Newest Review: ... Throat Relief or Tranquility. He also offers a range of herbal teas, green teas and fruit teas. So why choose Dr Stuart's Detox Tea? It'... more
Just What The Doctor Ordered
Dr Stuart's Detox Tea
Member Name: luxuryliner
Dr Stuart's Detox Tea
Advantages: Nice taste, worked a treat on my stressed skin.
Disadvantages: Weird smell and nasty oily scum on top.
I'm not much of a coffee or straight tea fan, but I do like something hot to drink in the morning, before bed and, well, at most hours of the day when I'm working! I'm a great believer in the health benefits, as well as the general well-being benefits, of herbal tea, so was intrigued when I saw a box of Dr Stuart Detox Tea in Holland & Barrett. As I've got finals coming up and I'm generally stressed and eating a bit badly at the moment, I like the idea of detoxing at least a bit and trying to improve my skin - so I bought them and got ready to give them a try. The fact that the ingredients sounded absolutely delicious was the clincher for me.
If he's going to put his name on the box, you'd better have a little bit of the back story about Dr Stuart himself, right? There is a real Dr Malcolm Stuart who is apparently "a man of enormous creative energy" and "one of the first highly qualified scientists in recent times to widely support and promote the many beneficial values of the plant kingdom", if we are to believe what his website tells us. It also states, rather suspiciously, that "his worldwide contributions to the subject of 'herbs' have led to him being described as 'the Father of Modern Herbalism'", and apparently he's also involved with making organic tea for the Duchy of Cornwall. So far, so guffy, but what does Dr Stuart actually make? Basically it's a range of tea which does all sorts of different things, from Skin Purify to Throat Relief or Tranquility. He also offers a range of herbal teas, green teas and fruit teas.
So why choose Dr Stuart's Detox Tea? It's supposed to be good for cleansing and refreshing your system and giving you a kick-start; it's a rather heady, not to mention complex, blend of dandelion and burdock, corn silk, milk thistle, bearberry leaves, liquorice, sage, ginger, peppermint, galangal leaves, artichoke leaves and spearmint. Each box contains 20 bags and has some of the best packaging I've ever seen - it's a white square-ish box with "Dr Stuart" and the recurring logo of a pointing hand down one side and with a clever, well-drawn picture of a woman whose skirt opens up like a tea caddy. The effect of the packaging is funky and modern, definitely not what you'd associate with herbal tea!
Getting into the packet is a problem, though, as you have to tear a strip away and it's very difficult to do so without ripping the whole packet. Inside, the teabags are individually sealed in white, Dr Stuart-stamped packets: I'm not sure what I think about this as on the one hand, this is a nice touch and it does mean that you can pop a couple of bags in your bag if you're going out, on the other, what a waste of packaging! I think I'm coming down on the side of convenience, as it has also just occurred to me that it definitely keeps the bags fresher without having to seal them away or be really careful about light getting to them.
The bags themselves are equally well presented, normal bag-sized with a string and a Dr Stuart tag with the pointing hand logo. The bits and pieces inside are clearly visible and gratifyingly, it's possible to spot a good few chunks of this and that, indicating that the ingredients are probably good quality. The back of the box recommends that you brew this tea with fresh water poured over the bag, and then leave it to infuse for 2-5 minutes; it also suggests that you use two bags if you're having it in a mug rather than a cup. Well, I always have mine in a big mug, and if you leave it to really infuse for the full 5 minutes there's no problem with strength of flavour - seems to me that Dr Stuart might like us to use up his tea a bit faster and buy some more!
The smell of this is weird, kind of vegetal yet herby. It's difficult to put your finger on exactly what it does smell of, but it's not particularly nice - kind of dark and not very appetising. I've also noticed that it always, always has an oily kind of scum on the top, no matter how fresh the water, how clean the mug or how long I leave it, so I can only conclude that something in the tea is making a really oily mess on the top. It doesn't taste bad but it does look bad, so be aware. The taste is actually the best thing about it; it's rich and generically herby at first, with a definite dandelion and burdock aniseedy quality, then has a tang of really fresh mint before developing a really rich, round and full aftertaste of liquorice. As a die hard aniseed and liquorice fan, this was like heaven!
And how does it perform in the detox stakes? Actually, it's very good stuff if you drink enough of it - two cups a day for three days and my skin looked much, much better, not just a bit better but noticeably smoother, fewer spots and generally healthier.
They're also not overly expensive - I bought mine for £1.99 in my local Holland & Barrett, which works out at just under 10p per cup. Cheaper than a cup of tea in a cafe and better for you too! I've also seen them in independent health food shops but unfortunately not in any large supermarkets - though this might just be my area so keep an eye out.
Overall, recommended for their fantastic detox ability and strangely moreish taste. Just try to get past the oiliness and the vaguely unpleasant smell - oh, and if you're a liquorice hater, steer clear!
Summary: Recommended for liquorice lovers who want to detox.
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