Ayurveda’s Approach to Obesity

Ayurvedic text, ‘Charaka Samhita’ has described eight ‘nindya prakruties’ (undesirable constitution) according to the body constitution. Among them he has also mentioned obesity. Obesity is described as ‘Medoroga’ in Ayurved. It is said that it is comparatively easy to help an underweight person, rather than an overweight person. The overweight problem can be due to an actual increase in the fat component (Meda Dhatu), or it can be due to malfunctioning. These, accordingly, will need different approaches. In very few cases it can be an offshoot of other metabolic disorders.

Body is made of 7- Dhatus . But in Obese fellow Meda is excessively nourished and remaining other Dhatus get malnourished. Kapha gets accumulated in between. When Kapha increases in abnormal fashion, Fat metabolism gets hampered and person becomes Obese.

Roll of medicines with dietary correction is to remove obstructed Kapha and let all Dhatus nourish equally. It is not only the quantity of food that is important, but also the type of food one eats. It is not always necessary to go on a restricted diet, but qualitative changes and food habits can bring remarkable changes.

Treatment of Obesity

Prevention is better then cure. You must take precautions rather following treatment after increase in weight. Once you are obese it is difficult to treat yourself.

* Avoid excess eating, eating during indigestion or just after taking pervious meal.
* Avoid day sleeping; sleep in the night after one hour of your dinner.
* Do regular exercise like brisk walking (at least), running, swimming etc. avoid sedentary and lethargic lifestyle.
* Avoid eating excess sweets. Have lowfat /skim dairy products. Avoid product like chocolates, ice creams, cheese, paneer, sugar etc.
* Take non-vegetarian food like chicken, fishes, eggs, meats etc. in moderate quantity. Remove fat from meat & skin from chicken.
* Try to minimise excess oil & ghee in cooking, Use a non-stick pan for cooking. avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, Instead of frying things try to consume roasted things & change your cooking techniques a little. Grill or bake food instead of frying, cook vegetables without fat by steaming and boiling.
* Use lowfat spreads and chutney on bread instead of butter and cheese.
* Don’t consume excess alcoholic drinks or water on empty stomach.
* Avoid aerated drinks and excess water after meal.
* Intake of fat and carbohydrates should be restricted.

Medicinal Treatment
The Ayurvedic approach to drugs in general is quite different from what we’ve been used to. Herbal supplements can be of great benefit in weight control without the negative side effects of conventional drugs. With the diet therapy alone, the treatment of obesity is incomplete. Diet can avoid the further possibilities of obesity, but the fat has to be treated and the defective metabolism must be corrected, which is done by Ayurvedic medicines. These medicines improve fat metabolism in an obese individual. Once a person’s metabolism is correct it is easy for him to maintain his weight.

Some useful remedies –

1. Use of guduchi, devadaru, musta, triphala, takrarishta (a fermented preparation of butter milk) and honey is recommended.
2. Powder of yava and amalaka is an excellent formulation for the same.
3. Shilajita alongwith the juice of Agnimatha works good.
4. Take honey water early in the morning.
5. Take powder of Vidanga, Sunthi, Yavakshara, Yava, Aamalaki and ‘Loha (iron) Bhasma’.

Some generally used preparation for obesity are as follows :
Triphala Guggulu, Amrutadya Guggulu, Arogya Vardhini, Chandraprabha vati , Shilajit vati.

But remember this is supplementary to dietary changes stated above. You should give up sedentary life style and gradually increase physical exercise and mental work.

Author’s Bio:

Dr.Shashikant Patwardhan is practicing as ‘Ayurvedic Consultant’ for last 27 years at the city -Sangli , Maharashtra -India.He has done his graduation in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery [B.A.M&S] and post graduate Fellowship of Faculty of Ayurvedic Medicine [F.F.A.M.] From Tilak Ayurvedic college, Pune University , India. He is a chief editor and Ayurvedic Consultant of a ‘Comprehensive website on Ayurveda – http://www.ayurveda-foryou.com He is an author of many books on Ayurveda and is first to publish them in ebook format.He has written many ebooks like – Ayurvedic Cure of Diabetes , Losing weight with Ayurveda and Yoga, Arthritis Ayurveda and You.He regularly writes articles on various topics in Ayurveda in Ayurvedic health magazines and alternative medicine sites.

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