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What Are the Different Types of Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss?

By Jennifer Long
Updated May 17, 2024
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Over the years, many weight-loss products have been introduced. They range from pre-planned meals to special drinks to Chinese herbs. Chinese herbal medicine for weight loss falls into one of three main categories: metabolic, stored body fat, or detoxification.

Herbal use for treatment of certain ailments is not a new concept. People have been relying on natural treatments for many generations. Using Chinese herbs for weight loss is a common choice, particularly for people who have not had success with other methods or for people who prefer natural medicine.

One of the categories of Chinese herbs for weight loss is metabolic. This group of herbs works to speed up the body's metabolism, causing the body to burn more fat than it can store. Ginseng is a common herb in this category, and it is often known for its benefits of reducing stress and inducing oxygenation, but also in how it helps equalize the metabolism. Astragalus and epimedium also work in the same manner. Eucommia and atractylodes are also included in this group.

Citrus aurantium, magnolia bark, and hawthorn berry are three common Chinese herbs for weight loss that fall under the group that reduces stored body fat. The body stores excess fat that is not used by the metabolism, so reducing the amount of stored fat can help with weight loss. Citrus aurantium can help the body dispose of excess fat and can also help with appetite control. Magnolia bark can reduce body fat while also helping to reduce anxiety. Hawthorn berry works to help reduce stored fat and water retention.

The third group of Chinese herbs for weight loss deals with detoxifying the body. Chinese rhubarb, scute, and coptis are commonly chosen for this purpose. A human body is exposed to many toxins every day through food and the environment. Toxins are naturally enclosed by fat and other substances to prevent them from causing damage.

Although Chinese herbs for weight loss have their potential benefits, there are also many potential dangers that can arise when using herbal treatments. The US Food and Drug Administration is not required to monitor herbal supplements, but there are known side effects that can occur. Some treatments have the potential to interact with prescription medications, particularly those that are taken for heart conditions. It is also possible to experience allergic reactions and side effects that can include a rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and tremors.

There is not any weight-loss treatment available, herbal or otherwise, that is effective without a lifestyle modification. Regardless of which natural treatments are chosen, changing eating habits and exercising are important parts of weight-loss efforts. Before any treatments are used, however, a physician should be consulted to avoid potential dangers, such as drug interactions and health issues.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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