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$16.95 USD
Square One Publishers
6 X 9 in
192 pg

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While there may not be any perfect formula for people to lose weight, nature may have created one that comes very close to being perfect. Avenca is a plant that grows in forests throughout the world, and for centuries it has been safely used as an herbal remedy for numerous aliments. Recently, however, new research has shown that along with its healing benefits, it can also prevent fats, sugars, and starches from being absorbed during digestion—the very elements responsible for weight gain. Based on Dr. Taylor’s research and testing, her new book provides a complete guide to understanding how avenca works and how it can be used to lose those unwanted pounds. And considering that over seventy million Americans are classified as obese, the timing could not have been better.

Dr. Taylor begins by explaining what Avenca is and how, as a traditional herbal remedy, it has been used to treat dozens of health disorders—from respiratory issues to toothaches. She then goes on to look at the latest research on avenca’s use as a weight loss supplement. Dr. Taylor first examines the factors behind its ability to block fats, sugars, and starches, but then she goes further. Using the most recent and groundbreaking studies on the gut’s microbiome—the collection of good and bad bacteria in the gut—she explains why some of us are “naturally” fat and others “naturally” skinny. This is followed by a consumer’s guide to buying and using avenca. Just as important, Dr. Taylor includes a chapter on the avenca weight loss plan. And while the focus of the book is certainly on shedding extra weight, the author also provides a chapter that looks at all the other health conditions avenca has been used to treat.

With avenca, it’s no longer about counting calories, since you can eat what you normally eat. It’s about your body no longer absorbing fats, sugars, and starches. And interestingly enough, you are likely to feel fuller quicker. Yes, avenca will be a game changer, but as a consumer you will find that the information in this book will help you ask the right questions, become a savvy shopper, and most important, allow you to reach your ideal weight.

Leslie Taylor
Author Bio

Leslie Taylor, ND, survived a rare form of leukemia by following alternative and herbal medicinal therapies. A practicing herbalist and naturopath, Dr. Taylor has been researching, studying, and documenting herbal medicine for more than twenty years. She is the founder of Raintree Nutrition Inc., a company dedicated to making rainforest botanicals available while preserving the forests from destruction. Dr. Taylor lectures and teaches classes worldwide in naturopathic medicine, herbal medicine, ethnobotany, and environmental and sustainability issues. To learn more about Dr. Taylor, feel free to visit her website ( and her personal blog at:

Table of contents


Foreword, vii

Preface, xi

Introduction, 1

1. What Is Avenca?, 7

2. Understanding Fat, Starch, and Sugar Blockers, 15

3. The Inflammation Factor, 29

4. Your Gut Bacteria and Weight Loss, 41

5. A Buyer’s Guide to Avenca, 59

6. The Avenca Weight-Loss Plan, 77

7. Using Avenca for Other Health Benefits, 93

Anti-AGE Actions and

Anti-Aging Benefits, 95

Antibacterial Actions

and Infections, 98

Asthma, 99

Detoxifying Actions, 101

Diabetes, 102

Hair Loss, 104

High Blood Pressure

and Heart Disease, 106

Hypothyroidism, 107

Kidney Stones, 108

Polycystic Ovary

Syndrome (PCOS), 109

Spleen Infections, 110

Urinary Tract

Infections, 110

Wound Healing

Problems, 111

Conclusion, 115

Review Quote - Midwest Book Review (MBR)

"Exceptionally well written, organized and presented for the benefit of the non-specialist general reader with an interest in weight control . . . an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections and Weight Control supplemental studies curriculums."

Review Quote - Grady Harp, top book reviewer

"In a sophisticated yet very accessible manner, Dr. Taylor provides all the information about the little fern avenca that has the unique ability to block calories - fats, sugars, and starches - from absorption from the gut, thereby reducing weight. In addition to this benefit, avenca’s other benefits include anti-aging action, treatments of nephrolithiasis, UTIs, diabetes, hair loss, asthma, hypertension and heart disease, wound healing problems, antibacterial actions, hypothyroidism – quite an impressive list of benefits. This is a solid little book that brings attention to yet another excellent herbal remedy about which we should all be aware. Dr Taylor’s discussion is lucid, thorough, and illuminating."

Introduction or preface


Each year, billions of dollars are spent on books, programs, and foods that promote the idea of personal weight loss, and for good reason. It turns out that in the United States, over 160 million men, women, and children are considered obese or overweight. Worse yet, approximately 300,000 Americans die each year due to obesity related causes. Unfortunately, unless they are able to adopt sometimes stringent lifestyle changes or undergo stomach surgery, those who try dieting usually return to old eating habits and regain the weight they lost. That’s why I was stunned when I came across a study that had the potential to affect the lives of so many people who are struggling to lose weight. As a naturopath and herbalist, I have spent my professional life looking for natural approaches to treating our most common health disorders. I have trekked through the rainforest of the Amazon, worked with patients and practitioners, and reviewed literarily thousands of studies to make sure that the appropriate science was behind the herbal remedies I prescribed. So when I learned there was relatively simple way to shed those unwanted pounds, it was crucial for me to learn as much as I could about this herb called avenca. Avenca is a pretty little fern that grows in tropical and temperate rainforests around the world and has been used for almost 2,000 years as a remedy wherever it’s found. Only in the last few years, however, has an amazing new use for this plant been discovered. Simply put, avenca can help people lose weight. In this book, you will find all the recent studies performed on avenca as well as the supporting evidence that shows why avenca works. You will also learn how to use avenca to promote weight loss. My own involvement with avenca began when I came across a fascinating research article that explored a property of avenca I had never 2 Avenca: Nature’s Secret for Weight Loss read about before. In a single animal study published in 2017, it was reported that avenca was just as effective as a leading weight-loss prescription drug in blocking the absorption of dietary fat and its calories. I was so intrigued that I immediately bought a couple of pounds of powdered avenca leaves to make up some capsules myself. I had to see if it might work for weight loss in humans as it had in animals. I knew the safety profile of avenca was excellent based on its almost 2,000-year history of use as an herbal remedy in Europe and beyond without any recorded side effects. In addition, I had used avenca in the past in two formulas developed for my company for other purposes, and the formulas were used for many years without side effects. I therefore approached six family members and friends who needed to lose weight and asked them to try avenca. They all quickly agreed once I told them of the strong possibility that they could lose some weight by just taking the capsules without having to change their daily diet or exercise routines. Of the six, two had followed specific diets. One had lost some weight but had plateaued and then given up. The other was my granddaughter, Macaella, who continued to gain weight despite following a nutritionist’s keto diet. The other four people I approached were overweight because of their dietary and lifestyle choices and had no real plan or desire to make changes in an attempt to lose weight. Of course, their excuses were all too common—busy lifestyles with too much fast food and junk food, and never enough time to get in some exercise to work off all those high-calorie fast-food meals. I asked all six people to take the avenca capsules and not make any changes in diet or exercise habits, and to keep track of their weight and body measurements weekly. To my surprise—and, I guess, to theirs—avenca worked in my family and friends just as it had in the animal studies. All six people lost weight and inches without changing their diets or exercise levels or doing anything different. And the amount of weight they lost was significant—especially considering that they did not diet and that some of them ate high amounts of fast food. On average, they lost three to five pounds a week, and went down a dress or pant size in a month or less. Some lost more inches than pounds, comparatively, and not surprisingly, those with the more sensible diets lost more. At the end of the second month of the experiment, with everyone experiencing positive results, I contacted my colleague Ann Louise Introduction 3 Before taking avenca. After one month on avenca. After two months on avenca. After three months on avenca. After four months on avenca. My Granddaughter Macaella's Remarkable Weight Loss Using Avenca 4 Avenca: Nature’s Secret for Weight Loss Gittleman, an expert in nutrition and weight loss. I told her about avenca and explained how my friends and family were responding to its use. I then asked if she would put some of her clients on avenca to see if she could confirm and verify my results. She was intrigued. After providing her with all the research I had gathered, she agreed to put some of her diet-noncompliant and very slow-to-lose clients on avenca. Within a few weeks, she was just as shocked as I had been: All of her clients had lost weight without changing their diets or exercise levels. It was amazing. It was also pretty evident that the results we were seeing were due to more than just the blocking of fat absorption. Something else was surely going on. A thorough investigation of the natural compounds found in avenca revealed a host of beneficial natural compounds that were confirmed to block fat, as well as others that blocked starches and sugars. When starches, sugars, and fats suddenly become much harder to absorb in each meal, the total calories in the meal are greatly decreased. This means that you can lose weight without eating less, since all meals become lower in calories through avenca’s calorieblocking triple action. When reviewing research, I also learned that when blocked fat, starch, and sugar molecules travel through the digestive system unabsorbed, they provide a great appetite-suppressant effect. This was confirmed by avenca users, who reported that they actually ate less and experienced much less hunger when taking the plant. Avenca’s triple-blocking action also explained why it didn’t have the negative side effects associated with a weight-loss drug that blocks only fat. (You’ll learn more about this in Chapter 2.) A complete review of avenca’s natural plant compounds also revealed some rather stunning new causes and contributors of weight gain in general, and how avenca was providing other benefits that help people lose weight more efficiently and effectively. Have you always been overweight, even as a child? Have you tried diet after diet without anything working for you? Have you struggled to lose weight—only to gain it all back? The research offered in this book explains why this has happened and teaches you about the silent and hidden “deregulations” that have been working against you—the very factors that have caused you to fail to reach your ideal weight and maintain it. The research also helps explain why you may have gained excess weight in the first place. Introduction 5 The vitally important and potentially life-changing information provided in the following pages can be used with nearly any diet plan or diet product—or by itself—to help you address the underlying causes of gaining weight. You’ll learn why weight issues are not the result of laziness, lack of commitment, or absence of willpower, but rather hidden deregulations that cause you to fail. Most exciting, this book will teach you how a single rainforest plant called avenca can help you address all of these deregulations and get back to losing weight. If after reading this introduction, you feel the urge to run out and buy a bottle of avenca, I suggest you hold off until you’ve read the book. The more you know about avenca and understand how it works, the better prepared you will be to use and benefit from it. Because avenca is not yet widely distributed in this country, it is vitally important to be an informed consumer, which is a topic I cover in Chapter 5. And if you have preexisting medical conditions or you are using prescription medications, it is critical that you check with your healthcare professional should you have any questions. In closing, consider this: The healthcare crisis we find ourselves in is not entirely due to inadequate insurance or the high price of drugs. It is also due to the growing number of people who are crowded into doctors’ offices because they suffer from obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and clogged arteries. Fortunately, losing weight can now be so much easier than it’s been in the past. I hope that the information provided in the following pages turns discouragement into encouragement and helps you lose the weight you need to lose for greater health and happiness. 7 1. What Is Avenca? Avenca, whose scientific name is Adiantum capillus-veneris, bel