Research on herbs for weight loss suggests that some botanicals may have value. One example is turmeric, which may improve some indicators of obesity without causing side effects.
According to research, turmeric’s efficacy
While some herbs may be safe and potentially aid in weight loss, others may cause side effects. A person should check with a doctor before starting any supplement. It is also important to note that taking an herb or supplement is not a magic pill that will help a person lose weight.
This article discusses herbs for weight loss, including cinnamon, fenugreek, ginger, ginseng, cayenne pepper, Caralluma fimbriata, turmeric, Gymnema sylvestre, green coffee bean extract, and cumin.
The dosage associated with a significant decrease in fat mass was at least 2 grams per day for at least 12 weeks.
Cinnamon supplements appear safe when the quantities are similar to those that people use to flavor foods. However, the use of larger amounts for long periods may cause side effects. The
However, it is important to note that this study was done on rats, not humans. The safety of fenugreek is unknown when a person consumes it in quantities higher than those typical for flavoring food.
Potential side effects
- nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems
- drop in blood pressure when taken in large doses
- allergic reaction
- abdominal discomfort
- mouth and throat irritation
The use of Asian ginseng for up to 6 months in recommended quantities appears safe for
The most common side effect is insomnia, but it may also cause:
- increased heart rate
- loss of appetite
- breast pain
- low or high blood pressure
- digestive problems
Capsaicin is likely safe when an individual consumes it in amounts that are typical in food, but it is possibly unsafe in larger amounts or for long-term use. Side effects may include:
- stomach irritation
- runny nose
The authors did not recommend it for weight loss or appetite suppression.
- general weakness
It found that the supplement improved BMI, waist circumference, and some, but not all, other indicators of obesity. The authors concluded that curcumin may be an effective supplement for metabolic syndrome management.
Additionally, they noted that researchers generally consider curcumin safe, and clinical trials indicate that people tolerate it well.
Gymnema sylvestre is potentially safe if a person takes it for up to 20 months.
According to another
- excess sweating
- low blood sugar
- muscular dystrophy
According to the authors, it appeared to be safe. A
After 8 weeks, the benefits on weight, BMI, and insulin metabolism were comparable, which suggests that cumin may be as effective as the medication. Cumin is possibly safe in large amounts for up to 3 months.
It can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Side effects may include:
The above herbs are typically safe if a person does not exceed the amount usually found in food. However, if an individual takes them in larger amounts, the safety information is unknown.
It is also worth noting that some of the above herbs may cause side effects that are more problematic than others. One example is ginseng’s potential to cause a fast heart rate and changes in blood pressure.
The FDA urges people to talk with their doctor before taking any supplement.
Studies on herbs for weight loss suggest that some may reduce various indicators of obesity. Turmeric and green coffee bean extract appear to have value for this use, and they have a good safety profile.
However, many other herbs have the potential to cause side effects.
As some herbs can have a strong effect on individuals and interact with the medications they take, a person should always check with a doctor before taking them.