A woman holds a bottle of Dragon Hemp Reach capsules up against her face and looks into the camera.

Best Chinese Herbs for Weight Loss

Many people struggle with weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41% of Americans are obese. In other words, 4 in 10 Americans dislike their weight and would prefer much slimmer bodies.

In recent years, obesity has been a popular topic, especially among people claiming to know all sorts of cures for the condition. While most of this talk is probably marketing spin, there is no doubt we need to talk more about how to lose weight.

Complex processes like gastric bypass have become common among people seeking to lose weight. However, they are costly, risky, and beyond the reach of many. There are other less costly and more natural ways to lose weight.

So, if you want to naturally shed some extra weight, you may consider Chinese herbs. Herbs have been an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. They have been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease for over 2,000 years.

So, how can you use Chinese herbs to cut weight? Read on to find out.

Key takeaways

  • Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years as remedies for extensive ailments and health conditions.
  • There is convincing evidence that Chinese herbs may help with weight loss, though more research is still needed.
  • Some of the most popular Chinese herbs for weight loss are ginseng root, Huang qi, green tea, and gynostemma pentaphyllum (jiaogulan).
  • Mixing Chinese herbs with CBD enhances the overall potency and effect of the formulation.
  • For best results, integrate Chinese herbs into your routine.
  • Chinese herbs are generally safe and effective, though the guidance of a professional specialist in  Chinese medicine may be necessary.

Brief history of traditional Chinese medicine

The history of traditional Chinese medicine dates back at least 2,200 years. By most accounts, China is thought to have one of the oldest medical systems. Some of the earliest known records about Chinese medicine were written in the 3rd century BCE. 

These records provide the basic theoretical concepts that guided traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) then and now. The fundamental philosophies around which TCM revolves are Qi, and Yin and Yang.

Qi is the life force that flows through the body of every living creature. This life force connects tissues, veins, body organs, cells, nerves, and even atoms of the body. Anything that hinders this flow affects the body. 

The concept of yin and yang hypothesizes that the body is made of equal and opposing elements. These have to be in constant harmony with each other. Any imbalance between these elements creates a disturbance whose effects cascade throughout the entire system.

So, the core objective of TCM was to maintain the yin-yang balance and thereby prevent disease. For thousands of years, practitioners of TCM have utilized an array of Chinese herbs to treat a diversity of illnesses, including losing weight.

Do Chinese herbs work for weight loss

This is a question every person asks regarding the efficacy of Chinese herbs in reducing weight loss.

There is scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of some Chinese herbs in dealing with various health issues. TCM is widely recognized as an alternative treatment method for many ailments, but research on its effectiveness has just started.

Still, many Chinese herbs are used to stimulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, and suppress the urge to eat. If looked at from a different perspective, such herbs can be argued to have the ability to aid weight loss.

Nonetheless, a review of studies on the effects of Chinese herbs on weight loss concluded that they demonstrated significant potential in weight management.

Another study found that a particular herbal formula could effectively reduce the BMI of the participants. Further, another study showed that incorporating Chinese herbs into your diet and augmenting them with exercise led to faster and more long-term weight loss than exercise and diet.

Another advantage of Chinese herbs is their holistic approach to solving health problems. They strive to re-establish balance in the body and resolve problems at their root cause. Therefore, as regards abnormal weight gain, they would ideally focus on identifying why the body holds on to unwanted weight.

But the strongest evidence that Chinese herbs may work for weight loss is their history. With records showing they have been used for thousands of years to treat diverse diseases and illnesses, there is little reason to doubt their effectiveness.

So, how were these herbs used for weight loss? 

Using Chinese herbs for weight loss

The basic principle for losing weight is eating fewer calories than your body uses. Essentially, you must eat less and be active. This is a common-sense approach that most traditional herbalists recommend.

However, basal metabolic rate is an important aspect that often goes unmentioned but is critical to burning fat fast. We simply refer to it as metabolism.

So, although the principle of burning more calories than you eat is quite practical, boosting your metabolism so that you burn them faster is equally vital. Certain herbs can increase metabolism and help you burn calories faster. 

They can also increase your energy levels, enabling you to be more active. Moreover, others can enhance your focus levels so that you stay true to the course of losing weight.

As you can see, there is a bevy of reasons to use Chinese herbs for weight loss.

What are the best Chinese herbs for weight loss

Many Chinese herbs can help you in your weight loss journey. Quite a few have been researched and shown to have substantial benefits in managing various health conditions. These include diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity, among many others.

But the key to achieving good results is using herbs according to your body's constitution. This is another concept in TCM, which contends that every person is different in their needs. As such, different body constitutions respond to different herbal combinations.

Generally, TCM uses a tailored approach to suit a patient's health needs. While there are different body constitutions, they are generally classified into neutral, yin, and yang.

The neutral constitution is ideal as all internal body organs are considered to function properly and are resistant to disease. Chinese herbs are often prescribed based on one's body constitution. 

For weight loss, here are Chinese herbs that we found particularly helpful.

Green Tea

Green tea is brewed from Camellia sinensis buds and leaves that have not withered or undergone oxidation (dried). As a result, this tea is rich in antioxidants, caffeine, and health-benefiting polyphenols.

It is a popular dietary supplement marketed for its ability to improve mental alertness, relieve pain and digestive symptoms, and promote weight loss.

A meta-analysis of several studies shows that the catechins in green tea can increase metabolism and aid weight loss. Although the exact mechanism through which green tea helps reduce weight is still being studied, it is also understood to promote weight loss by reducing the urge to eat. 

When you think of it, suppressing appetite and increasing metabolism seems integral to enhancing weight loss. Moreover, there are suggestions that green tea may also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.

And like Chinese herbs, the history of green traces back thousands of years to the days of the Han dynasty. Then it was used to boost overall well-being and longevity.

So, whether on its own or infused in your favorite beverage, taking green tea is a simple but great way to lose weight. If you are looking for something to give you the energy boost needed to burn those calories, try these Dragon Hemp Reach energy and focus capsules.

Made with premium CBD blended with an assortment of potent herbs, including American ginseng, yerba mate, native botanicals, and Chinese herbs, these capsules are what you need for energy to embark on an active lifestyle and the focus to stay true to the course.

Ginseng Root (Xi Yang Shen)

Discovered over 5,000 years ago, ginseng has been a mainstay in Chinese herbology and has been used to cure all types of ailments.

Ginseng root contains ginsenosides – compounds thought to suppress appetite, thus reducing food intake. Recent studies have shown that ginseng has an anti-obesity effect and increases energy expenditure by stimulating complex energy-generating processes at the cellular level.

Ginseng has been shown to be more effective when augmented with a healthy diet and exercise.

Logically, it makes sense to cut food intake when seeking to lose weight. Our Reach energy and focus capsules also contain American ginseng and a host of other powerful Chinese herbs and botanicals to help reduce the urge to eat while making you strong enough to engage in weight loss training.


This popular Chinese herb can help you shed extra weight by enhancing metabolism and boosting the immune system. A stronger immune system means you can ward off diseases easily and keep stress at bay.

It is also thought to:

  • Lower blood sugar levels 
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Reduce glucose toxicity
  • Strengthen the cardiovascular system
  • Help with wound-healing

Huang qi works best in teas taken three times daily.

Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Also called jiaogulan or Southern ginseng, this herb is adaptogenic and can help boost immunity, adapt to stress, enhance memory and improve physical performance.

Although this herb is not related to ginseng, it has similar properties because it contains compounds called saponins. These compounds provide plants with their adaptogenic properties. Although ginseng is traditionally thought to contain the highest amounts of saponins, researchers have found that jiaogulan has over 80 types of saponins, making it the most potent.

The many different types of saponins allow this herb to mediate wide-ranging bodily functions, including energy metabolism, cholesterol production, boosting immunity, and aiding weight loss.

In China, it is regarded as the "immortality herb" because natives who take it in their drinks daily reportedly live longer, healthier lives.

Lotus Leaf

Lotus leaf is a rich source of the amino acid taurine, which has been shown to be capable of helping with weight loss.

Taurine is thought to slow down the absorption of fats in the body. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, lotus leaf makes it much easier to lose weight. This is the reason why many people take lotus leaf tea.

Also, lotus leaf could potentially lower blood sugar – a common condition among people with diabetes. As a result, it may have therapeutic benefits in managing diabetes. However, more research, specifically on human subjects, is needed.

How to incorporate Chinese herbs into your weight loss plan

With herbal supplements, the best results are often achieved when they are used long-term. This essentially means integrating them into your routines. 

These herbs can easily be mixed with favorite beverages like tea or taken on their own. 

You can also take them in commercialized forms like capsules, pills, tinctures, and powder. For a stronger effect, it is advisable to take these supplements on an empty stomach, ideally an hour before eating.

If you have a sensitive stomach, take Chinese herbs with food or after meals. This moderates the effect of the herb and its absorption rate.

Remember, weight loss is often achieved with a multimodal approach. So, augment these Chinese herbs with exercise and healthy diets.

Are Chinese herbs safe

History tells us that Chinese herbs are safe and reliable. Their popularity, history of prolonged usage, and traditions suggest that these herbs can be trusted to find relief from various health problems.

Compared to western medicines, they are reputed to be less toxic and have fewer side effects. In most cases, you will not only lose weight, but you will also feel much better holistically.

However, since Chinese herbs generally focus on detoxifying the body, you may experience changes in bowel movement patterns. The first few days after taking Chinese herbs may be uncomfortable. You may produce loose stools, but this is nothing to worry about, as it's the body's way of clearing out old waste.

However, stop taking Chinese herbal formulas if an adverse symptom persists. Consult with a professional Chinese herbalist on the best way forward.

Can CBD help you lose weight?

Yes, CBD can help you lose weight, albeit indirectly. 

For starters, research shows that CBD may increase metabolism, thereby speeding the conversion of food into energy.

Secondly, CBD may support weight loss by stimulating the conversion of white fat cells into brown fat cells. The former are involved in energy creation and storage, while the latter have a role in burning calories and heat production.

You need more brown fat cells for a healthy body weight than white fat cells.

CBD can also interact indirectly with CB1 and CB2 receptors and affect physiological processes such as hunger and metabolism. Depending on which receptors are activated, CBD may boost metabolism and suppress the urge to eat, thereby promoting weight loss.

Further, CBD's anti-inflammatory effects are well-researched. Research shows CBD exerts its anti-inflammatory effect by influencing various receptors in the body. By reducing inflammation and lowering stress levels—two factors associated with weight gain—CBD can benefit people seeking to lose weight.

Also, for people who train, CBD's anti-inflammatory properties may come in handy to support post-workout recovery. This makes it easier to continue exercising, burn calories, and develop lean muscle.

Finally, CBD is also a sleep enhancer. When you sleep better, you produce small amounts of leptin and ghrelin – hunger-regulating hormones. Leptin is associated with feeling full (satiety), while ghrelin induces the urge to eat. 

When you get little sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, thereby increasing your food intake. So, by sleeping better, you can control your hunger and make healthier eating choices.

Why CBD with Chinese herbs make a wellness duo 

CBD and Chinese herbs are a match made in heaven. 

CBD boasts wide-ranging health benefits, including pain relief, sleep improvement, stress and anxiety reduction, and even weight loss. Coupled with Chinese herbs, which also have extensive health benefits, it is easy to see how potent CBD and Chinese herbal formulations are.

Indeed, mixing herbs have been shown to enhance the overall potency and effect of herbal supplements. Dragon Hemp specializes in developing herbal products that harness the restorative power of CBD and other healing botanicals and Chinese herbs to support fast recovery, enhance performance, and boost overall well-being.

Where to buy Chinese herbs with cannabinoids online 

So, if you are thinking of where to buy products that combine Chinese herbs and cannabinoids, think of Dragon Hemp. Our products are made with ethically-sourced, organic ingredients that uphold our commitment to exceptionally high standards.

These products are tailored to address wide-ranging health conditions and ailments. So, click on this link to view our full range of products that might suit your health needs.

Back to blog