Herbs are what are natural and you can very well take help of these herbs for weight loss. Have you ever thought why people in the past were not so bothered about getting fat? Why obesity was not a problem as it is today? From the time onwards when people started processing natural foods and leading life which lacks physical movements, they also started gaining weight. Even today if you talk to someone who has lost weight, you’ll be told of lots of herbs and natural foods along with exercises that had helped them in losing weight. So, why not you too know about the top herbs for weight loss. Only knowing is not enough. Act on this. Adopt these herbal remedies for weight loss and get in shape not instantly but with lasting effect!
Herbal Remedies for Weight Loss
1. Green Tea for Weight Loss
Green tea is not only loaded with antioxidants but has thermo-genic properties within itself. Thermogenesis can be understood as the process of heat production in organisms including human beings. It increases consumption of energy and fat oxidation so you burn your body fat faster. Green tea also helps feel you full so that you don’t eat more than you need. Not only this, EGCG in green tea reduces the amount of fat that your body absorbs when you eat your food. This is not only helpful in your weight loss efforts but also in reducing your cholesterol level.
How to have green tea for weight loss?
- Make your green tea by placing 1-2 tsp of good quality green tea in a cup or bowl. Pour hot water over it and let it brew for a minute. Taste it. If it is not strong enough for your taste buds, let it brew for another minute and then taste again. Keep on tasting every minute to know what strength of green tea would you prefer. Then onwards, you may brew your tea for that many minutes. Usually people brew green tea for 2-5 minutes. Strain and drink your cup of green tea. As this is for weight loss, its desirable not to add any sweetener to the tea.
- Have green tea instead of regular tea or coffee in the morning. It has enough caffeine to start off your day. Also, this will speed up your metabolism right in the morning so that you may burn more calories throughout the day.
- Drink at least 4-5 cups of green tea throughout the day. This will help you feel full and you’ll concentrate lesser on binge eating. Having a cup of green tea before or after meals is a good idea.
2. Ginseng for Weight Loss
Ginseng has long been used by Chinese medicine as a traditional medicine for energy, stamina, and overall well being. Modern researchers have also found ginseng to be effective for weight loss as well as diabetes control. One of the researches talks about ginseng’s ability to make body cells lesser capable of storing fat. Ginseng is an adaptogen, a substance which improves the body’s capability to cope with physical, emotional and environmental stress. You can find ginseng in fresh as well as dried form. While sometimes leaves of ginseng plant are also added with its root but the root is the most beneficial part of this plant. Ginseng can help you in two ways to lose weight. First, it will boost your metabolism wherein when you eat, you will store less fat as compared to when you don’t take ginseng. Secondly, ginseng will fill you with energy so that you remain more active and thus spend more calories.
Make ginseng tea for weight loss
- Dried ginseng root- 4 tbsp
- Water- 4 cups
- Honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Cinnamon (optional)- ¼ – ½ tsp
- Boil the water in a pan.
- Add ginseng root to the boiling water.
- Simmer for about an hour.
- Remove from the heat and strain.
- Add honey and/or cinnamon. Honey reduces the bitter aftertaste f ginseng herb and cinnamon powder can make it a little aromatic.
- Drink one cup each in the morning and after lunch.
3. Guggul Herb Extract for Weight Loss
Guggul is an age old herbal medicine recommended by Ayurveda for various health conditions including weight loss. And what is more important is that modern studies have also supported the effect of guggul herb in weight loss. Guggul gum resin is extracted from the Commiphora mukul tree or the mukul myrrh tree. Gum guggul extract contains guggulsterone, a plant steroid which is thought to be anti-tumor, anti-angiogenic and cholesterol-lowering component. However, the weight loss effect of guggul comes from its activity on thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones are essential for exact metabolic rate which decides how much calories would you burn in a day. As guggul stimulates thyroid function, your metabolic rate comes to the optimum level and weight loss becomes easier and faster. The added advantages of guggul are lowered cholesterol levels and a good mood too. And because, it doesn’t stimulate your central nervous system, it is a safe herb for weight loss.
Ways to take guggul for weight loss
- Guggul extract is easily available in form of tablets in health stores, especially Ayurveda herbal medicines stores. Generally, you should take 75 milligrams of guggul extract divided in 3 doses. This means 25 milligrams as one dose. Sometimes 100 milligrams can also be taken but it’s better to consult an Ayurvedic doctor or a herbalist before you take guggul supplement.
- If you decide to take guggul gum, you may keep 1 gram (about ¼ tsp) of this resin under your tongue or inside your mouth so that it dissolves there. Do it 4 times a day.
4. Hibiscus Tea for Weight Loss
The beautiful flowers of Hibiscus are loaded with nutrients, flavonoids and various minerals. The amylase inhibitors in this herb help in lowering absorption of fats and carbohydrates. The fats and carbohydrates in your body are broken down by hibiscus so that they can be flushed out of body. Hibiscus flowers also have mild diuretic property s, which o that you shed water weight too and reduce your bloating. Your body gets added advantage of strengthened immunity due to the antioxidants present hibiscus.
How to make hibiscus tea for weight loss?
Hibiscus tea can be served cold as well as hot. Cold hibiscus tea takes more time to be made than the hotter one.
Make cold hibiscus tea
- Dry hibiscus flowers- 1 cup
- Water- 8 cups
- Honey (optional)- as per taste
- Get fresh hibiscus flowers, the ones that are about to bloom.
- Separate the petals and place them on a paper. Leave them for few days to dry off.
- Once dried, take one cup of dried hibiscus flower petals.
- Soak them in the water for about 1-2 days or till the time they fade away.
- Strain and store in refrigerator. They can be stored in fridge for about 5 days.
- When you want to drink this hibiscus tea, take a cup from the whole lot and add honey to this. You may also add other ingredients like cinnamon or lemon juice to give it some more taste.
- If you want to have hot tea, heat this cold hibiscus tea on stove top or in a microwave oven. You may also make hot hibiscus tea through other method described below.
Make hot hibiscus tea
- Dried hibiscus petals- 2 tbsp
- Water- 2 cups
- Honey (optional)- as per taste
- Place water in a pot and add the hibiscus petals to it.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and add honey if needed. You may also add lemon, cinnamon etc.
- Enjoy your hot hibiscus tea an lose weight!
Precaution: If you are a pregnant or nursing woman or taking some medication, consult your doctor before taking any herbal tea including hibiscus tea.
5. Yerba Mate for Weight Loss
Yerba Mate is a traditional South American drink. It is in fact an infusion made with dried and aged yerba mate plant and which is drunk in social gatherings from a single gourd and bombilla. Due to its health benefits, this drink has come to be known as tea even when it has more similarities to coffee. Just as coffee can energize you due to its caffeine content, yerba mate can also fill you up with stamina again due to its caffeine. The difference is that yerba mate will also increase the rate at which your body burns calories. Apart from increasing your metabolic rate, yerba mate also gives you the benefits of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. It also helps in slowing down your digestion so that you feel fuller for longer and consume less calories during the day. So, it makes sense to replace your morning coffee with yerba mate tea for weight loss!
How to make yerba mate tea for weight loss?
While socially a special gourd (also called a mate) and a bombilla (metal straw with a hollow filtered bottom) is used to infuse yerba mate and to drink it, you may use a French press (coffee press) to make your yerba mate tea. After all, you are not drinking yerba mate for social purpose but for very personal cause, for your weight loss!
- Dried yerba mate herb – 1 tbsp
- Hot (not boiling) water- 1-2 cups
- Place dried yerba mate herb (about 1 tbsp) at the bottom of your coffee press.
- Add 1-2 cups of hot water (not boiling water) to this.
- Stir a little and cover. Leave the plunger up on to your French press. The coffee press allows room for leaves to infuse and expand fully. The powdered small particles also get filtered through its fine sieve.
- Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in your cup and enjoy.
If this seems a lot to do, infuse your yerba mate in fillable teabags.
6. Pu-erh Tea for Weight Loss
Getting its name from the village of Pu-erh in China where it was first cultivated 2000 years ago, this is yet another miraculous herb for weight loss. This Chinese tea stimulates your spleen and makes it healthy which can then digest and absorb food nutrients well along with flushing out excessive body fluid. It boosts your metabolism so that you can burn more fat and that too at faster rate.
Tips to drink Pu-erh tea for weight loss
- There is set time to drink this herbal tea for weight loss. If you drink it at other times, it may cause weight gain. You may drink this tea after 1 hour of your meals. This helps body to eliminate all the fat that has not yet been absorbed.
- There are two types of pu-erh- raw and ripe. Both are beneficial for weight loss. However, raw pu-erh works faster but may stimulate your stomach more than needed. To protect your stomach, ripened pu-erh is good. What you can do is to have both the teas to attain a healthy weight loss. Drink ripened pu-erh tea in the morning; raw pu-erh tea after mid-day meal; and ripened pu-erh after supper.
- If it is completely for weight loss purpose, try to replace all your drinks with Pu-erh tea. Drink it in place of your teas, coffees and even soups!
How to make pu-erh tea?
- Pu-erh tea leaves- ½ – 1 tsp
- Hot water- 1-2 cups
- Place pu-erh tea it in a teapot.
- Pour a little hot water over it to rinse off so that you may remove any impurities. Discard the water.
- Pour hot water over the rinsed tea.
- Let steep for 2 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
7. Grapefruit for Weight Loss
A research conducted in Canada has found a fat burning molecule in the very healthy grapefruit. A flavonoid is present in grapefruit which is called Naringenin. This component balances the blood sugar levels in your body and helps prevent metabolic syndrome which can make you fat. This can also give you diabetes. Another study in Ontario said that grapefruit makes liver burn up the excessive fat instead of storing it. So, when you include grapefruit in your diet not only will you prevent diabetes but will also lose weight.
- Have a glass of grapefruit juice right in the morning to boost your liver’s fat burning capacity.
- If possible, and if you are desperate to lose weight, have grapefruit juice before each of your meals.
Precaution: If you are on medication, consult your doctor before taking grapefruit.
8. Kelp Seaweed for Weight Loss
And now some secrets from Japan. Kelp seaweed is extensively used by Japanese in their diet and the quality health parameters of this part of the world is not unknown. They are definitely slimmer people. So what makes kelp one of the best herbs for weight loss! There are at least two reasons for this. First, kelp is one of the richest sources of iodine. Iodine can keep your thyroid gland stimulated so that your metabolism doesn’t go sluggish. A boosted metabolism means your body uses up the calories faster and better. Secondly, sea kelp has in it a compound called alginate. A research conducted at the Newcastle University found that alginate reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs. During the trial, the scientists used this seaweed in bread and concluded that even a small amount of it reduced people’s fat intake by about a third.
How to eat kelp for weight loss?
While you can always find kelp supplements, its better to have them raw and unprocessed. Include kelp in a variety of ways.
- Use dried powdered kelp as seasoning for your dishes.
- Make salad by chopping up fresh kelp seaweed and mixing it with other ingredients like cucumber, onion greens etc. and choice of your salad dressing (low calorie dressing of course!)
- Add kelp to your soups to give it texture and some salty taste.
- You can even use kelp to make your breads.
Precaution: While kelp is good for your thyroid and overall health, excessive consumption of this seaweed can make your thyroid overactive leading to various health concerns. Also, those having kidney problems should consult their doctors before incorporating kelp into their diet. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should take kelp under medical supervision.
9. Prickly Pear for Weight Loss
Prickly pear is a cactus plant whose younger version is consumed mostly by Mexican and Mexican-Prickly pear cactus is traditionally used as medicine for diabetes, high cholesterol levels and certain other diseases including obesity. As for weight loss, prickly pear fruit is used which is sometimes also called Indian fig. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found high antioxidant levels in this fruit. When your blood sugar levels are controlled, you have low levels of bad cholesterol and get a good supply of antioxidants, you naturally tend to lose weight. Your steady blood sugar levels do not make you crave for sugary and starchy foods. Certain antioxidants too increase the rate of calorie burning and fat oxidation. You can find prickly pear fruits in the market that have already been cleared of their thorns. The whole fruit is high in fiber content which may help you with weight loss by making you feel full and moving your bowels to reduce water retention. However, you may also make prickly pear juice for your weight loss diet.
How to make prickly pear juice?
- Prickly pear fruit- 4
- Cut off both the ends of prickly pear fruit. Now also cut a slit down its body.
- Peel off the skin of your fruit and you’ll be able to see the pulp along with many seeds.
- Now place the peeled prickly pears into your food processor or use a blender to take out its juice.
- Strain with the help of a sieve. Discard any seed if they are there in the juice.
- Four fruits will give you about 1 cup of juice.
Precaution: If you are taking diabetes medicines, consult your doctor first before having prickly pear. Pregnant and lactating mothers should also talk to their doctor.
10. Gurmar Leaves for Weigh Loss
Gurmar leaves have been long used by Ayurveda to treat various diseases including diabetes, obesity, kidney stones and enlargement of liver and spleen. It is one of the best digestive stimulant, diuretic and astringent herbs. ‘Gurmar’ term of Hindi language means ‘destroyer of sweetness.’ When you chew the leaves of gurmar, you will lose your ability to taste sweet for at least 4 hours. This herb when taken internally balances your sugar levels and also improves cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Some researches have indicated gymnemic acid in these leaves is responsible for the said positive effects. As this herb also reduces your sugar cravings, this can be a great herbal remedy for weight loss.
How to take gurmar for weight loss?
Traditionally, 6-12 grams of powdered gurmar leaves are taken. This equals 1 – ½ to 3 teaspoons roughly. However, if you are a diabetic and are already taking medicines, you must consult your doctor before taking gurmar leaves for weight loss. Its better to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or medical herbalist before you start taking any herbs for weight loss.
11. Coleus Forskohlii for Weigh Loss
Coleus forskohlii (Plectranthus barbatus), also known as Indian coleus, belongs to the mint family of herbs and is native to Southern Asia. It has been extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. The roots of coleus plant contain a compound known as forskolin. This component helps your body burn fat by stimulating thyroid function. Frskolin, in fact, stimulates adenylate cyclase in thyroid membranes which is responsible for regulating cells like ATP and cAMP. ATP gives you energy and cAMP is associated with adrenaline. When you take coleus forskohlii, you feel more energetic and lesser hungry. It is more useful for weight loss in men as it also increases testosterone hormone. This herb decreases both body fat and fat mass in men while increasing their lean body mass and bone mass. Many researches on men and women have proved that women tend to prevent weight gain and men tend to lose weight with this herb coleus forskohlii.
How to take coleus forskohlii for weight loss?
While coleus is used to make pickles and is a part of vegetarian diet, you may like to have this herb’s root extract for weight loss because root is the part which is medicinally beneficial for weight loss.
However, the whole root of the herb contains very little amount of forskolin and may not provide any therapeutic benefit. Get the one which contains 18 percent of forskolin. A typical dose of this herb includes 50 milligrams 2-3 times a day.
Precaution: consult your doctor before taking whatsoever herbs for weight loss, especially if you are under some medication or are a pregnant or nursing mother.