Phytotherapy refers to the use of medicinal plants in a therapeutic context. Used since the dawn of time, phytotherapy is the ancestor of our modern medicine and was used to treat all sorts of diseases and other health problems. Abandoned little by little by our modern societies, phytotherapy has made a bit of a comeback in recent years, especially in a weight loss context. But what is it, exactly? Do phytotherapy and weight loss really go together?Available in the form of herbal teas, capsules, oils, and others, so-called “medicinal” plants all have different properties and are therefore recommended for different symptoms and different desired effects. In a weight loss context, we can differentiate between:
It’s important to note that phytotherapy should be used as a treatment, since the effects take longer to appear, and since we don’t want to have them in our system normally. You should therefore choose your plants based on the established treatment: cleanse your body of toxins, improve your metabolism, and reduce your appetite. After 4 to 6 weeks of use, you should switch to another plant or herb to take advantage of other characteristics.
In a weight loss context, the attributes we look for in plants are often those that have an appetite suppressant effect. Particularly recommended in the transition period – that is to say, when you’re moving from a rich diet to a lighter one – caffeine-based plants are an ally of choice. Guarana, tea, and mate, for example, all tend to reduce the appetite. Be careful not to abuse it, though, since caffeine also affects the nervous system, the digestive system, and the sleep patterns, and can cause anxiety.
The digestive system is at the heart of your overall health, which is why relying on plants can’t help a high-fat diet, for example. However, some plants can help the functioning of the stomach, liver, and gall bladder to promote digestion and the absorption of nutrients. These include peppermint, cumin, ginger, and chamomile, which contribute to the proper regulation of the digestive system.
Among their various properties, certain plants promote the elimination of water and toxins in the body. In fact, you should be aware that some toxins come to block the use of fat as fuel. The draining effect of certain plants therefore helps promote blood circulation to stimulate the burning of lipids. Among these are dandelion, turmeric, fennel, and nettle. However, you should be careful not to abuse these plants, which can cause dehydration.
Using plants not only lets you lose weight, but also helps rebalance your system and your internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, digestive system, etc. Whether you believe in their power or not, plants are an effective ally for any type of health issue, including weight loss. As with anything you ingest, it’s important to be careful of the side effects and the way your body reacts, although you should allow for an adjustment period. In addition to a healthy, balanced diet, plants can therefore be real helping hands for your health.