By Deanne Greenwood, Medical Herbalist, BSc (Hons) Herb Med
Gymnema sylvestre is a medicinal plant that actually anaesthetises the taste buds in the mouth, reducing sugar cravings and helping balance blood sugar levels
Herbal medicine can help you lose weight and stay slim. But it’s not a magic bullet. It works in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Efficient metabolism of food
In herbal medicine there are many medicinal plants, aka herbs, used to optimise gut function. These herbs help us digest and metabolise food efficiently, and to excrete toxins and other unwanted matter so that they don’t accumulate in the body, making us feel bloated and sluggish. They do this by stimulating the flow and correct balance of gastric juices, helping to regulate bowel movements, urine output and blood sugar levels, and by supporting the immune system – 80 per cent of which is in our gut!
All this has the knock-on effect of making us feel great, full of energy and enthusiasm – which makes it a lot easier to take regular exercise and adopt a new eating regime.
The ‘feel-good’ factor
There are herbs we use to help balance our emotional and psychological state, clear the skin, ease aches and pains, help us sleep, all of which boost our emotional wellbeing – the ‘feel-good’ factor – which gives us added incentive to look after and love our bodies.
When we’re feeling low, this affects our physical health; when we’re feeling happy and enthusiastic, our physical wellbeing is boosted. Mind and body are inextricably linked.
Anyone who has been on a diet or to a slimming club will know that if you see the recommended changes in diet and lifestyle as a hardship, something that makes you feel miserable, you’re unlikely to achieve your aim; but when you embrace these changes as an enjoyable way of eating and living your life, the desired effects are easier to achieve and maintain.
A holistic approach
Herbal medicine is ‘holistic’. That is, it supports the whole body to achieve optimum health. If you have a consultation with a herbalist, he or she is likely to give you a ‘tonic’ made up of a combination of herbs that will help your body rebalance and energise itself on a physical and emotional level.
You are unique
Herbal medicine also works on an individual basis. To be most effective, you need herbs based on your particular body type, your unique physical and emotional state. We are all different.
The power of herbs
Herbal medicine may not be a magic bullet, but make no mistake, it has very powerful, and scientifically proven, actions.
For more information about herbal medicine, visit www.deannegreenwood.com