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herbs used for weight loss

17 Best Herbs for Weight Loss

Making small changes to what you eat, for example, by knowing the best herbs for weight loss and adding them into your meals, can make a huge difference to your health.

But what kind of herbs are good for weight loss? Well, here at OriGym we’ve come up with a list of herbs that you can add to your diet to help ditch the pounds. Some of the products listed below you may not even consider a herb but they are all deemed effective as herbal remedies.

Before you jump in, why not take a REPS and CIMSPA accredited course, like our level 4 advanced sports nutrition course which can soon boost your health and fitness knowledge? Check out our full range of courses and diplomas to find one that suits you!

You can also download our course prospectus for free.

Whilst you're here, download our FREE food diary to keep track of your weight loss journey!

What Are Herbs?

healthy herbs for weight loss

A herb is any plant containing leaves, seeds, or flowers used for food, flavouring, or medicine. 

These plants often have aromatic or savoury flavours (although there are a few on our list that are slightly sweeter). 

The difference between herbs and vegetables is that vegetables can be prepared by themselves as food whilst herbs have to be added to other ingredients. 

You’ve probably used a lot of the best herbs for energy and weight loss on our list already to flavour curries or stews without even knowing that what you regularly add to your meals could be lending a hand in your weight loss journey! 

Before you start learning about which herbs are good for weight loss it could be beneficial to learn about the types of body fat from our recent article to increase the effectiveness of your weight loss plans.

What’s The Difference Between Herbs And Spices?

herbs for fast weight loss

Before we get started with our list of the best weight loss herbs, there’s one thing we wanted to clear up! 

Within our article, you might notice that there are a few spices amongst the herbs in our list: it’s good to know what the difference between the two is! 

The difference between a herb and a spice originates from the part of the plant that is used. 

Herbs generally consist of the leafy green parts of plants but have also been known to include seeds and flowers.

Spices are usually the other parts of the plant, such as the roots, bark, and seeds. 

The difference in the label can also depend on whether you’re classifying them through a scientific perspective or a culinary one, as these often contradict each other. Plus, the trade definition labels spices as any dried plant product that is used in food for seasoning and flavour, so it can all get a little mixed up!

It is worth noting that some particular herbs and spices are interchangeably labelled as one or the other, or both, and there are a few cases where different parts of the same plant are either classed as a herb or a spice too. 

17 Healthy Herbs for Weight Loss

Let's jump into our list of the top weight loss herbs for women and men!

#1 - Cayenne Pepper

herbs for metabolism and weight loss

Cayenne pepper is well-known for its spicy flavour as well as being one of the best herbs for metabolism and weight loss. Its spiciness is the predominant attribute behind cayenne peppers weight loss abilities. 

Capsaicin is the active ingredient that gives peppers their spicy flavour. It’s actually classed as a chemical irritant to mammals which is why you feel pain on your tongue when you eat it, and it's this compound that has been known to aid weight loss. 

Cayenne pepper also contains a capsaicinoid (a similar compound to capsaicin) called dihydrocapsiate: both of these compounds help speed up the body’s metabolism. 

A study found that participants' metabolism significantly increased after 1 month of taking a supplement of dihydrocapsiate.

Cayenne pepper is also thought to speed up calorie burning due to its spiciness, which leads to a rise in body temperature. The body has to then work to cool down which consumes energy, thus burning calories! 

However, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, cayenne pepper supplements are also available to buy. 

It should be noted that the effects of the capsaicin compound may only be useful for those at the start of their weight loss journey: you may build up a tolerance that will diminish its effectiveness.

For those asking “what are the best herbs for weight loss?” starting off with cayenne pepper is great, especially as it's easily found in supermarkets! 

#2 - Ginger

best herbs and spices for weight loss

Whilst you may consider ginger to be a spice rather than a herb, many people consider the fresh root to be a herb and a spice in its powdered form: either way, ginger is one of the best herbs and spices for weight loss! 

There are many medicinal benefits of ginger and it’s been used for hundreds of years for numerous ailments. 

Ginger contains compounds known as shogaols and gingerols and it’s these particular compounds that are responsible for the curative powers of ginger. 

Gingerols have an anti-obesity effect as they help the body digest food faster which in turn speeds up the metabolism. A faster metabolism means your body needs more calories to run efficiently.

Ginger also contains a compound known as 6-Paradol which has been shown to be effective at regulating body temperature. The body uses energy to regulate our body temperature, either raising it or lowering it as necessary, which means burning calories through the energy output. 

Aside from the active compounds in ginger, it also poses antioxidant properties which can help fight oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is the root cause of many chronic illnesses and diseases, including cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's.

Ginger has powerful antioxidant properties - check out OriGym’s list of the best antioxidant foods to find out which other ones will boost your health! 

Furthermore, consuming ginger in your regular diet can help increase satiety which leaves us feeling fuller for longer. This will indirectly help us lose weight by snacking less and consuming fewer calories for the rest of the day.

People with diabetes may also benefit from the effects of ginger as it has been known to help regulate blood sugar levels. This also may be beneficial for those at risk of developing the disease in the future. 

Other additional benefits of consuming ginger regularly include cortisol regulation, boosting energy (which may be useful if you are training in the gym), enhancing the immune system functions and improving brain function!

The most common form of these herbs and spices for weight loss is ground ginger, found in the herb and spice aisle in most supermarkets. 

Ginger can be consumed in numerous ways, including in tea, as a powder, in capsules, and dissolved in water. It can also easily be added to savoury dishes too to give an extra boost of flavour.

#3 -Turmeric

oriental herbs for weight loss

You’ll recognise turmeric as the bright orange spice with the pungent flavour most commonly added to curries. This is another one of the natural herbs for weight loss that has been around for thousands of years and is especially known for its place in traditional Indian medicine. 

Turmeric is actually classed as a herb as it comes from a flowering plant but it is commonly known to be a spice for its flavour in food.

Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric that is responsible for most of this herb's properties. 

It has been known to suppress inflammatory marks of obesity. What’s more, it can enhance the levels of the hormone adiponectin, which is responsible for regulating glucose levels and metabolism. 

Our metabolism is the key to losing weight as this regulates how quickly we digest our food and how we store it. 

Curcumin has also been known to enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce fatty tissue growth. It does this by helping turn white fat cells into brown fat cells which mean that they are burned rather than stored as fat within the body. 

As well as being one of the best natural herbs for weight loss, turmeric also has a detoxifying effect and a huge amount of other health benefits. 

It aids in flushing toxins from our livers and when taken daily, it can help with weight loss. Our liver plays an important role in metabolizing fats and if the liver isn’t functioning at its highest capacity then attempts at weight loss can be dramatically hindered. 

Certain types of diets can be beneficial to weight loss, including intermittent fasting. Check out the benefits and risks of intermittent fasting before you commit to this lifestyle though!

Furthermore, turmeric helps stimulate mitochondria which helps our bodies to break down the fat we consume and use it as energy: the number of ways it contributes to breaking down fats makes it one of the best herbs for extreme weight loss.

You can find turmeric at most supermarkets in the herb and spice aisle. Turmeric supplements can also be found in fitness and health stores, however, be sure to read the label and consult your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions or take regular medications. 

Including turmeric in your regular diet is safe, however, it is important to note that you should avoid turmeric supplements if you are diabetic as this herb may cause your blood sugar to drop too low.

#4 - Black Pepper

herbs for weight loss metabolism

Black pepper is a hugely common household herb, but not many know that it's also another type of natural herbs used for weight loss!

Rich in Vitamins A, C, K, and minerals calcium, potassium, and sodium, black pepper is a small but mighty herb. You may not think about it when you add small pinches to your meal but that is all it takes to reap the benefits!

Black pepper also contains a compound known as piperine. This compound is similar in properties to capsaicin, and it helps secrete hydrochloric acid which aids in the digestion of proteins. 

Piperine helps boost metabolism and also preliminary studies have shown that it may prevent the formation of new fat cells in the body. 

Black pepper and turmeric go hand in hand as the piperine in black pepper have been shown to help the absorption of nutrients found in turmeric that are otherwise difficult to absorb. Combined together these are hugely effective herbs for weight loss!

Black pepper can also indirectly contribute to weight loss as it has a rich and spicy flavour that can enhance the taste of food without the need for calorific sauces. 

It’s also rich in good fats and fibre, and low in sodium: while this may not help with weight loss specifically it can help with water retention and reduce bloating. Another plant commonly used to help with bloating is the milk thistle!

You can find supplements in most health and fitness stores but they are commonly turmeric supplements with black pepper extract. 

Alternatively, you can just add black pepper to your next meal!

Download our FREE food diary to keep track of your weight loss journey!

#5 - Cinnamon

weight loss herbs for women

Cinnamon is derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees. Whilst it is technically a spice, it has a lot of health benefits that make it worthwhile incorporating into your weight loss diet. 

It’s most commonly used for its sweet flavour and is included in recipes for various desserts, cakes, and pastries! It has also been used medicinally in many ancient societies, as well as being used as natural herbs for energy and weight loss.

Whilst cinnamon doesn’t directly aid weight loss it can help manage and reduce the symptoms of being overweight. It has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which aid in the functioning of the immune system. 

Cinnamon is high in fibre which our body has to use additional energy to digest completely: this is one of the ways that cinnamon can indirectly boost weight loss. 

Plus the high fibre content means it leaves us feeling fuller for longer when we consume it.

Cinnamon is a versatile herb, it can be added to some of the healthiest nuts for extra flavour, you can make cinnamon tea, add it into smoothies or coffee, or even put it on yoghurt, the opportunities are endless. 

You can find cinnamon supplements in most health and fitness stores, however, you can achieve the same benefits by simply eating it as part of your diet on a daily basis.

It should be noted that over-consuming cinnamon has potentially toxic effects on the body, such as liver damage and low blood sugar levels. So if you’re planning on taking a cinnamon supplement be sure to read the label and follow guidelines correctly.  

#6 - Oregano

best herbs for weight loss

Not only one of the best herbs for weight loss, but oregano is an Italian cooking staple that is full of fat-fighting compounds. It comes from a flowering plant and is most commonly used when the leaves have been dried. It’s sometimes also referred to as the ‘pizza’ herb.

Oregano contains a compound called carvacrol. Studies have shown that carvacrol significantly reduced the body weight of mice on high-fat diets, leading to further investigation into the effect on the human body.

Another compound in oregano known as thymol works alongside carvacrol to help lower cholesterol. 

Many of the studies on carvacrol have been undertaken on animals with little human evidence. However, animal evidence suggests that carvacrol has the potential to reduce diet-related obesity.

Oregano also contains C-reactive proteins (CRP). This is a type of protein made in the liver and produced as a signifier of inflammation or infection in the body. There are a number of chronic diseases that cause levels of CRP to rise, including cancer, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

CRP’s are also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases related to body weight, and studies have shown that animals on a high carvacrol diet have a lower rate of CRP’s

The polyphenols and flavonoids in oregano help regulate blood sugar levels which assist in maintaining healthy levels of insulin sensitivity, ultimately contributing to stable weight and better general health. 

Plus, they also help increase bile fluids. Bile is necessary for breaking down fats and subsequently improves digestion.

You’ll be most familiar with oregano in Italian cooking and as a pizza topping herb but you can also purchase oregano oil which has a great flavour profile, perfect for drizzling onto pasta or salad dishes. 

Oregano oil contains greater beneficial elements than dried oregano, such as more antioxidants, which help protect against chronic diseases.

#7 - Fenugreek

herbs for weight loss that work

You may not have heard of this herb before, but fenugreek is quite common in Indian cuisine. Both it’s seeds and leaves are traditionally used and both are effective herbs for weight loss that work. 

In India, it is used for medicinal benefits, but in the UK and the USA, it has no approval for this and it is generally only used in cooking.

Fenugreek contains iron, calcium, thiamine, Vitamin C and many more nutrients. It’s a great addition to your diet, available in supermarkets in both dried leaves and ground powder form. 

Research has even shown that fenugreek has appetite suppressant abilities. 

A study found that when participants consumed fenugreek daily, after 2 weeks their total fat intake had reduced by 17%. Although this may seem small, think about the effect it may have over a longer period of time. 

Furthermore, aside from its appetite suppressing ability, fenugreek can also leave us feeling fuller for longer due to being packed with fibre. A tablespoon of fenugreek seeds contains around 2.7g of fibre - the recommended daily amount for adults is 30g of fibre, so adding fenugreek to your dishes can quickly boost your intake.

The thiamine content in fenugreek also works to convert carbohydrates into energy and keep metabolism at its highest function, further properties that make this one of the top herbs for weight loss and energy. 

Fenugreek can also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for diabetics. 

Fenugreek is available in powder form, as a raw seed or leaf, and can even be drunk in tea! For another healthy tea, read about the benefits of green tea.

#8 - Cumin

best natural herbs for weight loss

Cumin is a flowering plant from the parsley family: the seeds are dried and ground up to produce the dry ‘spice’ (technically it is a herb!) which is renowned for its sweet and warm flavour.

It’s known for its use as a type of natural herbs for weight loss and energy in curries and chilli dishes, and fortunately, it has a wide range of health benefits for the human body.

Cumin contains a unique ingredient that has been shown to help boost metabolism, lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels, which are all beneficial to weight loss. 

This ingredient is thymoquinone which is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory compound. It’s this compound that aids in lowering blood sugar levels. It’s also been shown to help reduce fatty deposits in the body.

The weight loss effects of cumin come into play when the herb aids digestion by increasing enzymes in the gut. This, combined with the effect that cumin has on balancing the ratio of HDL and LDL cholesterol, has an effect on how the body burns fat. 

If you have high cholesterol, taking cod liver oil supplements can be an easy way to help this!

Cumin is also high in iron making it one of the more effective herbs and supplements for weight loss for vegetarians and vegans with lessened iron intake. 

It is important to note however that the weight loss effects of cumin are predominantly witnessed when combined with regular exercise. 

There are numerous ways you can add cumin to your diet. For higher efficacy it’s recommended for daily consumption and the easiest way to do this would be to make a cumin drink with water. 

If you don’t fancy this then it can also be bought in supplement form as capsules (usually under the name curcumin, such as these Health Spark Curcumin C3 Complex capsules) or you can simply add the dried spice into your dishes that you cook. 

This herb can be found in most supermarkets as a dried powder but if you’d prefer a supplement then check fitness or health retailers.  

For some other healthy foods you should include in your diet, check out some of OriGym’s other guides:

#9 - Ginseng

natural herbs for energy and weight loss

Ginseng is a root plant that is often consumed as herbs for extreme weight loss or for medicinal properties. It’s a staple in Chinese medicine and taken in many different ways, from tea to soup, and even in alcoholic beverages. 

There are three popular types of ginseng: Korean, Chinese, and American, with Korean being the most popular out of these oriental herbs for weight loss. Korean ginseng has been shown to aid weight loss by altering fat cell formulation. 

Scientists have known for a while that ginseng alters the way we synthesis fats and aids in fat burning but they have never been able to pinpoint why until recent years. They’ve discovered that when ingested, ginseng appears to change the bacteria in the gut, which in turn changes the way that we burn fat. 

Ginseng may regulate angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels) which affects insulin and cholesterol levels, both of which are important when watching your weight. 

It improves insulin sensitivity as having low sensitivity to insulin can result in an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, it has been shown to improve pancreas function which again helps regulate blood sugar levels. 

Animal studies have shown that when supplementing with ginseng in the daily diet, it boosts metabolism, inhibits fat absorption, and uses the fat that it does absorb for other biological functions. 

Ginseng can indirectly promote weight loss as it contains oligopeptides and polysaccharides, both of which provide us with energy: this can increase our motivation to exercise and lose some weight. 

This is also why it's one of the better herbs for weight loss in menopause as it can also boost mood as well as energy levels.

Ginseng is known to be a mild stimulant and for this reason, it’s important that the recommended dosages are followed. The most effective doses are between 200-400mg a day. 

You may not be able to find this herb at your local supermarket but most health and fitness stores should stock it. 

#10 - Caralluma Fimbriata (CF)

herbs and supplements for weight loss

Probably one of the more unknown herbs for weight loss and metabolism, Caralluma Fimbriata is an edible cactus from India known for its appetite-suppressing properties. It’s also known as a food used to suppress appetite during long periods of famine in India. 

It’s most commonly consumed as a supplement in capsule form, but can also be eaten raw, boiled, or cooked in typical vegetables in dishes. 

There has been a lot of research into CF as a potential anti-obesity supplement, however, the results are varied.

One study was undertaken on 2 groups: both groups followed a healthy diet and regular exercise, but one group took CF supplements. The group consuming the supplements were found to have lost significantly more weight and had reduced body measurements at the end of the study. 

Research has also suggested that CF may inhibit the formation of fat cells by blocking the enzymes that promote this. 

Furthermore, CF contains some important antioxidant properties which help prevent chronic illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 

The recommended dosage of CF is 500mg a day, however, it isn’t recommended to take for periods of time longer than 60 days as there is little to no research into the long term effects of this supplement. 

Additionally, there have been reported side effects of taking CF, including stomach aches and constipation. If you experience any side effects it is best to stop taking it. 

One of the many health benefits of blueberries is that they are a great source of fibre, which can help relieve the symptoms of constipation!

Caralluma Fimbriata can be a little harder to find than some of the other holistic herbs for weight loss on this list, but you should be able to find it online from health and supplement retailers. 

Plus, if you’re not a fan of capsules or tablets then there are some pickles and chutneys that have added CF in them, so keep an eye out for those.

#11 - Cardamom

natural herbs for weight loss

Cardamom is a popular spice in Indian cooking, and its oils and seeds are classed as herbs used in medicines.

It’s made from the seeds of the Elettaria cardamomum (or green cardamom) or the Amomum subulatum (black cardamom) which are both plants that are native to Indonesia and India. It has a strong and complex flavour profile that makes it ideal for flavouring stews and curries. 

Cardamom contains essential oils and antioxidants and is classed as a digestive stimulant and diuretic. These properties are all beneficial for losing weight.

Its main function is on the digestive system. It’s well known for reducing bloating and indigestion but that's not all: it contains active compounds which help regulate and maintain normal digestion. 

Without normal digestion, we wouldn’t be able to absorb essential nutrients from foods which is the key to good general health. 

It also contains the hormone melatonin which assists in turning fat into energy and improves the thermogenic properties of the mitochondria. Due to this, cardamom is commonly hailed for its properties in specifically reducing abdominal fats. 

It’s common for people to gain fat around their abdominal area but it’s also the most dangerous place as it's often directly related to the development of cardiovascular diseases. 

Cardamom is also rich in manganese. It’s this mineral that helps in the reduction of blood sugar levels. It has been suggested but not proven that the antioxidant properties found in cardamon are responsible for its ability to lower blood pressure alongside its diuretic effect. 

Another healthy plant full of manganese (and other essential vitamins and minerals!) is the humble eggplant.

The most common way to consume cardamom other than through adding it to dishes is to take it as cardamom tea, with milk, or hot water. With its fresh and slightly sweet flavour, this is another one of the best herbs to take for weight loss!

Don't forget your FREE food diary from OriGym!

#12 - Gymnema Sylvestre

herbs and spices for weight loss

Gymnema Sylvestre is a shrub plant, native to tropical climates. Its leaves are used as a dietary supplement and it has been used in ancient Indian medicine. 

The primary function of this herb is to inhibit sugar absorption. The main active ingredient is gymnemic acid and it’s this compound that helps suppress sweetness. It does this by blocking the sugar receptors on the tongue, and this can indirectly help us with our weight loss journey as it makes sweet foods less appealing. 

However, if you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to add on too many calories then perhaps some healthy ice creams will satisfy the craving?

Similar to the function of the taste buds, it’s thought that gymnemic acid can block the absorption of sugar in the intestines and therefore lower sugar levels. 

For this reason, this herb has been widely studied as a treatment for diabetes, but the studies have not been sufficient enough for it to act as a standalone medicine. It can, however, be used in conjunction with others. 

Further uses of this herb are to reduce inflammation, enhance the function of the immune system, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and it is even thought to influence fat absorption. 

A study showed that when 60 obese participants consumed a Gymnema Sylvestre extract supplement daily they found a 5-6% decrease in body weight compared to a group not taking the supplement. 

The recommended dosage of Gymnema Sylvestre varies on the type you consume, for example, in powder form it is recommended that you start off taking 2 grams, while 100mg capsules are best taken up to 4 times a day. Be sure to check the dosage requirements for your individual needs and the type of Gymnema Sylvestre you are taking.

Although this is one of the best herbs for fast weight loss, it can be more difficult to find in shops. Your best chance of getting your hands on this is to research online and purchase it this way.

#13 - Green Coffee Bean Extract

herbs for weight loss and energy

Most people won’t think of coffee when talking about herbs and minerals for weight loss, but as it is derived from a plant and has been used for medicinal benefits for many years, many people do consider it a herbal remedy. Plus, it does have some weight loss properties!

Green coffee beans are simply coffee beans that are raw and have not been roasted. The roasting process may kill some of the benefits we receive, in particular the levels of chlorogenic acid

Chlorogenic acid is mostly studied on animals so we cannot conclude whether it has the same effect on humans. However, some of the effects it does have include lowering blood sugar levels, reducing insulin spikes, boosting fat metabolism and lowering cholesterol. 

Numerous studies have focused on this particular compound and its effects on weight loss. 

One study involved participants taking 400mg of green coffee bean extract twice a day (or a placebo) for 8 weeks: the results showed that the extract reduced appetite in subjects as well as alleviating some of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. 

This extract also contains caffeine which has been shown in many research studies to boost metabolism. 

It also provides an energy boost which can be beneficial when exercising or training at the gym. There is no stated optimal dosage for this extract but due to its caffeine content, you should be careful not to overconsume. 

You may find green coffee bean extract in many supplement stores, but these can be lower in caffeine and chlorogenic acid but higher in antioxidants, so check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting the right balance of ingredients in these natural herbs for weight loss and metabolism. 

If you follow the keto diet then you probably already know that coffee is a favoured keto drink. Did you know that green coffee bean extract is keto-friendly too?

#14 - Dandelion

what kind of herbs are good for weight loss

A weed commonly found in gardens and often ignored or removed, the dandelion is actually another one of the most effective herbs good for weight loss! 

Dandelion is most commonly consumed as a tea. You can get two varieties: one made from the root and one made from the leaves. It acts as a diuretic due to the high potassium content found in it, which can provide relief from bloating and increased urination. 

Dandelion tea is a great substitute for your morning coffee if you are trying to cut down on your caffeine intake as it’s low in calories and has a sweet taste which may help curb those sugar cravings. 

There are a few active ingredients within dandelions that promote healthy weight loss.

It contains good levels of vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyesight, as well as supporting the body on a metabolic level. Dandelion also contains antioxidants for immune system protection and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Dandelion supplements are known to be effective at enhancing liver functioning. If the liver doesn’t function at optimal capacity then hormone balances within the body can be affected, including our insulin levels.

Consuming a dandelion supplement is a great way to promote liver functioning and thus promote healthy hormone production. 

The dandelion flower has also been shown to promote pancreatic lipase, the enzyme that breaks down unhealthy fats. 

What’s more, dandelion is believed to boost immunity and reduce fatigue which is important when exercising regularly to maintain motivation and boost weight loss. 

The recommended dosage of dandelion varies depending on its form:

  • Dandelion root - 2g to 8g a day
  • Dandelion root powder - 3g to 4g a day
  • Dandelion leaves - 4 to 10g a day
  • Fresh dandelion extract - 1 to 2 tbsp a day
  • Dried dandelion extract - 0.75g to 1g a day

Other than finding it as an unwanted presence in your garden you can find supplements in most health and nutrition shops. 

So next time someone asks you “what herbs are good for weight loss?” you can explain all the benefits of this common weed!

#15 - Psyllium

natural herbs used for weight loss

The psyllium used in herbs for fast weight loss actually comes from the husks of the Plantago Ovata plant, and these husks are rich in soluble fibre. It has regularly been used as a traditional remedy for many digestive ailments such as diarrhoea, constipation, and bloating. 

The taste of psyllium husks is fairly neutral meaning it can easily be combined with many foods for an extra health boost. 

When we consume it, the soluble fibre turns into a gel and swells when activated with water or bile in the stomach. This helps keep us fuller for longer and suppresses our appetite, meaning we consume fewer calories throughout the day. 

Soluble fibre has been studied for years on its effects on weight loss; it’s a valuable tool to reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. 

If you take psyllium husks you need to make sure you stay properly hydrated as it is classed as a ‘bulk-forming laxative’. This means that it absorbs water in the gut and promotes healthier bowel movements: if you don’t maintain hydration then this may result in constipation. 

Psyllium contains no sugar and no fat and is a great way to add fibre to your diet without the added calories, making it one of the best herbs for fast weight loss!

The dosages vary depending on the type you consume whether it be powder, liquid, or capsules. Psyllium husks and psyllium seeds also have different recommended dosages. The recommended daily amount of psyllium husks is between 3g to 5g taken with 2 litres of water throughout the day. 

You’ll find psyllium in most laxative products so be sure not to over-consume as it could make you ill. Similarly, if you suffer from any digestive illnesses you should speak to your doctor before taking psyllium. 

You can purchase both psyllium husks and psyllium seeds, and fortunately, psyllium is inexpensive to buy in supplement form. You’ll find it in most health stores and it is easily consumed with water, juice, or even yoghurts. 

If you’re looking for some healthier yoghurts to take with effective herbs for weight loss then try one of the products from our list of the best high protein yoghurts here.

#16 - Garcinia Cambogia

herbs good for weight loss

Garcinia Cambogia is a herbal supplement derived from a tropical plant found in Indonesia. It’s often pickled, sun-dried or smoked.

It’s main claims to fame are increasing weight loss, reducing appetite, and enhancing physical endurance. 

Garcinia Cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA): this has been found to inhibit the enzyme citrate lyase which is responsible for storing fat in the body, as discussed in the scientific journal Fitoterapia:

“Studies have shown that the extracts as well as (−)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a main organic acid component of the fruit rind, exhibited anti-obesity activity including reduced food intake and body fat gain by regulating the serotonin levels related to satiety, increased fat oxidation and decreased de novo lipogenesis. HCA is a potent inhibitor of adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase, a catalyst for the conversion process of citrate to acetyl-coenzyme A, which plays a key role in fatty acid, cholesterol and triglycerides syntheses.” 

Additionally, Garcinia Cambogia also contains the hormone serotonin which is known to enhance our mood. Research suggests that this may reduce stress-induced eating and may motivate us to stay on track with healthy eating. 

Drinking coconut water is another way to regulate hormones such as serotonin, and it's a healthy alternative to a lot of other drinks!

This herb can be found in capsules, tablets, powders and even in liquid form. For best results,  it’s recommended to take the herbs and supplements for weight loss 1 hour and 30 minutes before eating. 

When purchasing be sure to check the label for the HCA quantity as many don’t include this, or they contain amounts too minimal to have any profound effect on weight loss. 

You can often find this herb in supplement form combined with other items on our list such as Holland & Barrett’s Garcinia Cambogia & Green Coffee Bean 60 Capsules.

#17 - Kalonji

what herbs are good for weight loss

Kalonji is a type of herb that has a long list of associated names, such as fennel flower, nutmeg flower, black cumin, black onion seeds, or Nigella seeds, and features on our list of herbs for weight loss as it has similar health-boosting properties to cumin. 

It's packed full of nutrients, including iron, calcium and Vitamins A, B, and C. These tiny black seeds are also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have proven kalonji to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar and most importantly aiding weight loss. 

The active compounds found in kalonji have been known to help suppress appetite leading us to consume fewer calories throughout the day: one of the many reasons this is one of the best herbs to take for weight loss. These compounds are called phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are found in many foods and supplements, as well as kalonji, and are responsible for aiding weight loss. They have been reported to promote lipolysis (the process of fat being broken down in the body) and fatty acid oxidation, both of which facilitate weight loss. 

Consuming kalonji in seed, powder, or oil form alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise can significantly enhance weight loss. 

Furthermore, when taken alongside a healthy diet, the risk of obesity-related diseases is reduced, which can provide extra peace of mind when trying to lose weight. 

These healthy herbs for weight loss are most commonly consumed through oil and powders and are generally considered safe for the main population. However, there is insufficient evidence for their effect on the body during pregnancy and diabetics should be careful when taking this herb as it can lower blood sugars. 

If you’re looking to get pregnant then taking folic acid is essential. Read up on folic acid’s benefits, side effects, and uses here

Due to its slightly bitter taste and similar flavour profile to onion and oregano, it can easily be added to the majority of savoury dishes, including curries or stews. It can even be taken as a drink with hot water or as a tea. 

Where To Buy Herbs And Spices For Weight Loss?

herbs used for weight loss

Fortunately, a lot of the herbs on our list are regularly available within the herb and spice aisle in supermarkets. Some of the more unusual ones can be trickier to find, but if you look in health and nutrition retailers such as Holland & Barrett then you should be able to find the majority of them. 

Failing that, researching online is the easiest way to find out where to purchase them, and you’ll be able to find them at varying prices too.

Conclusion

You probably already consume quite a few of these herbs for weight loss and metabolism in your diet, but now you know a lot more about the variety of health benefits they can provide.

Most of these herbs can be consumed with hot water to suppress your appetite or boost your metabolism, so they are a great alternative to other less healthy drinks. You may not want to take supplements but adding a few of these herbs into some of your dishes can not only provide a nutritional benefit but can also enhance a recipe's taste profile!

Before you go, you should check out OriGym’s level 4 advanced sports nutrition course as you can learn a lot more about health and nutrition! Don’t forget to download or FREE course prospectus too for more information about all our courses and diplomas.

References:

  1. Chevassus, H., Gaillard, J.-B., Farret, A., Costa, F., Gabillaud, I., Mas, E., Dupuy, A.-M., Michel, F., Cantié, C., Renard, E., Galtier, F. and Petit, P. (2010). A Fenugreek Seed Extract Selectively Reduces Spontaneous Fat Intake in Overweight Subjects. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, [online] 66(5), pp.449–455.
  2. Cho, S., Choi, Y., Park, S. and Park, T. (2012). Carvacrol prevents diet-induced Obesity by Modulating Gene Expressions Involved in Adipogenesis and Inflammation in Mice Fed with high-fat Diet. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 23(2), pp.192–201.
  3. Galgani, J.E. and Ravussin, E. (2010). Effect of dihydrocapsiate on Resting Metabolic Rate in humans123. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 92(5), pp.1089–1093.
  4. Kim, E., Choi, Y., Jang, J. and Park, T. (2013). Carvacrol Protects against Hepatic Steatosis in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet by Enhancing SIRT1-AMPK Signaling. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 2013(290104).
  5. Kuriyan, R., Raj, T., Srinivas, S.K., Vaz, M., Rajendran, R. and Kurpad, A.V. (2007). Effect of Caralluma Fimbriata Extract on appetite, Food Intake and Anthropometry in Adult Indian Men and Women. Appetite, [online] 48(3), pp.338–344. 
  6. Li, Z. and Ji, G.E. (2018). Ginseng and Obesity. Journal of Ginseng Research, [online] 42(1), pp.1–8.
  7. Park, U.-H., Jeong, H.-S., Jo, E.-Y., Park, T., Yoon, S.K., Kim, E.-J., Jeong, J.-C. and Um, S.-J. (2012). Piperine, a Component of Black pepper, Inhibits Adipogenesis by Antagonizing PPARγ Activity in 3T3-L1 cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, [online] 60(15), pp.3853–3860. 
  8. Preuss, H.G., Bagchi, D., Bagchi, M., Rao, C.V.S., Dey, D.K. and Satyanarayana, S. (2004). Effects of a Natural Extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema Sylvestre Extract on Weight Loss. Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, [online] 6(3), pp.171–80.
  9. Roshan, H., Nikpayam, O., Sedaghat, M. and Sohrab, G. (2018). Effects of Green Coffee Extract Supplementation on Anthropometric indices, Glycaemic control, Blood pressure, Lipid profile, Insulin Resistance and Appetite in Patients with the Metabolic syndrome: a Randomised Clinical Trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 119(3), pp.250–258.
  10. Semwal, R.B., Semwal, D.K., Vermaak, I. and Viljoen, A. (2015). A Comprehensive Scientific Overview of Garcinia Cambogia. Fitoterapia, 102, pp.134–148.
  11. Tasawar, Z., Siraj, Z., Ahmad, N. and Lashari, M.H. (2011). The Effects of Nigella Sativa (Kalonji) on Lipid Profile in Patients with Stable Coronary Artery Disease in Multan, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 10(2), pp.162–167.

Written by Dee Hammond-Blackburn

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Dee on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Dee holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and is currently finishing her MA in Marketing Communications and Branding from Edge Hill University. Her passion for fitness and content writing brought her to OriGym, and she has since become a qualified Personal Trainer and a Sports Nutrition Specialist. Combining her skills in fitness and writing, Dee has a professional interest in fitness blogging, content creation, and social media. Outside of her writing role Dee enjoys reading, healthy cooking, and playing football with her dalmation.

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