Herbal medicine has been around for centuries and is a staple of Eastern medicine. Herbs are considered a form of complementary therapy used in the United States and are used by about 20% of the US population along with other natural products, on which $14.8 billion is spent annually.
Natural products, such as herbs, and supplements are most commonly used for pain, disease prevention, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal ailments, to promote wellbeing and for weight loss.
Natural Herbs for Weight Loss are Not a Quick Fix
It is very important to note and understand that herbs DO NOT melt fat. They are not a quick fix that eliminates the need for exercise and healthy diet.
In fact, without regular exercise and calorie control, weight loss will not happen. But, herbs can be useful in supporting and complementing healthy weight loss efforts.
Herbs as food or whole plant formulations can help by reducing stress, supporting healthy digestion and elimination processes in the body and by boosting metabolism.
Another way that using herbs indirectly helps weight loss is through the practice itself. Just the thought of herbs and the process of making herbal teas elicits feelings and awareness of calm and wellness, and this can help one to maintain a focus on health, and self-care, which, certainly is a boost for weight loss. It can also deter unhealthy habits. When one takes the time to buy, prepare and use herbs in their daily life, it can make them think twice about eating unhealthy junk food.
Herbs As Food
Herbs are often used as spices, in cooking and teas to help with weight management. While they do not directly influence weight loss, they do aid the body in specific ways that indirectly helps with fat burning efforts.
Using herbs in one’s diet allows for the intake of added fiber and plant based foods, which, offers a stronger nutritional base and added energy for exercise.
For example, nettle leaf, when dried can be added to sauces. And sprouted fenugreek that helps with regulating blood sugar and dandelion leaf that is a diuretic can be added to salads.
Herbs That Aid For Digestion
§ Cayenne Pepper
Herbs That Promote Fat And Cholesterol Breakdown
These herbs, when taken in tea form before eating a meal help to stimulate stomach secretions and promote cholesterol and fat breakdown in the body.
§ Dandelion root
Herbal teas can play an important role in overall health and wellness and can certainly be a great support in weight loss efforts.
One of the best reasons to use herbal teas is for healthy hydration, which, can then eliminate the need for sugary, high calorie and unhealthy drinks, like soda and juice.
Green tea is a great option that has many healing properties, and when drank in a pure, “no sugar or added flavor state” offers the opportunity to lose more weight than with diet alone. It is also known to curb appetite, increase metabolism and it’s an antioxidant.
Yet another way herbal teas can support weight loss is they can often satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthy way, with the many herbal teas available in berry, lemon and honey flavors.
Stress can be a major factor in sabotaging weight loss efforts, as it contributes to belly fat, fatigue and imbalances in blood sugar levels. There are several herbs with calming effects and one of the most popular is chamomile that makes the perfect herbal tea to alleviate stress and therefore support one’s weight loss efforts.
There are herbal supplements that can aid weight loss efforts, and these are best chosen by the specific action you wish to achieve.
Choosing The Right Supplements
Always choose all natural products without additives, sugar or artificial ingredients.
Beware of supplements that claim “fast” or “extreme” weight loss, and those that can contain stimulants such as, ephedra, which, can cause nervousness and anxiety and in the long run can deter a permanent healthy weight.
Also, please note that supplements are not regulated, tested or approved by the FDA, and so there is no one regulating what the label can, or does state. So, do the research and avoid those that offer over hyped claims.
Herbal supplements offer specific functions that aid weight loss, and some of these are listed below.
Adaptogenic Herbs – These are herbs that support balance in the body, otherwise known as homeostasis, which includes the stabilization of glucose metabolism, and immunity.
§ Chinese Ginseng
§ American ginseng
§ Holy basil
Anti Stress Herbs – The use of herbs in supplement form that calm and help to reduce stress and curb anxiety are helpful for weight loss. As previously mentioned, reducing stress is essential in weight loss efforts and can further one’s efforts exponentially, by not only eliminating stress related eating, but, by helping to curb the proliferation of belly fat and keeping one focused on diet and exercise.
Anti Stress Herbs Include:
§ California Poppy
§ Lemon Balm
§ St. John’s Wort
Herbs That Stimulate Digestion
Another way to improve weight loss and fat burning is by using natural products that improve the body’s digestive process, some good choices are:
· Lemon balm