The chief cause of obesity or overweight is often overeating, irregular eating habits and not following the rules of eating such as improper mixing of food items in one meal.
In ayurveda, Charak Samhita describes eight different types of bodies that are disease prone. Out of these, the obese body is described as the one afflicted with the most diseases and troubles. Obesity is the condition or physical state of the body when excessive deposition of fat takes place in the adipose tissue.
Extra fat puts a strain on the heart, kidneys, liver and the joints such as the hips, knees and ankles and thus, overweight people are susceptible to several diseases like coronary thrombosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver and gall bladder disorders. Chief cause of obesity is overeating, irregular eating habits and not following the rules of eating or mixing non-compatible food items in one meal.
To decrease weight and get rid of obesity three things must be kept in mind:
- Controlling eating habits.
- Regular exercise.
- Avoiding the causes of weight gain
- Juice of half a lemon mixed in a glass of warm water and a teaspoon of honey.
- Wheat or Mung bean sprouts and a cup of skimmed milk.
- A glass of orange, pineapple or carrot juice.
- Salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beet, cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes. Steamed or boiled vegetables
- Whole grain bread or whole wheat chapatis (Indian bread) and a glass of buttermilk.
- Roasted cumin seeds, green coriander leaves, a little salt and some grated ginger mixed in the buttermilk.
- Coconut water
- Dry fruits
- Lemon tea
- Fresh vegetable soup
- Whole grain bread or chapatis
- Steamed vegetables
- Seasonal fruits except banana and apple.
Increase the quantity of fruits and vegetables and low calorie foods.
Avoid intake of too much salt as it may be a factor for increasing body weight.
Milk products like cheese, butter etc. and non-vegetarian foods should be avoided as they are rich in fat.
Mint is very beneficial in losing weight. A chutney of green mint with some simple spices can be taken with meals. Mint tea also helps.
Spices like dry ginger, cinnamon, black pepper etc. are good for loosing weight and can be used in a number of ways.
Regular intake of carrot juice.
Avoid rice and potato, which contain a lot of carbohydrates. Among cereals wheat is good.
Vegetables like bitter gourd (Karela), and bitter variety of drumstick are useful in loosing weight.
Honey is an excellent home remedy for obesity. It mobilizes the extra deposited fat in the body allowing it to be utilized as energy for normal functions.
Dosage: One should start with small quantity of about 10 grams or a tablespoon, taken with hot water early in the morning. A teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice may also be added.
Fasting on honey and lime- juice is highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity without the loss of energy and appetite. For this, mix one teaspoon of fresh honey with the juice of half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water.
Dosage: Take several times a day at regular intervals.
Raw or cooked cabbage inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction.
Exercise is an important part of any weight reduction plan. It helps to use up calories stored in body as fat.
Walking is the best exercise to begin with and may be followed by running, swimming or rowing.
The gum of Commiphora Mukul called 'guggulu' is the drug of choice for the treatment of obesity.
Preparation of Home Remedies
According to ayurveda home remedies are prepared in the same way and with the same purpose as other ayurvedic medicines. The main aim is to obtain the maximum therapeutic benefit while making it palatable.
Some common methods of preparing home remedies are:
The juice may be taken from the fresh leaves, flowers or stems of the herb. The part of the herb used should be crushed or ground in a mortar and pestle, to make a paste. This paste should be put in a piece of cloth and squeezed to take out the juice.
Dosage: One to two tablespoons twice a day.
Dried herbs are used for powders. The herbs are usually dried in a cool, shady and well-ventilated place, although some herbs are dried in direct sunlight. The herbs are then ground into a fine powder and stored in a dry, airtight bottle. The powder may be taken with water, or if specified, with milk or honey.
Dosage: Half to one teaspoon twice a day
A decoction is prepared by boiling the herb in water (ratio: 1 part herb to 16 parts water). The herbs are broken into pieces and soaked in water overnight. This mixture is then boiled until it reduces to one quarter of the original volume. It is then filtered and stored in a glass bottle.
Dosage: One to two tablespoons twice a day.
Herbs are soaked in water to make an infusion (ratio: 1 part herb to 8 parts water). Hot infusions result from adding herbs to hot water, or gently heating but not boiling the mixture. This is strained and taken internally. Herbal teas are forms of hot infusions. Cold infusions are made from soaking the herb overnight. Honey can be added.
Dosage: half to one cup once or twice day.
A paste can be made from either fresh or dried herbs. The flowers, roots, stems, leaves or bark are ground and mixed with water. Pastes are mainly used for external application, in cases of cuts, burns and swellings. The paste should be thick enough to be applied in a layer to the skin.
The herbs should be first dried separately and then mixed together in a powder form, in fixed proportions. Water or herbal juice can be added to this powder to make a paste, from which tablets of a specific size or weight are made. Tablets remain potent longer than juices, powders, pastes or decoctions.
Dosage: 1 or 2 tablets twice a day.
Medicated ghee and oil
Ghee is cooked with herbal juices, decoctions or pastes. The ghee should be heated with the herbal mixture at a moderate, controlled temperature. High temperatures can easily burn the ghee or oil, destroying its effectiveness. Medicated ghee and oils are either used internally or massaged externally.
Dosage: Half to one tablespoon.