Ayurveda adopts a comprehensive approach to treat obesity. Ayurveda explains about a a combination of Panchakarma treatment, few simple Ayurvedic medicines, home remedies, and very easy to follow lifestyle adjustments to lose weight quickly.
Understanding obesity in Ayurvedic terms:
There are seven body tissues. –
Rasa Dhatu – nutritive part of the digested food
Rakta Dhatu – blood
Mamsa Dhatu – muscle
Meda Dhatu – fat
Asthi Dhatu – bone
Majja Dhatu – bone marrow
Shukra Dhatu – reproductive system, semen, sperm and ovum.
As per Ayurveda, the food nourishes Rasa dhatu. and Rasa in turn nourishes Rakta (blood), which nourishes muscle and so on. Or, in other terms, part of prior Dhatu gets converted into the next Dhatu.
In Obesity, there is problem at the level of Meda (fat), nourishing Asthi (bone). This nutrition shift is hampered, because of which more and more of fat tissue gets produced, but it is not being converted further into Asthi (bone), Majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (reproductive system). There is blocking of transition of nutrition from Meda to Asthi.
Another thing that happens in obesity is, The excess fat causes increase of digestive fire. So, person has very good appetite, he eats more, the digestion process takes places till the level of Medo dhatu (fat) but it is hampered there, so, more and more fat gets produced, without nourishing further Dhatus hence person keeps on putting on weight.
The last contributing factor in obesity is impaired Vata Dosha. Just as air / wind causes increase of fire, Vata – resides in stomach and maintains digestive fire (Agni). In obesity, there is increase of Vata Dosha, which further causes increase of digestion strength.
The fat tissue and Kapha Dosha are inter-connected. Increase of fat tissue implies there is increase of Kapha Dosha.
So, Ayurveda explains the pathology of obesity as –
1. Increase of Agni – digestion strength, leading to increase of appetite and food intake.
2. Hampered conversion of Medo dhatu to Asthi dhatu, leading to increased production of Medo Dhatu.
3. Imbalance / Vitiation of Vata Dosha – leading to increased digestion strength
4. Increase of Kapha Dosha, which is caused by excess sweets, fried food, excess rest etc.
Causes for obesity:
Excess intake of food – If you are continuously taking high amounts of food, it leads to increase of Agni – digestive fire because, body needs a way to digest increased food quantity, but because there is blockage in Medo dhatu, more and more fat tissue is produced, leading to weight gain.
Excess intake of heavy to digest, sweet foods, Coolant and oily foods – Because there is increased digestion strength, if you are taking light-to-digest food, it will be digested fast and you start feeling hungry again. Hence, person tends to eat heavy-to-digest foods and sweet foods, fried foods and coolants, which directly increase fat tissue.
Lack of physical exercise, day sleeping: Physical exercise is a way to allow the conversion of fat into bone tissue (Medo dhatu – Asthi Dhatu). Lack of exercise and lethargic behavior like day sleeping leads to increase in fat tissue.
Lack of mental stress, increased happiness:
Worrying is one of the best way to burn calories. If you are happy and stress-free, you tend to eat more and rest more.
Heredity – some people have it in their genes.
Management of obesity –
Vata and Kapha Dosha balance: All the food and diet activities that balance down Vata and Kapha Dosha should be taken up. Read more about how to balance Kapha Vata Dosha
A few ways to balance Kapha – Vata Dosha are –
Having a cup of water, mixed with honey, as the first step in the morning.
Increased consumption of barley, which helps to take care of digestion strength, yet, not contribute to body calories.
Avoiding foods that are hard to-digest and cold, sleeping at day time, etc.
Ayurvedic cure – Decoction enema with strong herbs that are hot in nature is administered. Decoction enema, also called as Kashaya basti is a type of Panchakarma treatment, which helps to balance Vata and also useful in correction of fat tissue conversion into bone tissue (medo dhatu – asthi dhatu)
Dry Powder massage – Also called as Rooksha Udvartana – powder massage with herbs having dry quality – usually ingredients like horse gram, jujube, Black gram,Devadaru, Rasna, etc are used for this purpose. The purpose of the powder massage is to burn down the fat deposited underneath the skin, especially in tummy, thighs and buttock areas.
Buttermilk, fermented with spices – fermented buttermilk acts as a catalyst to bring in the transformation of fat tissue.
Administration of honey – a teaspoon of honey along with a cup of water.
Specific herbs to treat obesity:
1. Vidanga (Embelia ribes Burm f.), Nagara (ginger),Yavaksara (Kshara prepared from Barley), Loha Bhasma with honey and powder of Yava – barley and Amla.
2. Intake of Guduchi (Tinspora cordifolia), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Triphala (Haritaki (Terminalia chebula Linn.), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica Roxb.) and Amalaka (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) – Triphala and Guduchi are very useful to burn fat and to correct the fat – bone tissue transition.
3. Administration of honey along with decoction of Bilva panchamula (roots of Bael, Oroxylum indicum, Gmelina arborea, Stereospermum suaveolens and Clerodendrum phlomidis)
4. Shilajit (asphaltum)
5. Administration of the juice of Agnimantha (Clerodendrum phlomidis Linn. f.)
6. Alcoholic preparations that help to reduce fat, muscle and Kapha may be used as after-food-drinks. – Such as Ayaskriti, Lohasavam etc
Here are a few Simple rules to lose weight quickly.
1. Regular exercise schedule – It can be as simple as walking, jogging, cycling etc. just for half an hour per day. Morning or evening. If you do it in the morning, you will feel less tired. You got to do it till you have few sweat droplets on forehead, chest and thighs. Click here to read more about Benefits of gym
2. Drink half a glass of water just before food, it will reduce the appetite a little bit. Do not drink more than half a glass of water.
3. Eating slowly, it decreases hunger. Eat till the time you still are feeling hungry.
4. Include Barley (Hordeum vulgare) in your diet. Make barley flour, add water and a pinch of salt, and make it a bolus. Then roll it into flat circle shaped cakes, (very thin) and heat it on a pan and heat it hot. This is called Chapati in India, usually made of Wheat, but to lose weight quickly, it can be made from barley and eaten. The taste will be the same, but it is more beneficial to lose weight quickly.
5. Avoid sweets, sweet tasting drinks and food articles, wherever you can. Tea, Coffee, cakes, bakery sweets, aerated drinks, colas, avoid these good-for-nothing things. If coffee and tea are a regular in your diet then, have them, but with very little sugar.
6. Replace curds with butter milk.
7. If you really want sweet, eat fruits. Grapes, Apple, banana, whatever you wish to, but again in a limited quantity, not adding any sugar to it.
8. Avoid all types of oily food stuffs and junk foods.
9. Eat at regular time schedules. Try to fix a time-table and try fixing to that as much as you can.
10. Drink plenty of water through out the day. It helps in flushing out toxins.
11. Small meals at frequent intervals is better than big meals 2 or 3 times a day.
12. Drink a spoonful of honey and lemon juice, on empty stomach. Then drink a glass of warm water.
13. keep a workbook with you and write down about the steps that you took to lose weight, on week by week basis. Do this on every Sunday. Do not worry if you had not achieved any good milestone that week. But just keep on writing.
when you might need weight loss supplements?
When you are at the risk of developing heart complications.
When you struggle with following the above rules, You may consider taking weight loss supplements.
Ayurveda says –
Vyayama nityo jeernaashee yavagodhuma bhojanaha |
Santarpana Krutaihi Doshaihi Sthoulyam muktwa vimuchyate ||
Daily regular exercise, eating only after the previous food has got completely digested, and regular intake of Barley and wheat in diet, are sure shot ways to curb obesity.
Wake up before 6 am to fight obesity
Question: Can Oil massage help in weight loss?
The purpose of oil massage is to boost strength of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Hence, massage is essentially a nourishing therapy, because oil, with its heaviness and unctuousness qualities, is a nourishing agent. So, oil massage by itself cannot make you to lose weight.
For this reason, usually herbal powder massage, called Udvartana is used in obesity treatment. Herbal massage powders such as Kola Kulathadi Churna being Rooksha – dry and Laghu – light, carry qualities opposite to those of obesity. So powder massage is useful for weight loss.
But oil massage can indirectly help in obesity management. Let me explain.
If you do massage regularly, your bones, muscles and joints will be very strong. If you take the advantage of this and do regular exercise, then you would lose weight. Hence indirectly oil massage is very helpful.
If you do oil massage regularly, the fat deposits in abdomen, buttocks and such other areas will be mobilized. This will help in quicken fat loss, if you exercise.
Even in Panchakarma therapy, where the morbid matter and toxins are expelled out of the body, oil massage is done in early stages. Here, oil massage helps to mobilize morbid matter from different organs to gastro intestinal tract, which are then expelled by Vamana Panchakarma – vomiting therapy or Virechana – purgation treatment.
So, in all these ways, oil massage is indirectly, but immensely helpful in losing weight.
Classical home remedies for obesity – Medoroga :
- Triphala Kashaya with Honey
- Boiled and cooled water mixed with honey
- Hot gruel of rice taken regularly
- Guduchi Churna (powder of Tinospora cordifolia) + Musta Churna (Powder of Cyperus rotundus)
- Triphala churna
- Takrarishta (fermented medicated buttermilk)
Ayurvedic medicines used for the treatment for obesity:
Medohara Vidangadi Lauham