Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture for Weight Loss

New research has confirmed that Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can tackle obesity and does not have the dangerous side effects that pharmaceuticals produce. Obesity has also become a problem in China over the past 20 years because of the increased affluence and with that an increase in consumption of sugars and fats.

The World Health Organization has announced that obesity now affects six percent of Chinese. To tackle this endemic, the Chinese Government has implanted changes in the schooling system where compulsory exercise is now part of the daily school routine.

There have been hundreds of research studies on acupuncture and Chinese herbs validating that it is effective for weight loss. Some of the studies were orientated for people who just wanted to be slimmer and other studies were targeted for people who wanted to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Hospitals are collecting data such as weight, height and waist line measurements from 50,000 patients and a new study will start in January 2013 to determine the speed of weight loss achievement through acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

The researchers have even found which Chinese herbs and which acupuncture points have produced the best results in their Chinese medicine treatment protocols.

The most productive acupuncture points for weight loss were those in the leg known as Zusanli and Sanyinjiao and the most effective herbs were Huang Qin (Skullcap root) and Shanzha (Hawthorn fruit). It is important to note that Chinese herbs are used in formulations and specifically tailor made and designed for the individual’s body’s’ type and constitution.

Results of the research showed that 5.8 kilograms were lost when participants of the study used Chinese herbs and 4.1 kilograms were lost when others undertook acupuncture only. It is expected that results would be better if acupuncture and Chinese herbs were combined but this would require a more difficult and complex study.

The universities assistant dean of medicine, Professor Juliana Chan Chung-Ngor commented that “A Western approach was used to show Western scientists that Chinese medicine methods work”


About Heiko Lade

Hi, I'm Heiko Lade - qualified acupuncturist at The Acupuncture Clinic in Hastings, New Zealand. If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation and treatment, please contact me.


  1. What Chinese herbs specifiically are good for weightloss though? ..

    • Hi Tina, it depends on the cause of the imbalance of the patient that is contributing to the weight problem. If it was as simple as herb 123 is good for weight loss I would just market that and be a millionaire.

  2. weight loss says:

    Exercise is the most important for weight loss. Your website is so nice.

    • Yes of course you are right, any effective weight management program requires exercise for the best results. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, hypnotherapy etc are all adjuncts but the patient needs to take responsibility for themselves as well. Thanks for the comment.

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