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Obesity is defined as an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. It is a condition of being overweight in which excessive fat gets accumulated on adipose tissues. Obesity increases risk of developing many diseases including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases, joint pain, heaviness, tiredness, poor mobility, asthma, low sexual energy, thirst, poor longevity etc. It also affects psychologically and lowers the self-confidence of person. Nowadays obesity is a very common problem. It is increasing at an alarming rate, not only in India but in whole world.
There are many Allopathic medicines which are available for treatment of obesity. But like any other allopathic medicine they certainly have side-effects and are not safer for long term use. In Ayurveda, there are many herbal combinations which helps to manage weight. Such medicines are used for centuries and does not have any serious side effects.
- English: Obesity
- Hindi: Motapa
- Sanskrit: Medo Roga, Sthulata, Sthoulyam, sthoulya, STHAULYA
- Siddha: Adi Stula-Rogam
- Unani: Saman-e-Mufrit
Reasons of obesity
The main reasons that are responsible for weight gain are, increased intake of more energy-dense, nutrient poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats and reduced physical activity. People are taking more calories than required by body. Moreover the extra calories are not utilized in form of physical exercise. Over the time this causes weight gain and problem of obesity.
Consumption of oily and junky food
Certain diseases (hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome)
Eating more simple carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, beer, wine etc.
Intake of calories beyond the body’s energy requirement, over eating
Lack of exercise, lesser physical activities
Stress and hormones
Body Mass Index (BMI) and Obesity
The most common method to assess obesity is by using BMI. Body mass index (BMI), is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2). A BMI over 25 kg/m2 is defined as overweight, and a BMI of over 30 kg/m2 as obese.
High BMI indicates high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.
Classification BMI (kg/m2)
- Normal 18.5–24.9
- Overweight or pre-obese 25.0–29.9
- Obese Class 1 30.0–34.9
- Obese Class 2 35.0–39.9
- Obese Class 3 >40
Risk associated with Obesity
Obesity increases risk of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, certain forms of cancer especially the hormonally related and large-bowel cancers and gallbladder disease.
Overweight and obesity lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance. This condition also causes respiratory difficulties, chronic musculoskeletal problems, skin problems and infertility. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and hypertension rises steeply with increasing body fat.
Therefore it is very important to manage weight. For which many steps should be taken. The most effective way is to make dietary and lifestyle changes. Regular exercise such as brisk walking, swimming, asana and paranayam should be included in daily regime. Fast food, junk foods, pizza, cold drinks and high calorie food should be excluded from diet. Well balanced diet rich with fruits and vegetables should be included.
Benefits of Using Ayurvedic Medicines for weight loss
Obesity can be treated with Ayurvedic herbal medicines very effectively without any side effects. There are many benefits of herbal Ayurvedic medicine used to lose weight.
- They do not cause loss of appetite.
- They reduce waist and hip circumference, skin fold thickness, and fat in body.
- They decrease serum cholesterol, triglyceride level and lipid.
- They do not have serious side-effects.
- They improve digestion and metabolism.
- They do not affect thyroid functions.
- They decreases bad cholesterol but increases good cholesterol or HDL.
Main ingredients of Ayurvedic Formulation
Guggulu, Triphala and Trikatu are primarily used in most of the weight-loss formula.
Guggul is gum resin of the Commiphora mukul tree found in arid- subtropical to tropical climate and possess anti-inflammatory, hypolipedemic, antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent, antispasmodic and antifertility properties. It contains guggul sterons Z and E, guggul sterols I-V, two diterpenoids- a terpene hydrocarbon named cembreneA and a diterpene alcohol- mukulol, a-camphrone and cembrene, long chain aliphatic tetrols- octadecan-1,2,3,4-tetrol, eicosan-1,2,3,4-tetrol and nonadecan-1,2,3,4-tetrol.
It is effective in reducing synthesis of cholesterol in liver. It reduces serum triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL. It can reduce 14-27 percent blood cholesterol and triglycerides by 22-30 percent. Guggulu increases metabolism of LDL.
Guggul supports thyroid function and helps in weight loss. It also works as a carrier for other drugs.
Triphala is combination of Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki and used extensively in Ayurveda for treatment of digestive diseases. It is a tonic for whole body. It has been used in various gastric disorders including intestinal inflammation. It contains vitamin C, linoleic oil, phospholipids and other important nutrients. It is rich source of tannins, which is known to affect the integrity of mucus membrane. Tannins with their protein precipitating and vasoconstriction effects could be advantageous in preventing ulcer development. It is a Rasayana drug and used for detoxifying and tonifying the body.
Triphala pacifies Vata-Vikar and cleanses the digestive tract. It aid to elimination and purification. It tones and strengthens digestive tract and promote regular and complete evacuation of the bowels. It helps with the digestion and assimilation of food, improves blood circulation and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Classical Ayurvedic Medicines
The Ayurvedic medicines which are used for weight management, are pungent in taste (Katu Ras), easy to digest and drying in qualities (Laghu, Rukhsha Guna), hot in potency (Ushna Virya) and pungent post digestion (Katu Vipak). This combination helps to remove obstruction from the channels, reduces phlegm and fat, burns Ama and improve appetite and digestion.
- Medohar Guggulu
- Navaka Guggulu
- Gokshuradi Guggul
- Triphala Guggulu
- Amritadi Guggul
- Chandraprabha Vati
- Arogyavardhini Vati
- Triphala Churna
- Triphala Kadha
- Trikatu churna
- Punarnava Mandoor (in case weight is due to fluid retention in body)
- Gaumutra Ark or Godhan ark
- Shuddha Shilajita
- Vijaysar Kwath
- Varunadi Kwath
Proprietary Ayurvedic Medicines
- Ayurvita Obevita Tablets, Capsules
- Liposem Tablets
- Obenyl Tablet (Charak)
- Triphala Kadha (Sandu)
- Himalaya AyurSlim Capsules (Himalaya)
- Divya Medohar Vati (Patanjali)
- Forslean Sabinsa Corporation
Home Remedies for Obesity
- Drink ripe tamarind, imli juice.
- Chew 8-10 curry leaves every morning.
- Take one to two ripe tomatoes every morning for breakfast.
- Eat cabbage salad.
- Drink Ginger tea 2-3 times a day.
- Drink Aloe vera juice.
- Drink Honey and Lemon water every morning. Mix one spoon of fresh honey with a juice of half lemon in a glass of lukewarm water and take at regular intervals.
- Drink one tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar with honey in a glassful of water twice daily.
- Spices such as Ginger, Black pepper, long pepper, chilies all increase metabolism.
- Prepare Triphala decoction by boiling one teaspoon powder in water.
- Sleep early and wake up early.
- Other Helpful Tips for Weight Management
- Correct quantity and quality of diet.
- Do not eat foods which increase phlegm / Kapha and Vata / wind, inside body.
- Do not eat high-fat foods such as butter, cheese, chocolates, cream, ice-cream, fat meats, fried foods, and gravies.
- Do not eat high carbohydrated foods like bread, candy, cake, cookies, cereal products, legumes, potatoes, honey, sugar, syrup and rich puddings.
- Do not eat simple sugars, oily, spicy and fatty food.
- Do not eat bananas, figs (anjeer), raisins, prunes (dried plums), peanuts, almonds and salted nuts.
- Avoid curd and take buttermilk instead.
- Prefer bitter, drying and pungent food items.
- Drink honey and lemon water. Mix one spoon of fresh honey with a juice of half lemon in a glass of lukewarm water and take at regular intervals.
- Drink warm water.
- Drink ginger tea 2-3 times a day.
- Drink Aloe vera juice.
- Include food grains such as wheat, barley in diet.
- Take honey in moderation. It helps to mobilize extra deposited fat in the body and puts it into circulation.
- Never eat until hungry.
- Exercise is an important part of weight reduction plan. Do some exercise (brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling etc.).
- Avoid negative motions such as anxiety, fear, hostility and insecurity. Think positive.