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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Obesity Ayurvedic Treatment - Herbal Remedies for Weight Loss


In ancient Ayurvedic text – Charak Samhita, obesity is described as one of the conditions which is very much undesirable and leads to many complications of health. It's called "Medoroga" in ayurveda. Med is referred to as adipose tissue.

Central obesity is a condition in which the adipose tissue is deposited more around the abdominal area. This condition is more dangerous than the generalized obesity.

Imagine a small piece of land which needs to be properly irrigated to get proper yield.

So to irrigate it we need a water pump with adequate horse power motor to irrigate that piece of land. but imagine if that piece of land keeps growing but the horse power of our pump remains the same. What will happen? The motor will fail ultimately.

Similarly, God has put a very good and strong pump in our chest (heart) to irrigate all over body organs with essential nutrients through blood, but when we grow bigger in size, the heart is pushed to it's limits and ultimately it gets enlarged and starts to fail. The natural motor - the heart gives up as it is not able to pump the blood with full force anymore leading to it's failure.

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According to Ayurveda - Obesity or being overweight is a serious health wizard putting extra burden not only on heart but also puts extra strain on liver, kidneys and weight bearing joints such as hips, knees and ankles. Obesity is the leading cause of many problems like coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver and gall bladder disorders. There are many herbs and ayurvedic methods which can help in reducing the body weight.

Generally, the reason for over weight is over eating and sedentary lifestyle. So modification in diet is required to loose weight. I never recommend that you should go for fasting at all. Starving or fasting will rob the body of essential nutrients and necessary fuel it needs. We rather encourage you to eat in moderation at regular intervals without missing your meals.

Mild to moderate exercise is also recommended to burn the deposited calories. Brisk walk, cyclying, jogging, swimming, playing tennis etc. are excellent ways to loose weight.

It is clearly written in Ayurveda that it is easy to cure an underweight person for his ailments rather than obese patients.

The excessive fat also blockes channels thereby preventing the nutrition and medicines to reach different cells.

Treatment of Obesity through Nature

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, but still there are many herbs which can help.

  • The metabolic rate is generally decreased in obese people, getting up early morning, even light exercise, walk etc. can increase the metabolic rate and help burn some calories.
  • 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.
  • Avoid eating excess sweets. Have low fat/skim dairy products. Avoid product like chocolates, ice creams, cheese, sugar etc.
  • Take non-vegetarian food like chicken, fishes, eggs, meats etc. in moderate quantity. Remove fat from meat skin from chicken.
  • Try to minimize 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 low fat spreads and chutney on bread instead of butter and cheese.
  • Don't consume alcoholic drinks.
  • Avoid aerated drinks and excess water after meal.

Some useful herbs for weight loss

  1. Smilax China – Chopchini – This is a native of china. According to ayurvedic pharmacology, this herb is excellent for dissolving the adipose tissue. This is hot, pungent and penetrating in nature, helps to dissociate accumulated fat lodged and stuck in many organ systems. It thereby helps to clean the system too.
  2. Garcinia – This is popularly known as Malabar Tamarind in South India. This has remarkable properties to cause weight loss without causing side effects. The rind of the fruit is used and it's extract is made to be used as a weight loss herbal remedy. Hydroxycitrate [(-)hydroxycitric acid, HCA], is a popular component of over-the-counter weight-loss formulations, where it is marketed under various names and Garcinia is found to be rich in this component.
  3. Cyprus rotundus – This is another weight loss herb described in anciet ayurvedic texts as "Lekhan" herbs. Lekhan herbs are those which helps in reducing one's weight. This is also known as "Nagar-motha" in common language.
  4. Tri-katu – This is a combination of 3 herbs which are again pungent, hot and helps to dissolve excessive fat tissue. These 3 herbs are dry ginger, dry long pepper and dry black pepper. Trikatu powder is used ½ teaspoonful twice daily, with ¼ teaspoonful of honey and water.
  5. Kutki Powder - This herb grows up in Himalayas and it's very rare. It is useful for removing excessive fat from liver and it's the main herb used in most of the liver syrups used in Ayurveda. It regularized the fat metabolism through its action on the liver.
  6. Triphala – 3 Fruits make up this formulation. These are Haritaki, bhibhitaki and Amalaki. Amalaki is the richest source of natural vitamin C on earth. Triphala in general is used as an anti-constipation remedy but it not only clears the bowels but also helps in cleansing the whole system. It lowers down the blood cholesterol levels as well as act as a best anti-ageing remedy. It removes excessive fat deposits from within the body and helps to loose weight.

Constipation is another reason for being overweight, as it leads to blockage of channels. So constipation should also be taken care of in case of obesity.

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