We’ve all been there, right?
You’re halfway through your morning cup of tea and you suddenly have to run to the bathroom.
Wait…I haven’t been there. Have you?
If I’m honest, tea has never made me have to poop. Definitely not in the same way that coffee can. But tea does have some laxative properties.
And some kinds of tea–herbal teas, not ones made from the actual tea plant–are quite powerful laxatives.
Let’s take a look at what it is about tea that can make you have to poop.
Table of Contents
Why Does Tea Make You Poop?
There are actually a few specific reasons tea makes you poop. They are:
- Tea contains caffeine (which helps you poop)
- Warm liquid like tea is a vasodilator
- Some teas contain cascara (which also makes you poop)
Let’s go into more detail on each of these reasons.
The 3 Reasons Tea Makes You Poop
There are many good reasons to drink tea. But you don’t even need a reason to drink tea. It is the perfect drink, and you can (and should) drink it often.
As a nice bonus, tea also helps you poop when you feel a little backed up. The 3 specific reasons it does this each work in a different way.
Caffeine And Pooping
In much the same way that caffeine makes you pee, it also makes you poop. However, the interesting thing is that it works in a completely different way.
Caffeine makes you pee because of a chemical reaction in the brain that tells the kidneys to stop absorbing water which forces the bladder to become fuller.
Caffeine makes you poop in a much more direct way without all the tom-foolery in the brain. It simply stimulates the colon muscles.
The colon is responsible for removing moisture from digested food and pushing it to the sphincter which comes out the …. Well, you know the rest, right?
Since tea contains caffeine and caffeine stimulates your colon and your colon pushes food to the sphincter, you can see why tea makes you poop in this way.
Tea Is A Vasodilator
Vasodilation is the widening of the blood vessels. It means that the blood vessels open, resulting in an increase in circulation, which is almost always a beneficial thing for your body.
Drinking warm or preferably hot liquid of any kind has a vasodilation effect on the body. However, it is not that simple with tea. It is not just a vasodilator because it is a warm liquid.
Tea contains thearubigins, which have been shown to widen the blood vessels when consumed. You are probably wondering what the heck thearubigins are, right?
They are polyphenols that are created during the oxidation process that tea undergoes. Black tea has more because it is more oxidized. Green and white tea have fewer and oolong is somewhere in between.
So drinking tea will open your blood vessels, but what does that have to do with pooping?
Vasodilation in the digestive system not only opens the blood vessels but it also relaxes your pooping muscles! Relaxed pooping muscles means they are ready to push out the waste!
Cascara And Pooping
Cascara is not present in tea from the actual tea plant, but it is common enough in other types of tea to get a mention here.
The word literally means skin, peel, or husk. In this context it means skin of a seed or bean. You may be thinking that tea does not come from beans or anything that has a husk, and you would be correct.
However, certain teas have become popular that do incorporate cascara in them. The most famous of these is just called cascara, and it is a coffee cherry tea.
It is not super common yet and is still sort of a specialty rare drink, but it is still definitely well known. There are also some herbal teas that contain cascara, which is why we thought it important to mention it.
Which Teas Make You Poop The Most
Most teas have a laxative effect, but not all teas are equally poopy. Some teas are just way better at squeezing out the demons than others!
Senna tea is made from the leaves fruit and flowers of a legume plant that originally comes from Egypt. It is not the normal tea you are used to and is usually drunk for its medicinal properties, like helping you poop.
It is not recommended to drink this for more than a week. It can cause laxative dependence and even some liver damage. This is hardcore medicine!
It tastes a bit sweet with a very bitter aftertaste. But it is usually combined with something more pleasant like jasmine, so you will probably taste that more. Drinking this tea will get things moving, but I would only recommend it as a last resort, if the other teas on this list do not do the job.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root is known worldwide for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for thousands of years for digestion. And, of course, helping people poop!
Licorice root is a common subscription for those who have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it helps calm an upset stomach and help get stool to come out. The technical name for this root is Glycyrrhiza glabra and it has been around since the time of the ancients.
You will find this tea in its own box, not always mixed with another tea for flavor like many teas are. Licorice root is not an unpleasant taste. If you have ever had black licorice, it tastes much like that, just not as sweet. It will do a good job of helping you deliver the goods, and it tastes great too!
This is another specialty tea not unlike senna tea, but it is not as mediciney. You may also see it called coffee fruit tea or marketed as a brain health supplement.
Cascara tea, as explained earlier, is made from coffee bean husks and bits of cherry. Technically it is not actually tea made from tea leaves. Instead, it is made from coffee leftovers!
I know it sounds unappealing, but it tastes good if you like coffee. It is highly effective at helping you poop. Anything derived from coffee will have that effect (you know about coffee, right?)
Dandelion Root Tea
Dandelions have been used in medicine for an awfully long time. One popular effect of dandelion is that it reduces water weight significantly.
There are many who say it could be good for your liver but there have not been any reliable studies published to prove this yet.
Some hardcore dandelion fans use dandelion tea as a coffee substitute, but why is it in this list about teas that help you poop?
Dandelion tea can stimulate the liver to make more bile which aids in getting some stubborn waste to evacuate the hallway! This is a popular tea for health enthusiasts, and it tastes genuinely nice. If you get the chance, you should give it a try!
Tea Makes You Poop: Final Thoughts
All tea has some type of laxative properties for the reasons explained above. But tea made from the actual tea plant does not have strong laxative properties. Much less so that coffee, for instance.
But the herbal teas mentioned in this article do. If you find yourself backed up and in need of relief, give one of them a try. It is generally much more peasant than using a medicinal laxative.