Managing Weight the Herbal Way

Weight lose

Obesity is a new age health issue which is rapidly spreading across the world, especially in the developed nations. In a recent study published in the reputed medical journal, The Lancet, more than half of the world’s 671 million obese people live in just 10 countries. The US leads the pack with 13 per cent and is closely followed by India and China at 15 per cent combined together. In India, problems of overweight and obesity are growing. As a report in the Wall Street Journal this year states, overweight percentage has jumped from 14 per cent in the 1980s to around 20 per cent today.

Being overweight puts one at risk of hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, back pain, coronary heart disease, gall bladder disease, cancer and sleep apnea. Experts warn that if not controlled, obesity could become an epidemic. Interestingly, even the ancient Indian medicinal system, ayurveda, had acknowledged obesity and outlined treatment for it. Known as Medorog in ayurveda, it is believed to be found in a predominantly pitta body type constitution. In such a state, the pitta or the digestive system, is disturbed and this leads to improper digestion and accumulation of fat.

To combat this new age health issue, many people nowadays opt for various measures to reduce weight. Apart from exercises and diet foods, people are turning to dietary supplements. These have become an essential part of our life as we battle stress, anxiety, lifestyle diseases and weight problems. Dietary supplement is essentially, as the name suggests, an ingredient which is believed to add to the nutritional value of a product. It can be in the form of a vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid or an enzyme. With the addition of such a substance, the product gets a boost and helps the consumer in improving his health. Supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets, energy drinks and bars.

In US, Europe and Singapore such supplements have been extremely popular and freely available at grocery and medical stores. Over the years, there has been a spurt in the consumption of these supplements. From USD 19.7 billion in 2009 the sales shot up to USD 24.6 billion in 2013, as per the Euromonitor International. In India, too, the consumption have been growing – in 2013 this segment grew at 13 per cent, reported the Euromonitor International’s latest data.Over the years, awareness and health consciousness has contributed to the growth of vitamins and health supplements in India. Initially, there was skepticism about supplements but with passing years, the benefits have come to the fore. Dietary supplements are also known for boosting the immune system in such a way that it adds to our overall wellbeing. So far, no serious side effects have been reported from the use of health supplements. The active ingredients in dietary supplements have been in use for thousands of years for health related issues. Some of those ingredients have become the basis of present day medicines. For example, willow bark tea was used for centuries to relieve fever and later, pharmaceutical companies identified the chemical in willow bark that relieved fever and used that knowledge to produce aspirin.Many dietary supplements extensively use herbs. Interestingly, many traditional systems of medicine such as ayurveda and the Chinese medicine used herbs. Today, science has validated many of the herbs (For example, Green coffee extract, Garcinia, etc ) used in supplements, in fact one fourth of all pharmaceutical medicines are derived directly from plant sources, such as codeine (from poppy seeds), and paclitaxel  (Taxol). The beneficial aspect of the health supplements is what makes them so popular. For weight watchers, health supplements are useful and extremely helpful. Some of the popular herb-based supplements are:

Some of the popular herb-based supplements are:


Garcinia Cambogia,which is also known as Malabar tamarind, prevents fat storage and controls appetite. It is also believed to check blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Research has shown that hydroxycitric acid (HCA) found in the fruit’s rind, blocks an enzyme called citrate lyase which is used to produce fat.

Another popular supplement for weight management is the vegetable Bitter Melon, also known as momordica charantia. It helps to achieve weight loss through lowering and maintaining proper blood sugar levels in the body.




With time it is being proved that herb-based supplements can enhance our well-being and make our life healthier.

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