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Herbal Tea for Burning Fat

By Janet Contursi

Being overweight can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Unfortunately, diets don’t work for everyone, and sooner or later you may start adding pounds that you worked so hard to take off. Herbals teas may help you burn fat and lose weight naturally. Consult your health-care provider before starting any herbal treatment.

Herbal Actions

Fat-burning herbal teas are called thermogenics. They boost your metabolism, increase heat and burn adipose tissue, or body fat, in a variety of ways, including stimulating your adrenal glands, and increasing blood circulation and heart rate. Thermogenics are potent and stimulating, so check with a qualified practitioner for advice about usage, dosage and preparation of these teas.

Bitter Orange

Bitter orange, or Citrus aurantia, is an evergreen tree native to Asia. In traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, it is known as zhi shi, and practitioners use the fruit, flower and peel to treat weight loss, insomnia, anemia and gastrointestinal problems. You can make a tea from the dried peel. In their 2001 book, “Herbal Remedies,” naturopathic doctors Asa Hershoff and Andrea Rotelli recommend bitter orange as a thermogenic herb to increase metabolism and break down fats without producing cardiovascular side effects. Do not ingest the essential oil.


Yohimbe, or Pausinystalia yohimbe, is a tall tree native to west and central Africa. Traditional healers use the bark from the smaller branches to treat urinary problems, impotence, fatigue and high blood pressure. The active ingredients include potent alkaloids. Naturopathic doctors Asa Hershoff and Andrea Rotelli recommend yohimbe and explain that it induces a thermogenic effect by stimulating the adrenal glands. This can lead to an increased output of the adrenal hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are natural fat burners. Yohimbe may cause heart and kidney problems when not used correctly.


Cayenne, or Capsicum annuum, is an annual herb that produces a hot pepper. Herbalists use the fruit in teas, tinctures and lotions to treat rheumatism, nerve pain, body spasms, upset stomach, and laryngitis. In their 2000 book, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” Dr. James F. Balch and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, recommend cayenne for its fat-burning and digestive properties. Cayenne contains a group of thermogenic chemicals known as capsinoids, which boost energy metabolism and body heat. A study in the August 2010 issue of “Nutrition and Metabolism” found that capsinoids increased thermogenesis in young, healthy, physically active males who were not exercising. The researchers note that cayenne can supplement diet and exercise in treating obesity. Do not use cayenne if you are pregnant.

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