In preparation for the upcoming weight management conferences in Europe, here is what we know about the value of herbals as an aid to weight loss.

The findings are based on a review conducted at the Arnold School of Public Health at University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Modest evidence of effectiveness

  • Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
  • Chromium picolinate
  • Ma huang (Ephedra major)

Inadequate or negative evidence

  • Ginger root (Zingiber officinale)
  • Guarana (Paullinia cupana)
  • Hydroxycitric acid (Garcinia cambogia)
  • White willow (Salix alba)
  • Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
  • Bitter orange/zhi shi (Citrus aurantium)

Ma huang (ephedra) is not worth the risk, and concerns are voiced in the literature over bitter orange, and guarana. More information on green tea and chromium picolinate will be forthcoming.

2/22/07 19:27 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.