If you're searching for information on how to lose weight with herbs naturally and safely, you may be in for a bit of disappointment. Herbs perform many useful functions from adding flavor to foods to boosting the body's natural ability to heal, but they are not a quick and easy way to lose weight. Herbs can, however, support your body's ability to burn calories, manage blood sugar and insulin levels, and cleanse from toxins, all of which can support healthy weight loss.
How to Lose Weight with Herbs Naturally
Many herbal products and supplements promise fast weight loss, but learning how to lose weight with herbs naturally must take into account various herbs and their properties. Weight loss occurs when the body expends more calories than it takes in. In simple terms, you have to eat less food and exercise in order to lose weight. Choosing low calorie, healthy foods and participating in some form of exercise three or more times per week is the standard and accepted way to shed unwanted pounds. Herbs can support weight loss efforts in three ways: enhancing metabolism, regulating blood glucose levels, and encouraging detoxification.
The rate at which people burn calories, also called metabolism, varies from person to person. Some people seem to be able to eat all they want and remain slender while others must zealously guard against any overeating as they seemingly put on weight with ease. Many herbal weight loss supplements purport to increase metabolism, or the rate at which people burn calories. Green tea extracts are often included in some herbal weight loss supplements. Green tea offers some calorie-burning benefits. While you cannot eat fistfuls of candy and sip green tea to offset the calories, over time drinking green tea may improve metabolism slightly.
Cinnamon, a common spice found in most kitchens, provides surprising benefits. Much of the research on cinnamon focuses on its benefits for Type II diabetics. The United States Department of Agriculture conducted studies on the use of cinnamon pills among diabetics and found that taking a cinnamon supplement improved the body's ability to respond to insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces sufficient insulin but the body's cells do not respond to it. Cinnamon may help the cells respond more effectively to insulin as it ushers glucose into the cells, thus keeping blood glucose levels in check.
When the body's cells no longer respond efficiently to insulin, blood glucose levels rise. In response to the higher blood glucose levels, the pancreas pumps out more insulin. Higher levels of insulin signal the body to store the excess calories as fat. Keeping blood glucose and insulin levels healthy and balanced may rebalance the body's natural ability to shed weight and maintain a normal weight. Cinnamon powder and honey is a popular diet drink.
Dr. Sandra Cabot, M.D., is a physician specializing in the liver. The liver is a large, football shaped organ located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. It performs dozens of functions, but among its most important functions is to cleanse the body of toxins. Dr. Cabot states on her website that obesity may be a symptom of liver dysfunction. Supporting the liver through herbal remedies such as milk thistle and avoiding alcohol, over the counter drugs, illegal drugs, and toxins helps the liver cleanse and rejuvenate.
Other Supplements for Weight Loss
Before rushing to the store to purchase herbal blends and supplements, consider a few simple, safe and natural herbs and supplements to add to your daily regimen. First, though, be sure to check with your doctor and do not take any herbs, supplements or natural remedies if you are taking prescription medications unless you have your doctor's okay. Many medications interact with herbs and can cause side effects and problems.
Some additional herbs and supplements to support healthy weight loss include:
- Herbal teas: Herbal teas, whether flavored teas such as peppermint or soothing teas such as chamomile, have zero calories. Cleansing teas that also support liver detoxification include dandelion and nettles. Tea to aid digestion include peppermint. Teas that reduce stress and perhaps help people avoid the need to eat to soothe emotional responses include chamomile.
- Stevia: Stevia is a low calorie herbal sweetener. If you're concerned about using artificial sweeteners when you're on a diet, you may want to consider this herb.
- Vitamins: Vitamins, too, have the reputation as a weight loss aid. Neither herbs nor vitamins offer a magic solution to your weight problems, but a good multivitamin and B-complex vitamin may enhance metabolism.