Herbs to Increase Metabolism
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Jeanice
Posted on: May 29, 1998

Which herb do I need to take to help increase my metabolism rate? I have no thyroid gland and take synthyroid daily. My metabolism rate is so low that I gain weight on a daily 1400 calorie diet. I have arthritis in my cervical and lumbar spine and both shoulders which prevents me from doing vigorous exercise. I desperately need to increase my metabolism rate somehow.

Thomas Bartram, in "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" (Grace Publishers, Mulberry Court, Stour Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1PS, England) defines metabolism as the chemical changes and physical processes whereby 1) energy is created for the body’s vital activities, and 2) old cells are replaced by new ones. It is dependent on chemical interaction promoted by enzymes. He states that metabolism stimulation requires attention to the liver, digestive organs and endocrine glands, and suggests the following herbs: Boldo (Peumus boldus) is a liver tonic and diuretic which increases the bile flow; Barberry Bark is a liver stimulant and tonic to the spleen, pancreas and digestive system; Dandelion leaf and root stimulates the liver and pancreas and promotes elimination of cholesterol; Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a liver and lymphatic stimulant which has anti-inflammatory and pain killing properties useful in arthritis. (Not to be taken in cases of peptic ulcer); Garlic is a digestive which helps to keep fat from accumulating in the arteries; Ginseng increases endurance and immunity(not recommended in high blood pressure) Oats is a nutrient which tones the nervous system; Peppermint is an enzyme activator which improves digestion; Prickly Ash Bark or Berries (Zanthoxylum clavaherculis) improves blood circulation and is useful in easing the pain of arthritis; Wild Yam stimulates the adrenal glands, promotes liver function and digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.

A Herbalist or Naturopath can help you choose the right combination and dosage of herbs for your condition.

Your diet is important in providing the nutrients and enzymes required for metabolism and should be high in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low on fatty, fried and processed foods, sugar and white flour products. You might want to try the diet recommended in Dr. Dean Ornish’s book "Eat More, Weigh Less", (Harper Collins Publishers) which describes the basic philosophy and benefits of a fat free diet and includes hundreds of delicious recipes.

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