Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

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Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

The internet has blessed us with numerous ways to lose weight like the keto diet, clean eating, hot yoga, and HIIT workouts just to name a few.

But did you know that there’s an all natural alternative that’s been around for centuries and is still used today?

I’m talking about Chinese herbs for weight loss.


I know you’ve probably heard of traditional Chinese medicine or know of someone who turned to TCM for the usual stuff like cough and colds, gas, body pains etc.

And you may or may not believe it can actually help your body recover or at least get rid of the symptoms but hear me out here!

The problem of obesity has taken over the globe, including China, which is 1 if not the most densely populated country in the world.

UNICEF has called it a global public health concern, saying that immediate action and control measures are called for.

The obesity rate for 0-7 year olds in China is now 6x what it was 20 years ago.

Although there’s no solid evidence suggesting that the introduction of fastfood chains and other unhealthy treats from the rest of the world caused increasing obesity rates in China, I am pretty sure it somehow contributed.

Right now, China is grappling to address the problem.

And it seems like they’re turning to good old traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs for weight loss as cure.


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Chinese herbs for weight loss


How do traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs for weight loss work?

TCM doesn’t really work the same way Western medicine does.

That’s because:

1. It mostly uses natural ingredients to treat the health problem.

Traditional Chinese medicine rarely relies on synthetic stuff to say, help you with weight loss.

Instead, it makes use of all natural ingredients to help you achieve your ideal weight.

For example, the use of Chinese herbs for weight loss involves drinking cooled down or warm herbal water made from boiling certain leaves that are believed to help you lose weight.

Drinking oolong tea is also especially popular in China.

Oolong leaves are one of the best Chinese herbs for weight loss so drinking it as tea on the daily is thought to promote fat burning.

Another way to consume Chinese herbs for weight loss is by adding it to dishes and soups.

2. It involves restoring your qi (pronounced chee).

It’s all about balance in traditional Chinese medicine. In order for you to lose weight, your body should have good qi or energy.

And in TCM, energy is not that which is expended for daily tasks and exercise.

Qi is the energy that keeps your body functioning well and balanced enough to lose weight.

A well-balanced qi ups your metabolism, making your body more efficient in burning fat and flushing out toxins.

Especially important is your spleen and stomach qi which are all involved in digestion.

So how can you enhance your body’s qi?

According to traditional Chinese medicine, avoiding raw and cold food is one simple but very effective way to keep your qi.

Raw, cold and sugary food makes you lose qi as it requires more energy to process.

The same goes for food with caffeine content and refined or highly-processed food.

Eating whole foods and practicing clean eating can help enhance your body’s qi.

3. It will totally change your lifestyle.

Losing weight the TCM way doesn’t only involve counting calories and proper portioning.

It encourages you to be mindful of when you eat, how much you eat and how to eat.

Getting enough sleep, avoiding stress and moving your body can all help you lose weight.

Top 5 Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

As I mentioned earlier, consuming Chinese herbs is one way to lose weight according to traditional Chinese medicine. So I’ve listed down 5 of the best and most recommended Chinese herbs for weight loss below:

1. Chen Pi (Sun-dried Tangerine Peel)

Chen pi or Ju hong (red tangerine peel) is traditionally used to treat digestive problems in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is also used to treat cough, pain, and as a natural way to lower blood pressure.

Dried tangerine peel helps promote weight loss too.

Since it helps improve digestion and combats any digestive problem/s, chen pi makes sure that your digestive system is functioning at its optimal level.

Digestion problems often interfere with weight loss as they affect how you eat, what you eat and how your body absorbs and digests everything you consume.

Constipation, acid reflux, ulcers and gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying are just a few digestive problems that could make you eat more than you should.

Taking chen pi as a tonic or drinking it along with lotus leaf as weight loss tea can greatly improve your digestive health and may just help you lose weight.

2. Fu Ling (Poria Mushroom)

Another one of the many popular Chinese herbs for weight loss is fu ling a Poria mushroom that the Chinese have been using for over 2,000 years.

Like chen pi, fu ling is a known Chinese remedy for digestive problems.

Some traditonal Chinese medicine practitioners recommend grounding fu ling into powder form and mixing it with powdered rice in equal parts.

The mixture is then shaped and fried without oil or butter and made into a cookie.

You can add natural sweeteners like fruits to make the dry-fried cookie even tastier.

3. Lai Fu Zi (Radish Seeds)

Lai fu zi aka daikon radish seeds is a popular addition to herb blends like Bao He Wan and Slim-It that are especially formulated for weight loss.

These seeds are powerful detoxifiers, purging impurities and flushing out toxins from your body, making it better able to absorb nutrients and digest food efficiently.

4. Shan Zha (Chinese Hawthorn Berry)

You may have come across shan zha in the US and not even realize it.

Also known as hawthorn berry, this highly-popular weight loss aid is a favorite of those practicing traditional medicine across the globe.

That’s because it has tons of health benefits aside from weight loss, including lowering blood pressure levels, improving heart and cardiovascular health, helping eliminate stress and anxiety and is a powerful antioxidant.

Still, weight loss is one of its more popular uses, not only in China but in other countries as well.

A daily dose of 200mg to 3g of Chinese hawthorn berry supplement is believed to up your metabolism and drastically improves digestion.

A study also found out that shan zha, along with chen pi, decreased obesity and insulin resistance in high-fat diet-fed rats.

5. He Ye (Lotus Leaf)

Last but not the least Chinese herbs for weight loss is he ye or lotus leaf.

This perennial aquatic herb has long been consumed as weight loss food, usually in the form of tea and capsule supplements.

He ye has diuretic and laxative effects.

It is a popular go-to natural remedy for those with recurring constipation but is also surprisingly used to treat diarrhea.

According to some, lotus leaf can help burn excess fat as well.


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Chinese herbs for weight loss


Tips on Taking Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

There’s no denying it. Traditional Chinese medicine is an amazing and a very effective way to treat health problems, including obesity and being overweight.

However, it’s not as easy as buying supplements and taking them everyday.

Because remember, TCM doesn’t work that way.

Each weight loss plan is unique, according to your body’s condition and your qi’s state.

Although you may have luck drinking teas made with Chinese herbs for weight loss, I still highly recommend consulting TCM practitioners as they can provide you a more holistic approach to lose weight.

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About the Author

Hey! I'm Emma part of the FoodyWhale team. It is my mission to help people in their weight loss journey succeed. On FoodyWhale you can find my tips, tricks and secrets that I've used in my own weight loss journey.