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The information I share in this blog is based on my personal experience, conclusions, observations and studies, or taken from books and educational materials, which are mentioned in the articles. I am not a medical professional, nor a health expert. Before implementing any of the information shared in this blog, consult with your physician or nutritionist!
19+ Best Herbs for a Slow Metabolism (Metabolism Boosting Herbs and Spices)
Do you have difficulties losing the extra fat? Do you need to speed your metabolism? Fear not! I have gathered for you a massive collection of spices and herbs to help you heal your slow metabolism manage your weight in a gentle and easy way – with spicy food, aromatic herbal tea, and natural supplements!
But before we begin, let me remind you that these substances are powerful and you need to consult with your doctor before adding them to your daily menu. Your physical will determine whether they are suitable for your situation and prescribe you the correct dosages!
The best slow metabolism spices
Ginger is a wonderful plant which has been used in natural medicine for many years now. It is one of the most powerful detoxifiers and an absolute must as a natural metabolism booster (source). The root contains a substance called gingerol – a compound which has acute anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It also helps with nausea, digestive issues, joint pain, flatulence, for faster recovery from traumas, lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol and improves our natural immune response and the brain activity. As a metabolism booster, ginger root stimulates the blood flow and speeds the metabolic processes in the body.
You can add this wonderful spice to your menu in several ways: by chewing the fresh root, as a powder (the maximum daily dosage is up to 4 grams for 6 weeks for healthy adults and non-pregnant women), and in capsules (read the instructions first).
Turmeric is another edible rhizome very similar to ginger and thus it has comparable characteristics and benefits! This root can be used a tasty spice as well as a powerful food supplement with strong immune boosting properties (source, source, source). Turmeric also protects the body on a cellular level and has a beneficial effect on the cardio-vascular system and improves the health of our joints, helps the digestive system, sooths the bloating, and improves any gallbladder issues. This tangy spice is usually preferred for its anti-inflammatory effects in treating arthritis and herniated disks, but it can also a powerful metabolism boosting herb since it inhibits the growth of the fatty tissues and detoxes the liver – and the liver is the number one organ responsible for our metabolic processes along with the thyroid.
Just like with ginger, you can add fresh turmeric root to your healthy diet plan, or if it’s not available, you can use curcumin powder (up to 5 g a day), or in convenient capsules as a food additive.
Cinnamon is not just an aromatic spice which is part if your favorite pumpkin spice blend! This is probably the best natural supplement for those who are following a low-carb diet plan for medical or weight-loss reasons (source, source). Cinnamon is proven to be the best companion for diabetics since it regulates the insulin levels in the blood and improves the digestion. It not only stimulates insulin receptors, but also counteracts the enzyme that inactivates them, thus increasing the ability of cells to use glucose. It can also slow down the development of various diabetes complications for its strong antioxidant properties.
Remember that these benefits relate all types of cinnamon, but they are much stronger in the Ceylon cinnamon variation!
Your favorite cinnamon ca be consumed as usual as an aromatic powder (up to 3 g a day), as a supplement or as an alcoholic solution (tincture). Follow the guidelines of the product or the prescriptions of your doctor or naturopath.
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Cayenne pepper is a type of hot chili pepper which is not only a tasty spice, but also a powerful healing substance (source). Hot peppers (and especially this variety) contain a compound called capsaicin which has some amazing health benefits – it stimulates the bowel movement and the secretion of stomach juices (thus helping the digestive processes). Cayenne pepper also strengthens the blood vessel walls, improves the blood flow and prevents the formation of thrombi and thus takes active part in the prevention of various cardio-vascular diseases. But that’s not all! Hot chili peppers stimulate the secretion of the “happy” hormone endorphin which works as a mild anesthetic and improves our mood – a wonderful depression buster! How does this spice help with natural weight-loss? Just like all the other spicy supplements (like ginger) cayenne pepper raises the temperature and our bodies have to burn more energy to restore our thermal balance and deal with the thermal shock – as simple as that!
Important: always consult with your doctor before adding any supplements or exotic spices to your diet plan (especially in large quantities). All hot pepper spices can have a negative effect on some gastro-intestinal ailments, such as hemorrhoids. So, always do your best to stay safe!
We have grown so used to this everyday spice that we have forgotten its amazing healing and soothing properties (source, source). Black pepper contains a chemical called piperine which can be described as a bit similar to the capsaicin in the hot chili peppers in benefits and effectiveness. Piperine is known to improve the digestion (relieving the bloating, constipation or diarrhea); has acute antiviral properties (it’s no surprise that hot chicken soup with large amounts of pepper is the number one remedy for mild cases of colds or the flu), and it shows promising signs of anti-cancer benefits! Black pepper can be used regularly for body detoxification (especially for those who wish to quit smoking – it can significantly decrease the anxiety in the first stages of the abstinence process), and for improving the blood flow, as an anti-inflammatory agent (for joint and muscle pain), and for speeding the slow metabolism through a thermal shock (as described in the previous point).
Most people connect this spice with the spicy condiment with the same name. But mustard seeds have so much more to offer! They are packed with essential nutrients and micro elements such as vitamins B6, A, D, E, PP, and P, and some important minerals like Magnesium, Sodium, Sulphur, Potassium, and Calcium. These tiny spicy seeds are known to optimize the work of the gallbladder, slow down the aging process, and boost the immune system naturally. They also help our bodies to withstand all sorts of bacterial and viral infections with their bactericidal and antiseptic properties, toning our organisms during a cold or the flu. Plus, this amazing spice can also be used topically for treating respiratory ailments, tonsillitis, and joint inflammation. But for the sake of our list of spices for a slow metabolism, it is important to note that mustard seeds are extremely beneficial in cleansing and boosting the work of the liver. This stimulates the metabolic processes in our bodies and helps us shed the extra weight much more easily (source)!
Use the mustard seeds to make your favorite DIY condiment or for better results you can use mustard powder (1/2 tsp. 3 times a day), unrefined cold-pressed oil (1 tbsp. 3 times a day), or in capsules.
Cardamom is a popular Indian spice mostly used in the Ayurvedic natural medicine and cuisine. But as most creations of nature, this is not just an intoxicating food addition, it also has some amazing healing and preventive properties (source). First of all, cardamom contains some essential compounds vital for our bodies’ wellbeing – Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, etc. So, we can safely say that this aromatic spice is a wonderful anti-stress and anti-depressant food additive (due to the high amount of Magnesium). A cup of cardamom tea can be wonderful soothing beverage for insomnia, anxiety, headaches, etc. Another great benefit of these little seeds is the improvement of our oral hygiene – by chewing or consuming cardamom we balance the Ph of the mouth and prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. This Ayurvedic spice is also beneficial to the whole cardio-vascular system, protecting the heart and lowering the LDL cholesterol in the blood plasma. Topically, cardamom powder can significantly improve the skin and protect the scalp from infections and bacteria, and thus helping our hair grow faster and stronger! Last but not least, this Indian spice is a powerful digestion booster and detoxifier. Adding more cardamom to your diet will help you with water retention, acid reflux, stomach pain or cramps, and gall secretion. All of this helps our bodies get rid of the toxins more quickly and improves our metabolism significantly!
Cumin is a must-have spice when it comes to cooking meat, BBQ, and hot Indian meals. But it also holds some great health and nutritional benefits (source)! This amazing food addition is packed with Iron (excellent for women and anemic people) – 1 teaspoon supplies our bodies with 20% of our daily requirements of this element. Cumin also contains some natural substances which produce anti-oxidants that fight the free radicals and infections, and inflammation. This important spicy substance also regulated the cholesterol levels and it is a wonderful prevention tool for food poisoning – regular consumption of cumin counteracts the development of fungi and bacterial infections coming from certain foods. Another interesting find shoes that cumin extracts can have a possible beneficial effect in fighting drug addictions lowering the inclination towards substance abuse.
And of course, lastly, this amazing Ayurvedic spice is a powerful blood sugar level regulating supplement which can help us with the unhealthy cravings and extra fat reduction!
Use cumin powder up 1 ½ g twice a day.
Make your own slow metabolism spice mix
Ras-el-hanout – Traditional Moroccan Spicy Seasoning
1 tsp. Ginger powder
1 tsp. Ground dry coriander
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. Ground pepper
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground allspice
1/4 tsp. Ground clove buds
Simply mix all ingredients well and store them in a glass jar with a tight lid! This aromatic mixture combining sweet and spicy tastes can be used for seasoning all kinds of dishes, such as rice, legumes, and even pasta.
The best metabolism boosting herbs and supplements
Kelp is a type of edible seaweed from the northern part of the Atlantic ocean which is jam-packed with important nutrients and brings lots of health benefits to our bodies (source)! This amazing food contains lots of micro elements which nourish and strengthen our hair, nails, ski, muscles, and joints. But the most important compound is Iodine. Natural Iodine is an essential element for the optimum production of thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) and the health of the thyroid itself – our main metabolic regulator along with the liver. The Laminaria japonica seaweed (also known as kelp) is also a powerful addition to our healthy menu for supporting the nervous system and fighting daily stress. Plus, this food is among those suitable for pregnant women since they require lots of natural Iodine along with folic acid (after a prescription from a doctor, of course).
Important note: consult with your physician before adding kelp to your diet or a supplement for high amounts of Iodine may not be suitable to you and your health status!
Yerba mate is a type of herb coming from Paraguay which is often called “the beverage of the gods” due to its magical health benefits (source).
The plant is packed with nutritional and essential compounds which are vital for our wellbeing – vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B5, C, E, riboflavin; also minerals such as Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, Phosphorus, Zinc; also lots of antioxidants, Inositol, Carotene, fatty acids, Polyphenols, Tannins, Chlorophyll, Flavenols and 15 amino acids!
So, it si no wonder that the yerba mate tea has loads of potential benefits such as supporting the digestion, regulates and lowers the high blood pressure, balances and sooths the nervous system, a powerful energy booster for chronic fatigue and overcoming depression; it is also an anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory agent with diuretic and blood vessel dilating effects. Yerba mate is also a wonderful ally in every slim-down diet plan for speeding the metabolism and effective weight management!
You can make this magical beverage with this practical tea set.
Bitter melon (also known as Bitter Gourd) is a plant which resembles a cucumber but it is much more bitter and with many health benefits (source)! This wonderful fruit and it leaves are a proven remedy in Asia and Africa for treating various conditions such as dysentery, colic, fever, burns, painful menstruation, scabies, and other skin problems. But Momordica can do even better than that! Its bitter taste stimulates the bowel movement and heals constipation naturally. It also shows signs that it can potentially be used for preventing from malaria or treating AIDS. Bitter melon can be a wonderful gentle immune response modulator and a possible cancer prevention agent. But for the sake of weight-loss, the bitter gourd is a powerful blood sugar regulator – an indispensable assistant for diabetics and those suffering from obesity.
Bitter melon can usually be found in a liquid form as juice, dried for making water infusions, powdered, or as a food supplement, but make sure you consult with your doctor first and follow the instructions!
Ginseng is a popular Asian rhizome which has lots of proven and potential benefits for our bodies and minds (source)! This is one of the go-to natural extracts for toning the whole organism, fighting chronic fatigue, and recovery from various ailments. Ginseng has possible benefits for healing inflammation and improving the cognitive functions of the brain. It has also been linked to low levels of cancer morbidity and the overall improvement of the whole body! This amazing rhizome is also extremely beneficial as an immune booster (and modulator) especially if combined with royal jelly – the perfect gentle therapeutic course before the winter season against colds and the flu! And finally, panax ginseng (or also called Korean ginseng) is the perfect ally for men with erectile dysfunction and for all people battling with obesity – this herb is a powerful aphrodisiac and a metabolism booster!
Hibiscus is a beautiful plant coming from Asia and thus is it often called call it Chinese rose (or China rose) or karkade.
The hibiscus tea is made of the blossoms of this flower (which is not only magnificent to observe but it also provides some amazing benefits – source). For example, the karkade tea is known to lower the blood pressure (with its diuretic effect), decrease the level of the triglycerides in the blood stream and the “bad” LDL cholesterol, the liver enzymes ALT and AST, and increases the antioxidants which are responsible for a slight anti-aging effect. Hibiscus is also wonderful for speeding the slow metabolism and helps us shed the extra weight by decreasing the resorbtion of carbohydrates, and regulating the blood sugar level.
This is one of the most common healthier alternatives to coffee. In the East, it is called the Royal tea, because of its healing properties and numerous benefits for the body (source, source). One of the main reasons is the high amount of chlorophyll, which we ingest with the tea. Unlike other types of herbal decoctions, Matcha is taken with its leaves (ground as a fine powder). And we already know the healing and detoxing power of the green leaves. It contains 6.2 times more antioxidants than Goji berry; 7 times more than natural black chocolate; 17 times more antioxidants than wild blueberries, and the impressive 60.5 times more than the famous spinach. This makes this tea one of the best anti-aging natural remedies. Free radicals are not just responsible for accelerating aging, but also for cancer cells formation. In other words, regular consumption of Matcha tea is an excellent cancer prevention tool. That’s not all, the active compounds in this herb counteract the precipitation of the dangerous cholesterol plaques on the blood vessels’ walls. Matcha tea has been scientifically proven to boost the metabolism and promote fat burning. This hot beverage can improve your memory, boost your mood, strengthen the immune system, and give you more energy throughout the day.
Preparation: take 1/2 – 1 tsp. Matcha tea powder and place it in a bowl (you can use the traditional Japanese chawan). Take 100-170 ml (1/2 cup) pure water and start slowly pouring it on the green powder while stirring the mixture. For best results you can use the special ritual brush called chasen. When the powder is fully blended with the water and it forms nice gentle foam, the tea is ready for consumption. You can also add it straight to your smoothies, soups, and baked goods!
You may recall our old friend the Dandelion for its liver cleansing properties. And since the liver is the main working bee that is responsible for the metabolic processes in our bodies, everything that helps that organ boosts the metabolism, too (source).
The plant also helps us regulate the blood pressure, fights cancer development, detoxifies the cells, stimulates the digestion and the bowel movement. It contains a lot of antioxidants that slow down aging. If you have any inflammations or kidney problems, Dandelion tea will be a great assistant for achieving better health and overall wellbeing. This herb is also effective for regulating the blood sugar and insulin levels, which makes it a great diet addition for people with (or with a predisposition to) diabetes. I haven’t finished, yet! It has bactericidal, insecticidal, and fungicidal properties, and it can be used to heal many kinds of skin issues (like eczemas or ringworm).
Please note that there is a chance for allergy to the plant. If you are allergic to ambrosia, chrysanthemum, calendula, chamomile, yarrow or daisies, it is very likely that you may be also allergic to dandelion, too. Taking this plant is not suitable for pregnant women. And if you take any prescription medications, contact your physician before applying dandelion.
Preparation: boil 2 Тbsps. of dandelion root tea in 500 ml (2 cups) water for about 5 min. Then strain and divide it into 3 parts. Drink each part of the decoction half an hour before a meal for at least one month to achieve faster metabolism. For more convenience, you can use a liquid extract or in capsules.
This plant is very powerful when it comes to health benefits. Stinging nettle tea alone can help us detox and cleanse the blood. It also contains serotonin that can heal the nervous system and relieve everyday stress. And you know that stress hormones are directly related to blood sugar levels and gaining weight (source).
Other cool ingredients in stinging nettle are carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B2 and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). This precious herb is suitable for treating liver and gal issues, flu and colds, rheumatism, gout, and hemorrhoids. And don’t forget that by drinking this tea regularly, you can make a perfect combo and retrieve your natural hair color (if you have grey hair, of course).
Preparation: Put 1 Tbsp of stinging nettle in 250 ml (1 cups) boiling water and let it sit for 20 min. Strain the tea and drink at least 20 min before a meal. Again, if you are not a fan of the hot beverage, you can try the herb in the form of tablets, as a liquid or powdered to add to your yogurt breakfast, soups, shakes or smoothies (BTW, I have an easy and delicious low carb-friendly recipe with nettle powder you can check out here –> Low Carb Savory Cookies with Stinging Nettle Flour).
This amazing herb has many benefits for our bodies, not only speeding up the metabolic processes (source). It is also known for its strong adaptogenic properties (helps our bodies to recover from daily stress). Tribulus also strengthens the immune system and regulates the blood pressure. If you suffer from hypertension, because of the cholesterol plaques, this is an excellent herb for you. Women who have problems with reproductive hormones secretion should also consider including Tribulus tea in their lifestyle. A consequence of the above-mentioned issues is low libido and this plant is famous for helping people improve their intimate lives.
Keep in mind that Tribulus is a very potent herb and should be taken in proper quantities. Also, it is not suitable for people with stomach or kidney inflammations, pregnant women, and small children.
Preparation: Boil not more than 2 Tbsps. Tribulus in 500 ml (2 cups) water. Let the infusion sit overnight, and then strain. Drink the tea 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach. You can also include this herb as a food supplement or powdered (1/2 tsp a day). Tribulus is one of the most potent adaptogenic herbs! You can check the amazing beneficial effects of adaptogens in this article and here is a recipe collection using these magical herbs and foods!
Green coffee is one of the most popular natural slow metabolism herbs and food additives (source)! It simply consists of raw unroasted coffee beans which are packed with powerful anti-oxidants. Some of the wonderful benefits of consuming more of this fruit include supporting the digestive system, sooths mild headaches, lowers the LDL cholesterol (for the vitamin PP), and regulates the liver and pancreas. These tiny green beans are also a good source of Iron, Calcium, Selenium, Vitamins C and E. and probably the most important benefit for the sake of weight management is normalizing the blood sugar level and speeding the metabolism. Remember that should you have any health conditions, you must consult with your physician before including green coffee in your daily menu, especially in cases of stomach ulcers, hypertension, and thyroid issues!
Hawthorn is one of the best herbs for supporting the heart – it tones the muscles and the arteries (source). There is a specific substance in this plant, called proanthocyanins, which is responsible for the most of the benefits we can reap from it. Consider including Hawthorn decoction if you want a natural support for treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels; atherosclerosis; arrhythmia; angina; ischemic heart disease; cardiac neurosis; insomnia; some cases of headaches (depending on the source of the pain); hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease) – Hawthorn stimulates the normal thyroid function; enlarged prostate; dizziness/vertigo; assists with weight loss and anti-cellulite programs; soothes menstrual pain, and rheumatics, and many more. If you have or suspect you have a serious health condition, or if you take prescription medications, don’t forget to consult with your physician how to safely include hawthorn in your healing scheme.
Preparation: take 1 cup pure water and bring it to boil, add 1 tsp. dry Hawthorn fruits and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Take the decoction off the heat and let it soak for 20 more minutes. Strain and take before a meal. For more convenience, feel free to use an extract in compact capsules or as a liquid extract.
Moringa is a very special tree found in Africa and the Himalayas. It is often called “the wonder tree” or “Never Die”, because of its numerous health benefits and its absolute sturdiness and resistance (source). As it turns out, Moringa has the exact same effects on our bodies as well. It builds our natural immunity and makes us healthier and stronger with enhanced ability to counteract diseases and harsh environment. Moringa’s fruits, leaves, and oil are full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which makes it a real superfood. For example, it contains 4 times more Potassium than bananas, 2 times more vitamin A than carrots, and 2 times more fiber than oat meal. It also supplies us with Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Iron, Sulfur, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, C, E, important amino acids such as Arginine, Histidine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Methionine, Threonine, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
Moringa lowers the blood pressure, stimulates the metabolism, supports the digestive tract, soothes the nervous system, boosts the immunity and detoxes the body. The plant is excellent for vegetarians/vegans for its essential amino acids. According to the traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda), Moringa can prevent, counteract and heal us from more than 3000 health conditions and ailments. It also stimulates the digestion and fights anxiety and insomnia. It gently detoxifies the body and strengthens the immune system. The herb is even suitable for diabetics.
You can add this superfood to your diet in various ways – add Moringa powder in your smoothie, juice, soup, desserts, or use a supplement which is also wonderful for improving lactation in breastfeeding moms.
Make your own slow metabolism herbal tea mix
Detoxing Aromatic Tea with Milk and Spices
2 cups pure water
1 Tbsp. tea or herb of choice (stinging nettle, matcha, yebra mate, etc.)
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar, maple syrup, or stevia for a low carb version
4-5 seeds cardamom
4-5 clove buds
1 cinnamon stick
2 stars anise
1 cup vegan milk of choice – coconut, almond, rice, etc. (optional)
Bring the water to boil and take it off the heat. Add the herbs, sugar, spices, and the milk. Cover the pot with a lid and let the ingredients steep for some time. Strain the infusion and enjoy!
If you are interested in the topic of detoxing, check out my ultimate massive collection of cleansing recipes and rituals!
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Stay tuned for more health and wellness information and tips for faster metabolism and healthy weight-loss!
‘Till next time!
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