Concerned with your weight? You are not alone. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and half of that group are categorized as clinically obese. Weight control is a complex matter involving not only biology, but also lifestyle. Researchers have made tremendous progress over the years regarding how molecules interact in the body to regulate weight. However, any weight loss drug developed with that knowledge is still years down the road.
There’s no such thing as a "miracle" weight loss drug. Just a few prescription drugs for obesity have been approved by the FDA, and their performance has been disappointing.
Meridia (Sibutramine) for example, is a weight loss drug that works by creating a feeling of fullness, thus reducing food intake. After being linked to increased blood pressure and heart rate, Meridia was pulled from the market by the FDA. Drugs like Alli or Xenical can block fat absorption, but have the side effect of diarrhea or bloating. Late 2012, FDA approved two new weight loss drugs, Qsymia and Belviq, but their performance is yet to be seen.
It is important to be wary of weight loss drugs. Many so-called "natural" dietary supplements are illegally adulterated with Sibutramine or similar chemicals
Various diet programs like low fat diets and low carb diets may reduce weight according to several studies. However, such diets are unbalanced in nutrition and long term use may cause the depletion of certain essential nutrients and harm the body.
Herbs are commonly used for weight loss as well. The most famous herb is ephedra (Ma Huang in Chinese). Ephedra is a metabolism stimulant and is blamed for causing heart valve problems in numerous cases, which led to its ban by FDA. Although ephedra is a Chinese herb, it is very important to know that traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) have never used ephedra for weight loss as a single herb. Instead, it has been used in combination with other herbs in herbal formulas to deal with health concerns other than obesity.
With concerns about obesity on the rise, many people have turned to traditional Chinese medicine's herbal remedies for weight control or weight loss. From the TCM perspective, obesity is caused by the accumulation of Dampness and Phlegm in the body.
Dampness may be understood as water retention whereas “Phlegm” means the accumulation of unwanted material (like fat and food residue) leftover from the body's metabolism.
The build-up of Dampness and Phlegm occurs when the process of food intake, digestion, absorption and transportation is not balanced. For example, if one eats too much; intestinal progress suffers. Therefore, eliminating Phlegm and expelling Dampness has been recognized as a main strategy in Chinese medicine to lose weight, and has achieved satisfactory results.
Numerous Chinese herbal formulas have been shown to help manage weight. As a major provider of Chinese medicines, ActiveHerb has made them available in our collection. Please check the list below to learn more about each formula. Consultation with a doctor or TCM practitioner is advised.
1. Slimin™: Our signature formula for weight management. It helps maintain a healthy weight and supports a healthy cholesterol metabolism.† At the same time, it may increase energy levels, strengthen digestion, and bolster the immune system.† Slimin™ is the perfect combination of ancient Chinese medicine and modern biomedical science. This all natural dietary supplement has a purity and strength that no one else can match.
2. Fang Feng Tong Sheng Pian: In China, this formula is one of the most recommended herbal remedies for weight loss. This Chinese medicine increases metabolism, induces sweating, reduces swelling, and purges food stagnation.
3. Weitaless™ (Jia Wei Fang Feng Tong Sheng Pian) is our enhanced form of Fang Feng Tong Sheng Pian and is specially formulated for weight loss. Both Chinese herbs are suitable for those who suffer from obesity, have a healthy appetite, and who are at risk for hypertension.
4. Shen Ling Bai Zhu Pian (Wan) is a highly regarded Chinese herbal formula that nourishes the Spleen, replenishes Qi energy, and removes Dampness. As the Phlegm and Dampness seen in obesity is often attributed to the poor function of the Spleen, Shen Ling Bai Zhu Pian is used to stimulate the Spleen and encourage weight loss. It is recommended for those who spend a lot of time in a seated position, feel tired after moving and exercising, and have loose skin and soft muscles.
5. Shan Zha Jiang Zhi Wan (Pian): This Chinese Hawthorn herbal formula is specially made for helping with reduction of fat (lipids) and is recommended for instances of weight management where an accumulation of fat is a concern.
6. Xiao Cheng Qi Pian: This classic Chinese medicine helps stimulate bowel movements by clearing away food stagnation in the intestines and may encourage weight loss.
Most Chinese herbal remedies for weight loss work mildly and gradually to adjust your weight. This is in contrast to quick weight loss medicines which often have side effects, as the body is not being adjusted properly. It should be noted that while Chinese medicines encourage weight loss, lifestyle adjustments such as diet and exercise remain crucial in achieving weight loss goals.