Little Known Herbal Remedies to Help You Lose Weight

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If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight, good for you! You aren’t alone in your quest for a healthier body. However, most of us have some kind of weakness when it comes to losing weight. For some of us, its sugar cravings, for others, it’s a sluggish metabolism. Whatever your particular problem there is an herbal remedy that can help you shed a few pounds more easily.

Keep reading for the top 12 little known herbal remedies that can help you drop weight, kill cravings, and even up your metabolism.

 

1. Gymnema Sylvestre

This little known herbal aid that is native to India and Africa has been shown to have the ability to reduce a sweet tooth. The molecules in Gymnema are very similar to glucose. This herb can help you by filling the receptors on your tongue that make you feel as if you have eaten sugar. An important study showed that subjects who consumed Gymnema developed a diminished perception of sweetness. When these same subjects were given a sweet snack, they consumed far fewer calories when compared to those in the control group. The results of this study were published in the journal Physiology and Behavior. You should note that high doses of this herb have been associated with low blood sugar, so if you choose to consume this herb, use it only as directed.

 

2. Cinnamon

This spice can improve your metabolism and taste good doing it! It also has terrific benefits for the regulation of blood sugar levels, which makes it perfect for those with pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Cinnamon has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. It also increases the metabolism of glucose by as much as 20 times, which can really help you control your blood sugar levels. Try adding some cinnamon to your morning coffee for a great way to get a metabolism boost first thing in the morning.

 

3. Green Tea Extract

The extract in green tea is called catechins. These powerful antioxidants have been shown in studies to help burn fat and increase the body’s metabolism. The American Journal of Clinic Nutrition published a study in 2005 that showed that men who drank at least 690 grams of green tea each day lose an average of 5.3 pounds during a three month period than men in the control group, who lost an average of 2.9 pounds.

Numerous other studies show that green tea extract helps women lose weight as well. Two or three cups a day is all you need.

 

4. Ginseng

Long valued for its ability to increase energy levels and speed up the metabolism, Panax ginseng especially has been linked in studies to helping people lose weight. One study showed that when diabetic, obese mice were given extracts from Panax ginseng, they not only showed significant improvements in sensitivity to insulin, they also lost quite a bit of weight after only 12 days.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

5. L-Glutamine

This is an amino acid which gives instant fuel to the brain and crushes cravings for sugar or starchy foods when blood sugar levels drop. L-glutamine has quite a bit of evidence to back up claims that it can help with weight loss by changing the conversion and storage of calories in the body. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center did a study in 1996 that found that when rats were given L-glutamine supplements, they lost weight easily.

 

6. Cayenne Pepper

Peppers get their heat from capsaicin, and this ingredient can help fight obesity by shrinking fat tissue, lowering blood fat levels, and can even help to fight the buildup of fat by stimulating beneficial protein changes in the body.

Capsaicin is a thermogenic compound that can temporarily increase the heat in your body so that your body burns fat to make heat, which has powerful impact on your fat storage and metabolism. Research shows that consuming thermogenic compounds can boost up your metabolism by as much as 5 percent and increase your fat burning capability by 16 percent. Studies show that capsaicin might even help fight the decrease in metabolic rate that often happens when you lose weight. Keep your metabolism high by adding cayenne pepper, and other types of peppers, in your daily meals.

 

7. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids actually change how your body uses fat. Rather than store fat, omega-3 tells your body to burn fat for energy production. Researchers in Australia showed that fish oil and exercise reduced body fat in different ways. Some people say that taking fish oil kills cravings for fat. However it works, the combination of fish oil and exercise made for some incredible weight loss results among the study participants. The results of this study can be read in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007 issue.

 

BE AWARE! Are Weight Loss Supplements Effective or Risky?

8. Mustard Seeds

You might not know it, but mustard is actually related to cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli. Mustard seeds have been shown in several studies to increase the body’s metabolism by as much as 25 percent, which means you have more calorie burning power. In fact, consuming just one teaspoon of mustard seeds each day can help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour, every hour, for a 24 hour period.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

9. Turmeric

If you love curry, you will love how it can help you lose weight. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is one of the most well studied spices in recent history. Turmeric reduces the formation of fat by arresting the blood vessels that are needed to form fat tissue so this can lower overall body fat and weight gain.

 

10. Guggul

This is an old Ayurvedic remedy for the relief of joint pain, lowering cholesterol levels, and shedding pounds. The University of Nebraska, as well as Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, found that subjects who consumed 750 mg of this herb daily, and did some aerobic exercise three times a week lost an average of 6 pounds more over the 6 months study period when compared to the control group. Guggul helps your body metabolize fat and improves thyroid function by stimulating the production of hormones.

 

11. Reishi Mushrooms

These delicious mushrooms are harvested in the wild where they favor fallen logs and trees. They have been collected and used for centuries as both food and medicinal purposes for Traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system and for improving energy levels. It’s their ability to deal with fatigue that is probably the likely reason that Reishi mushrooms are often used in weight loss supplements. If you are allergic to other types of mushrooms, you probably shouldn’t consume Reishi mushrooms either. Also, watch your coffee or caffeine consumption when eating these mushrooms as they can make you feel jittery.

 

SEE ALSO: 6 Salad Ingredients That Help You to Drop Weight Faster

12. Ginger

Like cayenne pepper and turmeric, ginger is another warming spice that not only has anti-inflammatory compounds, but helps to soothe and relax the digestive tract as well. Ginger has thermogenic compounds that can suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism at the same time.