Lemon verbena combined with hibiscus flowers can reduce hunger signals and promote satiety. In a clinical trial these two plant extracts decreased hunger by 56.4% and decreased weight by 5.4%.
Many people want to lose weight to look and feel better. Shedding extra pounds also supports healthier aging. Excess body weight is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, and several types of cancer.
Sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure are directly related to surplus body mass.3,4
Research shows that losing as little as 5% of body weight can provide health benefits.5
The wrong kind of dieting causes biological changes that can make it challenging to lose weight, including an increase in hunger hormones.6
But it doesn’t have to be so difficult.
Researchers have identified a blend of extracts from lemon verbena leaf and hibiscus flower that can reduce hunger signals and promote satiety (a feeling of fullness).7-10
Two clinical trials have shown that these extracts can almost double the amount of weight loss compared to a placebo, when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.7,8
To improve compliance and support healthy weight loss, a lifestyle app has been developed that further facilitates losing weight with these extracts. Over 85% of the app users taking the supplement reduced their body weight, losing an average of 12.6 pounds in three months.11
Why Weight Loss Is So Hard
Shedding pounds is rarely easy.
Dieting causes changes in metabolism and appetite-related hormones that can make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.6
For example, weight loss leads to a rise in circulating ghrelin, a hunger hormone that increases appetite.12
Weight loss also causes the body to secrete less glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone that increases satiety. Furthermore, a decrease in body weight reduces resting energy expenditure, or what we commonly refer to as metabolic rate.6
Lemon Verbena and Hibiscus
Hibiscus is known for a bright red herbal tea made from its flower.
Lemon verbena is an herb beloved for its lemony aroma and flavor.
Both plants are rich in polyphenols that can help promote weight loss—without the unwanted side effects of drugs.7,13,14
In a preclinical cell study, hibiscus extract was shown to significantly inhibit the creation of new fat cells. It also reduced the accumulation of triglycerides in fat cells.15
When excess triglycerides build up in fat cells, it leads to oxidative stress. That can trigger the inflammation that promotes diseases associated with obesity.16
In the cell study, hibiscus extract led to a 30% reduction in the generation of damaging reactive oxygen species.15
Preclinical research has shown that lemon verbena extract can decrease triglyceride accumulation in fat cells.17 Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. They come from foods like butter, oils, other fats and glucose-boosting foods (starches) and sugary beverages. Triglycerides not needed for energy production circulate in the blood and are stored in our cells as fat.
A blend of lemon verbena leaf and hibiscus flower extracts was tested in a rigorous, placebo-controlled trial of 47 overweight and obese women.7
All subjects were advised to ingest approximately 2,200-calories a day. They were also encouraged to walk at least half an hour daily during the two-month study.
Roughly half the participants took 500 mg of the plant extracts 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast every day. The other half were given a placebo.
Those taking the lemon verbena-hibiscus combination had a 56.4% decrease in feelings of hunger, on average. They also experienced a significant increase in the satiety-promoting hormone GLP-1, accompanied by an increase in food intake-related satisfaction.
Decreased appetite may have been one factor that led to greater weight loss. In two months, the treatment group lost 7.7 pounds, while the placebo group lost only 4.6 pounds. If this does not sound like much weight, it represents the real-world challenges people face when attempting to shed excess body weight.
Controlling Calorie Intake
In another trial, scientists gave 33 overweight and obese men and women 500 mg of lemon verbena-hibiscus extract or a placebo daily before breakfast.9