Before we begin with naming the Ayurvedic medicines that aid in weight loss, it is important to know what Ayurveda means. Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, means "the science of life", where ayur means "life" and veda means "knowledge". The science of life or Ayurveda originated in India many centuries ago. According to Ayurveda, health is the collective well-being of the body, mind and soul. All three are interdependent, that is, if one is unhealthy, it will affect the other two as well.
Ayurvedic medicines are purely organic medicines, wherein hoards of spices and beneficial herbs are used. According to Ayurveda, there are various body types; reasons for obesity and its cures are judged according to these Ayurvedic body types. The treatment is very simple to follow, though it requires a lot of patience and effort. Medication doesn't necessarily imply a tablet-like medicine. It is almost a change in the lifestyle that is prescribed as the medicine. Under this, various methods are followed to reduce weight. Go through the below sections to know everything about what is present in Ayurvedic medicines and how they work on different body types.
Ayurvedic Medications for Weight Loss
The aim of Ayurvedic medicines is to understand the cause of weight gain, and to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. It is important that you let your Ayurvedic practitioner know, if you are undergoing any alternative medical aid before you start on ayurvedic medicines. This will help build ways to prevent, manage, and treat health problems effectively.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Ingredients: Stem of Indian Tinospora, ginger, black pepper, chebulic and belleric myrobalan fruit rind, Indian gooseberry fruit, leadwort (root), nut grass (root) and iron calcination
- Benefits: It helps improve the functioning of white blood cells and assists in maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also very effective in increasing the body's resistance to infections. Along with weight loss, Guduchi is also known to strengthen the digestive system.
- Side Effects: Take this medicine as prescribed and directed by the Ayurvedic doctor, as an overdose of this medicine could cause constipation.
Kothala Himbutu (Salacia reticulata)
- Ingredients: Kothala Himbutu stem (KTE) (dried and powdered)
- Benefits: It promotes oxygen consumption, increases the body's metabolic rate and also helps suppress the body fat accumulation.
- Side Effects: When taking this medicine, closely monitor your food and water intake habits. Take this medicine exactly as directed by the Ayurvedic doctor, before or after food. Overdose of it could lead to gastrointestinal issues (flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea) or loose stools.
- Ingredients: Amla, myrobalan and belleric myrobalan
- Benefits: It helps regulate the nervous system, treats anemia, hyperacidity and is also known to treat intestinal difficulties. It also promotes good digestion, and thus aids in natural weight loss because of its detoxifying powers.
- Side Effects: Stomach upset and other gastrointestinal problems such as belching, diarrhea and dysentery are some side effects.
Vrikshamla (Garcinia fruit)
- Ingredients: Extracts of the Garcinia fruit (also known as kokum)
- Benefits: It is found to be very beneficial in weight management, weight loss and is also known to slow down the conversion of excess calories into body fat.
- Side Effects: Take this medicine as prescribed and directed by the Ayurvedic doctor, as an overdose of this medicine could cause abdominal pain or hypertension.
- Ingredients: Hogweed, castor oil plant, ginger, guggulu, Indian gooseberry fruit, black pepper, rock salt and copper-iron calcination
- Benefits: It is useful in reducing cholesterol and helps in managing weight. The consumption of this extract is also known to help improve the body mass index and waist-hip ratios.
- Side Effects: Stomach upset, headaches, vomiting, belching, and hiccups are some of the adverse effects noticed.
List of some more herbal supplements that are known to be effective in treating weight loss are as follows:
- Terminalia chebula (Haritaki) is mainly used to treat health problems like indigestion, skin problems, anemia and ulcers but is also effective for weight loss.
- Aloe vera is considered as a good digestant in Ayurvedic medicine. Aloe vera juice aids in weight loss and also works amazingly for the skin and body.
- The herb Bladderwrack, a form of seaweed although high in iodine, works wonders in treating obesity.
- Chickweed tea is known to be an age-old remedy for obesity apart from its other therapeutic uses.
- Belleric Myrobalan (Bibhitaki) is a common herb that is known to be effective in removing fat contents from the body, apart from treating ailments of the heart and eyes.
Other Options at Hand
By following Ayurveda, you can definitely lose weight in many ways. You have an option to choose from diets, massages and exercises. Starving is not the answer, but is an impractical and unhealthy way to eliminate obesity. Lifestyle interventions are necessary -- following a balanced diet, practicing yoga, meditation, and performing pranayama and breathing exercises daily will, by all odds, help treat obesity.
Udvartana is one such healthy weight loss plan, combined with obesity massages, where a herbal paste is massaged all over the body. Other than weight loss, this massage also helps in improving the skin and its complexion.
Yoga exercises are not only healthy for the mind but also for the body. Many celebrities follow a religious yoga routine, wherein power yoga is one of the most popular exercises.
- While eating: The mind and body are nourished and connected only when you learn to relax while eating. It should not be performed in front of the TV or while on the phone. You have to learn to experience the taste of the food, absorb and devote yourself completely when eating.
- Fluid intake: It is important to keep yourself hydrated at all times. So drink loads of juices and plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses. Drink lukewarm lime water with a teaspoon of honey and fresh ginger pieces on an empty stomach, early in the morning. Green tea or mint tea is an herbal fat burner that has many health benefits.
- Fruits and veggies: Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods in your diet. Include plenty of cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, beet, and cucumber. This will help cut the extra calories.
- Boiled food: Eat lots of boiled vegetables like bottle gourd, green pumpkin, bitter and ridge gourd, drumsticks, sprouts, and fresh fruits.
- Diet changes: Reduce the intake of salt and sugar, iced tea and frozen yogurt. Instead include spices like dry ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, etc., in your diet, as they are good for losing weight. Watch what you eat, avoid junk foods, fried foods, butter, mayonnaise and aerated drinks. Increase the intake of foods and fruits that are rich in vitamin C, like Amalaki or Amla (Indian gooseberry), broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, papayas, strawberries, oranges, guava and grapefruit.
Disclaimer: This article is purely for informative and educational purposes only. Please seek the advice of a registered medical practitioner before consuming any of the above medicines mentioned here.