If you want to lose weight, you know the only way to ensure healthy progress and lasting success is by changing how you eat and increasing your activity level. However, there are a number of herbs that can help this journey along, whether by speeding up your fat-burning metabolism or by helping you stifle cravings.
These top 5 herbs can help accelerate your body’s natural ability to eliminate body fat both safely and effectively:
1. Hoodia Gordonii
Hoodia made serious gains in popularity a few years ago during which time its beneficial properties became more well-known by the general public. Now, the dust has settled a little, but pure Hoodia is still an effective weight loss aid with serious backing. Used by hunters in desert regions of Africa, the herb helps reduce cravings and allows you to cut calories without feelings of deprivation. Because there are many weight loss aids carrying the Hoodia name, be cautious that what you are getting is the real thing.
This is a wild shrub native to the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America. It has a variety of uses, though most recently has been marketed as a weight loss aid. This could be because of its effects on the digestive system, sometimes encouraging loose stools and the subsequent loss of water weight. However, a promising study showed that when paired with other herbs, Damiana helped delay gastric emptying, providing a sense of fullness for a longer period after eating .
This herb is native to Africa and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It is said to balance blood sugar levels and is often recommended for people suffering from diabetes. It is said to block sugar absorption and stop sugar cravings, a major contributor to some people’s weight problems.
Kelp is rich in iodine, a substance that can aid in weight loss. A significant iodine deficiency can actually lead to hypothyroidism – a condition that has been linked to weight gain. In addition to helping with weight loss, kelp helps to regulate thyroid function.
5. Green Coffee Bean
Contrary to what you may initially think, the weight loss benefits of green coffee bean do not come from caffeine, and it is not a stimulant. A natural compound in green coffee bean called chlorogenic, however, has been shown to increase fat absorption and stop weight gain. A study of green coffee bean extract published in the Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity Journal showed those supplementing with green coffee bean lost an average of 17 pounds over a 12 week period .
The key to weight loss is proper diet and exercise. Herbs can help supplement this healthy lifestyle. A weight loss prescription or over the counter stimulant can contain unknown and potentially harmful ingredients, but high quality herbals can be quite advantageous when purchased from the right source.
- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Andersen T, Fogh J. Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):243-50.
- Vinson JA, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Dovepress. 2012 January. vol. 2102:5, pages 21-27.