Women Say Popular Detox Product Caused Their Birth Control to Fail

woman taking a pillWe hear the word "natural" and automatically think "safe." But for women in the U.K. who've been happily sipping an herbal detox tea, they're also saying, "Um, HOW did I just get pregnant?!"

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Bootea's "Teatox" is a popular detox drink that celebs like Ashley Tisdale and Kim Kardashian use. It's NOT a diet tea, per their website, but "a great way to kickstart a healthier you." (Still, according to The Daily Mail, the tea is a popular way for brides-to-be to quickly slim down for their big day.)

The tea's list of ingredients sounds a-okay: Chinese oolong tea mixed with mate leaves, ginger root, fennel seeds, lemongrass, dandelion, ginseng, gotu kola, and nettle leaves. You follow up at bedtime with a "cleansing" tea that contains a totally different blend of herbs including senna leaves, burdock root, hawthorn leaves, and licorice root.

Bootea's website does include a warning that this evening mix can cause a laxative effect. Hence the claim that your body will get rid of unwanted toxins in just 14 days.

But a bunch of women who've used the tea have also experienced an unsettling side effect: They've gotten PREGNANT. Which is fabulous news, unless you're on birth control, trying not to have a baby right this very second.

More from The Stir: Taking Herbs During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

The FAQs section of Bootea's website DOES warn that the herbal drink can affect the accuracy of the pill. Apparently, that laxative effect prevents it from getting fully absorbed into the bloodstream. They even suggest women use a condom to be safe, but that warning's not on the tea's actual packaging.

That's definitely an oversight on the manufacturer's part, and one we hope is fixed ASAP. As we speak, hundreds of Bootea drinkers are probably rushing to buy pregnancy tests and/or condoms.

But this snafu also highlights another issue we all have: assuming that just because herbs are "natural," they won't interact with medicines. What we forget is that many powerful drugs are DERIVED from chemicals found in nature. Heck, even aspirin is originally from willow tree bark!

It can be a huge relief to find a natural cure or treatment for what ails you, rather than popping pills made in some factory somewhere. But if you REALLY want to do something good for your health, you'll do well to research all of your supplements (including teas, clearly) and have a conversation with your doctor or a pharmacist about possible interactions.

How do you feel about mixing herbal teas and prescription drugs?

 

Image via © fizkes/iStock

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