BACK TO ASK THE HERBALIST
QUESTION: I have a
quick question about a weight loss supplement that a
friend of mine is interested in. She is struggling with
her metabolism and tries to eat healthy, does aerobic
exercise 3 days per week, and does yoga 3 days per
week. She has found a supplement that contains CLA,
grapefruit oil, Flax seed oil, and vitamin b12 that is
supposedly developed specifically for women. Is there
any reason why she should not take these? Thank you!
ANSWER: Not that I
know of, but then again I do not know her past medical
history nor have I done an evaluation to determine what
is best for her individually, so the only thing I can
say is that generally she should be okay with taking
I am trying to figure out if there are some herbs that can safely
assist me in my attempts to lose weight. I need
something that is not like a stimulant that will
temporarily decrease my appetite, cause a chemical
dependence and cause me to gain my weight and more back
as soon as I get off of it (I was on Adderall XR in the
past for attention problems, what a nightmare!). I have
been working with a dietitian to figure out why I am so
hungry all the time. I have increased protein and fiber,
started cooking more at home and eating out less. I
still find myself hungry a LOT and always grazing on
something. As far as other health issues go, I have
hypothyroidism and depression/anxiety. I am taking
medications for both of these conditions. Thank you. I
sincerely appreciate your input
It is not so much what you take as what you do not take.
The first thing to do is adopt a healthy diet. Towards
that end, I suggest avoiding red meats, pork, white
sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. Avoid also
processed foods, chocolates and chips. Drink coffee and
alcohol in moderation.
This is the first step that needs to be taken in losing
weight. Some meds and some medical conditions may
cause you to gain weight, since you do not mention which
meds you are taking, I would advise you to consult with
your doctors before making any radical changes. You may
benefit by drinking Green tea and adding 15 drops
extract or tincture of Dandelion root 3xs day, sweeten
only with a bit of honey or Stevia. the Dandelion in
this case will help clean toxins from your body. You
should drink these infusions for 5 days.
Follow a proper diet. Enhance your diet by including in
your diet fresh oily fishes (mackerel, salmon, halibut,
tuna, anchovies). Also eat plenty of Locally grown
chicken, turkey, Cornish hen; include fresh garlic,
onions and fresh ginger in your diet. Eat plenty of
locally grown fruit and vegetables; and drink plenty of
fresh water. Include Flax seed in your diet (its real
good in oatmeal). You must find a way to devote 15
minutes a day to exercise. Be it walking, jogging, Yoga,
Tai Chi or Qi Gong.
Other than this, there are several herbs and herbal
formulas that you may benefit from, but I would be only
generalizing and it may not be enough. I suggest that
you allow me to do an evaluation and then develop a
personalized treatment plan for you. Since you are on
meds it is far better to proceed in this fashion, it is
also unprofessional and not in your best interest if we
did it any differently.
Iím so excited to have by chance come across your
website. Iím from Gauteng Province in South Africa. Iím
an obese 54 yr old woman weighing 220 lb, height 1.68m.
I would like to know which herbs I can use to lose
weight and also to control my high blood pressure. At
the moment I take 1 tablet daily for BP. Also where can
I get all these herbs here in South Africa. I stay in
the town called Springs.
There are several herbs that would prove of great
benefit to you. My first suggestion is that you eat
fresh garlic daily, in the alternative take the herb in
tablet form 2-3 tablets per day. Garlic thins the blood,
reduces fatty deposits and lowers blood pressure. Add
ginger to your diet daily, it improves circulation to
the capillaries. And drink Green tea adding 15 drops
extract of Hawthorn and 10 drops
extract of Gingko 3xs day. Sweeten only with a small
amount of honey. Gingko aids in circulation and reduces
Hawthorn is perhaps the best heart remedy there is. It
may take some months, but it will in many cases return
blood pressure to normal. It also aids in weight
Avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Red
meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods.
Sorry I have no idea where you can obtain these herbs in
South Africa. Here's a link that will be able to help:
I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant . I want to
know if I can breastfeed my baby while taking Bojenmi
Chinese tea. I desperately want to lose weight.
Unfortunately Sonya, Bojenmi tea may reduce milk
production, and so it should not be taken when you are
breastfeeding. Follow a good diet and follow a good
I am writing from the island of Malta. I wish you could
help me, I am overweight and doing all I can to lose
weight, is there any herbal remedy that can assist me in
Following a proper diet is the best way to lose weight,
of course, this also includes an exercise plan. Avoid
foods that stagnate the system, such as: Red meats,
white sugar, pork, all dairy and all fried foods. Drink
Bonjenmi tea 3xs daily, adding 15 drops of extract of
Hawthorn. Sweeten only with honey. Enhance your diet
with plenty of fresh fish, fresh garlic and onions,
brown rice, raw or steamed fresh vegetables and fresh
fruits. Begin an exercise plan with low level exercises,
like jogging, walking, Yoga, Tai chi, or Qi Gong. If
hunger overtakes you eat plain yogurt or unsalted
I have researching to find my
answer with no luck so I am emailing with hopes that
your experts can help. I have put on about 20 lbs over
the last year as a direct result of eating at night. I
have had problems sleeping for the longest and have
taken valerian, melatonin, and passion flower.
Sometimes it helps, other times not. My problem is that
I am starving at night. I will eat several times from
10 til even 3 in the morning. It is not eating out of
boredom in the middle of the night, I am really hungry!
I must mention that I take Adderall. I am sure this is
frowned upon by the herbal community, but I suffered
from severe fatigue and a total lack of energy. I tried
everything from vitamins, herbs, etc... My work ethic
was affected, my interaction with my daughter, my entire
life was horrible as I had no energy to do anything.
When all else failed, my doctor put me on Adderall and
it has helped tremendously. My question is not about a
replacement for Adderall, it is about an herb that would
curb my appetite at night and will not keep me awake.
All of the herbs that I have read about that curb your
appetite also give you energy. I need to sleep so an
energizer would not work for me. Is there an herb that
will control these urges to eat and stop the late night
hunger? I am positive that my weight gain is from
eating like a horse during the night and not burning off
the calories by laying in the bed. This is very
important to me and would ask that someone email me soon
if possible. Thank you so much.
It is not so much when you eat, as to what you eat, and
how much you exercise. Avoid anything containing white
Exercising late at night may be an option. A low-level
regimen of Tai Chi may do you a world of good, as would
a bit of meditation before going to sleep.Your local
library will have books and videos on these.
Do not eat before you go to bed. Do not drink liquids
before you retire. Long warm baths 30 minutes before
going to sleep may also be of help. Add to these 20
drops of essential oil of Lavender.
I would suggest the combination of Lemon balm and adding
15 drops of extract of Linden flower one hour before
bedtime. sweeten only with a bit of honey. If you
cannot find the extract then use the leaves.
QUESTION: I have been working out and watching my
calories for 3 months but still have not lost the 10lbs
I gained last year. Is there a herb that I can use to
boost this weight lose?
ANSWER: There is no
one magic herb or even a fail proof formula for weight
loss despite advertising claims to the contrary. You are
on the right track. Cinnamon sprinkled on apple slices
will help with balancing blood sugar to reduce cravings
or overeating. Enjoy real food, drop dairy, eat small
protein meals, and keep exercising!
QUESTION: My question is i had a complete
hystorectomy in 1994 and havent taken premerin in
years.. i have gained so much weight and have tried
every thing from walking diet to not eating at all to
lose it and it wont come off dr said i was borderline
diabetic and left it at that can you help me get this
weight off with natural herbs? and get my insulin levels
where they need to be?
Thank you for the email. I suggest the
- download the sheet, for daily eating
suggestions, incorperate this into your
life, a little or a lot at a time
- realize the foods we are eating have been
poisoned, by sugar and corn syrup, MSG and
more chemicals etc
- carvings for the wrong food are caused by
the poisons, stress, etc
- read the Book, "You on a Diet", especially
the part on inflammation
- go to the EFT web site, Emotional Freedom
Technique, this simple yet powerful
technique wwill help you stop the cravings
for foods, that are wrong for you
- listen to your body, and pay close
attention to what it is telling you, what
agrees with you and what does not, perhaps
dairy, and wheat products are not agreeing
with you? You will know.
- we have the herbs you will need to
complete and balance your body systems, Life
Force Fiber Food, Green Mix ( high ORAC
value), Invigorating tea, Alpha Lipoic acid,
COQ10, all of these suggestions will help
you to overcome the tiredness and feel
- herbs for the female body, that has had a
hysterectomy, herbs for the thyroid
- go to a acupuncturist to see what they say
about your body, find a reputable one that
people have been to and like alot.
Cleansing Program, Suggested to Detox;
As with all changes in your diet, first
consult your Physician
Do the below diet for as long as you can.
After you have done this for a minimim of
two weeks, do the following Gall Bladder
Flush: for 5 days do the following; eat only
the fruit, and after 5 days of fruits, then
for two days, every hour for nine hours
each day, ( or if you want to drink it all
at once, at bedtime lay on your left side,
and drink Ĺ c extra virgin olive oil, Ĺ c
prune juice and one half lemon juice fresh
squeezed) or for the nine hours, every hour,
drink , 2 tblspns, olive oil, with 1 tblspn
lemon, and ľ c prune juice.
Diet to Follow before oil flush for 5 Days:
Eat only fruit and soaked almonds, fresh.
About 10 almonds daily, and as much fruit as
you want, except only 1 banana per day. Have
apples, oranges, peaches, berries, avocado,
pears, apricots, cherries, etc.
Take the life force fiber food, 1 tspn 6-10
times daily, take all other suggested herbs
and tea and drinks as well.
Deep breathe, walk barefoot in grass or sand at least 10-15 minutes
per day, or lay on the ground. This
will recenter your body, with
electromagnetic energy, and improve over all
SUGGESTED PH REGULATING DIET SHEET FOR
Eat a 75% raw diet.
In other words, on your plate: 25% cooked
food, or protein, lots of salads, raw
veggies, steamed veggies, season with garlic
and herbs, extra virgin olive oil (on all of
your food), use 1 tblspn per 40 lbs of body
weight, daily, of extra virgin olive oil,
and/or other cold pressed oil, must be
highest quality. Eat a lot of green beans
and zucchini, and season with ginger root as
much as you can, this helps your body
regulate insulin levels, if you need to fry
something use virgin coconut oil, it holds
heat and is better for you , use in baking
or other salads as well. Also use a
lot of turmeric in food or a teaspoon in
Life Force Blend a couple of times daily,
this will help inflammation and regulate
insulin and bowel health.
Take vitamins and pills and drink for
breakfast the following:
When you first get up, scrub off two lemons,
add 3 cups water, and 1/2 c maple syrup and
put in the blender, add 6 raw garlic cloves,
and one 1/2 bunch parsley (this will save
your bad breath from scaring anyone) store
extra lemon drink in fridge and every
morning drink 1 heaping tblspn with 1/2 c.
warm water, do this for one year, this will
help immune system, mucous reduction,
inflammation, and high cholesterol and high
*Take Life Force Fiber Food, 1 heaping
teaspoon 3 times daily, in water or diluted
*Take Evening Primrose capsules, 3 two times
*Take milk thistle seeds pills- 3 two times
*Take other herb pills, herbal teas or
tinctures as needed
*After the lemon juice, wait about 1/2 hr
and then have breakfast
Get soy milk, non GMO or Rice Milk, put 1
cup in blender with 1 tbsp extra virgin
olive oil, 2 scoops whey protein, frozen
berries of any kind ( anti oxidant and good
for men and good for diabetes, non sweetened
of course) good for women too, add one scoop
of super greens powder
Have a homemade vegetable soup with brown
rice, or steamed veggies with brown rice for
breakfast, 10 soaked, with skin on almonds
Salad, steamed veggies, rice, a protein,
fish, etc use less meat and more nuts,
seeds, and eat avocado, every day
Same as above or vary, you may have
breakfast for supper or supper for breakfast
THE IDEA OF THIS SUGGESTED DIET PLAN IS TO
FILL YOUR BODY WITH LIVE ENZYMES AND HEALTHY
NUTRITIOUS FOODS, YOU WILL CHANGE THE PH OF
YOUR BODY FROM ACID TO ALKALINE, AND THIS IS
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR
Let us know if we can help further
ANSWERS FROM KAREN
are the best herbs to help with weight loss? I am
currently taking chickweed three times a day and
drinking lots of water.
ANSWER: Weight loss involves several things, but
if you aren't dieting and exercising, then no herbs are
going to help you. Chickweed has appetite suppression
properties. Dandelion root is an excellent diuretic as
well as a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Senna,
Cascara Sagrada, psyllium husks and flax seed are
helpful purgative herbs to cleanse the colon, but should
not be used for more than 2 weeks.
LATE NIGHT SALADS
QUESTION: I was told by my acupuncturist not to
eat salad late at night since it will cause weight gain
and stomach upset since I have trouble sleeping. Is
there validity to this? Thank you.
ANSWER: I've never heard anything like that.
There must be more to the story. Unless you are drowning
your salad in fatty dressings, I can't see them causing
weight gain. Of course, you shouldn't be eating too
close to bed time anyhow as it can interfere with sleep.
Your body needs time to digest what you've eaten, so a
good rule of thumb is, don't eat within 3 hours of going
QUESTION: I am trying to lose weight and would like
some suggestions beside diet and
exercise to help me out. Can you recommend something?
That depends. Are you already dieting and exercising? If
not, then no herb is going to magically help you lose
weight. If you are, you might try chickweed to help curb
your appetite, dandelion root to help flush your system,
psyllium and senna to cleanse your colon, and ginseng
for extra energy. Or you could order my Skinny Me Tea!
In the Apothecary at
QUESTION: I am breastfeeding. Is there an herb
that will facilitate weight loss, especially around the
midsection, without affecting the breast milk?
ANSWER: Sorry, the only way that tummy fat is
coming off is by exercise and diet. Crunches and walking
are the best things you can do to help you loose the
paunch. No herbs target particular areas of fat, so if
you've read that, it isn't true. Of course, as part of
your diet regimen, you may want to add some chickweed,
which is an appetite suppressant.
QUESTION: I am 45 lbs overweight an for my
anniversary I asked for a treadmill. So for 2 weeks I
have walked 1 mile at 5am and 1.75 miles at 7:30pm.
That is 2.75 miles a day. I have been watching what I
eat. So I get on the scales to weigh and I have only
lost 1 lb. Am I walking too much???? Please help.
ANSWER: There's no such thing as walking too
much, unless you have blisters on your feet. Especially
if you are overweight. You didn't say how fast you're
walking, but if you aren't going at least 3.0 MPH, you
probably aren't working up a sweat. It isn't only one
thing and 2 weeks is hardly enough time to tell.
You need to eliminate all white sugar, white flour and
artificial sweeteners from your diet. Lots of green
leafy veggies. Keep it up with the treadmill. Try
adjusting the incline, if you can. That will help you
work more. You should be working up a sweat and getting
your heart rate up. If you are just leisurely strolling,
you are getting exercise, but not enough to take off
that much weight. Also, you didn't put 45 pounds on in a
month. Count on 6-12 months of concerted effort to take
it off and keep it off. But it can be done. Just stay
QUESTION: I am having some issues I wonder if you
can advise. I have put on quite a bit of weight over
the past year. At least over 60 lbs. For the past few
months I have been having severe fatigue. Severe, to
the point I have to struggle to stay awake in the
afternoon. I am having mood swings as well as
occasional swelling in my legs. I have also reached the
point that I have some kind of 'mystery rash' all over
my body. Very dry areas that itch. I am scratching
myself bloody. I have a history of thyroid problem in
my family on my mothers side. Do you think this could
be what is going on with me? Please advise.
ANSWER: Wow! With all these extreme symptoms, (60
lbs in one year is quite a bit of weight), have you been
to see a medical professional at all? Has there been
some extreme life change recently? I don't diagnose,
sorry. My suggestion is that you seek professional
medical advice and at least have some blood work done to
see what's going on. When you have a firm diagnosis, I
may be able to make suggestions.
QUESTION: would like to find a herbal formula for
weight loss. I have had a weight issue my entire life. I
was always the (chubby) kid. The only diet that has ever
worked for me was the fasting type. 5 shakes a day that
had a 100 calories each. The first time I did this It
was for 11 months. I have done every diet there is,
exercised faithfully and still nothing works. I have
willpower that others only dream about, I can stick to
a diet for months lose a little and then nothing. I
build muscle like crazy (and yes I do low weights lots
of reps) I have had personal trainers even. Its just a
constant yo-yo- Unless I starve myself 24/7 I gain the
weight back. I got excess skin (Tummy Tuck) removed
about four years ago because of weight loss. The Dr. who
did the operation was amazed at my muscle in my stomach
in her 15 years of doing surgeries I am the only patient
who she has not had to tighten their stomach muscles.
She told me later that I was built like a brick house. I
firmly believe that I have an underactive thyroid. I
have been tested several times by different doctors and
they always say its fine. I know a lot of the time those
type of tests can come back incorrectly. I do feel I
have a lot of the signs. Always tired, fatigued, cold
especially my feet, very forgetful, difficulty
concentrating, depression, etc. I did get diagnosed with
adult ADD, but I feel a lot of the symptoms of ADD are
associated with underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and
that maybe I was misdiagnosed. I'm just tired of working
my butt off and seeing no results. For as much muscle as
I have I should be burning fat like crazy. I'm currently
about 60 pounds over weight. I really would like a
solution to this and was wondering if you offer a
herbal formula to speed up the thyroid, weight loss, and
something to help your stomach feel full. I
would really like you to contact me. I would like for
you to make a product for me that I could use.
ANSWER: Without a proper diagnosis, assuming you
have a particular malady because you show some of the
same symptoms is a little dangerous. That's how folks
get into trouble. You might want to find a Naturopath or
homeopath and have them do a blood test. I've found that
the ranges medical doctors use to define low normal and
high are much broader than those of the health
community. Where you may appear in the normal range from
your doctor's levels, a Naturopath may diagnose you as
too low. But you need the firm diagnosis before you
start trying to treat something.
You said you've dieted, but you didn't really go into
your actual diet. What are you eating? And how much?
Caffeine can interfere with your body's ability to
process glucose and can affect the insulin levels, so
more than 1 cup a day is a no no. Artificial sweeteners?
These things have been proven to contribute to weight
gain, especially Aspartame, so if you are chugging down
diet sodas, stop it and instead, consume pure, filtered
water. I don't ever drink anything out of a tap. Fruits
and veggies - pure, no sauces or sugar added. How much
of this are you eating a day? And check the salad
dressing. I can almost guarantee, unless you are using
straight vinegar and oil, that there's probably sugar in
it, spelled high fructose corn syrup. What about
preservatives and white flour? This stuff is like poison
to your body and should be eliminated, not only for
weight control, but for your overall health as well.
Exercise - You say you do weight training, which is
great, but how much cardio-vascular are you getting in?
How much walking do you do? It's important to do both to
keep your heart and lungs healthy.
OK. Assuming you are doing all of the above,
consistently - that means no binging and eating a bag of
cookies under cover of night. (I've been there, I know!)
There are several herbs that may be helpful. First, no
herb is going to "burn the fat", so let's not go there.
Chickweed is purported to be an appetite suppressant. So
if you are only eating lean meats, but your portion is
half a chicken, the chickweed might be helpful. Psyllium
husks help flush the fat out of the body, assuming you
are drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day. Yep, I
said 10. Otherwise, it may just bloat you up. Celery
seed is also an appetite suppressant so that may be
helpful as well. You didn't say if you are eliminating
regularly, but if not, certainly things like butternut
and Senna, cascara sagrada and psyllium will help with
that as well.
If you do all these things, and do them religiously, I
can't imagine that you wouldn't lose any weight. You are
doing something to sabotage the weight loss, though I'm
not sure what it might be. (The 5 diet shakes a day was
a little scary). Concentrate on a healthy diet of
veggies, lean meat and fresh fruit and exercise every
day. Get your heart going for at least 20 minutes.
QUESTION: Eating does not satisfy my appetite. Are
there any herbs that are effective as an appetite
suppressant? If so how do they work. Is the use
considered as short or long term therapy? What is the
availability of these products?
Chickweed is purported to suppress the appetite. You can
find it in any herb store either in capsules or as a tea.
Of course it's quite possible that the appetite you cannot
satisfy is a sugar craving and not appetite at all. In
this case, chickweed is not going to be of much help. Just
something to think about.
QUESTION: Do you know of any herbs that would help to
tighten skin after weight loss?
ANSWER: No, but weight training with light weights
and lots of reps will do wonders for it!
QUESTION: I recently started taking a weight loss
supplement called Suvaril. It doesn't seem to have
anything harmful in it and I am taking it with other
prescription meds. Can you tell me anything about
Suvaril and the herbs it contains?
ANSWER: I'm not familiar with the product, but my
research shows it is basically vitamins and green tea
extract, ginseng root, banaba root extract and vanadium.
The benefits of green tea extract are many, not the
least of which is the anti-oxidant properties. Banaba
leaf is purported to aid in the control of blood sugar
and insulin production in the body. Ginseng is an immune
stimulant and helps the body handle stress, which can
affect weight. In my opinion, it's just one in a long
line of weight loss products that makes claims it cannot
substantiate. Weight loss will only come by eating a
healthy diet and exercise, period. Nothing else is going
to provide long term benefits.
Hi. I am 20 years old and about 30 lbs overweight. I
started gaining weight when I began working in a fast
food restaurant. I would like to know what herb or
natural supplement I could take to help me boost my
metabolism and get myself back into that healthy weight
ANSWER: The best way for you to get back into
that healthy weight zone is to watch what you put in
your mouth and exercise every day. At 20, your
metabolism shouldn't need any boosting. My guess is
that sugar is probably what's causing the feelings of
lethargy and lack of energy. Cut the white flour, white
sugar and artificial sweeteners out of your diet to
start. Stay away from the fast food, even if you work
there. Most fast food joints have healthy choices like
salads and grilled, not fried foods. Herbs are not a
cure-all. If you put garbage into your body and don't
exercise, no herb in the world is going to help you. Try
cleaning up your diet and see if that doesn't work
wonders for you. Also, since you are a young woman, you
should be getting plenty of iron. Make sure you are
taking a good supplement. Also, plenty of Vitamins A, C,
I am looking for information about weight loss. Are
there any herbs that will help with weight loss?
The following herbs are helpful if and only if,
you are following a healthy diet and are exercising
every day. If not, don't waste your money:
Chickweed, Celery seeds, Psyllium husk, Horsetail,
Fennel seeds, White Willow bark
Chickweed: Chickweed is an appetite suppressant. It also cleanses
artery-clogging plaque from blood vessels and can break
down and flush fat substances from the body.
Celery seeds: Celery seeds stimulate your
metabolism and cause your body to use energy so that
less of it is converted to fat. Celery can also prevent
muscle spasms to support your exercising. It is a
diuretic, to cleanse your body of toxins.
Horsetail grass: Horsetail has been traditionally
used in weight loss diets. It also maintains healthier
bones, for people whose skeletons are stressed by extra
Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds help the bowel to
adapt to the mild diuretic and laxative effect of this
blend. It reduces spasm and may be helpful when
White Willow bark: If excess weight stresses your
joints, or you are starting a new exercise program, you
will be prone to aches and muscle soreness. White Willow
contains salicin, the derivative of aspirin, for pain
relief, but without irritating your stomach.
Psyllium husk: Psyllium husk suppresses your
appetite by making you feel full. When psyllium comes
into contact with stomach acid, it swells up, filling
your tummy. The fiber in psyllium can remove fat
substances from the body.
What is the best herb to take just as an appetite
suppressant? Thanks so much!
Guarana and kola nut are the only appetite suppressants I
can think of. Of course healthy eating habits are critical
for weight loss. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners as it
has been discovered that they actually increase hunger.
problem is over weight. I am 28 yrs old and 5'9". I am ok
overall but my upper body is quite...mmmm..jelly like.
My waist is 40". Too much for me. I am like that since my
childhood. The tummy is soft and quite adaptable. I can
wear pants of 35" waist but my tummy then pops up in such
a funny way. plus that my chest though hairy but look more
like breasts and its embarrassing. Through out my life I
have tried what I could. Am not much interested in sports
but I did walk and jog a lot. Have gone through a
lot of diet plans. They proved to be just for the time
being. I'm not an over eater. Normal human diet. Being
Pakistani vegetables, pulses and meat is a regular part of
diet and family do care a lot in not taking much
butter/oils. When I am on diet the tummy sort off drops
down, it's different than loosing inches, it remains the
same. Secondly I feel sexually weak now. It may be due
to my work as I am a media researcher and have to sit a
lot. Please tell me something which has no side effects.
Some one told me that aloe vera is good for controlling
weight. Please help me out. Are belts good for controlling
the over-whelming tummy?
ANSWER: Part of your
issue could be the lack of exercise. I know I sit at a
desk in front of a computer for over 10 hours a day, so I
have to make exercise a priority.
Some herbs that are helpful with weight loss/control are:
Aloe vera juice to improve digestion and cleanse the
Astragalus to increase energy and improve nutrient
Dandelion for diuretic properties to offset any water
Butcher's broom, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger and
green tea to
improve digestion and aid in the metabolism of fat
Bladderwrack, borage seed, hawthorn berry, licorice root
and sarsaparilla to
stimulate the adrenal glands and improve thyroid function
Ephedra, Guarana, and kola nut are appetite suppressants
Fennel removes mucus and fat from the intestinal tract and
is a natural
Fenugreek is useful for dissolving fat within the liver
Siberian ginseng aids in moving fluids and nutrients
throughout the body and
reduces the stress of adjusting to new eating habits.
Your eating habits are probably better than most
American's so I would concentrate on making exercise a
priority. Avoid white flour, white sugar and artificial
sweeteners and processed foods.
was curious what is HOODIA GORDONII...says it is a natural
appetite suppressant, it is listed in TRIMSPA as an
ingredient but what kind of herb is it?
Gordonii is not an herb, but a cactus. Here's the
information I For hundreds of years, African tribesmen
have eaten the Hoodia to suppress hunger and thirst on
their long hunting & gathering trips. The Kung bushmen who
live around the Kalahari desert in southern Africa used to
cut off a stem of the Hoodia Gordonii plant about the size
of a cucumber and chew on it over a couple of days. The
Anikhwe of northern Botswana feed children who "eat too
much" pieces of Hoodia gordonii to make them eat less.
Already decades ago obese members of the Khomani community
were eating the Hoodia gordonii to slim down.
Hoodia gordonii contains an active
ingredient which research has shown could reduce appetite
by 40 - 50% (up to 2,000 calories a day for some). It
works by mimicking the effect glucose has on the nerve
cells in the brain, in effect signaling to us that we are
full, even when we are not; thus curbing our appetite.
Hoodia gordonii has no known side effects , and contains a
molecule that fools your brain into believing you have
just eaten and also enhances your energy levels. It
sounds like one more in a long list of fad diet drugs.
Just because it's a plant, it is being heavily marketed as
the newest "all-natural" weight loss miracle. There really
isn't enough study on it yet. Although it supposedly
decreases the appetite dramatically, that is not the way
to a healthy weight loss. You may as well just starve
yourself and save the money. Until there is more research
on it, I'll reserve judgment, but I stand by a healthy
diet and exercise and herbs that moderately reduce the
I am interested in herbs that help with the fat burning
ANSWER: Chickweed and celery seed may be the herbs
you're looking for. I have a Slim Tea that I make that
contains these herbs as well as others to give you a well
rounded approach to weight loss along with a healthy diet
and exercise of course.
QUESTION: A friend has just recommended the
Nature's Youth products to me for curbing the appetite and
weight loss. I looked up the products on line, and see
LOTS of herbal names with which I am not familiar... There
are lots of things I cannot take because they increase my
heart rate (I have mitral valve prolapse so am very
careful NOT to take anything with ephedra, mahuang,
etc...but know that similarly harmful products can come by
other names) Are you familiar with these products and
their ingredients? I went to "natures youth.com" and
found my info.
ANSWER: I don't know anything about Nature's youth,
but can't recommend something that is a compound put
together by someone else. Sometimes fillers and other
things that aren't natural are put into those things, so I
can't speak to whether they are good or bad. But with
your heart condition, I would be extremely careful about
any type of weight loss or dieting. Have you spoken with
your doctor? Has he recommended you lose the weight? I
hate to fall back on the old diet and exercise routine,
but that's really the safest thing for you.
QUESTION: I think I have adrenal burnout, and the
medical field will not do anything to help me. I tried
to get in to see an endocrinologist, and they refused to
see me until I had had complete testing and been
diagnosed, but that was why I was wanting to see a
specialist, was to get diagnosed by them. Anyway what
is the best supplements for adrenal burnout, that is
safe to take while nursing? I nurse my 12 month old. Do
you know why Cortislim is not safe for breastfeeding
moms? Right now I take L-Glutamine 1500mg twice a day,
essential fatty acids (omega 3,6,9) 1000 mg. 2 times a
day, a multivitamin once a day, and chromium picolinate
200mcg. twice a day. Is this good for adrenals? I found
it in a Woman's World mag. Ever since I hit puberty I
have had trouble with weight. I gained about 20-30
pounds when I started my period. And I stayed around 145
at 5'2 for years, could not get any more off. Then I
became pregnant when I was 18, and gained about 45
pounds, lost half of that from just having my son, and
now I have gained about 7-10 pounds since then while
working my butt off exercising and dieting. I cannot
lose weight! My son is almost 13 months, and I have not
lost one pound, but have gained a few. I did the firm,
callanetics, yoga, pilates, walking, T-Tapp, Body Flex,
and much more with no results. Please help me!!
ANSWER: Have you confirmed that what you have is
really a problem with your adrenals? The only way to
confirm it is through blood tests. Your doctor was right
to insist on them before he makes a diagnosis. Even a
specialist is going to want to get a look at your blood
to see what's going on, so my suggestion to you is to
confirm that's what's really going on before trying to
self-diagnose, or self-mediate. You can really do more
harm than good if you don't know what you're doing. Just
because something is natural, doesn't mean it is the
right thing for you at this particular time.
Is there a particular
reason you are still nursing a 12 month old baby? That
in itself could be zapping your strength and keeping you
from losing weight. There are special hormones that kick
in when you wean your children that tell the system to
go back to the normal metabolism.
I can't comment on
Cortislim except to say, I wouldn't recommend it while
you are nursing. It is not an herbal product, although
it may have herbs in it, it interferes with the
hormones. I don't advocate anything that messes with the
way the body was set up to function, especially when it
comes to hormones. They can do more harm than good.
Being thin isn't the end all be all, being healthy is.
Get the tests recommended
by your doctor, wean the baby and if you truly are
having adrenal problems, I'd be happy to make some
QUESTION: My question is about Bladderwrack.....can it
safely be used to speed up ones metabolism to lose
weight? I am currently eating a healthy diet and
exercising 3-4 times a week. I enjoy drinking teas & just
recently heard about this herb. I was curious if it is
#1, safe.....#2, can be used as a tea regularly/only
once a week?.....#3 are there tablets available as well?
I firmly believe that all gimmick weight loss plans DO NOT
work & the old fashion healthy way to do it is to eat
correctly & get some form of exercise, which I am doing.
My question is simply, can this be an added bonus to my
love for teas & help my metabolism as well?
ANSWER: Bladderwrack is an excellent herb for
speeding up the metabolism. It is chiefly used as the
principle agent in Ďcuresí for obesity. The plant appears
to raise the metabolic rate by increasing hormone
production by the thyroid gland, but the increase may be
limited to poorly functioning thyroids. In one clinical
trial in Italy in 1976, patients taking Bladderwrack lost
much more weight than the control group. It is also said
to clean out the kidneys and to tone up the system. It is
one of the most prolific sources of natural iodine and
trace elements. It is also used for rheumatism. Due to the
iodine content, Bladderwrack is taken for underactive
thyroid glands and as an antigoiter remedy.
It is #1 - Safe, #2 - Can be
used regularly in a tea up to 3 cups a day, #3 available
in tablet form. Try to get pharmaceutical grade if you
possibly can, or go to a health food store (NOT a GNC) to
find them. If you love tea, this is a great way to add to
your weight loss regimen.
ANSWERS FROM DAVID:
QUESTION: Is the ephedrine free formula safe?
What is in it and what does each thing
amount to or do for you. I'm thinking it's probably a
lot of caffeine
containing products, but really have no idea, and would
like to be made
aware of any possible side effects or possible concerns.
I'm to afraid to
take anything with ephedrine anymore due to recent
reports and have been
looking for a safe sub. I wish these companies would
sponsor the FDA to
take part in regulating their products, but at the same
time the FDA has
screwed on the safety of a lot of drugs as well.
ANSWER: I am not familiar with this product
so I cannot say, my suggestion to all that ask about
losing weight is a simple formula of reduced caloric
intake and increased physical exercise. It works
everytime, using dietary supplements to stimulate the
body or supress appetite fail in the end everytime.
QUESTION: Have you every heard of a herb that helps control
the fat tissues in the body? It is being advertised in First
Magazine as an herbal supplement.
ANSWER: I have not, I would need more information to give
an informed opinion. My common answer is herbs can't help with
weight loss, anything that sounds to good to be true is probably not
accurate. The only true way to weight loss is reduced caloric
intake and increased physical exercise.
QUESTION: I've been trying to lose a little amount of weight. Have
eating right etc, but that extra few kgs won't come off. so I'm trying
by nutra-life called thermo-trim. I was wondering if there are any
effects or if it even works. I only want to go on it for a short
Also I've heard about a product called ECA stack or something. how
is this product and what are its side affects?
ANSWER: I would suggest not to go on any weight loss pills or
supplements, I am totally against them. Some are addicting, some
can damage your body severely, see my other answers below. I
have had many questions about this, my answer is always the same, the
key to permanent weight loss is reduced caloric intake and increase
physical activity. Changing your lifestyle and making it a
habit, which takes 3 weeks to set in and then you will miss it if you
don't do it.
My advice to you would be if you are eating correctly and exercising
aerobically such as walking every day, add weight bearing exercise.
The extra muscle will up your resting metabolic rate so your
body needs more fuel even when you are doing nothing. As a woman
there are many other fantastic advantages to weight bearing exercise,
such as increased bone density, increased strength to protect yourself
or play with your kids, and its gives you more energy, relieves stress
built up throw the day.
Set a goal that you will go to the gym for 2-3 times a week for three
weeks when you met your goal reward yourself and at the end of three
weeks working out will be a habit hard to break. If you cannot
afford to go to the gym your body is all the weight you need to do
exercise that don't need machines or stacks of weight such as
pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, stairs.
QUESTION: I am trying to lose weight and in doing so have started
taking Dexatrim. This claims to lower you appetite (which it
has) and speed up your metabolism (which it might have judging by the
slite hand shakes I get). It does contain 12 mg of Sida
cordifolia (Ephedrine). I read your answers to the previuosly asked
questions in the weight loss section. Is Ephedrine the same thing as
Ephedra in the Ma Huang. If it isn't what are the negative
side-effects of taking Dexatrim and are there any if you take it for
less than 12 weeks as indicated?
If it were me I would not take this product, ephedrine and ephedra the
plant have similar actions and reactions in the body. Japanese
chemists isolated ephedrine from ma huang (ephedra) at the turn of the
century, and it soon became a primary treatment for asthma in the
United States and abroad. Ephedra's other major ingredient,
pseudoephedrine, became the decongestant Sudafed.
From the WWW.tnp.com website.
Although it can still be found in a few over-the-counter drugs for
asthma, physicians seldom prescribe ephedrine anymore. The problem is
that ephedrine mimics the effects of adrenaline and causes symptoms
such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, agitation, insomnia,
nausea, and loss of appetite. The newer asthma drugs are much safer
and easier to tolerate.
Recently, pills containing ephedrine have been sold as weight-loss
aids and "natural" stimulants. Unfortunately, these products
have been overused and combined with other stimulants, such as
caffeine, resulting in severe overstimulation and even death in some
people.1 In 1997, the FDA proposed stiff limits on dietary supplements
containing ephedrine, but they are presently under appeal by
manufacturers who say they go too far. The FDA's intervention stemmed
from unscrupulous manufacturers.
The one true weight control method is decrease caloric intake and
increased physical exercise.
Hello, I just recently started taking Herbalife products for
weight loss and was wondering what you thought about the company and
their products? The main thing I am concerned about is the
Guarana that is in one of the products I use. On the bottle it
suggests taking one tablet up to four times per day. Each tablet
contains: Calcium (as calcium sulfate) 76mg and Guarana (seed)
800mg. What is the daily suggested amount? I know that it
is something containing caffeine, I drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day
and no caffine the rest of the day. Is this something I should
be concerned with?
ANSWER: I will not give an opinion on a commercial
product or a particular brand name such as Herbalife, but I will give
a general opinion on the use of herbs in diet formulas and the use of
Guarana is used to speed you up like the caffeine in coffee and tea,
inappropriate use can overtax your adrenal glands, for some addiction
is possible and withdrawal symptomology unpleasant.
In my opinion it is inappropriately used in diet formulas,
keep-you-awake formulas or used as a recreational drug.
The only true and correct weight loss method is lowered caloric intake
and increased physical exercise. If the diet formula works and
you lose weight what happens when you go off it, you will probably
gain the weight back because there was no correction to lifestyle,
diet or exercise. I would set short term goals and make eating
correctly and exercising daily a habit in your life. It takes three
weeks to ingrain a habit, after that you miss it, if it is not done.
Start with small changes, a 20 minute walk every day is one.
Hope this helps!
There are some simple steps you can do to change your life and it can
be applied to everything, eating, exercising, saving, finances,
1. Set a Big Goal.
2. Set a Big Reward for the Big Goal.
3. Break the Big Goal Down into manageable steps.
4. Reward Yourself for meeting each step.
5. Do it everyday, make a habit of it.
6. Tell someone and make a promise to meet your Big Goal and
steps, use this person to get encouragement as you meet each step and
do not break your promise to them about the big goal. This is
the concrete that will hold you to your goal!
7. Then just do it and don't stop, meet your steps/goals reward
yourself and eventually it will be integrated into your life some much
you will miss it if it is gone and wonder how you missed doing it
before. Eventually you wont need the reward. Then move onto
another aspect in your life which you would like to change or improve,
and do it again.
This Process builds self confidence and character, you will become
stronger then all the things in life that normally control you and you
think may be out of control. You now have now set a pattern for
successfully changing things in your life and controlling your life.
End of sermon for today
Hi, I am bi-polar, taking 150mg of Zoloft and 450mg of Lithium a
works for me, but I was wondering if I could add the liquid licorace
I'm putting on weight because of sugar cravings and I've heard that
helps with cravings. I'm wondering if I could use this or could
this be a
ANSWER: To simply answer your question Licorice, Latin Named
has a bitter and sweat taste. The bitter taste helps to reduce
cravings but the sweat taste dampens stomach fire reducing digestive
which is not good for you. The contraindications for Licorice
hypertension, edema and kidney disease.
If it were me I would use a balanced bitter formula instead which
stop sugar craving and improves digestion, the formula should be a
combination of warming and cooling bitters such as Angelica, Orange
Gentian, Artichoke and Dandelion along with some carminative herbs
peppermint or ginger, stay away from the Swedish Bitters which have a
laxative ingredient or Angustora Bitter which has only one ingredient,
Gentian. If you cannot find a bitter formula in your local
health food or
herb store please give us a call. We mail order our products out
For weight loss avoid weight loss products and simply reduce caloric
and increase exercise.
I have heard all the horror stories about ma-huang. I have seen da-huang
listed in a popular over the counter weight loss product. Do the same horror
apply to da-huang?
ANSWER: Da Huang is the Chinese pin yin English term for the plant Rhubarb, which is a laxative.
Plant Name: Da Huang pronounced as \Dong Quang\, Chinese Rhubarb/Turkey Rhubarb, Latin Named: Rheum
tanguticum, R. officinale, R. palmatium is a powerful laxative and is not appropriately used
longterm, and to use it in a diet formula is not ethical in my opinion, chemical laxatives can cause bowel dependency crippling your bodies own ability to void itself. I would avoid products with this ingredient. It is not
Ephedra, Ma Huang, a different plant which acts to speed up the body and is also not appropriate for herbal dietary products.
Hello, I have found this Herb in Diet Products sold in Heath Food Stores, Would you please give me
information relative to this Herb?
ANSWER: Gymnema, Gumar, Sugar Square, Sharduku, Latin Named: Gymnema sylvestre this herb is appropriately used for diabetes, it deadens sweet craving and turns bitter tastes sweet, for insulin dependent diabetes it can reduce insulin load required.
I do not see this or any other herb appropriate in any diet formula. These silver bullet formulas aimed at the unsuspecting public, have speed like ingredients
Ephedra, Caffeine, Kola nut, Guarana, laxatives and purgative herbs such as
Senna, Butternut and Rhubarb and other ingredients that are not good for you and can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms when you go off them. Each of these herbs when appropriately used have medicinal actions and can be used short-term for specific conditions or disease but their misuse in formulas such as these are irresponsible by the manufacture and
disrespectful to the plant.
The only true control for weight loss is reduced caloric intake and increased exercise please see my other answers online for herbs and weight loss.
Use like this of plants, for dishonorable purposes gets the hair on the back of my neck up, I apologize for the directness and tartness of this response.
A friend of mine has recently stop taking one of those "metaba" something pills to loose weight. She was on the pill for a year. She is now experiencing "withdrawals" according to her Doctor. He told her that what she was taking was a natural form of
speed. She now wants to find out what other side effects this pill will cause and what is the fastest way to get it out
of her system so she can feel normal again. She told me the main ingredient is
Mahuana is probably Ma Huang. This is the Chinese name for Plant Ephedra, Latin Named: Ephedra Sinensis. This herb should not be used as a weight loss method ever. It does speed/pick you up and increase energy use by the body but this comes with expense. Over dose or long term use can tax the adrenal glands, cause hypertension, insomnia, and irregular heart beat, or death. This is not an herb for amateurs and should only be used under the care of a qualified herbalist or healthcare provider.
I would suggest the majority of the herb/chemical constituents involved were out of her system in a matter of hours, I would think that she should be free from the rest of its effects in a week to 10 days.
This herb is not appropriately used or ethically given as a recreational drug, herbal amphetamine (speed) or weight loss product.
Properly used it does have medicinal qualities for acute or short term use under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or healthcare provider.
This herb is contraindicated for people with Heart Disease, Hypertension, Liver or Kidney Disease, or while using over the counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, etc which also can speed you up.
For her withdrawal symptoms herbal relaxants could be used, but I would not give them to her. She should deal with the withdrawal symptoms and learn from this experience that weight loss is not done by taking a pill or an herb. Weight loss should be achieved by a combination of lowered caloric intake and increased physical exertion. Any product that offers a quick, magical or easy way out should not be believed and in this case and more could be potentially dangerous.
End of sermon for the day.
I read some place that if I combine the following 3 herbal extracts it will
raise my metabolism and there for I would loose weight easier.
White Willow Bark
So far I've lost some weight but is it safe, and what are the long and short
term effects of these herbs on my body. Also how long is it safe to take
these (or any one alone) for.
Ma Huang - is Ephedra, a stimulant herb.
Guarana - is also a stimulant herb.
White Willow Bark - has precursors to aspirin and is normally used for pain.
Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe; if medicinal herbs are used improperly they can just as easily harm you as help.
My suggestion would be not to use herbs to lose weight. Ma Huang and Guarana used improperly can harm you. My suggestion would be to change eating habits, drink more water and increase physical activity. These are lifestyle changes not symptomatic or silver bullet relief provided by the herbal diet supplement.
What happens when you stop taking the supplement, you will probably gain the weight back, because your lifestyle and eating habits have not changed.
Here is a simple technique to help you lose weight:
Your diet should consist in this order water, vegetables, proteins then a small amount of fat and finally fruits for desert, if you have desert.
Make a 3 X 5 card up and list the following:
1 Water (12 - 15 glasses a day)
2 Vegetables and fiber (Main part of meals)
5 Fruits as your desert choice
Take the card everywhere you go, before eating or planning a meal pull the
card out and look at it, your choices are easy now, start with 1 as your
preferred drink, 2 should be your major part of the meal (look for the salad
or vegetarian menu choice), 3 protein should be the size of a deck of playing
cards about 4 oz, fats are not all bad and we need essential fatty acids, but
fats should consist of less than 15-20 % of your diet. Olive oil, fats from deep sea fish and a small amounts of nuts and seeds on salad to dress it up should cover the fat requirement in your diet.
Start a garden and grow vegetables and herbs, this is the beginning of your increased physical activity, spend sometime everyday in your garden, pruning, weeding, watering, etc. Begin walking everyday, start with a small distance, and add onto it as you progress. You will be amazed by this simple change in your life.
Spice up your meals with culinary herbs you are growing in your garden, dry them for winter use at the end of your growing season.
Remember most fruits are also full of sugar and should be your dessert of chose if you have dessert at all.
If you have a craving for sweats bitter formulas taken 5 - 10 before meals can help.