Herbal weight loss products are generally seen as harmless means to reduce extra weight because they are mainly using natural ingredients which are herbs. Herbs by definition are plants that don't have permanent woody stems, mostly flowering garden plants with some having medicinal properties. One must still be cautious when using treatments that are herb - based however as many don't have any proven therapeutic claims and some can even be harmful to one's health when abused.
Also, this methods are not all beneficial for everyone due to the fact that every individual reacts to treatments differently. Most weight reduction programs that make use of herbs promote a thermogenic weight loss process. In this process, a person's metabolic rate is increased resulting to burning more unwanted fats.
Thermogenic herbs contain stimulants that work to speed up the body's heart rate, respiration and digestion as well as keep the user physically active. The most common stimulant present in thermogenic herbs is caffeine. If planning to go for an herbal weight loss program, it is important to know which herbs are safe to use and which should be avoided.
The following herbs are harmful as herbal weight loss ingredients:
- Herbal laxatives - these are very common in the market these days and they are commonly sold in the form of diet teas. These herbal evacuants include cascara, senna, buckthorn, aloe and rhubarb root. When overused, the side effects may include cramping, diarrhea and even damage to the bowels and stopping natural defecation functions.
- Ephedra - this is also a harmful herbal weight loss ingredient which can raise blood pressure, over work the central nervous system and increase heart rate.
- The herb fen-phen - side effects include irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke.
Safe herbs that can be used as herbal weight loss ingredients:
- Cayenne - this contains capsaicin which saliva and digestion and safely stimulates one's metabolism.
- Green tea - this is known to have antioxidant compounds like Vitamin C and flavonoids.
- Seaweeds - this safe herbal weight loss ingredient contains chromium and iodine which naturally stimulate the thyroid. This is recommended for people whose weight problems are connected to a thyroid problem. Proper consultation with a physician is needed before using this herb to lose weight.
Natural or not, it is always advisable to be careful and follow proper dosage when taking any types of medication or supplements. Before you go into an herbal weight loss program, take time to explore all available options and do not forget asking for professional help.