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Ayurveda for Obesity

Obesity (Sthaulya)

Obesity is accumulation of excess fat in the body which may lead to negative effects on health, reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.

A major proportion of Diabetes, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, Osteoarthritis, and Cancer burden may be attributed to Overweight and Obesity.

In Ayurveda, Atisthaulya (Obesity) is described as excessive accumulation of Meda (fat/adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh/muscle tissue) leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen, and breast. It is considered as one of Santarpanottha Vikaras (disease due to consumption of excessive calories) in Ayurveda. Medodushti (disorders of fat metabolism) may be one of the risk factors for Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).

Causes

  • Increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, carbohydrates
  • Overeating and Irregular food habits
  • Lack of Physical activities due to sedentary life style
  • Genetics, endocrine disorders, Medical Reasons or Psychiatric illness
  • Day - time sleeping

Symptoms

  • Breathlessness even on little exertion / physical activity.
  • Lack of interest in doing work.
  • Profuse sweating with foul body odor.
  • Excessive hunger.
  • Feeling of tiredness.
  • Excessive sleep

Line of treatment

(Under strict supervision of Registered Ayurvedic Physician)

Shamana (Palliative) treatment:

  • Langhan (Fasting),
  • Ama pachan (oral use of digestives to augment the fat metabolism),
  • Ruksha Udwartan (Dry medicated powder massage),
  • Heavy and non-nourishing diet/items like Honey, salad etc are advised.
  • Physical exercises, mental work is also recommended.

Samshodhana Chikitsa (Purificatory procedures):

  • Panchakarma
  • Vaman (Therapeutic emesis),
  • Virechan (Therapeutic purgation),
  • Lekhan vasti (Medicated enema) are advised for the management of Sthaulya.
  • Single drugs: Guduchi, Vidanga, Musta, Sunthi, Amla, Vaca, Daruharidra, Guggulu, etc.
  • Compound Formulations: Trikatu, Navak Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Vidangadi Churna, Takrarishta, Navayasa lauha, Arogya Vardhini Vati etc.

Preventive measures

Unhealthy diet results in building up of adipose tissue in the body resulting in weight gain and obesity. Physical activity lessens the energy imbalance between calories consumed on one hand, calories expended on the other hand resulting in weight gain and obesity. Hence, intake of healthy diet comprising of sufficient fibre, adopting active life style and practicing Yoga and Meditation to manage stress and fatigue are highly recommended for the prevention of Overweight / Obesity.

Life Style modifications such as

  • Mild to Moderate exercise according to individual capacity.
  • Regular habit of Brisk morning walk for 30 minutes.
  • Avoid sedentary habits.
  • Avoid excessive sleep.
  • Avoid watching TV while having food.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Do's and Don'ts

Do's

  • Take low-fat and low-calorie food items.
  • Take more proteins to stay longer without food.
  • Steamed/ boiled and baked vegetables rather than fried.
  • Take frequent small meals to avoid food cravings.
  • Drink skimmed milk instead of whole milk.
  • Take Healthy foods such as – oatmeal, walnuts, salads, bitter gourd (Karela), drumstick (Shigru), barley (Yava ), wheat, Green gram (Moong dal), honey (Madhu), Indian Gooseberry (Amla), pomegranate (Anar) and snake gourd etc and skimmed Buttermilk.
  • Include cabbage in daily meal. It will stop the conversion of sugars to fat.
  • Use warm water for drinking.
  • Include lemon in diet and drinks.

Dont’s

  • High carbohydrate vegetables like - potato, rice etc.
  • More sugary or sweet products, more dairy products, fried and oily foods, fast foods, excess salt.
  • Salty foods or excessive salt in meals.

Source : Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences



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