Ayurveda Q&A: Apple before meal helps in losing weight

Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.

This week’s answers:

I am 30 years old. My height is 5.1. My weight is 65 kg. I do eant to reduce some weight. Please suggest any medicines in ayurveda.
Kumudhavalli Nancy

Hi Kumudhavalli Nancy,

Ayurveda and Obesity

Obesity is not a new condition as we think. Ayurveda one of the oldest systems of medicines explains better about obesity, its pathogenesis, management, Prevention and better cure etc were elaborately described in Ayurveda. Some of the Integrative medical experts still claims that Ayurveda have better solutions than any other available solutions to prevent and tackle this problem.

How Ayurveda is special?

Ayurveda’s understanding of obesity is different from Modern medicine or any other systems of medicine. Ayurveda try to evaluate the weight gain through its unique Prakriti analysis which can be compared as a genetic coding of an individual. This helps the Ayurveda doctor to understand the cause, parthenogenesis, management and recommend better result oriented treatment program or life style modification.

Ayurveda treatment pedagogy

In Ayurvedic medicine, there is no single approach to treating obesity. Depending on the Prakriti the medications, purification therapies and diet varies. For example, for a vata dominant person, the vata purification therapies like cleansing and Oleation enemas are part of the treatments. Abhyanga and herbal steam bath does play a major role in Vata type of person’s treatment plan. For Kapha type obesity, treatment plan includes external powder applications with giner, mustard etc. If the obesity is due to excessive accumulation of toxins (Ama dosha) both internal medications and external applications are advocated.

Ayurveda guide lines for Obesity

a. Usage of Barley, Green gram, Red gram and Horse gram is recommended
b. Honey is recommended in minor doses
c. Always drink warm water to eliminate the toxins
d. For cooking Sesame oil/ Mustard oil is indicated. Spices like turmeric, black pepper, ginger and rock salt are advised for obesity.
e. Vegetables with astringent, bitter and pungent taste, soup with such vegetables as diet improves the weight loss
f. Avoid sweets prepared from wheat, cakes, pastries, milk and sugar, cold drinks, alcohol, deep fried foods and non vegetarian diet.
g. Active physical life is very important to prevent and manage weight gain. Staying awake at night and day sleep will increase the Medo Dhatu which in turn ends up in Obesity.
h. Ayurveda recommends herbs like Amrutha (Tinospora cordifolia), Mustaa (Cyperus rotundsa) Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), Bibhitaka (Terminalia belerica) and Aamalaka (Embica officinalis) for prevention and management of this condition.
i. Ayurveda recommends a special weight loss recipe called “Takra Arishta” – Fermented buttermilk for active weight loss

As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurveda Treatments for obesity are always individually formulated. In Ayurveda medicine, there is no single approach to treating obesity. After taking the pulses and examining the patient, an Ayurveda practitioner designs a treatment plan to bring the doshas back into balance which in turn addresses obesity swiftly and permanently.

Hello.Iam Vishnu,Iam 22 years old.I have a weight of only 42 kg .Iam really in need of gaining weight.Could you please suggest some ways to increase my weight either gradually or abruptly?
vishnu g

Hi Vishnu,

Well many of the individuals are facing the problem of underweight.due to many reasons one may not gain weight and by eating or following same procedures the other may easily gain weight.There are various reason for this.

1.Inheritance – It may be due to the genes.Parents or one of the parent has the nature of not gaining weight even though the person involves in any type of food habits or regimen.So this will be inherited by the offspring also.

2.Absorption: There may be some problem because of which the persons intestine may not be able to absorb the essential materials or end products of digestion which in turn results in underweight

3.Digestive problems: The individual may not be in the state of having enough food due to some causes like for eg- some get indigestion if they have even a little extra food,or may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome,or colitis or something like that.The person may not be involving with correct habits or exercises to get the food digested well , assimilated and the good part of the end product of digestion to be absorbed to meet the body needs.

4.Knowledge – The person may be unaware about the proper quantity or proportion of various component of food what he has to consume. Like the vegetables which is about half the portion of his meal,then fats and carbs together about 1/4 part of diet, proteins and vitamins to 1/4 th part of his meal.thus it goes on.We generally say this as stomach may be divided to 3 parts and – 1/3rd of it must be filled with solid food – another 1/3 rd must be filled with liquid- last 1/3 rd must be left vacant for the air to circulate and aid the digestion.

Home remedies direct from your kitchen:-

Take 1tbsp of ghee and add 1tbsp of sugar to it mix and lick this mixture little by little in empty stomach just before lunch and dinner .and then after 30 mins you can have your meals. Continue this for at least a month to see the benefits.

Make a habit of consuming one well ripen banana with a cup of warm milk with a tsp of ghee mixed or stirred into it with little sugar .Here sugar is for taste.

Make a habit of eating food in little quantity for very 2 hrs.Here I dont mean junks.May be fruits,vegetables,juices,dry fruits etc.

Always eat well balanced food,Which includes all the essential components including good fats also.

Drink water after you meal at least 1 cup full.this will help for better digestion and also to gain weight.

Ayurveda medicines

1.Khushmanda avaleha – 1 tsp twice daily with a cup of warm milk before bed and early in tghe morning empty stomach has a wonderful result.This should be done atleast for a month.this will also increase the heamoglobin percentage in the blood

2. Vanari Kalpam works wonders over the mal-nourished body.Even this should be taken spoon early morning or just before food with a cup of milk for best result.this should be take for atleast 1 month.

3.Ashwagandhavaleha-this one more type of avaleha which helps as a general tonic and given even better results in men.May be taken with warm water or milk.

4.Chavan prash-This is also a very good leha.Method of intake is same as other.It has many dry fruits,amla[gooseberry and many medicinal roots].Best for emaciation caused as a result of some chronic diseases.

5.Draksharista- 3tsp of this should be taken with equal amount of boiled and cooled water with a drop of honey thrice a day for atleast 1 month.

6.Ashwaganda choorna may be taken with ghee or honey or even milk thrice daily .

Ayurveda recommends specialized Nourishment therapy called Navara Kizhi – This therapy usually advised after purification therapies. It is one of the most effective natural methods to improve weight, health and wellness.

Sir, I have problem of generating more saliva(getting saliva generated is common but I feel more saliva is getting generated) when talking, how could we control this??
Anbalagan M

Dear Anbalagan M,

a. Sucking on lemon wedges regulates saliva production and reduces excess saliva formation
b. Some herbal remedies such as Cortex Mori Radicis and Rhizome Atractylodis Macrocephalae are believed to be helpful remedies for drooling.
c. The excess saliva may also be absorbed by placing a small pinch of ground coffee beneath the tongue.
d. Ayurveda Therapy called – Gandusham – Filling the mouth with medicated oil followed by warm water wash helps.
e. Avoid taking salty, sour foods and drinks.

I have been diagnoised with Vitamin D dificiency with following record: In september 2012, the value was 9 unit. Doctor has prescribed Biomulsion D (2 drops per day) in september. Recent blood test reveals the value to be 13 with Normal range is 30 above. I also have hair loss problem. Please suggest remedy from Ayurveda.
with regards,

Hi Suresh,

Exposing yourself to Early morning Sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Naturally, this deficiency result in hair loss. Ayurveda recommends a detoxification therapy followed by Rejuvenation therapy for complete cure. These Vitamin Supplements helps. With this please add Drumstick leaves soup, Egg white for better and quicker results.

Dasamoola Haritaki lehyam – 1 tablespoon twice daily 30 minutes before food with warm milk helps the absorption of Vitamin D both from natural source and supplements.

Hi my mother Sundari aged 62 is suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis for the past 2 year, we are taking English medicine and now she is alright with the pain.My worry is this medicine being steroid may bring in some side-effects in long run and I want to switch to Ayurvedic medicine. Please suggest is there any good cure for Rheumatoid arthritis in Ayurveda.
Thanks in advance,

Hi Ruban,

Arthritis is the specialty of Ayurveda. Pain can be the largest impediment to a fuller life, the wear and tear of sedentary lifestyles, long working hours, wrong postures and age results in incapacitating arthritic pain and recurring lower back pain degenerates muscular health in our body. Customized treatments from our expert physicians tackles old injuries, heals chronic pains, strengthens muscles and eases aches and pains making the body supple.

When toxins accumulate in the body, they circulate to build up in the joints inhibiting proper joint function, mobility and comfort; the end result is arthritis, pain, loss of free movement etc.

Impurities can develop faster than the body can eliminate them; cleansing alone is not enough for relief from arthritis.

Impurities can develop faster than the body can eliminate them; cleansing alone is not enough for relief from arthritis. The key to preventing toxic build up is to create healthier cells, ones that can effectively eliminate toxins. rVita arthritis and pain management program improves digestion and metabolism, forming pure, easily assimilated nutrient plasma which lubricates and nourishes joint tissue, releasing toxins and impurities for elimination from the body.

In Ayurveda, Vata is the organizing principle for the nervous system. Vata aggravation increases pain and sensitivity. Therefore, balancing and stabilizing Vata is an important part of rVita arthritis treatment program which includes cleansing the channels of circulation, strengthening digestion, lubricating the joints, balancing nervous system function, relaxing the muscular system and improving the natural healing habit of the body.

Arthritis treatment is a well planned health pack using all the possibilities of Ayurveda & Yoga to treat various spine and joint problems like spondlitis, slip disc, sciatica, osteo-arthritis, rheaumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, spots injury, etc. the therapies like Pathrapotalaswedam, Choornawsedam, Pizhichil, Kadeevasthy, Greevavasthy, Pichu and

Lepam included in package are directed towards relieving the inflammatory changes, releasing the spam in the affected area, strengthening the supportive tissues holding the spine/joints and nourishing the joints by improving the circulation.

Abhyangam: A Complete body oil application which choice of medicated oils suited for your constitution is recommended for Muscle-Skeleton health, helps tone muscles & removes fatigue, making your body agile.

Abhyangam with Navarakizhi: Tapping blouses of special, medicated rice, known as ‘Navara’, all over the body after dipping it in hot milk or herbal decoction, this nourishing fomentation therapy helps improve blood circulation, prevents degeneration of muscles and bones, strengthens muscles and alleviates muscular fatigue.

Abhyangam with Pichu: Cotton pad soaked in medicated oil is placed on a specific affected body part, kept moist with warm oil for a specified duration of time, reduces inflammation, pain and cramps.

Abhyangam with pizhichil: Involves continuous pouring of warm medicated oil on the specific part alone. Effective in skeletal and muscular diseases, cervical spondylitis, osteoarthritis, lumbago, sciatica and neuropathy.

Kindly advice me a medicine for obesity. I am 32 Years old lady, My height is 153 cm and weight is 83 Kg. Thanks for the understandings ….
Regards ,

Hi Priya,

As I discussed earlier Obesity or weight management requires personalized approach otherwise the treatment may not be effective at all. I have answered the first question in detail about the management of weight / approach to Obesity.

As a simple and most effective remedy, Try the Simple apple diet. Take one apple before breakfast, Two apple before lunch and two apple before dinner helps losing weight very fast and swift.

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