Herbs and spices can play a significant role in weight loss but killing cravings and heightening fat burning. Learning about such herbs and featuring them in your food could help make weight loss real.

Weight loss is achieved by several things, including a healthy diet and regular exercises and workouts. While the two really matter, the right herbs and spices can equally aid this quest. Some herbs particularly reduce cravings and fasten fat burning, ultimately shaking off the extra pounds. Here are such herbs and spices which will help you actualize weight loss.

i.                    Ginger

This spice is made from the flowering ginger (Zingiber officinale)plant rhizome and has been widely used in traditional medicine to remedy several conditions, including nausea. Some studies associate this spice with weight loss. For instance, a 27-study review involving human, test-tube, and animal studies found that by boosting metabolism and fat burning and decreasing appetite and fat absorption, ginger could help a great deal with weight loss. Besides, another review with 14 studies also found that ginger could help actualize weight loss by clearing boy and belly fats.

ii.                 Oregano

Thyme, sage, rosemary, and oregano all belong to the same taxonomic class. Studies now show that carvacrol, the compound in oregano, has some weight loss properties and could help achieve the goal. Carvacrol supplementation has led to the expression of weight loss-boosting genes, and another study has shown that the compound help hoed mice lose a considerable amount of weight and belly fat. However, before oregano can be recommended for weight loss, further research needs to be conducted and fill the knowledge gap by providing human studies on the herb and the stated compound.

iii.               Turmeric

For a long time, turmeric has been cherished for its potential medicinal properties, health benefits, and great color. Modern studies now associate it with weight loss, especially because of curcumin, its primary component. In one study, people who took curcumin supplements twice daily lost belly fat and overall weight by 5% more than the other group that didn’t take the supplements. Besides, another study showed that mice fed on curcumin concentrate for concentrated significantly lost belly fat and body weight. The only challenge with the studies is that they only focused on curcumin and not the whole turmeric, and the amounts used were higher than the normal curcumin dosages in turmeric.

iv.               Black pepper

Black pepper is a spice extracted from the Indian flowering vine, Piper nigrum. It is rich in piperine, a compound responsible for the herb’s pungent flavor, and is also linked to weight loss. One test-tube study showed that by lowering fat cell formation, piperine reduced weight. Another study involving rats established that even without changing diet, the animals on a high-fat experienced significant weight loss. Again, like other herbs and compounds, there is a knowledge gap in studies, especially because human study results are missing.

v.                  Ginseng

Although ginseng is always associated with Chinese, it also has Korean and American variants belonging to the same genus. Traditional Chinese medicine cherished ginseng for its medicinal properties, which is why the plant’s popularity today. One observational study noted that when participants took Korean ginseng for eight weeks, their gut microbiota and body weight loss improved. Although the exact mechanism has not been established, studies suggest that ginseng can slow down the rate at which the intestines absorb foods and the overall fat absorption. Still, there is a need for more in-depth human studies to detail how ginseng works to achieve weight loss.

vi.               Cinnamon

The Cinnamomum tree is rich in cinnamon, a common kitchen spice with many medical values and health benefits. One of cinnamon’s claimed health benefits includes weight loss, which is associated with stabilizing blood sugar levels, suppressing starvation and appetite. By mimicking the action of insulin, cinnamon transports sugar from the digestive system to the cells, where it is used as fuel. Moreover, it slows down carb breakdown by decreasing the amounts of digestive enzymes. Nonetheless, more holistic studies explaining the direct relationship between cinnamon and weight loss are needed.

vii.             Cumin

Extracted from the Cuminum cyminum plant, cumin is highly cherished for its unique nutty taste and great health benefits. One of the benefits it boasts is weight loss acceleration, especially by triggering fat burning. In a study involving participants taking either cumin supplements or a placebo, the group taking cumin experienced a 1kg greater weight loss compared to the placebo group after eight weeks. Another study gave obese women yogurt filled with 3g cumin, and after three months, they had lost more weight than the control group.

viii.          Cardamom

This highly-cherished spice obtained from the seeds of a ginger family plant has crazy weight loss properties besides its other potential health benefits. In two different studies involving rats on high-fat and high-carb diets, cardamom helped reduce belly and body fats and the overall boy weight. Although the herb demonstrates great potential in actualizing weight loss, all the available studies are animal-based, meaning that there is no certainty that the same effect would be felt if the herb is used on human beings. Therefore, before it can be recommended for people, human-based studies must be done.

ix.                Green coffee bean extract

Green coffee bean extract has great weight-lowering potential, an ability closely associated with the unroasted green coffee beans which form its core. The green coffee beans, when unroasted, is high in chlorogenic acids, which also boost weight loss.  In one clinical test, 20 participants experienced fat loss and BMI drop after taking the green coffee bean extract consistently for weeks, even without altering the total calorie intake. Besides, another review established that by taking the extract, one could lose as much weight as 2.5 kg, although the study population was small. However, there is a need for more high-quality studies that are more inclusive.


Managing one’s diet and regularly exercising helps one lose weight. Still, herbs and spices can be significant to quicken weight loss. This article shares the main herbs that would help you realize your weight loss journey. They include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, green coffee extract, cumin, and turmeric. However, most of these need more high-quality studies to draw reliable conclusions.

Charlotte Cremers
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MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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