Over-the-Counter and Herbal Remedies for Weight Lo (cont.)

Common Sense Advice for Taking Herbal Medicines

  • If you become ill while taking an herbal remedy, see a doctor or consult with a health care professional.
  • Do not take herbs if pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.
  • Do not take herbs if you are nursing.
  • Do not give herbs to a baby.
  • Do not take large quantities of any one herbal preparation.
  • Do not take any herb on a daily basis.
  • Buy only preparations in which the plants are listed on the packet (Note: There is no guarantee attached to any product.)
  • Do not take herbal remedies if you are taking medicine for a chronic condition (for example, high blood pressure or depression). If you are unsure consult with your doctor prior to taking any herbal preparation.
  • Do not take herbal remedies without first talking to your doctor.
  • Always advise your doctor of any herbal remedy or alternative medicine you are taking.

Keep in mind that herbal preparations will not provide permanent weight loss and there are multiple ingredients in herbal weight loss preparations, some of which have serious side effects and can lead to dangerous toxicities. The use of herbal remedies to lose weight is not recommended by the medical community due to the high risk of toxicities and lack of clinical effectiveness.

Reviewed by the Department of Nutrition Therapy at The Cleveland Clinic.


Edited by Charlotte Grayson, MD, WebMD, August 2004.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2004


Last Editorial Review: 7/14/2005