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Can Secret Herbs Help You Lose Weight?

Updated on January 8, 2013

Secret Herbs that will help you lose weight!

1. Cinnamon

The sugar-lowering effects of Cinnamon may effectively help people lose weight, especially on the stomach and abdomen area.

Cinnamon can easily help increase insulin production and bad cholesterol reduction. One can quickly see the effects of fat-loss on your stomach and abdomen area especially with the medical use of Cinnamon to improve one’s health as insulin levels effectively normalize and enhance the metabolic rate of the body by the enzymes found in the herb.

Through the effective use of Cinnamon, fat is quickly digested properly, avoiding the chances of excess fat to be deposited on the Stomach and Abdomen area.

According to a study on Diabetes conducted by the University of Maryland research center, they found out that there are enzymes in Cinnamon that can help lower blood sugar levels which is good news for Diabetics worldwide.

This is in support with the findings observed in an experiment involving 60 patients in Pakistan to see how Cinnamon can lower blood sugar for diabetics which in effect lowers LDL or bad Cholesterol levels in the body. The findings of University of Maryland Research Center study and the experiment in Pakistan were both published on the Medical Journal Diabetes Care. (Source: Livestrong.com)

This is great news for millions of Americans that suffer from heart disease or diabetes as the experiment show a significant lowering of glucose levels, increase in metabolism and an increase in natural production of insulin. This was observed by only having less than 2 tsp. of Cinnamon spice administered to patients. At least 26 percent reduction of LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels has been observed during the experiment which is a considerable health benefit especially to those having weight problems caused by low metabolism and high blood sugar levels.

Other benefits of using Cinnamon have also been discovered aside from the help it provides in achieving weight loss.

An independent study made in Japan shows the antiseptic quality of cinnamon once ingested in the body. They have concluded that the spice can definitely be refined for further medical applications. In line with this research done by Japanese experts in Natural and holistic medicine, an independent German study also claims that Cinnamon completely suppresses the proliferation of bacteria in the stomach. Aside from this, experts also discovered that Cinnamon has a favorable effect on the brain and its vital functions. It helps people achieve better memory and can retain information more quickly and efficiently. Cinnamon can also prevent the development of ulcers, reduce the instances of Urinary tract infections and can help cure diseases induced by yeasts and fungi.

2. Garcinia

On 2000, the Journal of International medical research released a study and issued a statement that scientists have found out the ability of Garcinia to help obese patients lose weight by normalizing the body’s metabolic functions . They made a study on 40 individuals for 12 weeks and found that all of their patients, once subjected to a steady dose of Garcinia, has resulted into almost 85 percent reduction on bad cholesterol levels. After four years of study, the Journal of medicine issued another report saying that Garcinia doesn’t only help lower cholesterol levels; it also improves the mood of the patient and the lipid levels in the body.

Researchers also discovered that Garcinia also contains a compound called Hydroxycitric acid that helps burn body fat, keep cholesterol under control and reduce cravings and appetite. After 8 weeks of Garcinia intake, patients are seen to regain normal body weight, body mass and lower LDL or bad cholesterol. It also improves the levels of HDL or good cholesterol, metabolism and levels of serotonin.

Serotonin is a chemical that controls the mood, emotion and satiety of an individual. In 2006, a research conducted by the University of Texas, Southwestern medical center showed that Garcinia helps improve the levels of Serotonin which effectively decreases the appetite of a person.

It has been observed that Garcinia suppresses the chemicals that suppress appetite. This confirms a 2005 review published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research, which states that increased Serotonin levels by 40% in a person show a definite sign of appetite loss, through the appetite suppressing property of Serotonin, which is improved by Garcinia.

3. Gum Guggul

The Massachusetts General Hospital research study reported on a published Journal in 2005 on Complementary Therapeutic Medicine, that there are a considerable number of studies that show a significant lowering effect of cholesterol due to Gum guggul extracts. According to a published 2005 report by the National Toxicology Program, the seemingly contradicting studies made by independent researchers is due to the different results seen in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the body, and the reduced Liver production of cholesterol. It has been observed that there is no dramatic lowering of LDL levels on the body, but the Liver’s ability to produce cholesterol is decreased considerably.

According to more research studies on Gum Guggul, it shows promise in the prevention of certain aspects of cardiovascular diseases. Enzymes in Guggul extract helps reduce the “stickiness” of platelets which can also lessen the threat of an embolus, pl. emboli or a free-moving blood clot inside the blood stream, which is one of the main causes of stroke. It also showed that enzymes in Gum Guggul effectively decreases cholesterol levels and thus resolve high blood pressure problems.

However, an August 2003 issue published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) made a controversial statement that Gum Guggul extract has no significant effect on lowering “Bad cholesterol” in the blood. This clearly contradicts researches done by many medical agencies on Guggul. A re-analysis of this statement by leading medical experts shows that, though Gum Guggul did not show extensive lowering effects in cholesterol levels, it did lower blood sugar, blood pressure and reduce other cholesterol related activity in the body, which gave the “lowering cholesterol effect” observed by many researches.

4. Dandelion Extract

There are many benefits of using Dandelion tea and its results has been published in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine where in studies made by the Tai Sophia Institute Department of Herbal Medicine in Laurel, Maryland shows evidence that the Dandelion tea is a useful diuretic and can help in the discharge of fats. This also in effect helps in slowing down aging as it helps avoid the destruction of cells due to free radicals.

Dandelion tea is also useful in helping to protect the Liver and Kidneys from damage. This was the result of a study conducted by the Inje University and Biohealth products Research Center in Korea in 2010 and its findings was published in the September issue of Phytotheraphy research of the same year. In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that Dandelion extracts in tea can regulate blood sugar and in effect low bad cholesterol which is beneficial for people with diabetes and hypertension.

In a related study, scientists in the University of Annunzio Chieti-Pasaca in Italy have released a recent study in 2010 about the effectiveness of Dandelion extract to inhibit stress which is one of the main factors for metabolism problems encountered by obese people. The Dandelion Extract for weight loss was observed to be helpful in maintaining normal liver and gallbladder function and helps eliminate free radicals in the body due to its antioxidant properties. The protective effects of Dandelion extract have convinced scientist of its usefulness in the healing process of the body and placed it under the “approved” alternative medicine that really shows positive effect.

Also, as Dandelion extract can effectively provide weight loss and protect your body from other diseases, medical researchers have been ecstatic on the promise that dandelion extract can help in finding the cure for various types of cancers. The Cure for cancer is one of the most sought after miracle medicine of our times and finding such cure will surpass the elation felt by people during the discovery of Penicillin.

In a 2008 issue of the International Journal of Oncology, study shows the positive effect of dandelion extract in decreasing the proliferation of breast cancer cells in patients. They have also found the same cancer reducing effect of Dandelion extract with prostate cancer as well. This made scientist optimistic on their goal of finding the cure for cancer and riding the world of this presently incurable plague.

In line with the study stated in the international Journal of Oncology, a similar report was published in the 2011 issue of the Journal of Ethno pharmacology which shows the same cancer reducing results of Dandelion extract with Leukemia cells. They observed that the extract effectively killed leukemia cells through Apoptosis.

A study also published in 2011 confirms the observations stated in the same Journal of the cancer killing capability of Dandelion extract with drug-resistant melanoma cells. This is a positive result that may provide the necessary data to find ways to better combat cancer and provide excellent alternatives to the devastating chemotherapy in destroying cancer cell in the body without damaging other normal and healthy cells. Dandelion extract can be the wonder cure the whole world is waiting for, not only does it provide weight loss properties but can be the cure for the dreaded cancer.

5. Avocado

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the "good" cholesterol in your blood. HDL cholesterol helps remove the "bad" low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol from the blood. Low HDL levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Including avocados in your diet can help raise this important cholesterol marker. Many studies confirm the link between avocado consumption and improved HDL levels.

In 1996, a further study was published in the Archives of Medical Research that the intake of high mono-unsaturated fatty acids including Avocados by patients saw an 11% increase in HDL levels (Good cholesterol) which in effect helps reduce heart disease. The increase on HDL level also helps you to manage your hunger, curb cravings and as a result effectively control your weight.

Eating adequate amounts of Avocado is very beneficial for the reduction of the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.

A more recent 2007 study published in the Archivos De Cardiologia De Mexico found that rats that consumed avocados also saw improved cholesterol levels which show same patterns observed in human beings once subjected to increased intake of foods high in mono-unsaturated fats like in Avocado. Through this small experiment it confirms the earlier claims on the effectiveness of Avocado in increasing HDL in the blood and lowering the risk of heart attacks.

6. Guarana

For centuries the Amazonian and South American Indigenous societies use the Guarana fruit to treat a lot of illnesses ranging from abdominal cramps and fevers to diarrhea and headaches, it is also used as an early form of painkiller. Aside from its medicinal purposes, Guarana is also being used as an aphrodisiac and an effective libido enhancer. This Brazilian cocoa was first mentioned as a folk medicine by Steven Foster, co-author of the National Geographic, desk reference to nature’s medicine. This states that Guarana can reduce appetite, prevent cancer and stimulate the brain

Appetite loss is the main function of the Guarana as it tricks the body’s enzymes into thinking that it doesn’t need to eat at that time. Through the use of Guarana excessively is not prescribed by alternative doctors as it can impair the normal metabolism of the body, but it can reduce the unnecessary cravings the body feels which makes it fat. The enzymes in Guarana are perfect to halt those urges and take control of your life. The Guarana is not a weight loss drug which one can drink and see the fat go away, it is an alternative medicine that only suppresses cravings, preventing you from indulging and bingeing, which in turn will help your lose weight. This is the importance of the Guarana herb.

This was the findings of a research study conducted by Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. They have also linked the chemicals found in the Guarana fruit to cases of weight loss but results are still debated on. Though the same Cancer center also warns possible interference with the other drugs and medication, it also states on the research study that chemicals present in Guarana are not compatible with any product that contain caffeine. Also one should refrain taking Guarana when pregnant which could result in low-birth weight and other complications.

7. Ephedra

This ancient Chinese herb has been a traditional medicine which is used for many medical purposes in ancient Chinese history. In modern times, Ephedra has been under controversy since the reported 900 cases of death linked to Ephedra use between 1995 and 1997. The National Center of complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) conducted a study and analysis of the said herb.

The result of the said study showed that Ephedra did cause weight loss and other fat reducing effects. However, there are more side-effect reports from such herb than other alternative medicines on the list. The associated side effects observed through the use of Ephedra are headache, stomach irritation, kidney stones, anxiety, shakes and insomnia. Other more serious side-effects are irregular heartbeat, hypertension, psychosis, stroke and cardiovascular accidents.

Also, there are studies that also say that other chemicals can deeply affect the activity of Ephedra enzymes in the body. Caffeine has been observed to aggravate the side-effects of Ephera, also other forms of anti-histamine or anti-asthma medication should not be taken alongside Ephera, as it can cause harm.

Though the study does not conclusively state that Ephedra is unfit for human use, it is also not advised by the FDA to consume this Chinese herb. As a result, Ephedra was banned by the FDA in 2004. Other studies of Ephedra are published by noteworthy alternative doctors, yet all are inconclusive.

8. Stevia

Under the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Stevia, which is the name for the purified extracts coming from the Stevia Rebaudiana, is generally labeled “safe” to consume. It is also a good artificial substitute for sweetening agents such as sugar.

Weight loss effects only happen as a result of the reduction of intake of sweeteners that has enormous amounts of calories such as sugar. Stevia itself do not induce weight loss, but the indirect effect of using it as a substitute for sugars causes it. Blood sugar levels are not increased by the use of stevia, but there are cases where too much use or the use of highly refined stevia caused nausea and the loss of appetite, to which other weight loss advocates points its effectiveness. This sugar substitute is not the “magic bullet” that will kill weight gain completely, it only helps people to avoid the Ill-effects of sugar intake and reduce the addition of such calories in the body.

The weight loss effects of Stevia has been studied by researchers and medical expert for years and it culminated on a paper published in the 2010 issue of the journal Appetite, where people that regularly use Stevia as an alternative for sugar did not increased in appetite, but reported to have greater levels of satiety and experiences less craving for food. This is very important for people that regularly use this non-fattening sweetener to reduce weight. Though it also points out other researches stating that Stevia does not directly cause weight loss, on the other hand it provides you with an alternative for sweetening agents without the fattening effects of sugar. So as a consequence of not eating fattening sugars, you therefore lose weight.

9. Spirulina

There are numerous studies conducted on spirulina and its claimed effects. In 1986, a published report was issued on Nutrition reports International stating that people who regularly took 8.6 grams of spirulina daily lost weight, but not that significant to label it as an authentic weight loss product, New York University Langone medical center stated in their published study.

In University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), a research has been made into Spirulina and they found out that this alternative medicine contains high amounts of amino acids. They have concluded that Spirulina does show promise as an anti-cancer agent which can help in the reduction of certain types of cancer especially oral cancer cases. Other research by the UMMC also found Spirulina to help stop allergic reactions and certain forms of liver disorders.

Spirulina, on the other hand has some small amounts of a toxin called microcystins which lead to the widespread removal of many spirulina pills from supermarket sales. It has been distinctively observed that ingesting huge amounts of microcystins present in Spirulina can cause irritation and harm. In the end, cases of microcystin overdose through excessive spirulina use are not that significant to be an issue. It can’t be denied that Spirulina has a lot of vitamins and minerals that will help you find nourishment even in decreased levels of food intake. This will show that though spirulina is not a weight loss cure, it is in principle a supplement that will allow you to lose fat and never allow it back through bingeing and other fat increasing lifestyle.

As of lately there are no further studies made to investigate the weight loss claims, but many authorities on Alternative medicine agree to the effectiveness of spirulina not only to induce weight loss but also improve the general well-being of the body.

10. Ginseng

A published study on 2003 made by the University of Arizona, College of medicine and by the American Academy of Family Physicians shows the beneficial effects of ginseng as an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant and can improve immunity, increase psychological activity and help reduce conditions which is associated with diabetes. According to researchers, ginseng can definitely reduce and control blood sugars. In a study conducted by the University of Toronto, 30 people were given American ginseng for 12 weeks. After those weeks, researchers found that those that undertook the study lost 7 to 7.5 percent of their blood sugar. Aside from its weight loss properties, ginseng also provides a good source of energy to increase the body’s ability to be active.

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    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

      Very useful information, great hub, I use herbs everyday, they are amazing powerhouses of healing!