Indian Medicine Hippocrate, Charaka, has mentioned that excess body weight is a medo-roga (disease of fatty issue), which if not treated leads to sthoulya (obesity).
Obesity and weight gain is a metabolic disorder. Usually happens for those, whose intake calories are more than their physical activities. This results in the collection of unwanted fat, as adipose tissue (meda dhatu), commonly in hip, abdominal, belly, thighs and breast areas.
Here we will discuss in details what are the main physical, lifestyle, emotional etc. reasons for obesity pathogenesis to start at the cellular level, and how it can be reversed by correcting those factors and supporting the metabolism with right ayurvedic medicine, treatment and Panchakarma.
To know best, what is the ayurvedic medicine to reduce belly fat; one must understand the complete pathogenesis of weight gain or obesity, based on Ayurvedic medicine science.
Weight gain is more prone to people with Kapha Prakruti (one of Ayurvedic body type) and Kapha Dosha vikruti (imbalance).
Based on ayurvedic medicine, obesity is a gradual process of increase in Kapha Dosha, which causes low digestive metabolism (jatharagni) and cellular or tissue metabolism (dhatu agni); which results in progressive fall in basal metabolic rate (BMR) and leads to weight gain. Low BMR is basically understood in Ayurveda as low dhatu agni (tissue metabolism).
Kapha doshas has following qualities, which support the weight gain and obesity related process inside the body cells.
Kapha Dosha is:
To elaborate further, when someone is eating mainly high kapha food or having sedentary life-style; it’s acting against the light, hot and sharp quality of digestive fire (agni) to reduce its effects. Low gastric agni, then diminish the digestive and cellular metabolism. Low metabolism, makes things difficult for the body to process, digest and utilise refined or unrefined fat and sugary food, this eventually results is weight gain or obesity.
Same pathogeneses happens in other high kapha and low metabolism disorders like diabetes type 2, hypothyroidism, dyslipidaemia, anterior pituitary deficiency etc.
Yes, Ayurveda is good for weight loss, as Ayurveda can understand the root causes of weight gain and provide unique and effective plan to reverse it. Ayurvedic texts have clearly mentioned that body weight is inversely proportional to the strength of Dhatu Agni (tissue fire or metabolism). So whenever dhatu agni is under performing, there will be more accumulation of unprocessed fatty tissue or glucose, which could be the reasons for obesity or weight gain.
In other group of people, reason for weight gain is simply due to having high jatharagni (gastric digestive fire), but low dhatu agni (body tissue fire). So in these cases, people tend to eat big meals (because of high hunger) but consumed food is not processed and metabolised properly (because of low tissue fire), leading to converting the big meals into adipose tissue and weight gain.
To get details on ayurvedic way to lose weight, one must understand how physical hunger can be increased in obese people.
The quality of Adipose tissue (meda dhatu) is same as Kapha Dosha.
As like increases like, so whichever foods and lifestyle habits increase kapha dosha, will increase the adipose tissue in the body as well. That is why, when someone is consuming more of above qualities food, can suffer from obesity or weight gain issues.
In future, if not treated, this increased amount of adipose tissue will start to block the body channels (shrotas). Due to same, agni is pushed from the peripheral to the centre of the body (from tissue to gastrointestinal track), due to involvement of vata dosha.
Temporary increase of central gastric agni, will increase the hunger and then overweight people will start to eat even more, but as tissue agni is low, that extra eaten food will not processed and will make more adipose tissue.
Common sign and symptoms of Low Dhatu Agni (tissue digestive fire) or BMR are:
Causes of increase kapha dosha or weight and obesity
Other causes of weight gain are:
Not all the weight gain is because of obesity. There might be other factors behind weight gain, such as:
1.Ongoing use of steroids medication- Steroids having qualities of heavy, slow, liquid, gross which are similar as kapha. This makes person to retain more weight in the body due to steroid toxicity.
2.Unstable mental health- People suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or boredom tends to eat more emotionally and erratically to comfort their minds. These psychological factors increase the emotional hunger. Gradually, people develop that habit and unable to distinguish between real (physical) hunger with emotional hunger and eat unhealthy snacks to relieve anxiety.
3. Menopause stage- due to high kapha and emotional factors.
4. Hereditary factor- based on economical, cultural factors and different family backgrounds; eating patterns are influenced.
5. Endocrine factors- can also be responsible for unwanted weight gain. Girls can be overweight at the stage of puberty, and women after pregnancy and during menopausal stage. Endocrinal disorder like hypothyroid, Cushing’s syndrome etc. can be causes for obesity.
6. Secondary to diabetes, hypertension, liver, hear and lungs disorder.
7. Individual behaviours (faulty routines of meals timing, food habits and lifestyle errors). Genetics abnormalities and environmental factors also plays important role in weight gain.
8. Increased energy (calories) intake and reduced energy output. Excessive energy is store in fat cells, causing it to enlarge (hypertrophy) or multiply (hyperplasia) and leads to obesity.
9. Medication induce weight gain, like anti diabetics agents, anti epileptics, psychotropics, mood stabilisers and antidepressants may cause weight gain.
A proper ayurvedic consultation is a must, to rule out the exact reasons for obesity, before Ayurvedic weight loss treatment can be started.
As in many cases obesity could be just related to certain habits passed on from generation to generation. Like mother insisting the child to eat more, out of love feeling, and together everyone watching tv, having cold or soda water with meals. This needs to be fixed gradually to treat weight gain or obesity.
Other example is, people feel they have good metabolism, as they are getting frequently hungry. But during a consultation, an expert ayurvedic doctor can assess, that frequent hunger might be just emotional hunger to satisfy the mind or that food is just used as antidepressant to escape from emotional problem like stress, anxiety.
So without addressing above habits or without bringing emotional and spiritual balance, Ayurvedic treatment for weight gain or obesity can’t be done.
As I have discussed earlier that obesity or weight gain is primarily due to increase in kapha and low in agni (digestive fire) in the body system. So treatment of obesity in ayurveda is focused on eliminating the food and the life-style which are causing increase in Kapha dosha and at the same time different ayurvedic herbs or ayurvedic therapies like udwartanam (herbal powder massage), panchakarma detox treatment is done to increase the digestive fire and cellular metabolism (meda agni) so that stored fat or glucose starts to dissolve.
To answer this question best “what herbs help burn belly fat fast” or “what are the ayurvedic herbs for weight loss”, one need to understand that there is no single blend of herbs to treat obesity for all. Ayurvedic doctor chooses the right herbs based on Ayurvedic pharmacology of herbs, which are dependent on taste and other physical-chemical properties for its action.
Taste of herbs to treat obesity or belly fat should be: Astringent (kashay), bitter (tikta), pungent (katu). These three tastes reduce the kapha.
Bitter tastes herbs are dry (ruksha), cold (sheeta), and light (laghu) in properties. Due to these properties bitter taste herbs like neem (Azadirachta indica) and kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) could balance skin of the body and dissolve liquid waste products (kleda), extra fat, mucus and cellulites.
Pungent tastes herbs like Ginger and long pepper (Piper longum) are bitter in taste, and light, dry and hot in properties. Due to these properties these herbs can dissolve mucus of productive cough, scrape the fatty tissues.
Mint is astringent in taste and properties and can help scrape excessive mucous and greasy liquid away from the digestive system.
Properties (gunas) of herbs to treat obesity should be: light (laghu), dry (ruksha), rough (khara), subtle (sukshma), sharp (tikshna guna), hot potency (ushna veerya), and pungent (katu vipak).
Herbs with light and easy to digest properties reduce kapha but increase vata and gastric fire (agni). These also have scraping and clearing the channels properties from fatty or adipose tissues. These brings lightless in the body.
Dry property of herbs can absorb water to create hardness and dryness in the tissues. Dryness reduces kapha.
Rough property of herbs increases scraping of extra fat and vata, reduces indigestive fatty or glucose substances.
Ayurvediuc herbs, which can reduce the kapha dosha, but at the same time having anti vata properties, are the best choice for weight loss treatment.
Ayurvedic herbs which can effectively increase the fat and glucose metabolism are-
1. Kutki- it helps to stimulate liver functions to enhance digestive and cellular metabolism, which helps to burns the adipose tissue. Also kutki helps in emotional hunger, by suppressing the emotional factors.
2. Chitrak- increases the agni
4. Turmeric- cleans the blood and stimulate secretion of fatty acids.
5. Neem- Its manages fat from the hematopoietic system.
9. Haritki (1)
Herbal Ayurvedic compound for weight loss are:
1.Trikatu (ginger+black pepper+ long pepper),
2. Chandraprabha (in obesity due to diabetes),
6.Gugggulu tiktaka kashayam
Panchakarma treatment is quite important to stop the pathogenesis of weight gain and then eventually to reserve it.
To know more details on panchakarma treatment CLICK
Ayurveda approach to prevent or reserve the pathogenesis of obesity is based around daily and seasonal routines, healthy foods habits, yoga exercise, panchakarma detoxification, and herbal ayurvedic medicines. Lets discuses in details what are ayurvedic basics daily routine remedies for weight loss or obesity.
Yoga will increase the digestive or cellular fire, and diminish the sympathetic overdrive
to manage the weight.
Below mentioned yoga posture and breathing exercises are good to loose weight.
1. Shitali pranayama – is known as cooling breath, is a type of breathing exercise that is effective to cools the body, the mind, and the emotions. If due to excessive thirst, or gastric fire, someone is drinking more than needed water, then this shitali pranayama is good to do. This also regulates the thyroid functions and regulates the metabolism.
2. Bhastrika (bellows)
3. Suryabhedi pranayama
4. Kapala Bhati
Ayurveda says everyone is unique with respect to their Ayurveda body type, age, digestive fire, mental strengths, state of the disease, vitality etc. No two persons are alike, even twins have different hobbies and likings. So the diet, herbs and treatment plan, which agrees with one, may not agrees with other. (3)
For the same reasons ayurvedic doctor always consider the fact that herbs differs with respect to land, seasons, taste, potency, digestive ability and state of person disease. More individualised approach is needed for treating weight gain and obesity. Treatment plan should consider spiritual, psychological, and physical balancing.
Read our other article on "weight loss with Ayurveda Medicine"- CLICK
To book your appointment, which ayurvedic doctor in Melbourne, Australia- CLICK
Dr Gurnam Saini (Ayurvedic Doctor)
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine from India
MD in Alternative Medicine from India
Certificate in Ayurveda Panchkarma Detox from India
Certificate in Ayurveda Pulse & Tongue diagnosis from India
Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from Melbourne
Member of AAA (Australasian Association of Ayurveda)
Organising Secretary of AYUSH MELBOURNE CONFERENCE, 2018
PH- 0061 430 799 515
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease