A woman claims she became pregnant after a detox tea interfered with her pill.
Crystal George, 27, went on Bootea’s “14 day teatox” ahead of a romantic holiday with her boyfriend Mike Gray, 28.
After feeling under the weather when she returned home, George was shocked to discover she was pregnant three months later.
Her GP reportedly told her the laxative effect of detox teas can “flush out” the digestive tract before the pill has been absorbed into the bloodstream.
George, from Sheffod in Bedfordshire, calls her two-year-old daughter Kovah the “biggest achievement and blessing she could wish for”.
But the online influencer, who has 12,000 followers, admits she “was left naive and vulnerable because of a tea”.
Speaking of the ordeal, George said: "I had been taking the contraceptive pill since I was 17 and never had any issues with it.
“I took it religiously every day so I was completely blindsided when my doctor told me I was pregnant.
“When I explained I'd taken Bootea in previous months, the doctor explained it was probably due to that flushing out my system with a laxative effect that my contraceptive pill failed."
George looked on Bootea’s box and inset leaflet for any warning about its effect on the pill, but found nothing.
The brand’s website’s FAQ section states: “our teas may affect the accuracy of the pill.
“We cannot comment on other forms of contraception”.
The company has previously claimed taking the pill within four hours of drinking the tea - which should be consumed once in the morning and evening - could reduce the contraceptive’s effectiveness.
But “you’ll be fine” if a woman takes the pill at night, it added.
Laxatives are known to affect the accuracy of the pill, with the NHS recommending women protect themselves against pregnancy in other ways if they have had vomiting or diarrhoea for more than 24 hours.
Although thrilled to be a mother, George admits the news of her pregnancy was hard to take.
“In hindsight, Mike and I are over the moon to have Kovah, but at the time it was a huge strain on both Mike’s and my mental health”, she said.
“We hadn't been together long and I was petrified of what people thought of me falling pregnant so soon into a relationship.
“I didn't even tell my own mum about my pregnancy until I was 20 weeks along.
“Mike and I had planned to start saving to travel around the world but all that changed when I fell pregnant.”
George is speaking out to raise awareness of the risks of detox teas.
“I’d say to people to 100% do your own research into detoxing if you are considering it”, she said.
Bootea’s tea contains yerba mat, fennel seeds and nettle leaves, which are all said to have a laxative effect.
It also has dandelion leaf, which has been shown to interact with oestrogen-based contraceptives.
“I don’t regret taking the tea as I have the biggest achievement and blessing I could wish for in my daughter,” George said.
“I’m over all the issues that came when with the pregnancy but it was the hardest time of my life.
“I was left naive and vulnerable because of a tea.”
Bootea has been contacted for a comment.
This is not the first time the controversial company has come under fire.
In 2014, Bootea was ordered to remove misleading health and weight loss claims from its website by the Advertising Standards Authority.
This did not stop a string of celebrities endorsing the product, including Katie Price, Vanessa Hudgens and Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing.
The British Dietetic Association calls “detox” a buzzword, claiming the concept is “irrational” and “unscientific”.
Based on the idea toxins build up in the body, the NHS adds there is “no evidence” supporting detoxes.