What Does Ayurveda Says About The Obesity And It’s Management ?


Obesity is a penalty of the modern era, the world wide latest report on prevalence of obesity according to W.H.O states that around 250 million cases of obesity are being reported every year.

Many medical research institutions are making efforts to find a reliable remedy for this burning problem, so many modern medicines are discovered for treatment of obesity but they have damaging side effects.

This failure has made the people to look anxiously towards the Ayurveda for better management.


Ayurveda explains 8 kinds of physical deformities. It is said that people with all these deformities are difficult to treat and such people are prone to wide variety of diseases.

These 8 deformities – Asta Nindita Purusha
Ati Deergha – excessive tallness
Ati Krusha – dwarf
Ati Sthula – excessively obese
Ati Krusha – excessively underweight
Ati Loma – excess body hair
Aloma – absence of body hairs
Ati Gaura – extremely fair
Ati Krushna – extremely dark skin complexion.


Medo mamsa ati vruddhatvaat chala spik udara stanaha
Ayathaa upachaya utsaaho naro ati sthoola uchyate (Ref – Yoga Ratnakara Medoroga Chikitsa 7)

A person due to excessive accumulation of muscles and fat in the body presents with sagging butts, abdomen and breasts, the muscles and fat tissue are nourished and formed normally (they are abnormally deposited) and the energy levels also are not normal (below normal) is called atisthula or obese.


What is overweight, obesity & morbid obesity?

Definition: Obesity is a state in which there is presence excess adipose tissue mass.

Obesity is a disease of caloric imbalance which results from an excess intake of calories above their consumption by the body.

The WHO definition is:

a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight

a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity.

WHO Classification




Under weight


Normal weight


Over weight


Obesity class 1


Obesity class 2


Obesity class 3

50 and more

Super obese



Classification of Obesity:

  • Stage 0: no actual obesity-related risk factors
  • Stage 1: presence of obesity-related sub-clinical risk factors, mild physiological symptoms.
  • Stage 2: presence of established obesity-related chronic disorders
  • Stage 3: established end-organ damage
  • Stage 4: severe (end-stage?) disabilitiy

Types of obesity

  1. Android-Abdominal=Central= Apple shaped
  2. Gynecoid-Peripheral-Pear shaped


Super obese” male

A “super obese male with a BMI of 47 kg/m2: weight 146 kg (322 lb), height 177 cm (5 ft 10 in)

Causes of obesity

  • Avyayama (lack of exercise),
  • Diva-svapna (sleeping at day time),
  • Shleshmala Ahara (food) sevana – intake of foods which increase Kapha Dosha
  • Due to above factors the annarasa (the end product of digestion) becomes sweet by not getting properly digested and there by results in accumulation of sneha and fat.
  • There are also genetic, behavioral, metabolic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when person take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. persons body stores these excess calories as fat.
  • Most Americans diets are too high in calories — often from fast food and high-calorie beverages. People who has obesity might eat more calories before feeling full, feel hungry sooner, or eat more due to stress or anxiety.

Risk factors

Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors:

Lifestyle choices

  • Unhealthy diet. A diet which is high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.
  • Liquid calories. People should drink many calories without feeling full, especially calories from alcohol. Other more-calorie beverages, such as sugared soft drinks, can contribute to significant weight gain.
  • Not doing any activity. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in high calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities. Looking a computer, tablet and phone screens is a sedentary activity. The number of hours you spend on a screen is highly associated with weight gain.
  • Other factors like pregnancy, quitting smoking, lack of sleep,stress,microbiome, Previous attempts to lose weight

Treatment and management

Undergoing Panchakarma therapies (Ayurveda cleansing and detoxifying therapies), Yoga and Naturopathy will surely help.

Among Panchakarma therapies – Vamana (therapeutic emesis), Virechana (therapeutic purgation) and Vasti (medicated enemas) are highly beneficial in reducing weight and thus aiding in recovery from fat induced heart ailments.

Udwarthanam (powder massage done in the reverse direction of traditional massage) which is widely practised Ayurvedic treatment highly effective in weight reduction.

Monitoring stress, dealing with conditions like Depression.. is very essential. Soothing Ayurvedic massages (Abhyanga), pouring of medicated liquids over the head (shirodhara) and body (sarvanga dhara) in streams.. treatments along with meditation and Yoga are good inclusions in weight management programmes and cardiac protective treatments. Releasing the heart from clutches of morbid fat is the key.

Hridaya being a sthana for ojus, the sroto-avarodha caused by meda in medoroga may cause reduction of dhatus and hence ojokshaya (depletion of ojus) which may be a causative factor for dourbalya, ashaktata, alpaprana and javoparodha

Curcuma longa Linn. (Haridra) :Curcuma longa’s derivative curcumin, besides lowering serum cholesterol and blood sugar level; also acts as anti-oxidant to scavenge serum peroxides to prevent atherosclerotic changes.

Allium cepa Linn. (Palandu):Besides influencing the lipid metabolism onion even prevent atherosclerosis and isoprenaline induced myocardial necrosis. Continuous consumption of onion for 5 months (80 g daily) decreased serum cholesterol below normal in healthy humanfree.


Scholars are repeatedly saying that not to use chemical drugs frequently contemporary researches are clearly proving that every carcinoma is associated with chemicals.

Obesity has became an entity to be alert with the chemical drugs introduce obesity are causing severe problems therefore it will be safer side for humanity to promote the medho hara drugs mentioned in ayurveda Guggulu stands for first in this category drugs like Musta, Kusta, Haridra, Palandu, Lasuna are showing encouraging at laboratory levels we have all freedom offered by ayurveda heritage to use such drugs clinically un like our counterparts.

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About author
Nishkarsh kumar recieved his bachelor of science in nutritional sciences from Chandigarh University and completed his internship program in Chandigarh. He is an ayurvedic enthusiastic and passionate about evidence based nutritional information.
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