Excess hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods even after you've had a meal can cause the weight to pile on. Some herbal plants you may already have in your kitchen, as well as other more exotic ones, can help suppress your appetite in a healthy manner. If you are trying to lose weight, consult a nutritionist for a healthy diet and exercise plan; taking herbal supplements alone will not be effective.
Hoodia and Appetite
The cactuslike plant Hoodia gordonii is currently under scrutiny for its purported appetite-suppressing effects. A review published in the "Journal of Medicinal Plants Research" in 2010 reported that this property is due to an active compound called glycoside P57 in this plant. There is considerable interest in hoodia as a treatment for obesity as animal studies have shown that it can help reduce weight. However, further clinical studies are needed to determine its benefits for humans and to rule out adverse effects.
Carralluma Extract and Weight Loss
Carralluma fimbriata is an edible cactus plant that has been traditionally used to suppress hunger and increase endurance. Research published in 2007 in the journal "Appetite" studied the effects of this herb on 50 adults who had a high body mass index. Individuals who were given 1 gram of carralluma extract per day for 60 days showed reduced weight and waist circumference. However, diet and exercise were not controlled during this study; further research is needed to determine how effective this herb is at appetite suppression and whether it can cause side effects.
Green Tea and Sweet Pepper Effects
Plants that you are likely familiar with, such as green tea and sweet peppers, may also help to reduce your appetite. A study published in 2009 in "Clinical Nutrition" determined that bioactive compounds found in capsaicin -- an extract from hot chili peppers -- green tea and sweet peppers increased feelings of satiety or fullness. Another study published in the journal "Appetite" in 2012 found that a combination of fiber, green tea compounds and caffeine was most effective in reducing hunger and increasing sensations of fullness.
Psyllium Fiber Benefits
Eating a diet high in fiber has been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes. The herb psyllium is used to make fiber supplements and helps to reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness. An article published in 2012 in "Obesity Reveiws" stated that psyllium may have this effect on hunger because it helps to balance blood glucose levels and improve the response of insulin, the hormone that transports glucose to your cells. Additionally, psyllium may help reduce high cholesterol levels and lower high blood pressure. Take psyllium only as directed on the product label or by your nutritionist or doctor; excess fiber can cause digestive side effects.
- Journal of Medicinal Plants Research: Hoodia Gordonii in the Treatment of Obesity: A Review
- Appetite: Effect of Caralluma Fimbriata Extract on Appetite, Food Intake and Anthropometry in Adult Indian Men and Women
- Obesity Reviews: Effects of Psyllium on Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors
- Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Capsaicin, Green Tea and CH-19 Sweet Pepper on Appetite and Energy Intake in Humans in Negative and Positive Energy Balance
- Appetite: Beverages Containing Soluble Fiber, Caffeine, and Green Tea Catechins Suppress Hunger
- Journal of the National Cancer Institute: More Than Spice: Capsaicin in Hot Chili Peppers