Try these easy and natural ways to combat obesity

A lot of people love eating out and trying out different kinds of food. Too much of it, however, isn’t good, as it can open up the risk of having obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 39.8 percent of Americans suffer from obesity. This is very concerning, especially since the condition is a major cause of disability and mortality. Although conventional treatments are available, these are often associated with harmful side effects, so people are now going back to using medicinal plants. A recent study conducted by researchers from Iran revealed that extracts from tea plant (Camellia sinensis), dog rose (Rosa canina), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), and broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) are effective against obesity.

The rapid pace of industrialization has significant effects on a person’s lifestyle and health. It causes people to increase their fast food intake and also reduces their physical activity, leading to a higher occurrence of being overweight or obese. It is important to give these conditions the medical attention that they need to prevent them from causing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Moreover, obesity also negatively affects a person’s mental health. Orlistat is a conventional drug that is commonly used to treat obesity. However, some people choose not to use it because of its side effects, which include high blood pressure, headache, dry mouth, sleeping problems, and constipation. It is therefore important to find alternative remedies that are safe and effective so that people would want to use them.

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Medicinal plants have biologically active compounds that are useful for the treatment of various diseases. Some examples of these are polyphenols and flavonoids, which prevent weight gain by regulating sugar and lipid levels. Previous studies have shown that tea plant, dog rose, marshmallow, and broadleaf plantain contain these compounds. From this, the authors of the study hypothesized that these plants have potential use as natural remedies for obesity.

In this study, published in the European Journal of Medicinal Plants, the researchers administered extracts from these four plants to male Wistar rats that were given a high-fat diet. They conducted this in vivo experiment to determine the potential effects of the plants on obesity. They gauged the results based on different parameters, including lipid profile, weight gain, and appetite.

The authors of the study observed that extracts from all four plants significantly reduced the effects of a high-fat diet. Moreover, the treatments did not cause damage to the thyroid and kidneys of the rats. The researchers determined that phytochemicals in the extracts, especially phenolic compounds, are potentially responsible for these effects.

Overall, the study proves that tea plant, dog rose, marshmallow, and broadleaf plantain have potential use as natural remedies for obesity. (Related: Weight loss drugs produce only minimal weight loss, even after taking them for years.)

More about the tea plant

Many people are familiar with white, green, oolong, and black tea, but not everyone knows that all of these are derived from just one plant, the tea plant. This main difference between these teas lies in how it was processed. Some leaves are fermented before they are made into tea while others are not. The tea plant contains various biological compounds that are more concentrated in younger leaves than in older ones. These phytochemicals contribute to the pharmacological activities of the tea plant, which include the following:

  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Promoting good digestion
  • Lowering cancer risk
  • Relieving headaches
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Improving breathing

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