Konjac root is a type of plant that comes from the konjac tree in Asia. In Japan, the konjac root is referred to as devil’s tongue. In the United States, most people use a derivative of the konjac tree in pill form known as glucomannan. This root is also widely used in many countries for a variety of health issues ranging from obesity to colon issues.
Some of the reported health benefits from the konjac root include weight loss, lower blood sugar, and cholesterol. The way the root works is that the tubes from the plant contain an abundance of fiber, enabling it to soak up a lot of water in the body. The fiber expands in the stomach resulting in increased fullness, which may help a person eat less. In addition, this supplement may help cholesterol levels due to the fat absorption in the fiber.
The konjac root may also provide other health benefits since it is a natural laxative and can help rid the body of harmful waste and toxins. Most types of fiber form a mass in the body that is hard for individuals to digest. The fiber in the konjac plant bonds to certain substances such as fat and cholesterol, which helps to eliminate these from the body. This may also benefit conditions such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome.
There are different forms of the konjac root available for consumers. Some people prefer to use glucomannan as a natural supplement while others would rather use it in prepared foods such as konjac flour and shirataki noodles. Konjac root is also available in powder form as well as pills.
Several studies have been performed to determine if the root actually provides any health benefits. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, scientists from Chung Shan Medical University reported that glucomannan helped blood lipid and glucose levels. In another study, the International Journal of Obesity reported that clinical trials showed konjac might be an effective supplement to treat obesity.
Consumers who decide to use konjac root for natural health should always consult with their doctor before taking any herbal supplements. While studies do seem positive, there may be side effects such as mild stomach discomfort or bloating. People who choose to take the pill form of konjac root will also need to take it with plenty of water to prevent the pill from swelling in the throat.