With the New Year around the corner, I thought I would share the most powerful and effective herbs I have used with my clients trying to lose weight. With an overwhelming number of weight loss supplements on the market, it is necessary to bypass the weak-links and go with what works. Luckily Ayurveda is well-known for its ability to increase the digestive fire, rev up the metabolism and remove toxins from the system, all of which are vital aspects for any effective weight loss regimen.
Weight issues are often caused by a slow metabolism, sluggish digestion and a general increase in Kapha dosha. With increased weight often comes low energy levels, excessive toxins, poor circulation and overall congestion. Therefore it is important to focus on these areas when choosing the best herbal supplements to enhance your weight loss results. Since unwanted weight gain generally involves increased Kapha in the system, it may be helpful to adopt a Kapha-reducing diet and lifestyle while following the recommended herbal regimen below.
Before moving on to the good stuff, I must take a moment to stress that herbs are not a magic “pill” for weight loss. Rather they are simply a complement to making the proper diet and lifestyle changes needed for your own weight loss needs. Without these essential factors, the herbs will never obtain the longterm results you are looking for. However, when used properly and along side a healthy diet and lifestyle, they will undoubtably speed up the weight loss process and enhance your desired outcome!
The 5 Best Ayurvedic Herbs For Weight Loss
1. Trikatu Churna
Trikatu, translated as the three pungent spices, is comprised of dry ginger (shunti), black pepper (maricha) and pippali (Indian long pepper). As the name clearly states, these three penetrating spices will undoubtably increase the digestive fire and speed up the metabolism. Due to the heating nature of this traditional formula, it is well known for removing congestion, promoting circulation and stimulating overall energy levels. When used for weight loss, it is best to take these herbs before each meal, as they will help spark the digestion, preparing the system for the food to come.
Directions for weight loss: Take 1/2-1 tsp of Trikatu Churna 15-20 minutes before each meal. For best results, mix this herbal blend with 1 tsp of honey and wash down with a few sips of hot water. Make sure to be very consistent with this regimen and take before each and every meal. If the herbs are forgotten before the meal, take the same dosage after the meal is complete (better late than never!).
2. Triphala Churna
Triphala Churna is considered a bit of an herbal panacea in the world of Ayurveda. Of its many health benefits, this formula of three fruits possesses the ability to increase the digestive fire, strengthen and cleanse the liver and promote healthy elimination. These vital factors are all very important for any successful weight loss program. The best time to take this formula is before bed to help promote digestion and detoxification throughout the night and allow a healthy bowel movement in the morning.
Directions for weight loss: Take 1 tsp of Triphala Churna each night before bed at least 1 hour after food intake. For best weight loss results, take this formula in warm water mixed with 1 tsp of honey*. If this dosage is forgotten at night, one can take it directly upon awakening in the morning on an empty stomach.
*Honey should never be heated over 108 degrees, so please make sure the warm water is not too warm!
Chitrak (translated as fire) is a classical Ayurvedic herb that is often prescribed during times of slow digestion and sluggish metabolism. Signs of this would be a dull appetite, sleepiness after meals, a thick white coating on the tongue and excessive weight gain, even with little food intake. Taking this stimulating, heating herb before meals is a powerful way to combat these symptoms and boost your weight loss results.
Directions for weight loss: Take 1/2 tsp of Chitrak in 1/2 cup of warm ginger tea with honey*, 15-20 minutes before each meal. If needed, one can infuse a pot of ginger tea (ideally a strong infusion) at the beginning of the day and warm it up with each dosage. If the herbs are forgotten before the meal, take the same dosage after the meal is complete. The most important aspect is to be consistent for noticeable results.
*Honey should never be heated over 108 degrees, so please make sure the ginger tea is not too hot!
Sluggish digestion is often correlated with a sluggish liver which leads to poor digestion, toxic accumulation, slow metabolism and weight gain. Therefore one focus of any weight loss regimen should be to strengthen and cleanse the liver, allowing it to function at its best. Kutki is quite possibly the best of the best when it comes to liver herbs, and as an added bonus it is beneficial for increasing the digestive fire and flushing toxins from the system.
Directions for weight loss: Take 1/2 tsp of Kutki mixed with 2 Tbsp of organic aloe vera juice*. Take this blend 2-3 times daily, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and again between meals.
*Make sure to purchase a high quality, organic, preservative-free aloe juice such as the Lakewood brand.
Guggulu is a commonly used resin in Ayurvedic medicine that possesses an unparalleled ability to scrape accumulations from the system. This includes stored fat tissue and toxins, flushing these blockages from the vital channels of the body. This not only removes the unwanted congestion, but provides free-flowing pathways for the digestion, metabolism and circulation to function properly.
Directions for weight loss: Take 1/2-1 tsp of guggulu powder* steeped in 1/2 cup of warm water (do not strain!), three times daily. The best times to take this for weight loss will be first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and again between meals.
*For water retention weight issues Punarnava Guggulu should be used. For constipation and high toxicity weight loss issues Triphala Guggulu can be used. If you are unsure of which one is best, stick with Shuddha (plain) Guggulu.
Increased weight issues are often correlated with increased Kapha, toxins in the system, a sluggish digestion and a slow metabolism. Taking the appropriate herbs while simultaneously following a healthy Kapha-reducing diet and lifestyle program, will help to flush out the Kapha, remove the toxins and stimulate the digestive fire. By placing your focus on these areas, you will begin to shed the unwanted pounds, obtaining your desired weight in a healthy manner with lasting results.