Using Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

You can get quite a bit of information about Chinese herbs online, especially if you are considering the use of Chinese herbs to promote weight loss. In recent years, herbal remedies, including those typically used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), have become increasingly popular with those who are seeking non-pharmaceutical treatments for various ailments, including the need to lose weight. Chinese herbs for weight loss generally fall into two categories: those intended to improve digestion (resulting in the need for less food intake), and those intended to reduce appetite.

As with any new medicine or dietary supplement, you should exercise caution until you know how the substance affects you. You should also be careful if you are dealing with a new source for your herbs; since most herbal remedies are marketed as “dietary supplements,” they are not subject to the same testing for side effects and purity that pharmaceuticals regulated by the FDA are. Potency and purity can vary widely among different manufacturers.

Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss Attitudes

It has been noted that the Chinese population is generally less prone to being overweight than the American population. However, Chinese people enjoy food, have diversified diets, talk about food, and spend a lot of time cooking and eating—just like Americans. So, why the difference in the populations?

Some have suggested that it may be partly due to the different attitudes Chinese people have toward their food. They concentrate on their food while eating, noting the taste, texture, and aroma. Thus, they derive maximum enjoyment from even a simple meal, which helps increase the body’s “awareness” of the food and promotes feelings of satisfaction without the need for as much food intake.

Many Americans, on the other hand, rush through meals, barely noticing what they’re putting in their mouths. This can result in poor digestion and a delayed sense of “fullness,” causing greater-than-necessary food intake, and leading to an overweight condition. So, one important step you can take, even before you begin using Chinese herbs or anything else for weight loss, is to gain a healthier relationship with your food, including the way you think about it.

Types of Chinese Weight Loss Herbs

As mentioned above, several popular Chinese herbs promote weight loss by aiding the digestive process. These compounds are promoted either for their ability to improve digestion of certain dietary components—fats, proteins, or carbohydrates—or to generally promote the body’s digestive processes by aiding peristalsis (the movement of food along the digestive tract). Other mixtures work as appetite suppressants by stimulating the “full” response earlier.