The role of herbs in weight loss

Though there is no magical pill or remedy that melts away those extra pounds, herbs do promote weight loss in a variety of ways. While certain herbs help by tricking the brain by giving an impression that the stomach is full, the others function as a thermogenic by increasing body metabolism.

Thermogenic herbs contain substance such as caffeine that speeds up digestion, respiration and heart rate. It helps in keeping one active. Herbs such as Dandelion, Nettle and Green tea are as safe as prescription drugs for weight loss. Certain other herbs act as diuretic, by removing excess water content in the body. Uva-ursi and Buchu are such herbs that remove excess fluid accumulation, but may have only temporary effect, as the weight returns once the use of herbs is stopped.

A dash of Cayenne can be sprinkled in the food. Cayenne contains an ingredient called Capsaicin which stimulates digestion, saliva and accelerates metabolism in a safe manner.

Green Tea, though has the same effect of coffee, it has the added benefits of flavonoids and Vitamin C. It is available as a tea bag, or loose or as capsules. But it is best consumed in liquid form.

Seaweed is a good source of trace minerals like Iodine and Chromium which is usually available as tablets or capsules and is a natural thyroid stimulant. In case the weight gain is due to thyroid medication or thyroid problem, consult a physician before taking Seaweed.

However, all herbal supplements for weight loss should be consumed only under strict supervision by a physician, and care should be taken to avoid certain herbs that are known to cause serious side effects as suggested by the Food and Drug Commission (FDA). It should be remembered that health is most important and hence herbal remedies should be taken with same precautionary measures as any other medications. Herbs should be included as part of health regime only after a thorough investigation and research.

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