Today an alarming number of Americans are overweight or obese. The fact that diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis and asthma are all associated with obesity makes this trend very worrisome. Lack of exercise, overeating, stress, slow metabolism, poor digestion and elimination are just a few of the culprits behind weight gain. Weight gain can cause vital organs and glands of the body, such as the liver, kidneys, thyroid, and adrenals to become weakened and under-active, sabotaging the ability to take off weight and creating a stress on the entire body system. When the body is constantly under stress it causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol. Cortisol increases the appetite for carbohydrates and fats, causes weight gain in the belly area, increases blood pressure and heart rate, breaks down muscle and bone, suppresses the immune system, increases appetite, and lessens insulin sensitivity. Herbs can help by detoxifying the body, strengthening digestion, increasing metabolism, balancing blood sugar, nourishing the endocrine system and reducing stress.