Today you can hardly go anywhere without seeing an advertisement for a herb to fix something that ails you.  Natural weight loss herbs are everywhere as well.  So today’s question is do they work and most importantly, are they safe?First lets name some of the most common herbs with weight loss claims:

Green Tea Extract





Ephedra (ma huang)

Chromium Picolinate

You’ve probably seen some of these names before.  I would hope before you would use these unproven drugs, you would research them thoroughly.  Yes, I called them drugs because that’s what they really are, you just don’t need a prescription to use them.  Have you ever heard of digitalis?  It is a commonly used medication for heart conditions with plant origins; same with penicillin, which was derived from a fungus.

Let me explain the difference.  The FDA allowed all vitamins and herbs sold without regulation by them.  So the makers do not have to comply with the same standards that a prescription medication does.  Prescription meds have to perform double blinded placebo studies to prove effectiveness, side effects and safety.  The marketers for herbs may claim anything they wish to about their product.

Now that we covered some background let me address the first question; do they work in weight loss?  Who knows, is the best answer I can give you.  They have no medical studies to prove effectiveness and as stated earlier they are free to claim anything they wish.  Lastly remember that if this herb actually makes you lose weight you would probably have to buy it forever to keep the weight off.  If you stop the herbs watch out for another yo-yo of your weight.  So these most likely will cause the opposite, weight gain, without prolonged use.

Next question was are they safe?  That depends on the herb.  Some of these drugs are downright dangerous.  On the list above Ephedra (ma huang) and Guaraná, have put many people in the hospital mostly with chest pains and heart problems.  There are many variables to consider when taking something like those herbs.  Do you have hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoker, or family history of heart disease?  These are some of the conditions that should make you tread carefully before ingesting them.Green tea, L-Glutamine and Capsaicin re probably safe; but the point is no one knows for certain. Chromium Picolinate has been around awhile and is probably safe as well; male impotence has been reported.

I saved HCG for last because it is the hot new fad diet.  While no know issues with HCG have been reported to date; I take exception with the actual diet.  For more information on my opinion of the HCG diet click the link HCG Diet Review Now.


Dr. Len Lucas is a board certified family practice doctor with 26 years of clinical experience. This makes him uniquely qualified as an expert in the field of fat burning weight loss. To see more of his Fat Buring Tips, please click the link for  My #1 Recommended Diet Today!

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