Ayurveda For Obesity
Obesity, Weight loss, diet for weight management, simple slimming tips – is most searched terms in internet today. Even the medical and cosmetics industry too spends billions to research about this. Still, with the current medical treatment, the failure rate remains to be high. And in most cases, there is a strong tendency to regain weight; about one-third of lost weight is regained within a year, and almost all within five years.
Obesity is basically assessed by BMI. Many health surveys conducted in India shows that Indians are going towards the red zone on obesity and still 25% of men and women in India think that they are not Obese.
Ayurveda and Obesity
Obesity is not a new condition as we think. Ayurveda one of the oldest systems of medicines explains better about obesity, its pathogenesis, management, Prevention and better cure etc were elaborately described in Ayurveda. Some of the Integrative medical experts still claims that Ayurveda have better solutions than any other available solutions to prevent and tackle this problem.
How Ayurveda is special?
Ayurveda’s understanding of obesity is different from Modern medicine or any other systems of medicine. Ayurveda try to evaluate the weight gain through its unique Prakriti analysis which can be compared as a genetic coding of an individual. This helps the Ayurveda doctor to understand the cause, pathogenesis, management and recommend better result oriented treatment program or life style modification.
Let Us Understand Obesity Better
On a family of four with same food habits, exercise habits, life style still one or two become obese. Why? Ayurveda answers it well.
Because every human react differently to foods depending upon their metabolism which is still modern medical system is clue less. Just like finger prints, genetic codes every human metabolic systems are different, these metabolic system directs the body organs to convert the nutrients into energy tissues. In Ayurveda, this understanding is divided in to three functional elements that air (Vata), Fire (Pitta) and Water (Kapha) attributing to three primary kind of genetic codes.
In Ayurveda, Prakriti refers to a person's psychological and physical characteristics, including the tendency toward imbalance with the universe, and his ability to resist and recover from illnesses and conditions etc. This play a vital role in understanding and addressing personalized obesity solutions. According to Ayurveda, the person belongs to Water predominant life energy most likely to experience this trouble.
‘Sthaulya’ – the term for Obese is marked by accumulation of Medo Dhatu (Fat tissues) under skin and all over the body. Some Ayurveda texts terms “Medo Roga” as it is related to accumulation of Medo Dhatu.
Ayurveda and Fat tissues (Medo Dhatu)
Ayurveda explains about seven body tissues elements responsible for nourishment and life termed them as Dhatu, Fat tissue or Medo Dhatu is one among the seven. Ayurveda explains the fat tissue is one of the life preserving factor and the primary functions are as follows create and maintain body heat, cushion protecting the deep organs, filling up the hollow spaces and fills the human body and gives shape and beauty. When the body losses its equilibrium and start accumulating only Medo Dhatu due physiological or pathological reasons termed as Medo Roga or Sthaulya Roga.
Ayurveda opines the following are the common causes for Obesity intake of excessive sweet, cold, oily foods and drinks, lack of physical or psychological exercises and sex, day sleep, Irregular food habits, stress, anxiety and Ayurveda too mentions that hereditary as one of the primary causes for obesity.
Ayurvedic pathogenesis of Obesity
The obstruction of the fat, the movement of food is confined to (Koshtha) abdominal viscera resulting in the stimulation of the digestive power and absorption of food. The individual digests food quickly and becomes a voracious eater. In the event of disproportionate increase of fat, the body becomes vulnerable to many diseases. Owing to an excessive increase of fat and muscle tissue, the buttock, abdomen and breast become pendulous and the body strength becomes disproportionate to physical growth.
Symptoms of obesity
a. Reduction of longevity
b. Premature ageing
c. Lower sex drive
d. Poor sexual performance
e. Bad odour and excessive sweating
f. Breathlessness on exertion, difficulty in breathing, difficulty in walking
g. Uncontrollable hunger, thirst, tiredness
h. Loss of vitality
i. Irritability and mental confusion
Obesity is not just a problem related personality or beauty. It also related to serious medical problems like Diabetes, Hypertension, Fistula, Lipoma, Hyperacidity, Hyper-hydrosis and kidney disorders etc.
Ayurveda treatment pedagogy
In Ayurvedic medicine, there is no single approach to treating obesity. Depending on the Prakriti the medications, purification therapies and diet varies.
For example, for a vata dominant person, the vata purification therapies like cleansing and Oleation enemas are part of the treatments. Abhyanga and herbal steam bath does play a major role in Vata type of person’s treatment plan. For Kapha type obesity, treatment plan includes external powder applications with giner, mustard etc. If the obesity is due to excessive accumulation of toxins (Ama dosha) both internal medications and external applications are advocated.
Ayurvedic guide lines for Medo Roga
a. Usage of Barley, Green gram, Red gram and Horse gram is recommended
b. Honey is recommended in minor doses
c. Always drink warm water to eliminate the toxins
d. For cooking Sesame oil/ Mustard oil is indicated. Spices like turmeric, black pepper, ginger and rock salt are advised for obesity.
e. Vegetables with astringent, bitter and pungent taste, soup with such vegetables as diet improves the weight loss
f. Avoid sweets prepared from wheat, cakes, pastries, milk and sugar, cold drinks, alcohol, deep fried foods and non vegetarian diet.
g. Active physical life is very important to prevent and manage weight gain. Staying awake at night and day sleep will increase the Medo Dhatu which in turn ends up in Obesity.
h. Ayurveda recommends herbs like Amrutha (Tinospora cordifolia), Mustaa (Cyperus rotundsa) Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), Bibhitaka (Terminalia belerica) and Aamalaka (Embica officinalis) for prevention and management of this condition.
i. Ayurveda recommends a special weight loss recipe called “Takra Arishta” – Fermented buttermilk for active weight loss
As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments for obesity are always individually formulated. In Ayurvedic medicine, there is no single approach to treating obesity. After taking the pulses and examining the patient, an Ayurvedic practitioner designs a treatment plan to bring the doshas back into balance which in turn addresses obesity swiftly and permanently.