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  • An Ayurvedic perspective of Obesity - Sthaulya

    January 26, 2011 2 min read

    The term Sthaulya is derived from the Samskrit word "'Shula Parbrimhane'' which means growth or increase. Hence ''Sthaulya'' means the excessive or improper growth of the body.
    Various references are found in the Samhitas regarding Sthaulya and Charaka has described in detail the causative factors, signs and symptoms, prognosis and management. The following reasons, concerning obesity, are identified in Ayurveda:
     no excercise - Avyama
     sleeping in the afternoon - divaswapna
     Kapha increasing diet and lifestyle - sleshma ahara vihara
     consuming of sweetened foods - madhura ahara
     psychological factors - manasika nidana

    The Ayurvedic pathogenesis - Samprapti
    Kapha increasing diet causes kapha vridhhi and an improper digestion due to the impaired digestive fire (agnimandya). This causes the formation of ama.
    The accumulated Ama (digestive toxins) obstructs the nutrient channel of the remaining tissues (dhatus) and result in the increase of the meda dhatu (adipose tissue). The symptoms of increased appetite and cravings are explained with the obstruction of vata in the abdomen.
    Approach of Ayurvedic treatment
    Eliminate the causative factors, undertake a special diet regime with green gram, takra (buttermilk), honey water. Exercise, yoga and meditation are greatly encouraged.
    Treatments such as Udvartanam are highly recommended. This is a dry powder massage using medicinal herbs such as triphala, kolakulatha churna and horse gram. A course of an hour a day for 14 days can show great results.
    Useful Ayurvedic herbs:
    Guggulu - very effective in controlling obestiy and cholesterol, and as a nutritional supplement it aids in the metabolism of the thyroid gland. When combined with triphala it can mobilize and eliminate fat from the body and encourage metabolic changes. Triphala purifies the body of Ama and the guggulu has scraping properties. Other guggulu preparation used are medohara guggulu and navaka guggulu. Other herbs used in the treatment are guduchi, sunthi, pippali and chitraka.
    Enjoy a healthy life with Ayurveda