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  Herbal Weight Loss

Are Herbal Weight Loss Products Good Alternative to Diet Pills?

Mainstream medicine is finally taking note of the Herbal industry. More and more people are taking note of herbal therapies to treat various kinds of ailments in place of mainstream medicine. Herbal supplements are a type of dietary supplement that contain herbs, either singly or in mixtures. An herb (also called a botanical) is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor, and/or therapeutic properties.

Herbal medicine is one of the oldest forms of medical care known to man.Today, manufacturers are supplying more and more standardized herb extracts.Herbs can be prepared in a variety of forms depending on their purpose.  In the United States , herbal products can be marketed only as food supplements.  A large number of herbs are in use for their medicinal properties around the world. 

Herbal supplements can act in the same way as drugs. Therefore, they can cause medical problems if not used correctly or if taken in large amounts. In some cases, people have experienced negative effects even though they followed the instructions on a supplement label.Women who are pregnant or nursing should be especially cautious about using herbal supplements, since these products can act like drugs. This caution also applies to treating children with herbal supplements.It is important to consult your health care provider before using an herbal supplement, especially if you are taking any medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter). Some herbal supplements are known to interact with medications in ways that cause health problems. Even if your provider does not know about a particular supplement, he can access the latest medical guidance on its uses, risks, and interactions.

Mentioned below are some of the common and trusted herbal weight loss supplements:

Herbal Remedies for Weight Loss
Achieve natural weight loss and lose weight fast with herbal remedies for weight loss, herbal supplements, programs and herbal weight loss pills.

Ephedrine
Ephedrine is a common ingredient in herbal supplements used for weight loss. Ephedrine is used in asthma medicine, as well as to make methamphetamine, more commonly known as speed. In fact, there's only a slight difference chemically between methamphetamine and ephedrine. Ephedrine can slightly suppress your appetite, but few studies have shown it to be independently effective in weight loss.Ephedrine can also be dangerous. It can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness, tremors, seizures, heart attacks, strokes and even death. Ephedrine can also interact with many prescription and over-the-counter medications.

St. John's Wort This herbal product is primarily used as an antidepressant. Few studies have evaluated its effectiveness for promoting weight loss. St. John's Wort is one of the primary ingredients in herbal phen-fen.If you are taking St. John's Wort, you should avoid tyramine containing foods (for example, aged meats, cheese, wines, etc.). You should also avoid medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Remeron, Serzone, Buspar, and dextromethorphan (contained in various cold remedies). The use of St. John's wort for weight loss is potentially very dangerous.

5-hydroxytryptophan
Found in some over-the-counter herbal weight loss supplements, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) an extract from a West African plant has not been proven to effectively promote weight loss.

Pyruvate
Pyruvate is formed in the body during digestion of carbohydrates and protein from food. It may have a slight effect in helping you shed pounds, according to some studies. Found in the form of pyruvic acid, pyruvate can be found in various foods including red apples, cheese and red wine. Pyruvate appears to be safe, but claims of boosting metabolism, decreasing appetite and aiding in weight loss need further supporting evidence.

Aloe
Most often used as a topical product for wound healing, oral forms of aloe are added to herbal weight-loss supplements. Oral aloe produces a strong cathartic response (producing bowel movements) and many aloe weight-loss products are marketed as "internal cleansers." However, aloe or aloe containing products should not be ingested orally. Use of this agent orally has lead to side effects such as abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and problems with the body's mineral balance. In addition, it can interact with medications such as Lanoxin (digoxin), a medicine used to treat heart failure. The use of aloe has not been proven to keep weight off.

Dandelion
Dandelion is a natural diuretic. It may produce significant weight loss by decreasing body water. However, it can cause allergic reactions and may even cause cancer.

Guarana

Made from the seeds of a plant native to Brazil , guarana speeds up the brain's activity and is used to promote weight loss due to its stimulant and diuretic effect. Guarana contains 2.5% to 5% caffeine and may cause high blood pressure. Some of the extracts have been known to cause prolonged bleeding and interact with blood thinner medication such as Coumadin. Many advertisements state guarana is free from side effects, however this statement is not true. Side effects from guarana may include: nausea, dizziness and anxiousness.

Guar Gum
Also known as guar, guar flour, and jaguar gum, guar gum is a dietary fiber obtained from the Indian cluster bean. Guar gum has been used extensively as a thickening agent for foods and medications. It has been noted to decrease appetite by providing a "feeling of fullness." However, like glucomannan, guar gum may cause obstruction of the esophagus. The water-retaining capacity of the gum permits it to swell to 10 to 20 fold and has led to gastrointestinal obstructions. Guar gum has also been known to cause significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels, thus people with diabetes should not use these preparations.

Herbal Weight Loss Supplements - Warning
"Herbal weight loss supplements" sound safer than "weight loss drugs." Unfortunately, due to lack of regulation and fewer labeling rules, it's almost impossible to know exactly what you're taking when you use herbal weight loss supplements. Indeed, several ingredients in herbal supplements have been linked with severe illness, even death.

If you choose to use herbal weight loss pills or supplements, be sure to consult your doctor BEFOREHAND. Some herbal ingredients may be inappropriate for you, or may react with other medications.

Some of the herbal weight loss products featured here are:

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