HERBAL REMEDIES FOR SLIMMING

 

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

 

– Triphala. Contains three fruits: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica). Triphala is a powerful antioxidant which protects cells from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. It helps digestion and supports regular bowel movements, removes toxins and helps to reduce body weight. Apart from that, it improves functioning of the immune, respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, and reproductive systems. Suggested Use: 2 tablets taken with warm water before bed or immediately after waking up.

 

Herbal Mixture. The following herbs you can used to improve your metabolism, digestion and detoxification rate: Horsetail herb (herba equiseti), Licorice root (radix glycyrrhizae) (licorice can elevate blood pressure!), Dandelion root (radix taraxaci), Sage (folium salviae), Yarrow (herba millefolii), Senna leaf (folium sennae). Adding senna is optional. Use it only when you suffer form constipation. You can also include some other herbs such as Chickweed and Fennel. Mix all the herbs (or as many as you can find) together in equal (10 to 50g each). Every morning take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and cover with boiling water in a thermos flask and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Drink 1 glass 3 times a day 2 hours after meals or 30 minutes before meals (after straining this herbal decoction through a piece of gauze, of course).

If you often experience constipation it is better and safer to stimulate the bowel movements by consuming plant foods which are high in fiber, by drinking more water, and regular exercise, than by using Senna. Senna is a powerful laxative and thus it irritates your bowels a bit too much, and besides, it tends to lower your weight only by removing water and not by burning fat. The worst side effect, however, is that it may increase the risk of passing the food you consume before the nutrients are properly absorbed. That is why laxatives can contribute to the deficiency of certain nutrients such as, for example, vitamin B12.

 

Green Tea & Yerba Mate are often praised for their high content of antioxidants which are supposed to increases energy expenditure, but on the other hand they are also high in caffeine and some other harmful alkaloids such as bromelain or theophylline – well-known stimulants also found in tea, coffee or chocolate. For this reason they may produce some negative side effects that you should be aware of.

Prof. Yeung from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center says that “high antioxidant content doesn’t always translate into a health benefit. We can’t rely on consumption of antioxidants as a safe way to prevent cancer”. He also adds that people who regularly drink four glasses or more a day of green tea or yerba mate had significantly increased risk of certain types of cancer, especially lungs, mouth, oesophagus, larynx and pharynx. Also the researchers from the National Institute of Health, confirmed that yerba mate indeed increases the risk factor for these cancers.

Too much green tea can bring about side effects such as headaches, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, constipation, irritability, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness. Extremely high doses of green tea can be even fatal! Green tea can also decrease the absorption of folic acid and iron. Excessive intake of green tea extracts often added to foods and beverages or used in supplements, may lead to oxidative stress, liver toxicity and other liver problems. A study published in the journal Epidemiology in 1994 found that drinking mate regularly increased risk of respiratory or digestive cancers by 60%.

According to the report made by U.S. Army Center of Health Promotion, caffeine in yerba mate may induce heart palpitations and elevate blood pressure. This effect can be very dangerous if it is consumed along with an anti-depressant medication called MAO Inhibitor. Apart from that, the high caffeine content in yerba mate and green tea can negatively influence human nervous system, leading to nervousness, insomnia, and gastro-intestinal problems such as nausea or even vomiting.

Some people try to avoid caffeine drinking decaffeinated green teas. The problem, however, is that in general, the process of removing caffeine from green tea reduces also the content of beneficial ingredients. For example, according to one study, in comparison with non-processed green tea, the antioxidants found in water-decaffeinated green tea loose about 16% of their effectiveness to protect skin cells. Apart from that, caffeine is never totally removed from green tea.

 

Rooibos tea – For the above mentioned reasons it is much better solution to avoid drinking any type of green tea, all the more since there are other excellent herbal teas that are high in antioxidants but at the same time free from harmful ingredients. One of them is Rooibos tea (red bush tea) which is totally caffeine free, mineral dense, exceptionally high in antioxidants, and resembles the taste of a black tea. For example, in one study an alkaline extract of rooibos tea leaves was able to suppress HIV-induced cytopathicity (pathological changes in cells) while green tea extract was totally ineffective. Scientific research showed that polyphenols found in rooibos can reduce serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and free fatty acid concentrations, and can be helpful in the management of metabolic disturbances. According to studies conducted in South Africa Rooibos tea has been shown to be beneficial also in diabetes, insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, allergies and hypertension.

 

– Herbalife (HLF) is a prominent company which offers an expensive weight loss and nutritional supplements. The ingredients in Herbalife weight loss formula include: Green tea leaves extract, ginger root extract, yerba mate extract, theobroma extract, cinnamon extract, calcium, astragalus, celery, fennel, hawthorn berry, licorice, marshmallow, parsley, suma, and alfalfa.

The company claims that this formula is able to aid in weight loss and boost metabolism without irritability or restlessness. Unfortunately, although several components can be indeed very beneficial yet others may actually irritate the very delicate stomach membrane, negatively influence human nervous system, and possibly even contribute to certain types of cancer (the details concerning possible harmful effects of these ingredients is included in the chapter Herbal Remedies). Among the ingredients found in Herbalife weight loss formula, which may not be free from side effects are: green tea leaves extract, ginger root extract, yerba mate extract, theobroma extract, and cinnamon extract. For example, in a research by Karen Andrews and her colleagues, published in 2007 in Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry, the caffeine content in green tea extract was analyzed, and according to the results the caffeine content of green tea extract supplements could range from 0.60 mg/day (very low) to 150 mg/day (very high). By comparison, the caffeine content in an 8-ounce cup of brewed green tea ranges from 10 to 50 mg.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean Herbalife formulas such as the Herbalife Total Control are bad or won’t work, especially if combined with improved diet and lifestyle. The problem lies rather in its price which is way too high in spite of the fact that it doesn’t contain many proven weight loss active ingredients which are included in the plant-based unrefined diet, super grasses, and different herbal remedies. I believe, therefore, that following the diet and principles described in this book is a much better and wiser choice because it will provide your body with all possible active ingredients and at the same time it is much better value for money. Instead of buying pricey Herbalife formulas you would be much better off investing the same amount of money in fresh cold-pressed vegetable juices, fresh raw vegetables, spirulina and chlorella tablets, ground flax seeds, Triphala, and other packed with active ingredients, fiber, and nutrients living plant foods.

Here is a testimony of a person who understood this truth from his own experience: “I have done Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Nutra Systems, Atkins, and a few more. I would do them for about 90-120 days. Then, when I went to the maintenance programs on the other diets, I would start to fudge a bit, and the weight would come right back. On Hallelujah Diet, however, I have lost a total of 86 pounds, but as I often tell people who are amazed at the weight loss, ‘weight loss is just a side benefit of the Hallelujah Acres program’. I have a list of 28 things that have happened to my body since adapting this program, and weight loss is just one of them… When I see 3 pounds come on, then I just add a bit more salad, or cut back on the bread, pasta, potato, or rice a bit, and it comes right back off. Easy! I never feel deprived! Hallelujah! As I write this, I am eating Marilyn Polk’s Apple Pie Salad, from her cookbook, I bought through Hallelujah Acres. Wonderful! The Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle works! Praise the Lord! Oh, my wife has lost 35 pounds, and loves the program too. I have no doubt that I will stay on the Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle.”

 

– Slim Fast is a popular brand of shakes, bars, snacks, packaged meals, and other dietary supplement foods. In order to follow the Slim Fast plan you simply replace two meals a day with one of the Slim Fast meal replacement products (milkshakes, soups, pastas, etc.), and then you can have a regular and sensible third meal. You are also allowed to consume a Slim Fast nutrition bar if needed during the day. The diet works by reducing calories consumed to about 1,000 a day.

It means that it is just another low-calorie weight loss program which of course will usually lead to the reduction of the body mass as it is 500 to 1000 calories lower than an average diet. However, the problem is that like any other low-calorie diet, also this one can’t be followed constantly as it may lead to nutritional deficiencies. Besides, it doesn’t change unhealthy eating habits which cause overweight, so eventually as soon as you come off the diet you put on weight again. And that is why the famous Slim Fast “success” stories, including Oprah Winfrey, always end up gaining weight.

In addition, the Slim Fast diet meal replacements can’t be regarded as healthy too as they include sugar, maltodextrin, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk powder, dextrose (another sugar), artificial flavors, carrageenan, aspartame, or acesulfame potassium (another artificial sweetener).

Slim Fast should be regarded as only another meal substitute and low calorie plan. Unlike unrefined normal-calorie plant-base and high in fiber diet it does not help to burn fat or control appetite. For this reason its followers often find it too difficult to practice as it makes them hungry. Apart from that, a low calorie diets instead of improving your metabolism encourage your body to slow down the metabolic rate. It is so because whenever you eat less than you need your body ‘thinks’ that you are starving so it does its best to preserve as much fat as possible so that you could survive as long as possible!

A healthy and wise overweight and obesity treatment, therefore, should not include a low calorie diet as this approach slows metabolism even farther. Instead you need a healthy and well-balanced diet which will supply your body with proper amount of nutrients and calories (1500 to 1800 a day). And apart from that, you need a lifestyle that will improve your metabolism and hormonal balance. Without this two fundamental elements you will never solve the problem effectively and permanently. Also serotonin which plays important role in controlling your mood, appetite, and metabolism is another reason to stay away from the low-calorie diets as one study with rats demonstrated that reducing calories in their diet decreased serotonin levels.

 

– HCA (Hydroxycitric acid) is a natural substance isolated from the fruit of Garcinia cambogia. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) has a chemical structure very similar to that of citric acid which is the primary acid in citrus fruits. By inhibiting certain enzyme processes HCA reduces the conversion of sugar into fat stored in our body. Scientific data show that HCA can reduce BMI and body weight, promote utilization of fatty acids as an energy source, suppress appetite, and increases serum serotonin and leptin levels helping to cope with emotional eating. At the same time HCA doesn’t cause any harmful side effects.

Although some studies have demonstrated that regular intake of Garcinia Cambogia extract may result in losing up to 5 kg (10 pounds) per month even if it is used without changing diet or exercise, yet the effect of HCA can be greatly enhanced when it is combined with a high-fiber and low-fat diet and regular physical activity.

Recommended dosage:  500mg of HCA three times a day before meals.

 

– Raspberry ketone is the natural phenolic compound found in red raspberries. It gives raspberries their characteristic scent, but now it has become one of the most popular fat-burners. Raspberry ketones are not to be confused with blood ketones produced by individuals who are on a very high fat and very low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins diet. Natural raspberry ketones can be also extracted from grapes, peaches, apples, or the bark of trees such as pine. The compound can also be synthesized chemically. A LifePlan raspberry ketones in the form of 600mg capsules is a good example of natural (99% pure) and highly concentrated phenolic compounds extracted from red raspberries.

Although by now we can’t find any scientific studies that tested Raspberry ketones on humans but there are a few studies on rats which demonstrated that the compound stimulated fat cells to secret more adiponectin thus increasing fat burning and weight loss. One of those studies also proved that higher intake of raspberry ketones burned more fat and prevented an increase in blood triglyceride following high fat meals. It means that Raspberry Ketones can not only help prevent overweight or obesity, but they also prevent fat storage.

Some people think that consuming fresh raspberries would do a similar job in their bodies. Unfortunately in order to achieve the same results we would have to eat very large quantities of raspberries as it takes almost 100 pounds of raspberries to extract the minimum daily dose of 300 mg of raspberry ketones.

Of course, as always, research suggests that raspberry ketones are more effective in burning body fat when they are combined with regular physical activity and a high-fibre diet.

If you decide to include raspberry ketones in your diet be careful to choose only good quality and natural products. For best results take 300 mg two times a day or 600 mg one a day in the morning before breakfast.

After reading many different reviews I’ve noticed that for some users raspberry ketones work great and for others they don’t seem to do the trick. Unfortunately, I’ve also noticed that certain individuals tend to feel a bit agitated or experience problems with getting asleep at night after taking raspberry ketones. For this reason I wouldn’t recommend this product for ladies who experience menopause symptoms, such as sleeplessness, anxiety, or panic attacks. It is also believed raspberry ketones may interfere with proper thyroid hormones production. Therefore, in order to prevent possible side effects such as insomnia or hypothyroidism, I would suggest drinking valerian, tulsi, or lemon balm tea, and taking kelp or a combination of 500 mg chlorella and spirulina tablets (all of them are high in natural iodine) about 30 minutes before breakfast.

If you decide to use raspberry ketone combine it with chlorella or chlorella and spirulina for better results.

 

Vitalise (Pukka) is an excellent, unique and very powerful formula of 22 nutritionally concentrated foods in a powder form to help maintain energy levels, boost metabolism, detoxify the body, strengthen immune system, and deal with the stresses of modern life. I have recommended this amazing formula to many individuals and saw great results. This blend contains a full spectrum of very potent and concentrated organic extracts from 3 fruits, 4 vegetables, 6 herbs and spices, 3 seaweeds, 2 freshwater plants, 2 grass juices and flower pollens.

The following highly concentrated ingredients are included in Vitalise: Beetroot juice fresh freeze dried (14%), bilberries fresh freeze dried (8%), wheat grass juice fresh cold dried, barley grass juice fresh cold dried, amla fruit juice fresh freeze dried 30:1, acerola fruit 18:1, spirulina, chlorella, arctic fresh seaweed blend, turmeric root, flower pollen, fennel seed, broccoli sprouts fresh freeze dried (4%), peppermint leaf, licorice root, aloe vera juice 200:1.

For maximum results mix 1 heaped teaspoon (4g) with some worm water and drink it about 30 minutes before breakfast.

 

– Apple cider vinegar (fermented juice from crushed apples) has been used to enable weight loss as it is high in acetic acid which is supposed to prolong the sensation of satiety after eating. A 2009 study demonstrated that consuming apple cider vinegar can suppress body fat accumulation. Also a study conducted in Japan gave evidence that vinegar may reduce obesity by suppressing appetite, lowering body weight, BMI, serum triglyceride, and waist circumference. In addition, apple cider vinegar is believed to slow the aging process, helps to remove toxins from the body, stimulate thinking, reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and fight infection. It is also recommended in arthritis, edema, skin problems, dandruff, leg cramps and pain, sore throats, sinus problems, or vaginal infections.

However, if you decide to include apple cider vinegar in your diet it seems to be wise if you avoid consuming it in large doses for a long period of time as it may lead to potassium deficiency, reduction of bone mineral density, and since it is highly acidic it may induce indigestion or heartburn and can damage tooth enamel. According to Dr. Agatha Thrash, “Vinegar, even the labeled apple cider vinegar, is irritating, both to the nervous system and to body tissues.” Since apple cider vinegar may also interact with different medications especially those used to treat blood pressure, diabetes, or fluid retention you need to consult the use of apple cider vinegar with your physician.

If you intend to lose weight mix 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar (must include mother) with 2 glasses of water and drink it slowly or use straw (to protect enamel) three times a day 2 hours after meals or 1 hour before.

 

– Herbal mix: The following herbal mix you can use to improve your metabolism, digestion and detoxification rate: Horsetail herb (herba equiseti), Licorice root (radix glycyrrhizae) (licorice can elevate blood pressure), Dandelion root (radix taraxaci), Sage (folium salviae), Yarrow (herba millefolii), Senna leaf (folium sennae). Adding senna is optional. Use it only when you suffer from constipation. You can also include some other herbs such as Chickweed and Fennel.

Mix all the herbs (or as many as you can find) together in equal proportions (10 to 50g each). Every morning take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place it in a large thermos flask, adding 3-4 glasses of boiling water. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before use. Strain this herbal decoction through a piece of gauze. Drink 1 glass 3 times a day 2 hours after meals or 30 minutes before meals.

 

Doctor Steward’s Liver Detox Tea. Another excellent and inexpensive herbal tea which helped many individuals to lose weight is Doctor Steward’s Liver Detox Tea. I know some individuals who claim to lose a lot of weight after weeks of drinking this tea 2-3 times a day.

If you often suffer from constipation it is better and safer to stimulate the bowel movements by consuming plant foods which are high in fiber, by drinking more water, and regular exercise, than by using senna leaf or frangula root. Both senna and frangula are powerful laxatives but unfortunately they improve the bowel movements by irritating your bowels a bit too much, and besides, they tend to lower your weight only by removing water and not by burning fat. The worst side effect, however, is that they may increase the risk of passing the food you consume before the nutrients are properly absorbed. That is why laxatives can contribute to the deficiency of certain important nutrients such as, for example, vitamin B12.

 

– Hoodia Gordonii is a and Namibian and South African succulent plant which has been believed to contain a substance that seems to be helpful in suppressing appetite and therefore it was supposed to be the answer to the obesity problem. According to certain believes the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Southwest Africa, after consuming Hoodia were able to effectively reduce hunger during periods of starvation or long journeys.

However, there is no published scientific evidence that hoodia works as an appetite suppressant in humans. According to a 2012 clinical trial the Hoodia Gordonii extract actually did not demonstrate any appetite suppressing abilities and at the same time induced a lot of side effects, such as elevated blood pressure and heart rate, strange skin sensations, nausea, and vomiting. According to the summary of the study by Prof. Roza Orsolya and her team, “Hoodia gordonii, a popular appetite suppressant, is widely used as an ingredient in many food supplements despite the fact that supporting scientific evidence is scarce. Recently alarming side effects of H. gordonii products (increased blood pressure and elevated pulse rate) have been reported.”

Unfortunately, the lack of scientific evidence haven’t stopped producers of Hoodia supplements (70% of them are believed to be fake) from advertising and selling Hoodia gordonii supplements claiming that they can effectively reduce appetite and lower blood pressure.

 

Siberian Ginseng – famous natural energizer – is also known for its abilities to normalize blood sugar level and to reduce cravings for sweets. Unlike other ginsengs the Siberian one doesn’t cause high blood pressure.

 

Spices can help improve metabolism but use only healthy ones: marjoram, thyme, oregano, sweet basil, dill, tarragon, thyme, bay leaf, cardamom seed, savory, caraway, parsley, rosemary, lemon, sage, cilantro, mint, garlic, chives, garlic, linseed, fenugreek, celery, coriander, fennel, cumin, anise. Avoid spices like cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, because even though some of them may improve metabolism yet at the same time they are carcinogenic and irritate stomach and nervous system.

 

Mint is helpful in losing weight.

 

Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.