From Patricia Harper <harperp.aol.com>:
Many herbs are used for temporary weight loss, including some that you can buy at an herb store. However, there are many herbalists who consider weight loss formulas to be harmful, and will not make them for their clients. Typically, herbal diet pills use herbs with the following properties to cause weight loss:
- Stimulants: encourage the body to burn more calories.
- Diuretics: cause the body to excrete water through excess urine.
- Cathartics: cause evacuation of the bowels, reduce calorie consumption by impeding full digestion.
- Appetite suppressants: reduce hunger by expanding in the stomach, altering mood, or satisfying taste.
They may also use herbs to increase perspiration, (more "water weight" loss), and kill pain, or balance nerves.
Some formulas are definitely going to be better balanced than others, but in general, we are not talking here about gentle herbs that nourish and support you, as you bring your habits into balance. Herbal weight loss formulas may have drastic physical effects on your body. "Effective" diet pills --herbal or not-- are potent, depleting, and temporary, if effective. They do not cure overweight conditions.
There are herbs which can be used as supplements while you diet, but weight loss involves your whole lifestyle. Why not consider using herbs to change your lifestyle?
Instead of just using dried, capsulated, herbal products, start including *whole* herbs in your life. Eat them everyday, as fresh as possible, (e.g. take walks, check out the vegetable stand, or tend a garden), everyday. Instead of taking a capsule, eat a handful of fresh parsley. Experiment with tasting each of your favorite culinary herbs made up as "diet" tea. Collect dandelion leaves, plantain, mints, lettuce, whatever, and whip it up in your blender as special diet "green drink." Almost no calories in most herbs.
Also, get to know specific weeds and plants in your neighborhood. Learn their names and uses; look at them. Watch how they grow, Think about their growing condition and responses to it. You can even keep a journal noting everything you learn about each plant. Spring is the perfect time to bring herbs into your lifestyle.
Eating and living with herbs can bring you a lifestyle which may be more conducive to weight loss.
Best of the Herbal Forums: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/archives/best/2000/weightloss.html