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Maintaining body weight can be a bit of a task. Especially because of people's hectic and stressful lifestyle, coupled with irregular and poor eating habits. This results in most people putting on additional weight and then finding ways to get rid of it. Of late, herbal supplements are gaining immense popularity because they are derived from plants and hence considered to be a natural and safe way to lose weight.

Apart from helping to lose weight, these supplements also contain a host of antioxidants which boost the immune system. Herbal remedies take a little longer, but there are no major side effects, making it a safe option compared to diet pills.

Herbal Supplements that Help You Lose Weight

Bitter Orange
Beta antagonists found in this herb are known to reduce body fat and also increase body metabolism. For people suffering from any heart disease or blood pressure problems, bitter orange needs to be used only after consulting a doctor. This fruit also forms a part of Chinese medicines as it helps in the digestion process.

Hoodia Gordonii
Hoodia Gordonii is considered to be the best herb for appetite suppression. Found in South American deserts, it is being used since ancient times, mostly by travelers on long journeys, to curb appetite. P57 and steroidal glycoside present in this herb are known to send signals to the brain to cut down the urge to eat. Hoodia Gordonii also lowers glucose in blood to reduce fat storage. This herb is considered to be a highly effective natural supplement and has no major side effects as well.

Coleus
Coleus decomposes fat deposits in the body, thereby helping in weight loss. This herb is also known to boost metabolism as it is capable of increasing the thyroid function. An active ingredient present in this herb, forskolin, is known to stimulate an enzyme adenlylate cyclase, that in turn stimulates metabolism to aid in the weight loss process.

Garcina Cambogia
The hydroxycitric acid (HCA) present in this herb is responsible for reducing body's power to form fatty tissues, which are formed due to overeating. Like hoodia, garciana also suppresses the body's appetite. This herb is known to subdue the body process of converting carbohydrates to fats and also helps in burning fat while exercising. There are a few side effects of this herb and it also reacts with certain medications. It is, therefore, better to consult a doctor before using the herb.

Ephedrine
Ephedrine is a common ingredient in many asthma medicines apart from being an effective herbal supplements that encourages weight loss. Ephedrine suppresses appetite and also aids in the weight loss process by helping to burn fat. However, there are a few side effects of this herb like insomnia, nervousness, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. Consult a medical practitioner before use.

In addition to the above, few other herbal supplements are listed below:

St. John's Wort
  • Produces certain chemicals in the brain which elevate the mood
  • Can cause skin sensitivity, itching and fatigue
  • Should be taken in small dosage only
Yerba Mate
  • Found in Paraguay, South America
  • Assists in weight loss by increasing metabolism
  • Antioxidants present in this herb help in restoring the depleted immune system
Guar Gum
  • A dietary fiber extracted form Indian beans
  • Reduces appetite by giving a 'feeling of fullness'
  • Diabetics should keep away as it can increase blood sugar levels
  • Can also cause gastrointestinal diseases and obstruction of the esophagus
Green Tea
  • Caffeine present in green tea increases the fat burning capacity of the body by almost 40%
  • Considered to be a good treatment for obesity and is also a healthy substitute for the normal tea and coffee
  • Known to be very rich in antioxidants which propel the immune system
Guarana, Guggul and Cayenne are a few other supplements which reduce fat production by increasing the body's metabolism.

These herbal supplements need to be taken along with regular exercising and a proper diet plan to get best results. It is advisable to consult a doctor before using herbal supplements, as they tend to react with certain medications and may also cause a few minor side effects.