The history of Anorexia begins with the ancient religious fasting and continuing into the medieval period. At the present time, with the progress in the field of neuroscience, the researchers are focusing on Anorexia as a biologically based mental disorder
Anorexia is an eating disorder, which means having no desire for food even if the person is hungry or food is available according to his/her taste and preference.
Anorexia is known as Aruchi in Ayurveda. The condition can arise due to stress, change in lifestyle or wrong eating pattern.
Causes of Anorexia
A combination of biological, environmental and some psychological factors cause anorexia. It may also be a symptom related to poor appetite or digestive abnormality. Nowadays, it is also linked with the desire of being thin and skinny, especially in girls.
It is one of the most complicated mental disorder in the present day. There is no reliable source of the causes of this disorder.
In Ayurveda, anorexia is known as Aruchi. It is caused by aggravation of three humors (Vata Pitta Kapha). The dominance of a particular dosha or humor may involve. Sometimes, causes may be fear, anger and excessive mental stress. The incomplete food digestion in the body may also form AMA (toxins) in the body, which may also results in the anorexia.
Some causes according to ayurveda are as follows:
According to ayurveda, anorexia is a condition of consuming insufficient food that does not help in improvement of growth, strength and vigor.
Ayurveda is based on the principle that the universe is made up of five elements. These are air, water, fire, ether and earth. These elements are represented in human beings by some energy. When any of the energy accumulates in the human body beyond the desirable limit then the body loses its balance, causing Anorexia.
Symptoms of Anorexia
People with Anorexia may have physical, behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms. There are many symptoms found in the patient suffering from Anorexia. These can be:
Other physical Anorexia symptoms:
Other physical Anorexia symptoms may include:
Every individual has a distinct body balance of three humors. The well being of individual largely depends on getting a right three humors balance to get rid of Anorexia. Ayurveda suggests some nutritional guidelines and lifestyles to help individual in recovering this disorder. Ayurvedic treatment of Anorexia is discussed below:
Ayurvedic herbs help in increasing appetite and getting rid of Anorexia. Some Ayurvedic herbs have soothing effect on mind of an individual. They can help in maintaining the connection between mind and stomach. The following herbs that are highly effective in Anorexia are easily available from “Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic”, best Ayurveda clinic in Melbourne, Australia.
Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
Ashwagandha is considered one of the best herbs in ayurveda that helps in gaining weight and increasing appetite. This herb gives strength to the nervous system and helps to detoxify the body by improving digestion system. It worsk on psychological causes of anorexia.
In a study conducted by Anup Patil et al on wistar rats, it was found that oral administration of alcoholic root extract of Withania Somnifera has shown anti anorexic effect in stress and lipopolysaccharide induced anorexia. Ashwagandha possesses antistress, adaptogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, immunomodulatory, antiulcer and rejuvenating properties.
Black pepper is a digestive stimulant. It helps with digestion in the stomach and stimulates the liver to produce more bile salts to emulsify the fats in the intestines. It helps to correct the digestion of fats and carbs. It can help stimulate appetite. Therefore, black pepper is an effective treatment for the anorexia.
‘Practice of Ayurveda’, is a detailed book by Swami Sivananda. In this book he mentions about an ayurvedic formulation called pippali arishta, the chief ingredients of the same are black pepper, nagarmotha and small cardamoms. This formulation is very useful for anorexia as it increases the digestive fire and helps in the loss of appetite.
Rock salt is also a remedy to treat anorexia. It calls forth the appetite and let the individual feel hungry. It is also digestive ayurvedic medicine used for indigestion, flatulence and gas.
Cardamom contains some essential oils that work as digestive stimulant and appetizer. Cardamom also works on the brain and reduces stress and mental fatigue. It can help treat the anorexia associated with mental disorders.
Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus)
Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus) is also called nut grass. It contains essential oils, terpenoids, cadalene, calamenene active principles. Nagarmotha is carminative, analgesic, diuretic, anthelminthic, anti-dysenteric and anti-inflammatory. It helsp to induce desire of eat and stimulates appetite, so it is beneficial in anorexia.
Vacha (Acorus calamus)
Vacha is acorus calamus, used in mental and psychological disorders including anorexia. It acts on the brain and may stimulate the desire of eat.
According to a study by Rupali Singh et al, it has been found out that Vacha (Acorus calamus) is an excellent herb for the treatment of Anorexia because of its wonderful power of stimulating and normalising the appetite.
Hing is used in a variety of diseases including digestive ailment such as indigestion, loss of appetite and anorexia. It acts on digestive system due to its digestive stimulatory effects.
Shirodhara is one of the ayurvedic therapies that can be used to treat psychological causes of anorexia.
Virechana is purgative therapy in ayurveda. It removes accumulated toxins from the body and enhances appetite.
Herbal Ayurvedic Medicines and Natural Remedies for Anorexia
The following Ayurvedic herbal medicines are widely used in chronic forms of Anorexia by millions of Ayurvedic consutlants worldwide.
Yoga and Anorexia
Yoga can be a great tool in treating eating disorder. It helps in reducing stress and depression and creates a state of balance in the body. It can promote self-esteem and positive body image in treating this disorder through cultivation of confidence, openness and inner strength. The yoga poses that work best in treating this disorder are crab pose, mountain pose, pigeon pose, squat pose and many more.
Lifestyle changes for Anorexia
The best lifestyle changes to overcome Anorexia are to have healthy attitudes towards food and body. The steps to develop healthy attitudes are:
Fresh lemon is very helpful for this type of disorder. Squeezing some lemon in a glass of water and adding some sugar and salt to it will make a healthy drink to have before meal in order to get relief from this disorder.
Fresh juices of grapes, pomegranate and orange can act as appetite booster.
Anorexia is a serious mental illness that can be fatal if not taken care in time. It involves an intense fear of gaining weight. The recovery of this disorder includes a healthy diet and the individual suffering from this disorder should work with “Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic” to construct a balanced diet plan meeting all nutritional needs and treatment of anorexia.
1.Anup Patil, Vijay Raje, Nilesh Darekar, Sunil Karale, ‘Effect of alcoholic root extract of Withania somnifera on experimentally induced anorexia in rats’, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHYTOTHEARPY RESEARCH, ISSN 2278 – 5701, https://www.earthjournals.in/ijpr_113.pdf
2.Rishabha Malviya, Rupali Singh, Pramod Kumar Sharma, ‘Pharmacological Properties and Ayurvedic Value of Indian Buch Plant (Acorus calamus)’, Research Gate, 5(3):145-154, June 2011,
3.Swami Sivananda, ‘Practice of Ayurveda’ https://www.esamskriti.com/essays/pdf/sivananda-practice-of-ayurveda.pdf
If you wish to enquire more information on Anorexia Nervosa Ayurvedic Natural Treatment in Melbourne, you may contact us at Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic.
Dr Gurnam Saini (Ayurvedic Doctor)
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine from India
MD in Alternative Medicine from India
Certificate in Ayurveda Panchkarma Detox form India
Certificate in Ayurveda Pulse & Tongue diagnosis India
Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from Melbourne
Member of AAA (Australasian Association of Ayurveda)
Organising Secretary of AYUSH MELBOURNE CONFERENCE, 2018
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Disclaimer: The information on ayurvedic products and medicines on our website is for educational purposes only. One should not buy these products over the counter. These should only be taken after ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner. The uses and indications of these herbal products are based on Traditional Ayurvedic text books. These herbs should be supplemented with appropriate diet and lifestyle to get beneficial effects. Although there is a lot of research done on Ayurveda these days, yet these herbal products might not hold enough current research based evidence.
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease