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How Does Ayurveda Help in Treating Obesity?
For ages, ayurvedic treatments have proven to heal serious health issues. People are now preferring ayurvedic treatments more than ever due to the immense benefits they possess. According to Ayurveda 'atisthaulya' (Obesity) is experienced by a person when there is an undue buildup of Meda (fat tissue) and Mamsa (Muscle tissue) in the body which results in unwanted weight in different parts of the body. Ayurveda helps in treating obesity by focusing on mindful nutrition, stress management, and building a balanced lifestyle. Obesity treatment in Ayurveda has a holistic approach. Ayurveda offers treatment of obesity according to the type of dosha a person’s body is facing which are namely malas (waste products) agni (fire) and strotasas (circulatory channels).
Table of Contents
What does Ayurveda say?
According to Ayurveda, the imbalance in the tridoshas that are mentioned above, makes us opt for the wrong lifestyle choices which eventually increases the toxins present in the body, blocks the strotasas, and hinders the process of tissue formation. This disruption in the cycle leads to an imbalance of three main elements in the body which are linked to natural elements.
- Vata- Linked to air and space, this is the energy of movement.
- Pitta- Symbolizing fire and water, this is the energy of metabolism.
- Kapha- Associated with earth and water, this is the energy of your body’s structure.
Amongst these, the energy which is most dominant in your constitution is your dosha.
Eating habits determine your dominant dosha. Having balanced energy which is possible through living an ayurvedic lifestyle can help you to get rid of obesity.
How Obesity is caused according to Ayurveda?
As per Ayurveda, obesity is the result of your food choices, daily movement, environmental factors, and genetics. When Meda and Mamsa, as mentioned above accumulates in your body, you’ll be diagnosed with obesity. Here are a few causes that lead to obesity.
Increase in Agni- Eating food excessively leads to an increase in Agni which is the digestive fire that is essential for the digestion process. This spike in Agni leads to an increase in appetite and food consumption.
Disruption in the conversion of Medo dhatu (fat tissue) into Ashti dhatu (bone tissues) – This disruption leads to increased production of fats. Due to an increase in appetite, your body tends to consume heavy-to-digest food which is directly linked to increased body weight.
Imbalance of Vata dosha and Kapha dosha- Increased digestive strength leads to Vata dosha and consuming sweets, fried food, etc. leads to Kapha dosha which is eventually responsible for obesity.
Reasons like lack of physical exercise, and day sleeping are also causing obesity due to the absence of physical activity and proper sleeping patterns, the Medo dhatu doesn’t get converted into Asthi dhatu. Some people might suffer from obesity due to heredity. Sometimes if you are too happy your body tends to eat and sleep more which eventually causes obesity. However, obesity treatment in Ayurveda is the natural and best way to get rid of the disease from the root level.
Things to eat & avoid
It is essential to be aware of what you are consuming if you want to tackle obesity. Mentioned below are foods that you must include and avoid in your diet.
- Low-fat and low-calorie food items like oats, Greek yogurt, berries, green vegetables, Indian gooseberry, bitter gourd, barley, etc.
- Protein-rich foods like lentils, legumes, nuts, quinoa, chia seeds, etc.
- Go for steamed or boiled vegetables instead of fried ones.
- Consume skimmed milk instead of whole milk.
- Add lemons to your diet.
- Foods with high carbs such as potatoes, rice, etc.
- Sugary foods, fried food items, junk food, dairy products, and processed items.
- Use less salt to prepare your meals, excess salt has negative health impacts.
Ayurvedic treatment for obesity
There are obesity treatments in Ayurveda too. These herbal treatments have been used for ages to treat obesity. These effective ayurvedic methods are best suited to bring a balance of all doshas in your body.
1. Basti- For people with Vata as their dominant dosha, Basti is a form of enema which requires herbs such as haritaki, amalaki, musta, Guduchi, etc. This technique enables your body to get rid of the extra Vata and toxins thereby improving the digestive system. This method cleans the entire length of the colon. Further, there are many other basti techniques used to target different issues.
2. Udvartana(powder massage)- This powder massage is recommended for people who are suffering from obesity due to spiked Kapha. This technique burns fat, increases strength, and makes the skin healthy by calming the Kapha, removing unpleasant odors, and controlling perspiration.
3. Vamana (medical emises)- This daily activity eliminates mucus from your naadis(channels) and provides relief from obesity. Herbs like liquorice with salt water and neem and Amalaki are used to perform this ayurvedic remedy.
4. Virechana(Purgation)- One of the panchakarma treatments, in this method herbs like aloe, rhubarb, and senna are used to induce purgation which brings down the pitta dosha of the body. For obese people, usually, 100 ML of Triphala kwatha and 40 ML of castor oil is used to perform virechana.
5. Rasayanas- This rejuvenating technique is performed using Amalaki, haritaki, vidanga, shilajatu, etc. together or separately to get rid of excess fats. These are induced in the body according to the dosha one aims to treat.
6. Ayurvedic medicines- Apart from the herbs that are used to perform these treatments, you can also go for oral consumption of medicines. Certain popular medicines are triphala which is a combination of certain fruits and is a great antioxidant and provides relief from bloating, Abhayarishta another ayurvedic mixture that enhances metabolic functions and helps in weight management and Medhohara Guggulu which removes excess meda and improves bone health. These medicines are available in powder or tablet form for consumption.
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Other lifestyle changes
Certain lifestyle changes are vital to treating obesity, these include eating slowly so that the foods get digested faster, eating at regular timings, fasting, having a daily exercise routine, meditation to improve your mental health to make better choices, practicing yoga and pranayama, etc. Along with consuming healthy foods, these lifestyle changes are a part of obesity treatments in Ayurveda. Living an ayurvedic lifestyle is good not only to treat obesity but for maintaining an overall healthy and nourished body.
Side effects of Ayurvedic medicines
The dosage of Ayurvedic medicines should be consulted by a doctor as even though they do not have any major side effects, consuming them in the wrong manner can create problems. It is better to practice any method after getting yourself checked as Vamana is not suitable for pregnant women or people with Vata dosha. Similarly, elderly people, people with problematic emesis, those who experience chest pain, fatigue, constipation, etc., or those who indulge in sex frequently must not practice Vamana. It is important to be well aware of the technique and its impacts before testing it out for yourself. Therefore, you must consult an ayurvedic doctor before indulging in the above-mentioned treatments.
Obesity is getting common in recent times due to the unhealthy lifestyles people are following. Fortunately, it is not a disease that cannot be treated. However, what treatment you want to opt depends on you. Choosing Ayurveda is recommended as it has minimum side effects and produces results that last long. The ayurvedic approach to treating obesity is all about bringing harmony between body and mind which can be achieved through eating healthy and making conscious lifestyle changes consistently.
Can Ayurvedic medicine reduce weight?
Ayurvedic medicines comprehensively target weight loss. The herbs present in ayurvedic medicines like shilajatu, katuki, haritaki, vidanga, musta, etc. improve the digestive functions of the body and stimulates weight loss. Ayurvedic medicines bring all the doshas of your body in harmony and thus help in weight management.
Why Ayurveda is good for weight loss?
Ayurvedic remedies, medicines, and lifestyle changes have proven effective in losing the extra kilos as ayurvedic treatments cleanse the body and improve the metabolic system eventually enabling the body to burn more calories.
Which herb is best for weight loss?
According to the type of dosha which is dominant in your body, different herbs work differently for everyone. However, some of the best herbs for weight loss include fenugreek, cumin, rosemary, cardamom, guggul, ashwagandha, etc. You can consult a doctor and intake ayurvedic medicines that have compositions of different herbs to target weight loss.
Which Ayurvedic medicine is best for belly fat?
Often belly is the most difficult area to lose stubborn fats. However, some of the highly effective ayurvedic medicines such as Guggul, Triphala, punarnava, dalchini, etc. when consumed consistently in the right amounts can help to lose extra inches from your belly.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.