Traditional Chinese Medicine makes use of a number of herbs. In fact, there are about 500 different herbs that are used in Chinese herbal medicine today. These herbs are not generally recommended individually for ailments or weight loss. Instead, many herbs are combined together for treatment. It isn’t uncommon for there to be 25 different herbs used in one remedy, and this is true concerning Chinese herbs for weight loss as well.
Understanding the Basics of Chinese Herbs Used in TCM
In TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs are classified and used based on the four natures, the five tastes, and the meridians. The four natures refer to yin and yang and include cold, cool, warm, and hot. Cold is yin to the extreme and hot is yang to the extreme.
The five tastes include sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and pungent. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that each of these different tastes has different functions. For example, an herb that has a sweet taste is thought to bring the bodily systems into harmony.
The meridians come into play in the use of herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine in that they each relate to an organ or organs within the human body. Each meridian has a relation to the four natures and the five tastes in terms of what herbs are needed to treat maladies that affect those organs.
10 Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss
Herbs are generally mixed together to treat ailments, including weight loss in Traditional Chinese Medicine. While each of the herbs listed below contributes to weight loss, it is widely believed in the TCM community that no one herb will be effective in weight loss. Instead, a combination of herbs must be used.
Ginseng – Ginseng is very beneficial for weight loss because it reduces the blood sugar levels. Ginseng has numerous other health benefits as well.
Wolfberry – Also known as Goji or Goji Juice, Wolfberry increases energy and curbs the sweet tooth. Goji berries or Goji juice can be used.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is the effect on the blood sugar that makes it beneficial for weight loss.
Ephedra – Ephedra raises the metabolism and increases energy. It was one of the most effective weight loss herbs in existence, but it has been banned for use in the United States.
Laminaria – Laminaria contains iodine and regulates the thyroid gland. This is essential for weight loss.
Crataegus – Also known as Hawthorne, Crataegus reduces water retention, which contributes to added weight.
Ginger – Ginger reduces the acidity in the stomach and essentially cleans the digestive tract, purging the body of stagnate foods which can contribute to added weight.
Peppermint – Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant. It also helps to improve overall digestion.
Loquat – Loquat is known for regulating the blood sugar levels, which decreases the appetite and aids in weight loss.
Green Tea – Green tea has numerous health benefits, but for weight loss, it helps the body to burn fat by boosting the metabolism.
While a combination of these herbs should be used, it is important to realize that most practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine will only recommend and mix the herbs that the individual requires to bring their bodily systems into balance. It is also important to realize that for each herb used in a mixture, specific amounts are used not only for safety, but also to achieve the overall goal effectively. It can be detrimental to your weight loss to start randomly mixing herbs together and taking them.
How Chinese Herbs are Used for Weight Loss
First it is important to note that there are no herbs that are considered miracle cures for obesity. The herbs that are recommended by a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine to help a person lose weight are recommended not based on the fact that the person is overweight, but in an effort to bring all bodily systems back into harmony, which in turn causes the weight to drop.
What this means is that while there are many products that already contain numerous herbs marketed for weight loss, these products do not work for everyone. You need your own recommendation from a practitioner of TCM, based on the disharmony in your body.
A Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner will ask you a number of questions and give you an actual examination to determine where the disharmony in your body exists, and then recommend herb or herbal mixtures to bring harmony back to your body. The TCM Practitioner may mix the herbs for you as well, but they may also give you a written recommendation, concerning the herbs to select, the amounts to use, the way to mix the herbs, and the way that you should consume the herbs. These instructions should be followed implicitly.