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Over 33 Fat-Slashing Herbs For Weight Loss

Lose Weight Naturally, Safely, Effectively, With Herbs and Spices

Herbs for weight loss have multiple benefits besides aiding weight loss. For instance, increased energy, elevated moods, better eyesight, stable blood sugar levels, and normal blood pressure. Herbs heal, support, replenish, restore, build, eliminate, and revitalize. It’s not surprising that people always come back to nature when they have exhausted all other avenues in pursuit of health, happiness, and longevity! 

Today I talk about why these herbs for weight loss are effective, how they work, and why we get fat. I compare herbal supplements for weight loss versus herbal teas. Is one superior, and if so why?

These humble, miraculous plants were designed specifically for us to use as food, as medicine, and for recreation. But they are not literally going to make the fat melt off! Instead, these herbs act in specific ways to support and strengthen your body.

To lose weight, these adaptogenic and thermogenic herbs regulate stress, speed up the metabolism, recolonize microflora in your gut, and rebalance hormonal processes. Then, when your gut health is restored and you eat pre and probiotic foods, your body can digest, absorb, redistribute, and eliminate as it should, and the weight will disappear from the right areas. 

Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll also feel great! You’ll experience an increase in energy levels. Your mind will be clear, and your senses will heighten. You’ll experience good health. What a trip!

Let’s get straight to it!

Reasons For Weight Gain: Why Do We Get Fat?

  1. Stress (hormonal, emotional, psychological, physical) – symptoms include fatigue, hypertension, heart problems, depression, anxiety, hair loss, and even cancer. [1] [2] [3] Stress causes elevated cortisol levels evident by expanding waistline and higher BMI.[4]
  2. Digestive disorders (poor gut health) – constipation, bloating, poor nutrient absorption. [5] [6]
  3. Metabolic disorders (hormonal) – thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, diabetes, depression, heart disease.[7]
  4. Over-indulgence (psychological, hormonal) – obesity, liver disorders, heart disease, leptin resistance, stress eating. [8]

1. Input is greater than the output

The most obvious reason for weight gain is eating too much and not exercising enough. So increasing your exercise and eating less is a good place to start. But it’s not that simple.

When you gain weight your hormones get confused. The hormones that regulate your appetite and help you digest foods are leptin, ghrelin, insulin, glucagon, and cholesterol, to name but five. When we have unstable blood sugar levels we become insulin resistant. This can lead to pre-diabetes but it also interferes with our appetites, resulting in leptin resistance. Leptin controls appetite, telling us when we are satiated. Ghrelin tells us when we are hungry.[9]

Overindulging in food and drink puts a strain on your digestive system. When the body uses energy is digesting, it is not repairing or replenishing. This can result in a sluggish liver and a slower metabolism. It’s a vicious cycle.

2. Sleep Quality and Weight Gain [10]

Do you stay up late watching Netflix? Do you live for the weekend and party till the early hours? Do you wake up at the slightest sound? Quality sleep is important. The circadian rhythm is your sleep-wake cycle. When you sleep your body gets a chance to carry out multiple functions. Poor sleep, whether from stress or lifestyle choices, catches up and it is the immune system and hormones that get disrupted. Over time, weight gain is unavoidable. Leptin tells us when we are full and ghrelin makes us hungry. When leptin resistance develops you never “feel full”.

3. Thyroid problems

An underactive thyroid can wreak havoc with your moods and weight. You need a blood test to see if you have a thyroid problem. It’s unbelievable how many women are on thyroid tablets, myself included. Sometimes an iron deficiency can wreak havoc on your thyroid. And it is a catch 22 because if you take thyroid medication you cannot take iron supplements. restoring gut health can rectify an impaired thyroid in some cases. Thyroid hormones, leptin, and insulin all contribute to weight gain.[11]

4. Metabolic Disorders 

Insulin resistance is the most common cause of the metabolic syndrome. Obesity, inactivity, and wrong eating eventually lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. [12] [13]

5. Belly Fat

Visceral fat is the fat that forms around the abdominal area and vital organs. Even skinny people can have too much visceral fat. You can have a normal BMI but have belly fat. Belly fat increases the risk of heart disease. Using herbs that boost the metabolism, aid digestion. and promote good gut health will help you lose belly fat. It is important to do cardio exercises for belly fat. Taking herbs and dieting will not work without improving cardiovascular fitness.[14]

6. Gut Health

The lining of your gut is home to millions of healthy, beneficial bacteria that assist with the digestion and absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Prescribed medication, antibiotics, contraceptive pills, high carb, high sugar diets, and processed foods contribute to the deterioration of gut bacteria. When the gut is compromised so is your immune system and your metabolism. And weight gain is inevitable.[15]

7. Stress

Stress is a silent killer. Elevated stress levels equate to elevated cortisol and adrenalin levels. This means all the other hormones are left wanting. The body thinks it is in a state of emergency and normal functions like digestion, which requires insulin, are impaired. [16]

How and Why Do Herbs For Weight Loss Work?

Weight loss involves both a short-term and long-term plan. You need the right mental attitude. Commitment and motivation are also vital. You can join weight loss programs like weigh less or weight watchers. Join a social group that hikes, runs, or walks. Start a program and use an app to measure your progress and be part of an online community.

Add herbs that support weight loss to your daily diet. Drink teas, add to smoothies, or just add hot water and drink. Some herbs are left to steep overnight. In the morning you strain the liquid and drink.

You must identify why you gained weight. Then you can decide which herbs will be the most beneficial.

To lose weight:

  • Elimination must take place.
  • Hormones must be balanced
  • Stress must be regulated
  • Digestion must absorb nutrients
  • Sleep cycles must stay consistent – circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle) 
  • Exercise regularly – increase cardiovascular fitness
  • Fat metabolism can be boosted with herbs that act as lipase inhibitors.

Herbs that are:

  • diuretic
  • laxative
  • antispasmodic
  • anti-inflammatory

are effective for eliminating toxins, gas, and excess water. This leads to weight loss but it is usually the first result you get when you start a weight loss program. Reducing inflammation also aids weight loss.

Herbs that aid weight loss have various properties. This list contains the properties needed for weight loss. Some herbs will have one or two of these properties while others may have many.

Herbs must be:

  • thermogenic – boost metabolism
  • adaptogenic – regulate stress
  • antispasmodic – aid digestion
  • high in fiber – create satiety and keeps you regular
  • lipase inhibitors – metabolize fats and carbs (metabolic enhancer)
  • stress regulators
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • immuno-modulators – support 
  • hormone balancing.

To really benefit you need to fix metabolic processes and hormonal imbalances. This is the long term plan. Most herbs for weight loss can be added to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you incorporate these herbs into your normal diet you will see results. 

Herbal Teas Vs Supplements

It depends on which herbal plant is used for weight loss, but the roots, leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds are all used in different weight loss remedies. But what about supplements? Are they as effective? often supplements contain only an extract or an isolated active ingredient. Many weight loss products and supplements advertise that they contain this herb or that herb.-

I prefer making good old-fashioned witchy tea brews when it comes to herbs. But for people stretched for time, there are 1000s of tea blends and all you need to do is boil the kettle and pop the bag in a cup. I just feel that they don’t give you a big enough dose per bag. For instance, you need 6 rooibos tea bags to get the most out of rooibos tea. So making a pot of tea with 6 bags and reheating each time is great. But not always convenient.

This is where supplements may be better. each capsule is a certain amount of active ingredient or whole herb powder. But extracts and isolated active ingredients don’t always deliver what the herb in its whole form does.

A lot of herbs come in powder form so smoothies are an excellent second choice as a delivery system. I am not a fan of supplements, in the form of pills, tablets, and capsules. But if you get a quality brand that is not mixed with fillers and anti-caking agents then they are definitely faster and easier to take. 

For people who live busy lives, tinctures and supplements are sometimes more convenient. You can also brew a big pot of tea and refrigerate it. Take it as iced tea. Sweeten with honey and/or lemon.

List of Herbs for Weight Loss 

The Adaptogens

These herbs regulate stress, balance hormones, increase energy levels, and are high in antioxidants. All these properties contribute to helping you lose weight. Some, like moringa and Gotu kola, are high in fiber. Fiber aids elimination and weight loss. 

How do you take them?

You can choose one and take that herb daily for a month and then switch it up. Or you can get a variety and add them to smoothies. If you are brave you can just take them with hot water. Usually, the dose will range from 1 tsp to 1 tablespoon of the powdered form, taken once twice, or three times a day, depending on what your health practitioner advises, what it says on the pack, or what you decide to do.

1. Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri

Brahmi supports proper liver function. Your liver is your secret weapon for eliminating toxins. Brahmi rejuvenates the liver, speeding up the detox process. It’s also high in antioxidants.

2. Gotu kola – Centella asiatica- Pennywort

Centella asiatica (থানকুনি) (3).jpg

Gotu kola strengthens the adrenal glands and regulates stress hormones. It is a blood cleanser and a powerful antioxidant. Gotu kola increases metabolism and aids digestion

3. Bitter gourd – Mo – Kareela

Bitter gourd does the following:

  • Stimulates bile secretion,
  • Is low in calories, 
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Regulates insulin
  • High in fiber
  • Curbs appetite

4. Moringa – Moringa oleifera – Drumstick tree

Moringa has over 92 nutrients and 42 antioxidants. It’s high in fiber, boosts metabolism, strengthens immunity, and suppresses the appetite. Moringa is a powerhouse of phytonutrients and studies show that it is the high isothiocyanate levels in moringa that suppress appetite. [17]

5. Neem – Azadirachta indica

Neem metabolizes fat (breaks down fat), cleanses the stomach, boosts metabolism, and is an anti-inflammatory.

6. Ginseng – Panax ginseng

Panax is a panacea of note. The word in Greek means “cure-all”, and ginseng is renowned for being one of the most effective adaptogens that exist. Its use dates back over 2,000 years. There are many different ginseng-like herbs, also with multiple benefits and adaptogenic properties. 

Panax ginseng is a pancreatic lipase inhibitor. Lipase inhibitors decrease the gastrointestinal absorption of fat. Lipases are secreted by the pancreas when fat is present in the gut. They stop the fat from being absorbed through the intestines and encourage it to be excreted via feces instead. 

Herbs that act as lipase inhibitors are effective for weight loss because they stop fat absorption without suppresses the appetite or affecting the brain. Siberian ginseng is an even stronger lipase inhibitor. `

7. Hoodia – Hoodia gordonii – Kalahari cactus

Hoodia gordonii was, for a short time, in the spotlight as a potential weight loss aid. But it fell short of global domination because it was not economically viable to be mass-produced. This is in some ways a blessing in disguise. It is endemic to a small region in South Africa and does not, and cannot, be grown anywhere else in the world. 

As an appetite and thirst suppressant, it is effective and also affects serotonin positively. Studies show that it has antidepressant [18] and adaptogenic properties. The San peoples of the Kalahari Desert have used Hoodia traditionally for many years, to survive long bouts without food or water. 

Hoodia gordonii - for weight loss
By Winfried Bruenken (Amrum) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=948868

8. Garcinia Cambogia – Malabar tamarind

Garcinia contains HCA (hydroxy citric acid). This compound blocks the enzyme citrate lyase which turns sugars and starches into fat. HCA blocks this enzyme and carbs and sugars get used instead of stored. In effect, this makes it an effective fat-burning weight loss aid.

But studies show that this supplement has to have a certain amount of HCA that binds to calcium, magnesium, and potassium. If it is only bound to calcium it becomes inactive. 

As a weight loss supplement, it must be taken at the right time and in the right amount, to be effective. Taking too much Garcinia may cause liver damage.

9. Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice root has adverse effects when taken in large quantities. Licorice has over 300 active compounds. Glycyrrhetinic acid is the phytocompound responsible for regulating specific stress hormones and treating menopausal symptoms but when taken to aid weight loss it does the following:

  • acts as an anti-inflammatory,
  • an antioxidant,
  • and a stress regulator. 

All these properties contribute to weight loss.

Studies have shown that applying glycyrrhetinic acid, applied topically reduces subcutaneous fat from the thigh area. Licorice also helps reduce BMI (body mass index).[20]

The Greens

10. Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion is high in potassium and acts as a diuretic. It helps reduce bloating and reduces water weight.

11. Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis

The antioxidants in rosemary have anti-inflammatory properties and also help reduce blood sugar levels. This helps the body to become insulin sensitive. When insulin works properly weight gain is reduced because the body carries out its processes (like digestion and metabolism) more efficiently.

12. Peppermint – Mentha piperita

The scent of mint is said to reduce cravings and suppress the appetite. Mint aids digestion and the catechins and caffeine in mint tea help boost the metabolism by increasing the body temperature.

13. Catnip – Nepeta cataria

Catnip is a diaphoretic, which means taken cold its acts as a diuretic, and taken hot, promotes sweating. Scientific evidence is still needed to back up claims of weight loss. But it makes sense that it would have the same effects as mint would.

14. Lemon balm – Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm aids a sluggish liver. The liver detoxes the blood, so if it is underperforming weight gain may happen. Lemon balm also helps with blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. It tones and strengthens skin cells because of its high level of triterpenes, volatile compounds, and phenolic acids. It aids sleep and anxiety. This means hormones will function better and insulin resistance may be reduced.

15. Chamomile – Matricaria recutica

It is a diuretic and a carminative. Less stress means less stress hormones which means the hormones needed to digest and repair get to work properly.

The Spices

16. Cayenne Pepper – Capsicum frutescens

  • Reduces ghrelin levels (ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates appetite)
  • Increases leptin levels (the hormone that tells you when you full)
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Reduces hunger 

17. Black Pepper – Piper nigrum

  • Black pepper is thermogenic. 
  • It boosts the efficacy of other herbs and spices.
  • It contains piperine which activates metabolic processes and acts as a fat burner

18. Turmeric – Curcuma longa

  • Has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Contains curcumin that prevents fat from accumulating and forming new fat cells.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar. This prevents diabetes and also reduces the risk of insulin resistance.

19. Ginger – Zingziber officinale

Gingerols and shogaols are only two of hundreds of active phenolic acids in ginger. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties aid weight loss by neutralizing free radicals and lowering inflammation. Obesity brings on oxidative stress and inflammation. So taking ginger regularly may impact weight loss results. And bring better health to the obese and pre-diabetic folks.

20. Cinnamon – Cinnamomum verum – True cinnamon

Make sure you take real cinnamon (C. verum) or what is known as Ceylon Cinnamon. The other types are high in coumarin and slightly bitter compared to the lighter, sweeter notes of Ceylon cinnamon. Coumarin in high doses is toxic to the liver. (Read about other herbs that can damage the liver here.

  • Promotes feelings of satiety,
  • reduces and stabilizes blood sugar,
  • reduces cravings and appetite
  • boosts metabolism

All the cinnamon are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and have blood stabilizing properties.

21. Cardamom – Elachi – Elattaria cardamomum (Green)

This is another spice that creates more energy to process than it gives. So it’s a good metabolic booster and diuretic. If you use all these spices in your everyday diet you will not need to take supplements. And they act as preventatives rather than cures because when you use them a lot your weight and blood sugar are balanced. by the regular trace amounts of these herbs and spices.

22. Fenugreek – Methi – Activated seed and sprouts

Fenugreek is high in fiber and acts as an excellent colon cleanser. This high-fiber galactomannan swells and absorbs water in the intestines and creates the feeling of fullness which means your appetite gets reduced. Sprouted, fenugreek is over 30% more nutritious than the seeds. To take daily for up to 3 months just soak a teaspoon of seed in water overnight and drink (including seeds) on rising.

23. Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel seeds taken the same way as fenugreek works wonders at improving digestion and absorption. And fat storage gets reduced when the digestion and metabolism function properly. Fennel relieves bloating and water retention. It also is a diuretic. 

24. Garlic – Allium sativum

Garlic boosts energy levels and gets the metabolism going by burning up energy. It has antioxidants and an enzyme in the form of alliinase that converts alliin into allicin. And it’s the sulfur-forming compound that aids metabolism, speeds up fat burning, reduces blood pressure and oxidative stress, and reduces appetite. 

Raw garlic must be taken as high heat destroys the active enzymes. Take on an empty stomach. Steep in warm water or honey overnight. 

25. Mustard seeds

  • High in fiber,
  • thermogenic,
  • boosts metabolism,
  • reduces appetite,
  • creates feelings of satiety.

The Teas

The following teas all work in similar ways to aid weight loss: They metabolize fats thanks to the caffeine, catechins, and antioxidant properties. Instead of fat getting stored, the tea’s various active phenolics get to work on redirecting fat into energy instead of getting stored. This boosts the metabolism in the process. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress which also allows the entire body to burn excess fat and tone skin and muscles, making them anti-aging as well. Stabilizing blood sugar levels also aid weight loss by reducing blood pressure and increasing insulin sensitivity.

26. Oolong Tea 

Produces even higher amounts of antioxidants than green tea. As with all teas, it is an excellent diuretic. oolong is promoted as a weight-loss tea.

27. Yerba Mate

Adaptogenic, revitalizing, stress deregulator, boosts metabolism and regulates blood sugar levels

28. Green Tea (including Matcha)

Loaded with antioxidants, caffeine, catechins, and a host of other flavonoids. It boosts metabolism, detoxifies the blood and liver, and burns excess fat instead of storing it. This means it is also thermogenic.

29. Hibiscus Tea – Various Hibiscus species yield similar, but not identical, benefits [21]

Antioxidants like anthocyanins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, and phenolic acids add to hibiscus tea’s potent healing properties. Antioxidant and diuretic properties aid weight loss and boost metabolic processes. When the metabolism speeds up, the energy to use fat is available. This means fat is used instead of getting stored. It is antihyperglycemic.

The Gums and Resins

30. Guggul – Boswellia and Commiphora species

The active compound, guggulsterone, is purported to aid with thyroid function. When the thyroid hormones function optimally, the breakdown of fats, carbs, and proteins results in weight loss. This is theoretical but Ayurvedic practitioners know it to be true based on years and years of witnessing the effects firsthand, on patients.

Research showed that the unpurified extract produced side-effects like skin irritation and diarrhea. The purified extracts have less extreme side-effects. Guggul resin is collected from various species in the Boswellia and Commiphora genera. known as Myrrh.

31. Frankincense – Boswellia sacra

Frankincense has strong anti-inflammatory properties and may aid weight loss by supporting good gut health (digestion). Further studies are needed. The active compounds are boswellic acids and terpenes in abundance.

It is used by smelling the fragrant essential oils. It can be absorbed through the skin during massage. Frankincense forests are under threat. use another weight loss herb instead. 

32. Psyllium – Ispaghula – Plantago species

Just like mustard, chia, and flax seeds, psyllium produces mucilage. It is very high in fiber, and this combination makes it an excellent colon cleanser. It binds and removes toxins from the intestines and also creates a feeling of fullness. This reduces appetite and curbs cravings.

Bottom Line

Herbs that support weight loss will be all or some of the following:

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • diaphoretic,
  • antioxidant,
  • often adaptogenic.

This means that weight loss will be supported by:

  • regulating stress hormones
  • improving digestion and gut health
  • balancing blood sugar and thus increasing insulin function (reducing insulin resistance)
  • reducing inflammation, 
  • reversing oxidative stress,
  • reducing excess water and bloating,
  • and boosting immunity.

Below is a list of herbs for weight loss that you can order online. Many of these powders and teas are available from your local health shops and wellness stores. If you choose to take a supplement (extract of active ingredients) make sure it is from a reputable company and that each capsule contains enough of the active ingredient to be effective.

I find tinctures to be the most convenient form of taking herbs for weight loss. Adding the powdered forms to smoothies is a great maintenance option.

When you choose the powders or teas, again make sure you get from a company that guarantees the freshness and potency of herbs. Choose products that are in generous supply and avoid purchasing products that are threatened due to over-harvesting and other unethical practices.

And when you can GROW YOUR OWN!!!

Buy Herbs for Weight Loss Online

1. Yogi – Detox blend – Caffeine-free, contains ginger, black pepper, cardamom, dandelion, and burdock. An Ayurvedic tea that can be taken daily (1-3 cups) Boosts metabolism and detoxes through sweating and passing “water”.

2. VitaCup Slim Coffee Pods – For coffee lovers. Boosts metabolism, contains ginseng, garcinia, and B Vitamins.

3. Thyroid Edge – Tincture for boosting thyroid function and metabolism. Ingredients: Stinging Nettle Leaf, Horsetail Leaf/Stem, Kelp Thallus, Bladderwrack Thallus, Irish Moss Thallus, Dulse Thallus, Shepherd’s Purse Leaf/Stem/Flower, Fenugreek Seed, Black Walnut Hull, Sage Leaf

4. Ceylon Cinnamon – Naturevibe Botanicals – Pure cinnamon powder. excellent for stabilizing blood sugar. 

 

 

 

Written by Kim Berrie

My name is Kim Berrie and I love plants. Whether I’m growing them, eating them or talking to them, plants are my life. I talk about them and write about them every chance I get.

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