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Losing Weight With Natural Remedies - Effective Or Dangerous?

Oct 24, 2007
In a billion dollar industry such as weight loss, all methods are tried and touted. One of the most popular is by using Natural Remedies. Evidence seems to suggest that some are effective, some are not effective and some are downright dangerous!

Let's have a look at some:

Using Ephedra Sinica or Ma Huang combined with natural Caffeine products is a common method of trying to lose weight by natural means. They are advertised as working by increasing the calorie consumption. However they do this by increasing the heart rate which can feel unpleasant and much much worse can lead to cardiac arrest! Not to be recommended for losing weight.

Ephedra sinica is a shrub found in desert areas all over the world. It is found in China and Mongolia. The species of ephedra found in Northern America, known as Desert or Mormon Tea, doesn't have the medicinal effects of the Asian species.

Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been used for years as a relief for respiratory problems, it opens and relaxes the bronchial tubes and reduces mucus. In these cases it is used for short periods of time. The Chinese have used Ma Huang without problems for 4,000 years but due to the misuse of the herb for weight loss or increasing sports abilities the FDA are considering banning the herb completely!

Mineral and herbal supplements are also common, two of these are ginseng and chromium. Supposedly chromium can normalize the way carbohydrates are used in the body and make changes to the metabolic uptake. This, again supposedly leads to changes in the body's muscle and fat composition. No statistical evidence is forthcoming on this. Also the long term safety of chromium is uncertain. Although some data may show that ginseng improves tolerance to glucose, in scientific testing with placebos, no clear evidence of weight loss was demonstrated between the group given ginseng and the placebo group.

Psyllium, Guar Gum and Chitosan. These so called natural weight loss remedies contain soluble fibre, which supposedly absorbs water in the stomach, producing a feeling of being full. Although this could make some sense theoretically, very little evidence exists for food and calories being decreased. In relation to psyllium there is also the danger for some people of a severe allergic reaction.

Natural Diuretics and Laxatives. The commonly known weed or flower, Dandelion, is really a herb and does seem to have diuretic (diuretics are products which act in the body to increase water elimination.) Whether this results in long term weight loss is unclear and suspect. Again, Cascara is a common herb which works as a laxative but long term weight loss is unlikely. No detailed statistical evidence seems to exist for wither of these herbs working to lose weight. Neither of these herbs has been studied specifically for weight loss in humans. As before the safety factors of using these supplements could in theory cause ill effects similar to the use of over the counter and prescription diuretics and laxatives, such as dehydration and electrolyte problems.

In this article I have only skimmed the surface in looking at natural remedies for weight loss. I shall return to this subject on my website and blog: Natural-Cures-and-Remedies
About the Author
Jack Coburn An investigator of Natural Cures and Remedies , check out and share his findings on natural and herbal treatments on the website at: Natural Cures and Remedies
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