Herbal Appetite Suppressant
What’s in Your Herbal Appetite Suppressant?
If you’re looking to lose weight and you’re thinking about using an herbal appetite suppressant, be careful! Even though many weight loss pills call themselves herbal and talk about suppressing your appetite so you can lose weight fast, that does not mean that those pills are safe or effective! You should check labels carefully and make sure you are buying a trusted product before you waste your money and risk your health with “herbal” weight loss pills. There are several herbs that may help with weight loss may also contain substances that are harmful to the body and can cause side effects.
Many herbal weight loss remedies contain caffeine or another nervous system stimulating substance like taurine or guarana. These stimulating herbs can be more expensive and the same result can be had with large amounts of unsweetened tea or coffee. While caffeine has been shown to make your body burn more energy, overuse of caffeine can lead to nervousness, sleeplessness, anxiety, insomnia or headaches. In extreme cases, caffeine or other stimulating herbs like taurine can lead to heart palpitations.
Many herbal remedies for weight loss also contain green tea extracts, but you can get the same effect by simply drinking green tea. Another common herb in many weight loss remedies is bitter orange extract. This extract contains a chemical called synephrine that acts like caffeine to increase heart rate and metabolic rate. However, synephrine is very similar to ephedrine, a chemical once common that was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration because it caused strokes and heart attacks. Synephrine, found in bitter orange extract, has been found to have the same potential to trigger strokes or heart attacks.
Many herbal appetite suppressants also contain diuretics, or chemicals which increase the flow of urine and cause the body to get rid of excess water. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, as anyone who has drank too much coffee can tell you. Therefore, many of the stimulant herbs and herbs with caffeine that are found in herbal remedies for weight loss act like diuretics.
The problem with diuretics is that, while they may encourage short term loss of water weight, they are not conducive to long term weight loss because your body will replace the water. Most herbal diuretics are not dangerous, but some can interact with other drugs and cause severe side effects. Herbal weight loss remedies that contain juniper seeds, a common diuretic herb, should be avoided because they can cause damage to the kidneys or nerves.
Another popular herb used in many herbal appetite suppressants is called hoodia. Hoodia is the root of a cactus type plant found in southern Africa, and was chewed by native peoples to stave off hunger during long hunting expeditions. There are many herbal supplements and appetite suppressants on the market today that contain the herb. Hoodia has not been evaluated for safety or effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration, so there is not a lot of hard evidence about its use in suppressing appetite. Current studies show that the active ingredient in hoodia may suppress appetite by acting like glucose, or the form of sugar in the bloodstream, in the brain. Because of the lack of studies, there are not a lot of known side effects of hoodia, so it may be safe to use. However, you should consult with your doctor before and during use of hoodia.
The best way to safely lose weight is not to rely on promises of quick weight loss through pills, herbal or otherwise. You can use herbs for health and well being, but make them part of a sensible, natural weight loss plan. Drinking herbal teas like green tea or yerba mate can provide a quick caffeine burst to help you stay on track with your weight loss plan.