Obesity is termed Medoroga in Ayurveda. Obesity refers to the abnormal accumulation of fat in the body.
How and why does Fats accumulate?
Fats accumulate as the metabolism process fails to keep pace with the amount of fat intake. We consume fats in many forms. The most common means of the fat intake process are ghee, butter oils, and especially animal fats.
A couch potato lifestyle is primarily responsible for this syndrome. An inactive physical lifestyle coupled with an unbalanced dietary regimen is the most ideal conditions that accentuate the possibilities of a person becoming obese.
The main causes of accumulation of fats are a lazy lifestyle and imbalance in the intake of calories, vitamins and minerals. In their places, if we start consuming more of fatty and starchy materials we would suffer from obesity over a period of time.
Lack of exercise is another prominent cause of the fat accumulation syndrome.
Similarly, lack of mental activity adversely affects the fat-synthesization process. As a result, the natural metabolism process cannot keep pace with the fast pace at which we consume fats. These excess fats accumulate in the different parts of the body. With time, they clog the blood carrying highways (arteries) and even stop the functioning of many vital organs.
Where do fats accumulate?
The common areas where fats accumulate are the thighs, hip, abdomen, buttocks and breasts.
Not all fats are carrier of ailments
Yes, all fats are not dangerous. In fact, a certain amount of fats are important for all functions of the body. Fats, in the course of metabolism, produce the much needed heat and energy. Fats are also required for the formation of tissue cells. The nerve fibres are covered with a fatty substance. Even the muscle and brain tissue cells are composed of fats. Fats further accumulate around the joints and reduce friction during the joint movements. The body synthesizes the fats in the body from the starchy materials we consume along with our solid and liquid food items.
Excessive accumulation of fats is dangerous.
However, excessive accumulation of fats is definitely dangerous. Obesity can be the first sign for the incidences of many other ailments particularly heart ailments. Diabetes and even breathing problems may also result form such a syndrome.
The starchy or fatty substances consumed in excess to the physical exercises (metabolism process) ultimately get lodged in the aforementioned portions of the body
Cholesterol can lead to diabetes and cardiac complicacies
Cholesterol — A by-product of fat – causes cardiac as well as the diabetes problems. Cholesterol circulates in the blood vessels. It gets deposited in the vessel walls. This leads to high Blood Pressure.
Cholesterol results from excessive consumption of fatty and starchy products. Cholesterol can lead to diabetes as well. Excessive accumulation of fats can impair the functioning of several vital organs like the kidneys, liver and the heart.
Asthma can also result from obesity
A common problem of obese people is breathlessness. Even light and slight exertions can lead to this state. Such people ultimately suffer from a chronic and acute form of asthma.
Tobacco can be useful in obese conditions
Tobacco in the form of coffee or tea can be beneficial for obese people who are not habituated to it. In such cases, tobacco reduces excess fats. However, tobacco should be given to the patient only as medicine and in small quantity. This is important to remember because too much of tobacco can leave adverse effects on the body.
What not to eat
Obese people must not consume any food items rich in carbohydrates. So stay away from potatoes, rice, sweet and other fatty things.
- Such patients should regularly consume food items which are pungent and bitter.
- Include in the menu food items prepared from drumstick – particularly of the bitter variety; patola; and bitter gourd.
- He/she can also have cereals, particularly wheat, maize and barley.
Bowl clearance is a must for such patients
Obese people should ensure regular movement of bowels. The best means to cure constipation is Haritaki. It also serves as a good general tonic. It can be taken in the powdery form or also as a brew.
Preparation Process: Crush the pulp of this fruit into a powdery form. The patient should daily have a teaspoon of this powder at bedtime. It should be mixed in a cup of hot water and drunk. Instead of the powder, one can also have the brew prepared from the pulp.
Caution Note: At the initial stages, the patient can have loose motions. Don’t worry; the symptom will subside subsequently. Then the body will absorb Haritaki to give the body more strength which, in turn, will accentuate the metabolism process of the body. In the process, the body will generate energy by burning the accumulated fat.
- Avoid sleeping immediately after heavy meals.
- Instead, practise Vajrasana for at least 30 minutes after supper.
- One can also lightly walk after meals.
- Above all, don’t drink water in between meals.
- Wait for at least 15 minutes prior to drinking water after meals.
- At night, have only light vegetarian meals having a balanced amount of minerals, vitamins and calories.
- Moreover, fill up only 50% of the tummy with solid food items. The remaining portion should be filled up with plain water.
Other important points
- Don’t sleep during the daytime;
- Get involved in a physically active and mentally rejuvenating schedule;
- Quit the couch potato lifestyle;
- Exercise regularly;
- Retire early at night; and
- Be an early riser as well.
According to the Ayurvedic treatises, the most effective medication to treat the obesity is Guggulu. Besides, there are many other compound medications which also have the Guggulu resin as the main ingredient. The gum-resin extracted from the Guggulu plant is utilized in the Ayurvedic medications.
Mentionably, this resin is also used in the manufacturing of incense sticks.
Guggulu purification precessS
The extracted gum-resin is first mixed with Triphala. Then the mixture is purified by boiling. Then the decoction is strained through a white cotton cloth. The patient is administered the strained brew.
The dose: One gram of the decoction should be given to the patient four times daily. The patient should then be administered a cup of hot drink.
Triplala Guggulu and Navaka Guggulu
Both these medications use Guggulu. They are available across the counter as pills weighing 0.125 gm each. Immediately after administering either of the two medications, the patient must have a cup of hot drink of his/her choice.
The dose: Four pills four times daily. In other words, the patient should consume 16 pills daily. However, there must a gap of atleast 15 minutes between subsequent doses.