In a gold A-line mini dress with a bright red lip, actress Jameela Jamil stands on what appears to be an outdoor deck, holding a glass of brown liquid. Smiling into the camera, the 32-year-old says, "Hi you guys, I just have to tell you about this amazing supermodel drink that I've been drinking."
As a fart track plays in the background she adds, "I've only been taking it for three days and I've already last 35 pounds. And I've got abs, but I've never done a days exercise in my life and I haven't been on a diet. I ate five hamburgers last night." Seconds later, she appears on a toilet with smudged eyeliner, acting as if she's spent a considerable amount of time in the bathroom.
The whole bit is a little over-the-top, but its message is clear: detox teas are glorified laxatives.
It began on Saturday when Jamil tweeted her stance on quick diets and detox teas, often promoted by celebrities on Instagram. "They got Cardi B on the laxative nonsense ‘detox’ tea. GOD, I hope all these celebrities all s**t their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do," she tweeted. "Not that they actually take this shit. They just flog it because they need MORE MONEY."
Cardi responded jokingly, but that did not stop Jamil from further calling out Khloe Kardashian, Iggy Azalea, and Amber Rose for also promoting the teas.
"I was the teenager who starved herself for years, who spent all her money on these miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities on how to maintain a weight that was lower than what my body wanted it to be," Jamil shared on Monday about her fervor for this topic. "I was sick, I have had digestion and metabolism problems for life."
Jamil's physical reaction to taking laxatives at a young age is not out of the ordinary.
Detox teas, formally called "slimming teas," have been sold in groceries, and healthy supply stores for decades. The dangers of continuously using these teas have been widely reported as a threat to the body's natural detox functions through the liver and kidneys.
As Tonic reports: "Used in moderation, laxative teas can relieve constipation. But obviously, overuse is dangerous. Drinking too much of these teas or steeping them too long can lead to liver, kidney, and colon problems, and the FDA has reported several deaths resulting from laxative tea abuse. While senna, the ingredient commonly found in dieter’s teas, is FDA-approved as a laxative, laxatives are intended for occasional use to combat constipation, not chronic use as a weight loss aid."