week program or a 4-week program. Many people opt for the four-week system. 

Their flat tummy tea product is not in any way intended to diagnose treat cure or prevent any disease. 

Flat Tummy Tea Nutritional Facts and Ingredients

Flat Tummy Co’s Flat Tummy Tea comes with two separate teas: Activate and Cleanse teas.

They each contain a different blend of ingredients traditionally known to have a cleansing effect. 

Activate Tea

The Activate tea contains 1497 mg of their proprietary tea blend (Daily Value not established).

A serving size is 1 tsp, which will make an 8 oz portion.

Active Ingredients

The Activate tea lists its ingredients as:

  • Peppermint (leaf)
  • Lemon Balm (leaf)
  • Licorice (root)
  • Dandelion (leaf and root)
  • Cleavers (leaf)
  • Fennel (seed)
  • Green Tea (leaf)
  • Caraway (seed)
  • Cardamom (pods).

It’s worth noting that ingredients are listed by weight, so Activate tea has more peppermint leaf and a little cardamom. 

Pepper Mint (Leaf) 

The Activate tea contains more peppermint leaf than any other ingredient.

Peppermint has been linked to soothing the digestive system, and may also prevent spasms in the intestines.

In particular, peppermint oil has been studied in relation to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and be helpful to ease symptoms.

Peppermint oil may ease abdominal pain, cramping, and discomfort (1, 2, 3).

 A small study found that peppermint oil may reduce appetite, but in studies done on mice, peppermint oil was linked to weight gain (4, 5).

There have been few studies on the effects of peppermint leaf tea, as most studies pertain to the oil derived from peppermint.

More research is needed into the role of peppermint leaf tea plays.

Lemon Balm (Leaf)

This tea also contains lemon balm. Lemon balm may help relieve nausea and indigestion.

If you experience frequent abdominal pain and discomfort, lemon balm may have a positive effect on your digestion (6).

But much of the research used lemon balm in addition to other herbs, so it is hard to say if lemon balm alone would have these effects. More research is needed.

Licorice Root

The licorice root extract has been used to soothe an upset stomach or heartburn.

In studies, participants that took a licorice capsule twice daily reported improvements in their heartburn (7, 8).

These results are promising but have studied extracts and capsule forms of licorice root, not tea. More research is needed on its efficacy when taken as a tea.


This tea contains some dandelion. Dandelion may block fat absorption in a manner similar to the weight loss medication, Orlistat.

The study was done in both mice, and in test tubes, and found that dandelion inhibited pancreatic lipase, an enzyme used to break down fat in the diet (9).

More research is needed as this is only one study and was not done on human participants.


Little scientific research has been done on Cleavers herb and its effect on weight loss.

More research is needed to evaluate claims that this herb helps reduce bloating, supports metabolism, and reduces weight or body fat percentage.

Fennel Tea

Fennel tea has been used in traditional medicine to relieve an upset stomach, gas, or diarrhea, but little scientific research has been done to confirm this usage.

Green Tea

Green tea has been shown to help boost metabolism and help burn fat (10).

Some studies have shown that green tea may help burn fat in the abdominal area specifically (11, 12). But these results are mixed, and more research is needed (13).

Activate Tea contains little green tea, as it is one of the last ingredients listed.


Caraway oil may help relax the gastrointestinal tract and improve indigestion, gas, cramping, and bloating. In one study, women who took caraway oil saw a decrease in weight and body fat, but more research is needed (14, 15, 16).

More research is needed on the effectiveness of caraway when consumed as a tea rather than an oil.


This tea contains a small amount of cardamom. One study found that overweight pre-diabetic women saw a slight decrease in waist circumference when taking cardamom, but animal studies have had mixed results (17, 18).

Caradamon has been reported to help with nausea, upset stomach, and perhaps even stomach ulcers. The research on stomach ulcers has been done primarily in mice. (19, 20)

Cleanse Tea 

The Cleanse tea claims to help detoxify the body and reduce bloating and water weight.

A serving of tea contains 1597 mg of their proprietary tea blend (Daily Value not established).

A serving size is 1 tsp, which will make an 8 oz portion.

Cleanse Ingredients

The ingredients are listed as Senna (leaf), Peppermint (leaf), Cassia Chamaecrista (pods), Liquorice (root), Caraway (seed), Dandelion (root), Rhubarb (root).

Senna (Leaf) 

Senna is most commonly used to act as a laxative to relieve constipation and stimulate the bowels.

The active compound in senna, or sennosides, cannot be absorbed by the body but can be broken down by gut bacteria.

This action irritates the colon and causes the intestines to move (21).

There is no scientific evidence that supports using Senna for a cleanse, detox, or weight loss.

It is not recommended for long-term or frequent use, because it may change normal bowel tissues and function, and may cause a dependence on laxatives for normal bowel movements (22).

In fact, a recent study found that women who used laxatives to aid in weight loss were 6 times more likely to develop an eating disorder (23).

Peppermint: see above

Cassia Chamaecrista

Cassia Chamaecrista belong to the same plant family as senna, and also have laxative properties.

Chamaecrista pods have also been used in traditional medicine to stimulate the bowels (24).

However, more research is needed to evaluate its effect on weight loss or claims to support metabolism. 

  • Licorice (root): see above
  • Caraway (seed): see above
  • Dandelion (root): see above


Rhubarb is often known to make a tasty pie or jam, but it can also act as a laxative.

Other studies have found that it may also stop diarrhea due to the tannins found in this vegetable. It should only be used on a short-term basis. (25, 26)

How to Drink Flat Tummy Tea 

Put 1 tsp of Activate tea into a tea strainer and pour over 1 cup hot water. Allow to steep for 5-7 minutes. Remove tea strainer.

Activate is known as an am tea. Drink it in the morning when you wake up with breakfast.

Put 1 tsp of Flat Tummy Tea Cleanse into a strainer, and pour over 1 cup hot water. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes.

During the first week of use, drink a cup of Cleanse every other night before bed.

During the second and ongoing weeks, drink a cup every third evening before bed.

Consumers may choose to follow this regimen for either two weeks or four weeks.

Does Flat Tummy Tea Really Work for Weight Loss?

Upon reading reviews of this tea for a flat tummy on several online retailer websites, there are mixed reviews and results.

Some consumers report success in curbing appetite and weight loss, while others do not. 

Many consumers note unpleasant side effects ranging from frequent bowel movements to painful stomach cramps.

Other consumers seem to use this product as a detox or cleanse.

The body has a natural way to remove toxins via sweat and waste using the liver and kidneys.

The laxative effects of many of the Cleanse tea ingredients give many users the impression that they are going through a detoxification process. 

Weight loss and reduction in bloating is likely attributed to the laxative qualities in the detox tea.

There is little evidence to support that any of the ingredients in the teas boost metabolism, cleanse your system, support the immune system, or aid in weight loss during their two-week or four-week cleanse process.

Like many diet products, results will likely diminish once you quit using the product. 

Potential Side Effects

The most common side effects of using the Flat Tummy Tea is the laxative effect from many of the ingredients.

Many users also report abdominal and gastrointestinal discomfort, and the Activate tea contains several ingredients associated with soothing GI distress.

Due to the green tea, there is a very small amount of caffeine in the Activate tea (about 2 mg), so those with a high sensitivity to caffeine may notice the effects of this.


What Is the Best Tea to Get a Flat Tummy?

There have been studies linking green tea to weight loss, though those results are mixed and more research is needed.

Drinking plenty of water can also help reduce bloating.

Is Flat Tummy Tea safe?

Flat Tummy Co. acknowledges that their statements and claims regarding their products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For healthy individuals, short-term use of Flat Tummy Tea is likely safe, but due to the Senna leaf included, it should not be used long-term. 

Who Should Not Drink Flat Tummy Tea?

Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant should avoid Flat Tummy Tea as some of the ingredients have been linked to adverse outcomes.

Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis should avoid consuming teas with laxative effects, like Flat Tummy Tea.

Last Words

Flat Tummy Tea is a popular weight loss product by Flat Tummy Co. that claims to support your metabolism, reduce bloating, and aid in weight loss.

There is very little evidence that any of the ingredients in the teas speed up your metabolism, but many users report success with weight loss and a reduction of bloating in their product reviews.

That said, many users also note some unpleasant side effects, such as gastrointestinal distress.

Both the success and side effects likely come from the laxative effects of the ingredients. As such, this tea should not be used long-term, as it may cause a dependence on laxatives for regular bowel health.


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