Teas That Assist With Weightloss


Pu-erh Tea

The Camellia sinensis plant is used to produce green, oolong and black teas. The leaves and stems from this plant are used to make Pu-erh tea which is considered by many to be a weight loss tea.

Pu-erh tea is primarily produced in the Yunnan province in China where it is popular as a health beverage that has a long history of use in reducing fat and as a weight loss aid. The way the tea actually works is interesting in that it contains caffeine which provides stimulation to the central nervous system, heart and muscles. A hidden benefit to pu-erh tea is that it also has a high concentration of antioxidants that may work to protect the heart and other organs.

But as far as being a useful weight loss tool pu-erh works marginally at best because of one chemical compound found in the beverage called lovastatin. This is the same chemical in a prescription medication that is used for lowering cholesterol. Studies conducted on animals verify that pu-erh tea may actually reduce blood fats known as triglycerides along with low-density lipoprotein, or the bad LDL cholesterol.

One of the indirect benefits of a reduction of LDL cholesterol is weight loss. However, this does not come without warnings. Proper diet and exercise is the safest and most effective way to lose weight. Adding pu-erh tea to your weight loss program is not entirely a bad idea, but it should not be considered the only way to lose weight.

Although studies indirectly support the weight loss claim, more research is needed to determine the long term effects pu-erh tea has on weight loss in humans. Until this happens, there are still a number of factors to examine.

Meal size should be altered if you are considering using pu-erh tea as part of a weight loss program. Small meals containing salads, fruit and vegetables are preferred along with an exercise program that can start with simple short walks or taking the stairs instead of elevators in buildings and increasing from there.

There are a few side effects associated with the consumption of pu-erh tea and they include interactions related to the caffeine content in the drink. Individuals with anxiety disorders, diabetes, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart conditions and bleeding disorders should all avoid consuming pu-erh tea.

Those with osteoporosis may find drinking pu-erh tea will flush away calcium in urine which will require calcium supplementation in order to avoid this. The caffeine in pu-erh tea is the culprit as it can increase the amount of calcium that gets flushed out of the body which can become a serious issue with patients who have low bone density.

Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers are also reminded to not use this product because of the caffeine it contains. It is also not safe for use on children again, due to the caffeine content. All other individuals are advised to consult with a medical professional prior to introducing pu-erh tea into their diet or as part of a weight loss program.

Dandelion Root Tea

The yellow flowering plant known as dandelion is considered by many to be a backyard weed, but in actual fact the herb is used in a number of useful ways including medicinally. When it is used to make dandelion tea it is believed to be effective in weight loss.

As it turns out, the ‘weed’ has be used historically as a digestive treatment by the ancient Chinese and it was also effective in the treatment of appendicitis and breast disorders including milk flow concerns and inflammation. Native American tribes used dandelion as a remedy for heartburn, indigestion, stomachaches and constipation. They also used it as a way to increase energy.

Weight loss claims have come from the fact that dandelion root tea is a diuretic. What this does is flush away toxins found in the body by the production or urine. An indirect benefit of excess urine production is a slight loss in weight. This has made it a popular tool for bodybuilders as the diuretic effect eliminates water retention.

There have been studies conducted that verify this with one in 2009 published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine which used a leaf extract on seventeen volunteers. Measurements were taken of fluid intake and urine production volume before and after taking the extract. They consumed eight millimeters of the dandelion extract three times a day for a single 24-hour period.

Findings revealed from monitoring of the volunteers the following day showed that the dandelion extract not only increased the frequency of urination, it also increased the volume of urine produced in all of the volunteers who participated. The study did include a disclaimer that states, “even though dandelion extract promotes diuresis and can help shed some water weight, it is doubtful it can cause weight loss in most overweight people.” This is why we stress the importance of a proper diet combined with exercise as the only safe and effective way to lose weight although the study did give some credibility to the weight loss claims; it is not what would be considered an effective weight loss tool in itself.

The study also states that most cases of obesity stem from an excessive collection of fat in the body and dandelion extract does not increase fat metabolism. That means it does not reduce the fat that is actually causing the weight problems. Only proper diet and exercise can assist with that kind of weight loss.

There are some side effects related to the use of dandelion tea and they include possible allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to ragweed and related plants such as daisies, chrysanthemums and marigolds. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should avoid using this product.

As a diuretic dandelion tea is a valuable addition to your herbal health medicine cabinet as it can assist the body in eliminating excess water and should be used when fluid retention becomes a problem. This means it could bring effective relief to bloating and inflammation related to the body not ridding itself of excess water.

Green Tea

Maybe you’ve heard of the green tea diet. It continues to gain popularity as a weight loss tool but is it safe and does it actually work?

Chemical compounds present in green tea are believed to be responsible for these claims and one of them, the antioxidant epigallocatechhin gallate (EGCG) has been proven to stimulate metabolism, which produces increased energy in the body, which in turn burns fat. EGCG has also been credited with regulating blood sugar levels (glucose) which slow the absorption of carbohydrates. A slower rate of carbohydrate use aids in fat burning as it increases the endurance level of the body and means it can handle extra exercise, which burns fat.

Another interesting fact about green tea is that it has a high concentration of polyphenols which triggers an enzyme that dissolves triglycerides, which ultimately reduces the body’s fat content which can indirectly contribute to a loss in weight.

With all the weight loss claims connected to green tea is should be no surprise that there have been some studies conducted to attempt to verify what health benefits can actually come from sipping a nice warm cup of green tea. As it turns out, while the study results are far from conclusive the University of Maryland Medical Center states drinking two or three cups of green tea daily is not going to hurt and at the very least it will be effective in maintaining a healthy weight.

Measurements peg the metabolic boost provided by green tea at only four percent, so that is considerably far less than what can produce significant weight loss. That being said, a green tea mixture known as Spearole Tea has apparently produced amazing results. The tea is described as a blend of green tea, spearmint, grape seed and olive leaf and has been proven to lower blood pressure and makes it easier for sugar to be processed by the body. Researcher Lindsay Brown, a pharmacologist at Queensland University in Brisbane says the results of Spearole Tea are “simply amazing.”

According to Dr. Brown, an animal study showed the tea reduced fat deposits and high blood pressure in rats that had been fed high sugar diets prior to the introduction of the beverage. The results prompted Dr. Brown to claim three cups of Spearole Tea could also help humans stay trim and improve their overall health. She added that ibuprofen also contributed to weight loss but side effects would not make the drug an effective way to lose weight. Brown says, “The tea product is a safe and effective food alternative for confronting obesity and cardiovascular disease.” It is important to note that the study was funded by the tea manufacturer Dr. Red Nutraceuticals.

Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should not consume green tea and all other individuals are advised to first consult with a medical professional prior to introducing green tea into their diet to determine risk factors that may lead to the development of side effects or serious medication interactions. Children should also not use this product.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is produced from the Camellia sinensis plant from the leaves, buds and stems. It is the same plant that is responsible for producing black and green teas with the results coming from different ways the leaves are processed.

Oolong tea has a number of health benefits but is probably best known by many as being used as a weight loss tool. The tea contains caffeine which stimulates the central nervous system, heart and muscles. It is from these actions that have produced the claims of weight loss.

Oolong tea has historically been used to sharpen mental skills and promote alertness, both direct results from caffeine. It has also been used to lower cholesterol where the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol is removed from the body. An indirect benefit of that is marginal weight loss.

There has been a number of studies conducted attempting to verify weight loss claims. An interesting one conducted in 2001 by US Agriculture Research Services’ Diet and Human Laboratory Physiologist Dr. William Pumpler, investigated how oolong tea influenced the expenditure of energy. Of the dozen males fed four different drink combinations over three consecutive days, energy expenditure levels increased three percent for those who drank full strength oolong tea or caffeinated water. The study also showed an increase in calories burned by the participants who drank just the full strength oolong tea. Volunteers who drank oolong tea in the study also showed a twelve percent increase in fat burning activity. The results led scientists to conclude that fat oxidation (burning) increases when caffeine is combined with the antioxidant epigallocatechhin gallate (EGCG) contained in oolong tea.

Another reason why oolong tea is credited with some form of weight loss is because it is known to provide a blocking effect on the absorption of fats into the body as well as carbohydrates.

There are other health benefits to drinking oolong tea and they include strengthening teeth and preventing tooth decay. It also assists in skin care and works to prevent heart disease and cancer. Oolong tea provides benefits to those suffering from diabetes and reduces blood pressure.

Due to the caffeine content found in oolong tea pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should avoid this product. It is also not recommended for use on children. Those with anxiety disorders, heart conditions, diarrhea, Irritable bowel Syndrome, glaucoma, high blood pressure and diabetes should not consume oolong tea as the caffeine content will produce various complications of those conditions. Patients with osteoporosis should not drink more than three cups of oolong tea per day and may want to add a calcium supplement to their diet. All other individuals are advised to consult with a physician prior to adding oolong tea to their diet to determine the risk factors present in developing serious side effects.

The results of various studies clearly show that oolong tea does provide verifiable benefits to weight loss; with an emphasis on the way it assists the body in burning fat. It is still important to note that a proper diet built on healthy eating and exercise is the key components to a safe weight loss program.

White Tea

The Camellia sinensis plant produces white tea from the young buds and very young leaves produced by it. The plant also produces green, oolong and black teas with different processes determining which tea is being produced.

There have been a number of claims pointing to white tea as being beneficial for weight loss although there is not a lot of scientific evidence to support this. White tea does contain a number of health benefits related to the antioxidants present in the leaves.

It is because of this that Pace University reported in a study conducted in 2004 that “the anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect of white tea is greater than that of green tea.”

In addition, the high concentration and activity of antioxidants in white tea are usually the reason used to base claims of weight loss. The antioxidants are said to boost metabolism, which in turn burns fat that is supposed to reduce weight and a small study conducted by German scientists published by BoiMed Central Limited did find evidence that suggested white tea consumption will assist in the burning of fat cells. Another German study published in the June 2009 issue of Nutrition and Metabolism shows that white tea halted the production of new fat cells while it stimulated the burning of fat.

Nutritionist Dr. Marc Winnefeld led the study that concluded that the high concentration of an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and photochemicals called theobromine and caffeine make the difference discovered in the experiments. The harvesting of leaves for white tea and how it is processed is also credited with the unique concentration of health properties when compared to other teas.

Aside from this, white tea does have other health benefits that cannot be ignored. Probably the most important point to make is that white tea has no calories. This in itself may assist indirectly with weight loss by eliminating the need for sugary beverages. As white tea contains what has been called a smooth taste, there is no real need to enhance the flavor of a cup with milk, cream or sugar. Reducing the daily intake of those items can indirectly contribute to a small loss in weight.

White tea is also safe to drink many times during the day. The belief is that by drinking a refreshing drink, such as white tea, there will be less need for snacking on unhealthy foods as it has been suggested to curb false hunger. Reducing the consumption of snack foods can indirectly assist in weight loss.

Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should avoid using this product as there is not enough known about the long term effects of use by either. All other individuals are reminded to seek the advice of a medical professional prior to introducing white tea to their diet. This is to determine whether there are risks present that may develop into serious complications related to health conditions and medication use.

The most effective way to lose weight is still with a proper diet and exercise program. White tea may be beneficial in concert with those elements but should not be relied on solely for weight loss purposes.

Article provided by Tessa “”The Tea Girl” from PoundofTea.com.

Tessa Hansch