December 7, 2023

You most likely already know that what you eat significantly impacts how much weight you lose. But, you may not already know that many herbs and spices are just as essential. Below are 13 remarkable herbs that may aid weight loss by increasing metabolism, enhancing fat burning, and reducing hunger.

1. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a common spice made from Trigonella foenum-graecum, a legume plant. Several trials have demonstrated that Fenugreek can help control appetite and reduce food consumption, resulting in weight loss.

In an 18-person trial, participants who were supplemented with eight grams of fenugreek fiber daily reduced appetite boosted feelings of fullness, and lowered food intake compared to a control group. In another small trial, fenugreek seed extract lowered daily fat intake by 17% compared to a placebo. As a result, fewer calories were consumed during the day.

2. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne peppers - Herbs That Aid Weight Loss
Cayenne peppers. (Credit: Pixabay)

Cayenne pepper is a chili pepper commonly used to add a fiery kick to a variety of meals. It contains a compound known as capsaicin, which gives cayenne pepper its spiciness while also providing various health benefits.

According to some studies, capsaicin can help you burn more calories throughout the day by modestly improving your metabolism. Capsaicin may also aid weight loss by suppressing your appetite. In a small trial, capsaicin capsules were demonstrated to boost feelings of fullness and reduce total calorie consumption. Another study of 30 participants found that eating a meal containing capsaicin decreased ghrelin levels, the hormone that promotes hunger.

3. Ginger

Ginger, or ginger root, is the rhizome (the main stem) of the blooming ginger plant, Zingiber officinale. Ginger is commonly used in traditional medicine as a natural cure for various ailments, and some findings suggest that it may also help people lose weight.

According to an analysis of 14 human studies, those supplemented with ginger saw a drastic reduction in body weight and belly fat. Another review of 27 animal, human, and test-tube studies, found that ginger may aid weight loss by improving metabolism and fat burning while reducing fat absorption and cravings.

4. Oregano

Oregano. (Credit: Pixabay)

In the mint family, oregano is a perennial herb related to mint, thyme, sage, basil, and rosemary. Oregano contains carvacrol, a potent substance that may aid weight loss. For example, in one study, mice on a high-fat diet that either comprised or did not contain carvacrol gained much less body fat and body weight than those in the control group.

Consuming carvacrol has also been found to directly affect some proteins and genes that regulate fat synthesis in the body. However, there isn’t much research on the impact of oregano and carvacrol on weight loss. Human-based studies, in particular, are lacking.

5. Ginseng

Ginseng is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for its health-promoting properties. It can be classified into several types, including Chinese, Korean, and American; all are members of the same genus of ginseng plants.

This potent plant is linked to weight loss in numerous studies. For example, taking Korean ginseng twice daily for eight weeks in a small trial led to significant weight loss and changes in gut microbial composition.

Similarly, an animal study found that ginseng helped people lose weight by changing fat production and slowing fat absorption. However, more high-quality, large-scale studies on ginseng’s effect on weight reduction in humans are needed.

6. Caralluma Fimbriata

Caralluma Fimbriata - Herbs That Aid Weight Loss
Caralluma Fimbriata. (Credit: BigStock)

Caralluma Fimbriata is a common ingredient in diet tablets. This herb is considered to work by raising serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that impacts appetite.

In a 12-week trial of thirty-three adults, it was found that those who consumed Caralluma Fimbriata had lower belly fat and body weight than those who took a placebo. In addition, according to another small study, eating 1 gram of Caralluma Fimbriata every day for two months reduced weight and hunger levels compared to a control group.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice valued for its aroma, flavor, bright color, and therapeutic benefits. However, curcumin – a chemical that has been thoroughly investigated for its impact on everything from inflammation and heart health to weight loss – is responsible for most of its health benefits.

Curcumin effectively boosted fat loss, lowered abdominal fat, and increased weight loss by up to 5% in a trial of 44 overweight people who took it twice daily for one month. In a similar study, feeding mice with curcumin for 12 weeks lowered body weight and body fat via inhibiting fat synthesis.

However, these studies used a concentrated amount of curcumin, which is a significantly larger quantity than found in a usual turmeric dose. Furthermore, additional research is required to see how turmeric affects weight loss.

8. Black Pepper

Black pepper is a popular kitchen spice made from the dried fruit of Piper nigrum, an Indian flowering vine. It contains piperine, a potent compound that gives it its intense flavor and potential weight-loss properties.

According to one study, piperine supplementation reduced body weight in rats on a high-fat diet despite no changes in food consumption. Piperine also efficiently suppressed fat cell development in a test tube study. However, current research is still confined to animal and test-tube studies. Piperine and black pepper may influence weight loss in people, but more research is needed.

9. Gymnema Sylvestre

Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema Sylvestre. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Gymnema sylvestre is a slightly bitter herb often used as a natural blood sugar-lowering treatment. However, some studies suggest that it may also help people lose weight. This is because it has a compound known as gymnemic acid, which can assist in lessening the perceived sweetness of foods and thus, reducing sugar cravings.

For example, one study found that ingesting Gymnema sylvestre lowered hunger and food consumption compared to a control group. Similarly, a three-week animal study found that eating this herb helped rats on a high-fat diet maintain their body weight.

10. Cinnamon

Cinnamon - Herbs That Aid Weight Loss
Cinnamon. (Credit: Pixabay)

Cinnamon is a very fragrant spice made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. It’s loaded with antioxidants and has a range of health benefits. Cinnamon has also been linked to aiding weight loss in several studies.

It’s particularly good at regulating blood sugar, which might help you feel less hungry and eat less. This is because cinnamon contains a compound that mimics the effects of insulin, assisting in the transfer of sugar from the bloodstream to your cells.

Furthermore, cinnamon may also slow the breakdown of carbs by reducing the amount of certain digestive enzymes. While these advantages may reduce appetite and lead to weight loss, further research is required to determine how cinnamon affects weight.

11. Green Coffee Bean Extract

Many weight-loss supplements contain green coffee bean extract. It’s produced from unroasted coffee beans and has a lot of chlorogenic acids, which are thought to help you lose weight.

In one trial, green coffee consumption reduced belly fat and body mass index (BMI) in 20 people, even with no changes in calorie consumption. Meanwhile, an analysis of three studies found that green coffee bean extract may reduce body weight by 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) on average. Nevertheless, the size and quality of available studies were somewhat limited. As a result, further high-quality studies are needed to assess the weight-loss effects of green coffee beans.

12. Cumin

Cumin. (Credit: Pixabay)

Cumin is a delicious spice made from the seeds of the flowering plant Cuminum cyminum, which is part of the parsley family. It is famous for its nutty flavor, but it also has a lot of health benefits, including speeding up weight loss and fat burning.

In a small study, women who ate yogurt with three grams of cumin twice a day for 3 months lost more body fat and weight than those who didn’t. Similarly, in an eight-week trial, adults who took a cumin supplement three times daily shed 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) more than those who took a placebo.

13. Cardamom

Cardamon - Herbs That Aid Weight Loss
Cardamon. (Credit: Pixabay)

Cardamom is a highly valued spice derived from the seeds of a ginger-related plant. It’s used in cooking and baking throughout the world, and it may also promote weight loss.

One animal study demonstrated that cardamom powder helped reduce belly fat in rats on a high-carb, high-fat diet. In another animal study, black cardamom was found to help lower belly fat and total body fat in rats fed a high-fat diet. Unfortunately, most studies on cardamom’s weight-loss potential have been conducted on animals. The effect of cardamom on weight loss in people has yet to be explored.

How to Safely Use Herbs

The abovementioned herbs and spices can deliver a surge of health benefits with minimal risk of adverse effects when used as a seasoning for foods. However, be careful not to overdo it. Limit yourself to one tablespoon (14 grams) every day, and mix them with nutrient-dense whole foods to help you lose even more weight.

To avoid side effects, stick to the suggested dosage on the packaging if you’re taking herbs as a supplement. You should speak to a professional before taking any supplement if you have any underlying health concerns or are on any medications. If you have any unpleasant side effects or signs of a food allergy, stop using it immediately and consult a trusted healthcare professional.


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