Herbal Weight Loss

There are 5 categories for herbal weight loss. We also have included information on safe herbs and specific ones used as weight loss supplements.

Thermogenic Herbs

These herbs speed up the body's functions, which translates to a faster metabolism. This means your body burns more calories at rest than it did before the herbal diet supplement.

The formulas contain substances like caffeine that specifically impact the cardiovascular system. Their effects may get you up off the couch and keep you moving.

Many homeopathic practitioners claim green tea, nettle, and dandelion are safe as, or safer, than prescription and over the counter weight loss drugs. Although, no significant findings have ever been reported.

Diuretic Herbs

Diuretics (water reducers) cause water loss. This will drop your weight in the short term, but weight returns quickly.

Even though some can be very beneficial, others can be potentially dangerous and even toxic.

Buchu and uva-ursi are two examples of these herbal diet supplements.

Herbal Laxatives

Herbal laxatives, or any laxatives for that matter, are not recommended. Laxatives used as a weight loss supplement are dangerous and should be avoided.

Why are they dangerous? Abuse of laxatives can cause a dangerous loss of salts and minerals. Things like heart palpitations and kidney disease can result if you use laxatives to lose weight.

Herbal Appetite Suppression

Hoodia is a plant that grows in the Kalahari desert of Africa. Marketers claim it is effective for suppressing the appetite, boosting metabolism, burning fat and enhancing energy levels.

Bottom Line - Hoodia is a relatively new weight loss supplement with no long-term studies to measure its success. There are indications though that it may cause liver damage. It also may negatively interact with other medications that a person is taking.

Dangerous Herbs

The FDA (Food and Drug Commission) has linked the following herbs to serious side effects and even death. Simply, avoid these herbal diet supplements.

Herbal Laxatives - Usually sold as a diet tea, cascara, senna, buckthorn, aloe and rhubarb root. These herbs can cause cramping, diarrhea, and if overused, could cause your bowels to no longer function without laxative stimulation.

Ephedra - Also known as ma huang, in high doses can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, and over stimulate the central nervous system. The FDA reports more than 800 reports of side effects linked with the use of ephedra, including heart palpitations, seizures, stroke, chest pain, and heart attack. This herb has caused at least two deaths.

Herbal fen-phen - Ephedra is the main ingredient in the version of the dangerous diet drug known as fen fen. Herbal fen-phen has not been shown to even work in clinical trials, but we know its misuse is associated with sever side effects, from heartbeat irregularities to death from heart attack and stroke.

What is Safe?

Cayenne - If you aren't plagued by spicy food, try sprinkling a dash of cayenne on your food. It contains an ingredient called capsaicin that stimulates saliva, stimulates digestion and accelerates your metabolism at a safer level.

Green Tea - This tea is a natural stimulant that behaves much like coffee but with the added benefit of vitamin C and flavoniods (compounds that are antioxidants). You can regulate the strength of this herbal diet supplement by steeping the tea quickly or for a long time. It can be purchased in a tea bag, or loose. It also is available in capsules, but is said to be better assimilated as a liquid.

Seaweed - A good source of trace minerals such as chromium and iodine, seaweed is a natural thyroid stimulant. It is usually contained in kelp capsules or tablets.

Specific Herbal Weight Loss Supplements

  1. Catha edulis (Khat)
    Chewed in moderation, this herbal weight loss supplement alleviates fatigue and reduces appetite. Compulsive use produces some undesired side effects.

  2. Cayene
    This popular herbal weight loss supplement is hot! Stimulates metabolism and burns excess body fat.

  3. Garcinia
    The herb Garcinia cambogia and its active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid, have been promoted as an aid to weight loss. The real evidence exists to back this claim.

  4. Guarana
    A stimulating beverage you may find in weight loss products by certain weight loss programs.

  5. Jaborandi
    An herbal diet supplement used for rapid sweating and apparently weight loss. May not be worth the side effects.

  6. Konjac Root
    An herbal weight loss supplement with little data to determine its safety.

  7. Mirabilis

  8. Pippali (Piper longum)
    Ayurvedic herb for increased metabolism and nutrient circulation.

  9. Paullinia
    Actually guarana, see above.

  10. Spirulina
    Alot of claims have been made in favor of spirulina, but without proper evidence from clinical trials. Verdict is still out as a weight loss supplement.

  11. Stevia
    The Natural Sweetener. Dump your artificial sweeteners and try this.

  12. Yohimbe
    The claim made is that this herbal weight loss supplement may aid in weight loss by suppressing the body's ability to store fat. Not enough evidence is available to make a conclusion about this claim.


    The experts at Weight Loss Professional have researched the diet supplement market for over 15 years. Based on our findings, and the feedback from our readers, we believe the most effective herbal weight loss supplement is Boda Extract No. 3.

    This weight loss supplement is clinically proven to help you lose body fat and build lean muscle mass. Best of all, it contains only all natural ingredients that will help you lose the weight safely and effectively.

    Follow the link to read our review of this healthy weight loss supplement.

    More than herbal weight loss on our weight loss information page

    Healthy weight loss home page