Weight Control: Are Herbs Safe?
Since being overweight and having diabetes are linked, many people with diabetes turn to natural alternative therapies that claim to help with weight loss, including:
There are also skin patch (transdermal) systems as well as oral sprays that supposedly curb your appetite and make it easier to lose weight.
What''t been studied, aren''t safe.
In 2003, ephedrine -- also known as ma huang -- became the first herbal stimulant ever banned by the FDA. It was a popular component of over-the-counter weight loss drugs. Ephedrine had some benefits, but it could cause far more harm, especially in high doses: insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep), high blood pressure, glaucoma, and urinary retention. This herbal supplement has also been associated with numerous cases of stroke.
Chitosan comes from seashells and can bind to fat to prevent absorption. Studies thus far haven''t included on the label. And sometimes, the wrong plant was listed.
What to Consider
You should talk to your doctor about any drugs, herbal products, or alternative and complementary treatments to make sure they''t automatically mean it''s common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, dosage guidelines, and potential side effects.
Stop taking the product and call your doctor right away if you: