Centuries before people heard of calories, they kept their bodies trimmed, toned and attractive by using natural ingredients. Ancient writings give us a glimpse of the beauty and medicinal uses of fruits, seeds and herbs throughout history. Appetites can be suppressed, thereby reducing impulse eating, when herbs satisfy a taste or craving for a more fattening food. Some herbs, like St. John's wort, can alter a mood, making it easier to resist unhealthy eating, while others expand in the stomach to alleviate hunger.
How Herbs Work to Decrease the Appetite
Herbs act in various ways to naturally decrease the appetite and have helped many dieters reach their goals.. Some herbs have the ability to trick the mind into believing the stomach is full, while herbs containing stimulant properties can encourage the body to burn more calories to aid in weight loss. Herbs that act as diuretics help the weight-loss process by promoting excess water elimination through frequent urination. Some herbs---cathartics---reduce the consumption of calories by causing the bowels to evacuate, impeding full digestion.
Appetite Decreasing Properties of Alfalfa
Alfalfa has saponin, a property that helps make fats soluble. It also acts as a diuretic, getting rid of bloat from excess water buildup.
Burdock, Chickweed and Cravings
Studies have shown that chickweed can break down fat in the body. A chickweed tea has the added benefit of curbing cravings and aiding in digestion, important factors in weight loss. Adding burdock root to the tea will efficiently flush away the fat molecules that have been broken down by the chickweed. Burdock has laxative properties in addition to being a diuretic. It also improves fat metabolism. Simmer burdock root in water for about 20 minutes to brew a tea to drink between meals. Burdock tea will reduce the cravings and hunger until mealtime.
Curbing the Appetite with Herbal Tea
Nettle tea can aid in weight loss as it works to curb the appetite and ease cravings. Nettles help to clear toxins from the body, but they also help the dieter lose weight in a process not yet understood.
Herbal Weight Loss Warnings
A balanced diet is important to good health, and all weight loss plans should be discussed with a medical professional to insure that complications will not arise.
Any herb or supplement introduced into the diet should be discussed with a health-care provider. Allergies and reactions can be caused by herbs as well as with any other substance. Herbs can react with one another and also with prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
- Keller, Mitzie Stuart. Mysterious Herbs & Roots. CA: Peace Press, Inc., 1978
- Dollemore, Doug, Giuluicci, Mark, Haigh, Jennifer, Kirchheimer, Sid, Callahan, Jean. New Choices in Natural Healing. PA: Rodale Press, Inc., 1995
- Cawood, Frank W. Natural Medicines & Cures Your Doctor Never Tells You About. GA: FC&A Publishing, 1995
- Photo Credit James Farmer, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/776158
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