Sometimes even with a healthy eating plan and fitness regime, weight loss is still a struggle. And, of course, as we grow older weight loss can be particularly challenging. That’s where Ayurvedic herbs come into play. They’ll help you fight fat, lose weight and keep it off for good. Here are three Ayurvedic herbs and a fat-fighting detox tea that can help you lose weight effectively.
Ridding ‘ama’ is key to losing weight
Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) originated in India over 3,000 years ago. It’s one of the world’s oldest medical systems and it’s still one of the country’s traditional health care systems. It involves the use of herbal compounds, special diets and other unique health practices. When it comes to losing stubborn belly fat, Ayurvedic herbs can be very helpful.
Ridding “ama” is key to losing weight. Ama means “toxins.” Toxins accumulate in the body because of poor diet choices, chronic stress and environmental pollutants. According to Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary for Dr. Oz, some of these toxins are water-soluble, which makes them easier to remove from the body with diet and exercise. But other toxins are fat-soluble. That means they become stuck deep inside fat cells. The fat cells expand because of an accumulation of toxins. This leads to weight gain, especially in area like the belly that hold pockets of fat.
Ayurvedic herbs help target ama (toxins) and remove it from the body — shrinking fat cells. In fact, as you age it’s more common to have ama in your body, suggests Dr. Chaudhary. However, Ayurvedic herbs can help fight obesity and stubborn belly fat without any side effects.
Triphala is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine and it’s actually a potent mixture of three herbs: haritaki, bibhitaki and amalaki. It’s very effective in decreasing constipation and improving digestion. It also helps clear blockages in the digestive system. Triphala is said to nourish the liver and metabolism, while eliminating fat deposits. A 2012 animal study from India looked at the effects of triphala on obesity and other symptoms of visceral obesity syndrome. Mice were fed a high-fat diet for ten weeks. Some had their diets supplemented with triphala. Mice who were fed triphala had significant reductions in body weight and percentage of body fat. To use triphala, take on an empty stomach. Add half a teaspoon of the powder to a cup of hot water.
Guggul is another traditional Ayurvedic medicine that helps fight belly fat and obesity. According to a review published in Research Gate, guggul is excellent for the treatment of obesity. It has anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic and antioxidant activity. It’s also known to stimulate thyroid function and optimize metabolism.
Ginger is thought to increase body heat. In Ayurveda, consuming fresh ginger tea, with or without honey, in the morning, is believed to burn fat. In fact, drinking ginger tea improves your metabolism. It also helps with indigestion and easing blockages in the colon. A review published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, examined 60 studies, performed on cell cultures, lab animals and humans. Overall, researchers concluded that ginger is beneficial against obesity and other metabolic disorders. So, why not try a little ginger tea for that stubborn belly fat?
Fat fighter herb tea
Here’s an ayurvedic fat fighter “detox” tea — best made in the morning and sipped warm throughout the day. It includes a combination of ingredients that not only help break down fat, but also helps improve digestion and unblock channels in the body by removing toxins.
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
- 5 cups boiling water
- Boil water in a pot. Add seeds to the water and continue to boil for five minutes with the lid on.
- Strain out seeds and pour the tea into a thermos.
- Take small sips throughout the day. If you experience any discomfort, reduce seeds to 1/4 teaspoon each for two weeks. Then increase back to 1/2 a teaspoon.
Are Ayurvedic herbs safe?
Some Ayurvedic herbs may cause side effects or interact with conventional medicines, suggests the National Institute of Health. Therefore, do not use Ayurvedic medicine to replace conventional care. In fact, tell all your health care providers about any complementary herbs you use for weight loss. This way, they’ll know exactly how to manage your health.
— Katherine Marko