One of the most essential ways to lose weight is to eat fresh herb leaves, seeds, and roots. Herbs enhance the flavor of foods and help the body to function. When choosing herbs for a weight loss regimen, individuals should commit to one or two at a time, and pay attention to how the body responds.
Appetite Suppressant Herbs
Appetite suppressants reduce cravings for food. Herbs like licorice and fennel make the body feel full.
Best Pick: Licorice, also known as black sugar, keeps proper acidity levels in the stomach. It is 50 times sweeter than white sugar.
Best Use: Steep the licorice root in a blend of tea. Drink one cup daily for seven days and repeat up to three months.
Best Growing Conditions: Place licorice roots deep in soil and keep in full sunlight.
Caution: Prolonged use elevates blood pressure.
Metabolism Boosting Herbs
High metabolism equals lower body fat. Herbs such as red pepper and mustard seed increase metabolism, which burns calories.
Best Pick: Red pepper stimulates the digestive system and eliminates toxins in the body.
Best Use: Adding a teaspoon of red pepper to a meal will raise metabolic rates up to 25 percent.
Best Growing Conditions: This fragile plant requires plenty of sun, and protection from wind. Keep in well-drained nutritious soil.
Caution: Individuals who suffer from frequent heartburn should avoid this herb.
Fat Burning Herbs
Fat burning herbs help build lean muscle. Two examples of these herbs are flaxseed and green tea.
Best Pick: Green tea is a powerful fat burner and enhances the body’s ability to burn up to five percent fat.
Best Use: Drink 30 minutes before a meal.
Best Growing Conditions: Green tea plants take up to three years to harvest from seeds. Purchase a starter plant from a nursery. Keep the plant in sandy soil. Add mulch to maintain moisture, and water frequently.
Caution: Individuals who suffer from anxiety, heart ailments, kidney problems and stomach ulcers should avoid this herb.
Energy Producing Herbs
Energy producing herbs rev up the cells that make the body feel sluggish. The Chinese herbs codonopsis and astragalus help increase endurance.
Best Pick: Astragalus, also known as Huang Qi, is a strong energizer. It increases energy levels and improves cellular function throughout the body.
Best Use: Use the roots to make mild, sweet tasting soup stock. Put 1 ounce of chopped root in a pan. Simmer for 1 hour in a pint of water. Use the stock for vegetable soups or for cooking brown rice.
Best Growing Conditions: Plant seeds in well-drained soil, and position in plenty of sunlight. This herb takes four years to harvest. Get the roots from a Chinese herb store.
Caution: Individuals with autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses should avoid this herb.
Diuretic herbs eliminate excess fluids. Try celery, horsetail, and fennel.
Best Pick: Celery is a strong diuretic that adds a distinctive flavor to foods.
Best Use: Add celery seeds or stalks to soups and salads at least once a day.
Best Growing Conditions: Celery seeds are small, hard to sow, and take a long time to grow. Buy a starter plant from a nursery and grow in the full sun, in rich garden soil. Surround with mulch to help retain nutrients and moisture.
Caution: Individuals with kidney conditions should not use this herb.
Waste Elimination Herbs
Waste elimination herbs such as senna, cascara sagrada, and psyllium help move food through the body.
Best Pick: Psyllium is a gentle dietary fiber that absorbs excess water, sugar, and fats, making stool passage smooth. It also reduces food cravings by giving the body a sense of fullness.
Best Use: Mix 1 teaspoon with 8 ounces of water or juice. Drink daily before a meal.
Best Growing Conditions: Psyllium requires sandy soil for growth. Keep in a sunny, dry area.
Caution: Take with plenty of water to avoid intestinal blockage.
If time is of the essence, get a starter plant from a nursery or purchase the herbs in liquid, powder or capsule form. Adding herbs to a well-balanced diet will help tackle weight loss issues.