The following herbs might be considered for their ability to aid weight loss and other health promoting properties. The mechanism of action varies for each herb so that the specific combination of herbs would be tailored for the requirements of each individual.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) helps stabilise and regulate blood sugar so helping maintain a feeling of fullness. It adds a sweet flavour to foods, which can help discourage sugar cravings. Cinnamon also helps mobilise fat from the liver.
Dandelion leaf(Taraxacum officinale) improves digestion and as a diuretic aids weight loss by reducing water retention and increasing the volume and frequency of urination.
Garcinia (Garcinia cambogia) contains hydroxycitric acid and promotes weight loss by suppressing appetite and blocking the conversion of carbohydrates to fat by inhibiting the enzyme citric lyase. Garcinia is also known to reduce fatty acid synthesis and plasma cholesterol levels.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) can contribute to weight loss by improving digestion, increasing metabolism and providing a feeling of fullness.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is a diuretic that can help alleviate water retention. It contains compounds called catechins, a class of antioxidants associated with an increased metabolism and the ability to stimulate fat breakdown. In a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of men who consumed a daily extract of green tea lost more weight in three months than a control group (an average of 5.3 versus 2.9 pounds). Previous studies showed that green tea causes weight loss in women.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul) can contribute to weight reduction by helping the body metabolise fat and improving thyroid function. It increases the elimination of cholesterols from the body while reducing the absorption of fats in the intestines and improves the body’s lipid profile by lowering LDL and triglyceride levels and increasing levels of HDL. Guggul increases thyroid function by increasing the release of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. These hormones increase the rate of metabolism.
Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) reduces the ability to taste sweetness and may be useful in reducing cravings for sweet foods and so reduce appetite. It may also be of benefit in maintaining blood glucose levels.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is an adaptogen which helps in weight management by reducing the body’s response to stress which can be a trigger to increase in appetite. It helps control blood sugar and cortisol levels and regulates the body’s metabolism by shifting to a greater use of fat as an energy source.
A healthy approach to weight loss will increase the likelihood of successful weight loss that leads to improvements in health, vitality and wellbeing.