African herbs and Diet

This page is primarily focused on nutrition and medical flora from Africa and how the herbs are prepared for health purposes

Benjamin Klugah-Brown (PhD)


Hoodia Gordonii

Pure Hoodia is known and backed as an effective weight loss aid. It is used by hunters within the desert regions of Africa because it helps to reduce cravings while allowing the user to cut down on calories without feeling starved. There are quite a few weight loss supplements on the market that use the Hoodia name, so be advised to check that it is genuine before ingesting. A chemical called P57 in hoodia is the component thought to be responsible for the appetite suppressant effects.

Gymnema (Cow plant )

Native to Africa, this herb has been used for many centuries as an Ayurvedic medicine. It has been said that the herb balances blood sugar levels and is recommended for those who have diabetes. It works to block sugar absorption, thus blocking sugar cravings. The sugar cravings are a huge contributor to the weight battles that many people face. The Hindi name (gurmur) literally means destroyer of sugar, so it’s easy to see why this is recommended for losing weight. While blocking the absorption of sugar, it can also increase the amount of insulin in the body, as well as increase the cell growth in the pancreas—which is where the insulin is made.

Do not take gymnema if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, allergic to milkweed, or taking antidepressants or medication for diabetes. You should also avoid it if you’re taking St. John’s Wort, willow bark, or aspirin. Be sure to consult your health care practitioner before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

James Penn :
picture source : Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) 

Irvingia Gabonensis

Irvingia extract can be found in most health food stores, and it is suggested to be taken twice daily in 150mg increments. It is to be used as a supplement in addition to eating right and exercising to see the best results. Once study set up a single diet and exercise plan for two groups of individuals. One group was given an Irvingia supplement twice a day, and the other group was given a placebo. The group that took the supplement lost 28 pounds from their body weight, and the placebo group only lost 1 pound. Those who took the supplement also saw a drop in cholesterol as well as fasting glucose simply in a matter of 3 months.

African Mango

Extract from these mango seeds, when ingested, can significantly reduce body fat, body weight and waist circumference. Additionally, it can have a positive impact on the overall health of the heart like bringing LDL cholesterol to normal level, leptin levels and blood glucose levels normalizing too. All of these factors were changed without altering a normal diet or exercise routine. Other studies have shown individuals losing about 8 to 10 pounds without altering their lifestyle changes as well. There have been no adverse effects reported, so why not give it a try.

Aframomum Melegueta

This African herb can be used for an increase in energy expenditure as well as a loss of brown adipose tissue—this tissue is known to be very difficult to reduce, because it survives with significant circulation. This perennial plant is indigenous to Western Africa, but is also cultivated in Northern Africa and the Caribbean as well. The seeds taste similar to that of pepper, so it has become a popular spice in many dishes. Sometimes the seeds of the plant may be called grains of paradise (not to be confused with capsicum), and some people even take it as a stimulant.

In the end, burning more calories than those that are taken in is what leads to weight loss. When entering a weight loss journey, consider using one of these herbs to aid in the areas in which there is a struggle. If cravings are the downfall, work to curb that. Either way, any of these hard working African herbs would be a great complement to a diet and exercise regimen put in place for weight loss

By Sasha Brown

Article source: howtonight

Other African herb for weight loss sites you can visit


Dandelion is a mild diuretic, laxative, and digestive aid that enhances fat metabolism and helps reduce cholesterol. It also enhances the elimination of fatty acids through the digestive system while containing many of the vitamins and minerals depleted by the use of diuretics, minimizing the chance of imbalances. Note that long term use can still cause electrolyte depletion, as with any type of diuretic.

Use in one of the following ways:

  • Drink 3 to 4 cups of dandelion leaf tea each day.
  • Add fresh dandelion greens to salads or soups.
  • Consume 15 to 30 drops of dandelion tincture per day.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is both a medicinal herb and a spice that serves to stimulate metabolism, enabling your body to burn more calories. Consuming 1 teaspoon of cayenne prior to each meal may result in consuming fewer calories and less gorging on fatty foods.


Psyllium is a bulking agent that helps to reduce hunger and encourages the elimination of waste. When using psyllium, you must drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day or severe constipation will result. It can cause upset stomach, bloating, and gas. Pregnant women and asthmatics should not use psyllium at all.

To use:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of psyllium powder into 2 cups of water or juice, twice a day.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a metabolic stimulant and appetite suppressant that burns fat and aids in digestion.

To use:

  • Take 500 mg. three times a day, for no more than eight weeks.

image source : Garcinia Cambogia

Article source

African Kola-nut

When an only kolanut is presented with love, it carries with it more value than might otherwise be associated with a whole pod of several kolanuts.

(Nigerian Proverb)

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