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Chinese Weight Loss Herbs

Traditional Chinese healers treat the chi, or energy focal points in the body. New York acupuncturist Farah Khan reports that there are a variety of Chinese herbs that work on the body's metabolism to increase the body's metabolism, which can help in the weight loss process when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. As with most alternative medicine practices, patients should consult their physician before exploring these options.


For dieters who struggle with emotional eating, there are Chinese herbs that can help to restore balance and harmony. Magnolia bark has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat anxiety, neurosis and headaches. The herb releases serotonin, an enzyme that acts as a neurotransmitter to regulate appetite and feelings of anger, changing moods and sexuality. Magnolia bark typically is available in pill form in dosages of less than 1g. Researchers at the Institute for Traditional Medicine report that there are no adverse side effects reported from magnolia bark use.


Cravings for certain foods often are triggered by acidic digestive conditions and inflammation. There are bitter Chinese herbs that target cravings for sweet, spicy and oily foods high in calories and unhealthy ingredients. This class of bitter herbs includes scute, an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial herb. Doctors at the Tillotson Institute of Natural Health report that scute root, also referred to as Chinese skullcap, is effective for treating digestive disorders and lung infections that interfere with exercise. The flavonoids in scute can help to process fat and calories and promote smoother digestive processes. In dried powder form, you should take no more than 10g per day. Scute is an anti-inflammatory that can cause excessive bleeding and should not be used by cancer patients, those with liver or kidney disease or pregnant women.


When the chi, or qi, and yang energy are increased, metabolism can get a boost from certain Chinese herbs. Ginseng is a popular herb used to boost energy and prevent heart disease. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that ginseng can help to overcome fatigue and increase energy. The herb has antioxidant properties that help to keep blood vessels clear. It can help to lower high blood pressure, resulting in a healthier cardiovascular system. To gain the maximum benefits, patients should use a maximum of 1g of ginseng for two to three weeks and then take a break, as the herb should be used continuously. Long-term use can lead to diarrhea, skin rash, sore throat and anxiety. While ginseng boosts metabolism to increase energy levels, it encourages users to maintain and increase regular exercise routines. At the same time, the herb improves digestion, which aids in burning fat and improving metabolism rates. Kahn reports that ginseng can be particularly beneficial to those who gain weight in the abdomen.