While the interest in herbal weight loss supplements is not a bad thing it has meant that the market has become flooded with them and consumers are often in a position where they do not know what supplement they should take. Although many of the names will be commonplace, just how much do you know about what they do for the person using them.
One of the most exciting finds in recent years has been the Hoodia Gordonni cactus from certain parts of Africa which acts as an appetite suppressant. Apparently, it tricks the brain into thinking blood glucose levels are normal thus suppressing the body’s natural response to low blood sugar which is the sensation of hunger and while this sounds promising, long term weight loss studies are required.
People who use Guarana find that the caffeine it contains helps to speed up their metabolism in an effort to burn off calories but it is a diuretic as well. Some people find that the side effects of this herbal weight loss product are not worth the use though as feeling dizzy, an increase in blood pressure, feelings of anxiety and sickness are not uncommon.
Dandelion is another diuretic (it makes you urinate more frequently) and while side effects are relatively harmless, allergic reactions have been reported. Of course rapid water loss will result in body weight loss but for this very reason it can only be used on the short term unless fluid retention is the problem.
To help rid the body of unwanted toxins and keep it ‘regular’; cascara is used as a natural laxative for use with weight loss programs. Just because it is marketed as an herbal weight control supplement doesn’t make it any better and its overuse can cause depletion in vital nutrients.
Green tea extract is probably the most popular yet safe herbal weight loss supplement and appears in vitamins, energy drinks and even in concentrated pill form. Healthy eating and exercise play a large part in weight loss but studies have shown that green tea does help when used as part of this weight control regime.
The average American will spend many thousands of dollars each year on natural or herbal weight loss products but when used on their own there is still little evidence that they are effective at long term weight control.
Ultimately, there is no more promise in the herbal weight loss supplement than there is in any miracle in a bottle and while a few may offer a bit of assistance when trying to lose weight; herbal supplements will not work when used without a healthy weight loss plan.