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Alok Bhatt* and Pallavi Ghiliyal


Obesity is a global health concern associated with high morbidity and mortality. Therapeutic strategies include synthetic drugs and surgery, which may entail high costs and serious complications. Plant-based medicinal agents offer an alternative approach. A review of the studies on accessible botanical sources for the treatment of obesity is provided, which attempts to explain how these medicinal plants act to cause weight loss and which approach is safer and more efficient. Information was gathered for the period of 1991 to 2012. Five basic mechanisms, including stimulating thermogenesis, lowering lipogenesis, enhancing lipolysis, suppressing appetite and decreasing the absorption of lipids may be operating. Consumption of standardized medicinal plant extracts may be a safe treatment for obesity. However, some combinations of medicinal plants may result in either lower efficacy or cause unexpected side-effects. Since the time immemorial plants have been in use as sources of medicine throughout the world. The demand for plant-based medicines is ever growing as crude or processed products from plants have less or no adverse effects. The present review covers the taxonomy, habitat, distribution, extraction and identification of active principle of potential medicinal plants used in obesity treatment. The different biochemical markers used to evaluate the anti-obese effect of each plant is also considered.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, fat absorption, dietary supplements, obesity, extraction.

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