When it comes to losing weight, people will try just about anything: pills, an extreme diet, and even deliberate starvation – uh, we mean intermittent fasting. One strategy that has been around for centuries is to use herbal medicines like teas, leaves, and powders. These products have been developed by celebrities and alternative medicine enthusiasts to lose the gut and feel better without taking prescription pills or undergoing extreme lifestyle changes.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, according to a study, it is.
Researchers at the University of Sydney found that there was insufficient evidence to recommend herbal medicine for weight loss, as the number of pounds she shed was only about 5.5 pounds or less.
For the analysis, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, the researchers looked at 54 randomized trials comparing the effects of herbal medicine on weight loss versus a placebo. Herbal medicines included teas, other liquids and powders made from green tea leaves, Garcinia cambogia, white kidney beans and African mango, and hundreds of other plants.
They found that the herbs led to more weight loss than placebos, but not much – again only about 5.5 pounds or less. However, one of the studies investigated by the researchers found that 16 percent of adults in the United States used herbal medicines to lose weight last year.
They also pointed out that, unlike pills, herbal treatments do not need to be evaluated by federal agencies before they are available on supermarket shelves. In addition, many of the products can be expensive and offer little return on investment.
If you have been a long time reader of this website there is a good chance that you are not one of those people who turn to tea to lose a few pounds. They also know that there is only one proven way to lose weight: eat whole foods and consume fewer calories than you burn in a day.