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Anorexia Nervosa Ayurvedic Treatment

Author : Gurnam Saini  

Ayurvedic Insights: A Natural Path to Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa

 

The history of Anorexia begins with ancient religious fasting and continues into the medieval period. At present, with the progress in the field of neuroscience, 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 their taste and preference.

 

Anorexia is known as Aruchi in Ayurveda. The condition can arise due to stress, change in lifestyle or wrong eating patterns.

 

Causes of Anorexia

 

A combination of biological, environmental and psychological factors cause Anorexia. It may also be a symptom related to poor appetite or digestive abnormality. Nowadays, it can also be linked with the desire for a perfect body image generally accepted in society as lean thin, especially in girls.

 

It is probably one of the most complicated mental disorders today. There is no reliable source of the causes of this disorder.

 

  1. Research shows that some genetic link or trauma can cause this disorder.
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight and amenorrhea are some of the causes found in anorexic female patients.
  3. It usually can be seen in people who are very cautious about their body shape and size.
  4. In addition, this disorder can be directly related to the people's mental state.
  5. Excessive intake of some recreational drugs may also result in such a disorder.

 

Anorexia Ayurvedic Natural Remedies 

 

In Ayurveda, Anorexia is known as Aruchi. It is caused by the aggravation of three senses of humour (Vata Pitta Kapha). The dominance of a particular dosha or humour may involve. Sometimes, the causes may be fear, anger and excessive mental stress. The incomplete food digestion in the body may also form AMA (toxins), which may also result in Anorexia.

 

Some common causes of Aruchi, according to Ayurveda, are as follows:

 

  1. Inactive or unhealthy lifestyle
  2. Snacking between meals
  3. Oily and fried food
  4. Sweet and heavy foods
  5. Eating while playing or watching television (It is common in children nowadays)

 

According to Ayurveda, Anorexia is a condition of consuming insufficient food that does not help improve growth, strength and vigour.

 

Ayurveda is based on the principle that the universe comprises five elements. These are air, water, fire, ether and earth. These elements are represented in human beings by some energy. When any energy accumulates in the human body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance, causing Anorexia.

 

Symptoms of Aruchi   

 

People with Aruchi may have physical, behavioural and emotional signs and symptoms. There are many symptoms found in the patient suffering from Anorexia. These may or may not be:

 

 

  1. Unexpected and rapid weight loss: Dramatic weight loss is found in people suffering from Anorexia with no medical cause.
  2. Dieting too much despite being thin: Anorexia is found in people who follow a severely restricted diet, eating only low-calorie food.
  3. Preoccupation with food: If an individual constantly thinks about food, reads and collects food recipes and cooks for others while eating, much less may find this disorder.
  4. Consuming diet pills or laxatives: An individual may find Anorexia if he uses excessive diet pills and other drugs for weight loss.
  5. Compulsion exercise: Following punishing and compulsory training that aims to burn calories can cause this disorder.

 

Other physical Anorexia symptoms:

 

Other physical Anorexia symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal blood counts
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling arms or legs
  • Thin appearance
  • Osteoporosis
  • Insomnia or sleeplessness

 

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment Mentioned Traditionally for Aruchi 

 

Every individual has a distinct body balance of three senses of humour. The well-being of an individual largely depends on getting the right three humours balance to get rid of Anorexia. Ayurveda suggests some nutritional guidelines and lifestyles to help individuals in recovering this disorder. Ayurvedic treatment of Anorexia is discussed below:

 

Traditional Herbs for Anorexia Nervosa Naturally

 

Ayurvedic herbs help in increasing appetite and getting rid of Anorexia. Some Ayurvedic herbs have a soothing effect on the mind of an individual. They can help maintain the connection between the mind and the stomach. The following herbs traditionally considered effective in Aruchi may be available from "Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic", Ayurveda clinic in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)

 

Ashwagandha is considered one of the potent herbs in Ayurveda that help gain weight and increase appetite. This herb strengthens the nervous system and helps detoxify the body by improving digestion. It may work on the psychological causes of Anorexia.

 

Black pepper

 

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 may be an effective treatment for Anorexia.

 

'Practice of Ayurveda' is a detailed book by Swami Sivananda. In this book, he mentions an Ayurvedic formulation called Pippali arista; the chief ingredients are black pepper, nagarmotha and small cardamoms. This formulation benefits Anorexia as it increases the digestive fire and helps lose appetite.

 

Rock Salt

 

Rock salt can also be a remedy to treat Anorexia. It calls forth the appetite and lets the individual feel hungry. It is also digestive ayurvedic medicine used for indigestion, flatulence and gas. People with high blood pressure or salt reduced diet must be cautious with rock salt.

 

Cardamom

 

Cardamom contains some essential oils that work as a digestive stimulant and appetizer. It can help treat Anorexia associated with mental disorders.

 

Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus)

 

Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus) is also called nut grass. It contains essential oils, terpenoids, cadalene, and calamine active principles. Nagarmotha is carminative, analgesic, diuretic, anthelminthic, anti-dysenteric and anti-inflammatory. It helps to induce a desire to eat and stimulates appetite so that it can be beneficial in Anorexia.

 

Hing (Asafoetida)

 

Hing is used in various diseases, including digestive ailments such as indigestion, loss of appetite and Anorexia. It acts on the digestive system due to its digestive stimulatory effects.

 

Natural Ayurvedic Remedies for Anorexia

 

Shirodhara

 

Shirodhara is one of the Ayurvedic therapies that can treat psychological causes of Anorexia.

 

Virechana

 

Virechana is purgative therapy in Ayurveda. It helps to remove accumulated toxins from the body and enhances appetite.

 

Traditional Herbal Ayurvedic Medicines and Natural Remedies for Anorexia

 

The following Ayurvedic herbal medicines have been widely used traditionally in chronic forms of Anorexia by millions of Ayurvedic consultants worldwide.

 

  1. Jeerakadyarishtam
  2. Kumaryasavam
  3. Parpatadyarishtam
  4. Guluchadi kashayam
  5. Patolamooladi Kashayam
  6. Avipathi Choornam
  7. Dadimasthaka choornam
  8. Panchakola choornam
  9. Vyoshadi vatakam

 

Yoga and Anorexia

 

Yoga can be a great tool in treating eating disorders. It helps reduce stress and depression and creates a balance in the body. It can help promote self-esteem and positive body image in treating this disorder by cultivating confidence, openness and inner strength. The yoga poses that may be beneficial in treating this disorder are crab pose, mountain pose, pigeon pose, squat pose and many more.

 

Lifestyle changes for Anorexia

 

The common lifestyle changes to overcome Anorexia are to have healthy attitudes towards food and the body. The steps to develop healthy attitudes are:

 

  1. Maintaining and creating a healthy weight and body image.
  2. Developing a rational approach to dieting and food
  3. Building a meaningful, realistic and satisfying life to live
  4. Creating a realistic self-image and expectations

 

Fresh lemon is beneficial for this type of disorder. Squeezing some lemon in a glass of water and adding sugar and salt will make a healthy drink before a meal to relieve this disorder.

 

Fresh juices of grapes, pomegranates and oranges can act as appetite boosters.

 

References

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 PHOTOTHERAPY 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 consult Ayurveda, you may contact one of our Ayurveda Practitioners, Gurnam Saini or Pooja Saini, in Melbourne. Both of our Practitioners are Qualified Ayurveda Doctors from India. You may contact us at "Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic". People who can't reach us personally may choose online Ayurveda consultation. 

 

 

 

 
 
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Author Bio:

Gurnam Saini has over 15 years’ experience in Ayurvedic naturopathy treatments in Melbourne, Australia. He has completed his bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India. He has done MD in Alternative Medicine and certificate courses in Panchakarma Detox, Pulse diagnosis and skin care. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). He has won awards for ground-breaking work in Ayurveda globally. Read More

 

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