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The Truth About Wu-Yi Tea

Updated on July 5, 2011

Google "diet" and one of the paid advertisements along the side of your screen is almost guaranteed to be for some sort of dieter's tea: the Wu-Yi Source (also at, Wu-Long (at, or one or another of similar versions at websites run by QFL (Quality for Life).

On each of the sites, you find a similar story: this company has access to an exclusive source for special tea that helps you burn fat effortlessly and melts the pounds right off you. Various written testimonials are interspersed with the professed benefits of this particular brand of tea (which is inevitably claimed to be the original and most powerful version), followed by a list of benefits attributed to their brew.

Wu-Yi and Wu-Long are brand names for what is generally known as oolong tea.
Wu-Yi and Wu-Long are brand names for what is generally known as oolong tea.

Benefits of Oolong

Green tea and its semi-oxidized counterpart, oolong tea, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years, and has been shown in scientific studies to play a role in the oxidation of fat. As one would expect, tea generally has no side effects, but neither is it a miracle-worker. TCM takes a holistic approach to the health, so a practitioner would never prescribe oolong alone for the treatment of obesity, or any other problem.

There are many varieties of oolong, one of the most famous of which is harvested in the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian Province, which, presumably, is where the Wu-Yi Source got its name. However, it is unclear whether or not the Source's tea is indeed from the Wuyi Mountains. Ironically, the Source's "source" is never credited.

Stategic fonts and photos of Chinese teapots imply the suppression of this "natural" cure by Western medicine.
Stategic fonts and photos of Chinese teapots imply the suppression of this "natural" cure by Western medicine.

The Promotion of Wu-Yi and Wu-Long

On the Wu-Yi Source website, a list of benefits for the product is worded as follows:

1) May brighten skin while improving skin clarity

2) May fortify your immune system

3) May promote stronger, whiter teeth

4) May enhance body-mind wellness

5) It is 100% Natural and Organic

It is interesting to note that each of these claims, except the last, is preceded by the word "may." In addition, though each site has half-a-dozen written testimonials, there are none of the obligatory "before/after" pictures, and the fine print carries the typical disclaimers "Results Not Typical" and "When Used in Conjunction with Diet and Exercise." On the Wu-Yi Source, there are pictures of reputable health magazines strategically placed alongside a few testimonials of particular interest, but nowhere does it explicitly state that these magazines have endorsed Wu-Yi, though that is the implication.

Almost unfailingly, the sites bill their tea "As Seen on Oprah," and sometimes Rachel Ray is implicated as well, but the truth is, neither of these women has endorsed any particular brand, or even flavor, of tea. There is no mention of "wu-yi," "wulong," or even "oolong" on Oprah's site. The extent of the supposed testimonial about tea is found in two slides under Oprah's Snack Secrets, describing that the famous talk-show hostess curbs hunger pangs and cravings with a cup of tea and a light snack. Rachel Ray's site has no mention of tea for weight loss at all.

Several of the sites advertise a money-back guarantee, but this is a common practice among diet supplement dealers, as even unsatisfied consumers rarely go through the effort of sorting through the returns process.

The (Oo)Long and Short of It

Oolong tea, along with its cousins black and green tea, have wonderful mental and physical health benefits, but none of them are "magic brew." Sites like Wu-Yi and Wu-Long prey upon the chronic dieter's desperation to charge an extra buck or two on an already expensive product. The real deal is worth it. The fakes are not.

Please note: I am in no way affiliated with the makers or vendors of any of said teas. I cannot help you with cancellations or returns. You may find what has (and has not) worked for others in the "Comments" section below.


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