Purple chrysanthemum (aster spathulifolius maxim) grows freely in many Asian countries and is often used as food.
Now a team of scientists from Kyung Hee University (Korea) have discovered the plant has an ability nobody realized. It can help you to lose weight.
The scientists initially tested the compound on obese laboratory rats and were so impressed with the results they decided to see if it would work for humans as well.
What the Scientists Did
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The scientists enlisted the help of 41 men and women who were considered to be obese by Asian standards (BMI 23-30).
- Average height: 5′ 6″
- Average waist measurement: 38″
- Average Weight: 12 stone
Everyone involved was given strict instructions not to modify their normal eating habits or level of exercise. They were then split into two groups. Group no.1 consisted of 21 people who were given purple chrysanthemum extract every morning. The 20 people who were selected for group 2 received a placebo.
The scientists monitored the daily calorie intake or everyone involved and the data showed both groups consumed a similar amount of calories.
What the Scientists Discovered
After 12 weeks the difference between the two groups was staggering. The members of the placebo group showed very little difference in waistline measurement, BMI, or weight, but the people who were given purple chrysanthemum extract showed an average weight loss of 7lbs, their BMI had dropped from 27 to 26, and the average waist size had been reduced to 35.5″. To the uninitiated that may not sound like a lot, but the results achieved are four times better than those people would see while taking prescription drugs like Orlistat or Phentermine. Prescription weight loss drugs are also renowned for causing side effects, some of them very unpleasant and/or dangerous, but none of the Korean study participants reported experiencing any side effects at all.
What the Scientists Believe
The Korean scientists point out less than 5% of people who need to lose weight choose to do so by using prescription drugs. They speculate that this is probably due to the costs involved and also due to the possible side effects the drugs may cause. So the fact that purple chrysanthemum appears to be able to provide good weight loss results without side effects is seen as being very important.
The study states: “Supplementation [with purple chrysanthemum] significantly decreased body weight and fat mass without serious adverse events in obese humans. The result suggests it is a promising and efficacious food supplement for the management of obesity.”
Although the active component in purple chrysanthemum has yet to be identified, the plant contains chlorogenic acid and the scientists believe its presence could be responsible for the dramatic weight loss results extracts from the plant have been shown to deliver. Chlorogenic acid is the same chemical that has allowed green coffee bean extract to become such a well respected fat burning ingredient, so it is possible the scientists are right in feeling this way. However, it is also possible further study may reveal the presence of one of more other weight loss enhancing components.
How the Study Has Been Received
Sharing his opinion about the prospect of such promising new weight loss providing ingredient, National Obesity Forum spokesman Tam Fry said: “Pills to allow you to drop dress sizes are two-a-penny and it is the foolhardy that believe the hype without due caution. But because the ingredient is natural there just might be something in it.”
Continuing the same line of thinking, Fry then went on to point out: “Remember that Stevia, a small plant from Peru, has allowed beverage companies to drop quantities of calories from their products and dress sizes will drop because of it.”
Is Purple Chrysanthemum a Miracle Cure for Obesity?
Further independent studies are much to be desired, but purple chrysanthemum certainly shows a lot of promise. It is also worth remembering the fact that the people involved in the Korean study were instructed not to make any changes to their normal food intake or existing exercise levels, yet they still lost a considerable amount of weight. How much weight they might have lost by using purple chrysanthemum in combination with a low calorie diet and regular exercise is anybody’s guess, but it would likely have been much more.