Ayurveda Q&A: Therapy for weight gain

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:

1. With lots of tension in mind for my father who has been under chronic liver cirrhosis. He was undergone angioplasty about 2.5 years ago. After an year he was found to be with liver cirrhosis and the reason we suspect is Alcohol as he had started consuming alcohol just before identifying this. He was very much non-alcoholic untill 2 years ago.

he was treated with undergoing endoscopy and continued two times banding also due to blood accumulation in stomach. After 2 -3 months the insuling variation, 150 – 600 and above also started. Recetly he has complaint that severe pain at waist and is being treated with ayurveda message and now the pain still persists though it is felt below the waist and downwards.

We are hoping that Ayurveda defebutely has a treatment for this. more worry is about how it can be and where. Will he able to take ayurvedic medicene without stopping Alopathy As the alopathy doctor has advised not to take any medicec without his consent. We dont know how to approach for better determent. We dont have any one to give good advise suggestion. So we stuck to alopathy.

My place is in Kannur, Kerala.

We expect your valid advice and suggestions.

With hope

Sumesh Kumar E

Hi Sumesh,

Liver cirrhosis is the specialty of Ayurveda. Ayurveda address this problem with a personalized approach. Ayurveda, Yoga and Diet together can play a vital role in solving this trouble.

Herbs effective in protecting the liver

a. Andrographis paniculata (kalmegh) – Andrographolide, the active constituent isolated from the plant Andrographis paniculata, showed significantly increased the percent viability of the hepatocytes. For centuries Andrographis has been an important herb in the Asian healing systems of Ayurveda, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditionally this herb has been used to potentiate immune system response to inflammation and infections, and as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (lowers fevers) and a hepato-protective.

b. Phyllanthus Amaris (Bhuiamala) – Phyllanthus Amaris has been researched for its effects on hepatitis. Clinically reported that 22 of 37 cases of Hepatitis B lost their “carrier” status after using the herb for a month.

c. Boerhavia diffusa (Punarnava) – An alcoholic extract of whole plant Boerhavia diffusa given orally exhibited hepatoprotective activity. The extract also produced an increase in normal bile flow suggesting a strong choleretic activity.

d. Eclipta alba (Bhringaraj)- Was significantly restored by Ea. The study shows that hepatoprotective activity of Ea is by regulating the levels of hepatic microsomal drug metabolising enzymes.

e. Swertia Chirata(Chirayata) – Simultaneous treatments with S. Chirata caused improvement at both biochemical and histo-pathological parameters.

f. Terminalia belerica (Baheda) – Induced physiological and biochemical alterations in the liver. Administration of compound I led to significant reversal of majority of the altered parameters. Our results confirm the presence of hepato protective activity in altered parameters.

g. Tenospora cordifolia(Guduchi) – Outstanding results in people suffering from jaundice have been obtained using a herb called Tenospora Cordifolia used the herb in malignant obstructive jaundice.

h. Picrorhiza kuroa (Katuki) – Picrorrhiza Kurroa is one of the herbs they recommend to support the liver not on

Yogic Management

Yoga stimulates and improves the functioning of the liver. Some poses provide a direct benefit by putting a gentle pressure on the liver and stimulating it. While other poses help the body to recover from the liver damage, improve circulation of blood and cleanse the system.

Yoga helps to strengthen your immune system and also effectively remove toxins from your body.

a. Frontal Brain Cleansing – Kapalbhati Kapala means skull and bhati means shine. Kapalabhati invigorates the brain and stimulates the dormant centers that are responsible for subtle perception.

b. Shoulder Stand Pose – Sarvangasana The Sanskrit word sarvangasana means posture of complete body. This Asana energizes all parts of the body and is considered as queen of all the Asanas. It is refreshing and revitalizing. It relives the stress from the neck and the lower back. It straightens your back and make it more stronger.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis

Arogyavardhini is an effective ayurvedic medicine for liver. It is a compound of katuki and calx that protects the patient from other effects of cirrohosis such as jaundice. Arogyavardhini works by reviving the atrophied cells. This medicine is available in both the tablet and churna form.

Katuki (P. Kuroo) is another helpful drug. It is available in powder form. Mix one teaspoon of katuki powder with equal amount of honey and take it thrice a day. This medicine facilitates the liver to produce more bile thus relieving liver congestion and pain. Besides this, it also stimulates affected tissues for normal functioning.

Take one teaspoon of bhringaraja (Eclipta Alba) juice thrice a day. If you find that taste is bitter then you can mix little honey to it. Bhringaraja is useful for patients with infantile liver cirrhosis.

Vasaka, kakamachi and triphala are some other ayurvedic medicines that can help.

2. Query for article How to treat liver cirrhosis?

Giloy (Tenospora cordifolia) common name.
Acacia tree – means what.


Hi Ravindra,

Common name: Rusty Acacia

Hindi: kaigar, kalgar, kingore, safed khair, सफ़ेद ख़ैर safed-khair

Kannada: banni, banni mara, banue, kiri banni

Malayalam: karivelam, thimai-velvelam, vanni • Marathi: dhavi-khair, pandhra khair • Nepali: khour

Sanskrit: arimedah, brahmashalya, dvijapriya

Tamil: cimai-velvel, Chimaivelvel, Karambai

Telugu: anachandra, anasandra, inupa tumma

Botanical name: Acacia ferruginea & Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family), Synonyms: Mimosa ferruginea

3. My name is Ajeet From New Delhi. I am Suffering Melasma Problem From Last 3 Year ,I have some melasma spot on my face , how can i remove it from the root, pls help me.

Hi Ajeet,

Melasma is the specialty of Ayurveda. It requires a holistic approach. Ayurveda medicines and therapies, diet and Yoga can very well help.

Vinegar: Dilute vinegar equally with water, and use to cleanse and rinse your face. Allow to air dry to seal in moisture. Or, use the vinegar/water mixture in place of an astringent or toner. Vinegar is chemically acetic acid, and is capable of whitening and brightening, as well as making skin smoother and more radiant. It has also long been used for a skin softener. Apple cider or other natural vinegars are recommended, though some people use distilled white vinegar.

Onion Juice: To get onion juice, you can finely chop up an onion, or blend it, and squeeze the juice through a cheesecloth. Mix with equal part apple cider vinegar, apply twice daily with a cotton ball and watch for results over the next several weeks. Alternatively, you can cut a slice of onion, dip it in vinegar, and apply it to the pigmentation.

Lemon Juice: Applying the juice of a fresh lemon to the pigmentation has a similar effect to the onion remedy – it is acidic and can safely peel off the top layer of skin, causing spots to fade.

Onion, vinegar and lemon juice are excellent home remedies to relieve you of age spots, melasma, pigmentation and discoloration.

a. The French maritime pine, Pinus pinaster, provides a plant-based melasma treatment, which was studied in 2002 by researchers at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, reported on a standardized pine-bark extract containing pycnogenol, a potent antioxidant which also protects the skin against ultraviolet, or UV, radiation. A 25 mg tablet, taken with food three times each day for 30 days, was found to be effective in 80 percent of subjects, yielding lighter, smaller melasma blemishes. No significant side effects were observed.

b. Applied Gotu kola, or Centella asiatica, for skin health for many centuries. They also cite modern French research confirming that Gotu kola assists in burn healing, reduced scar formation and improved blood circulation in skin. These findings support the traditional Chinese use of Gotu kola to treat skin conditions, including melasma. Try the home remedy described by skin care specialists at Purefect Your Skin. Combine gotu kola with ginseng. Mix a small amount of ginseng tea with equal quantities of powdered gotu kola and powdered ginseng root to make a thick paste or salve. Apply directly to the melasma spots twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse. Only 1/8 teaspoon of each powder makes enough for a single application.

c. Try grape-seed extract, a standardized extract of grape seeds containing the chemical, proanthocyanidin, noted significant improvements in the appearance of melasma-darkened spots. Raspberries, rich in a compound called ellagic acid, are also recommended by Dr Sahelian. Other sources, also rich in this melasma lightener, include pecans and walnuts, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries and pomegranates.

4. im nagaprasad from chennai, my wife is 26 yrs old and she is house wife and suffering hair loss from past 4 years, kindly suggest me, which oil can use. kindly do neeful.

Hi Nagaprasad,

Hair fall has so many causes. Start from poor nutritional supplement, poor sleep, lack of exercise to hypothyroidism. It needs careful analysis before suggesting the remedies.

Split hair, thin-dry appearance and hair fall – imbalance in vata bio-energy. Premature graying, hair fall, baldness, brownish hair – imbalance in pitta bio energy. People who are under radiation treatment or chemotherapy lose hair due to this reason. Curls, susceptibility to dandruff, lack of conditioning, bulky hair which is meshy – effect of kapha imbalance. Don’ts – tea, coffee, alcohol, meat more frequently. Smoking. eating too much of fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour, and acidic food contents. Stress, anxiety, and mental tension are also prime causes of hair loss. Daily use of shampoo, pouring hot water over scalp during bath, suppression of natural urges like urine and motion.

The first step is to locate the root cause in the diet or lifestyle that may be increasing the pitta bioenergy. Once located, try to give up or at least reduce the diet, habit, or activity responsible for increasing pitta. Always use a natural shampoo or soap to clean the hair. As most soaps and shampoos have chemicals, they might be the cause of the problem. Usually the chemicals have a heating effect, and increase Pitta locally. Amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) are very commonly used in India for washing the hair.

Oiling and massaging of scalp is very beneficial for retarding progressive hair loss. Use of coconut oil for at least three times in a week is beneficial. In case of constipation, a mild natural laxative can be taken. The diet should contain more green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ etc. provided the digestive capacity is good. Regular physical exercise is very beneficial as it helps in balancing the aggravated bioenergies. Rubbing the scalp moderately after washing the hair, increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands.

5. hi i am 22years old,,i was having very thick hair before 2-3years back …but when i got hair cut it become more thiner and week…and fall instantly when i comb and wash my hair ….pls suggest me some effective home remedy.
hema sabarwal

Hi Hema,

Remedies for hair loss

Most of the remedies for hair loss are applied to the hair, whereas others are for regular internal consumption that helps prevent hair loss. Certain precautions and lifestyle changes can also help prevent hair fall. Some of the natural remedies are listed here.

Massages and application

• Massage the head with hot olive oil for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with shampoo. This can effectively reduce hair fall.
• Apply a mixture of lemon juice and amla (Phyllanthus emblica) and wash it off after half an hour. This helps control dandruff.
• Mix neem (Azadirachta indica) oil with coconut oil and massage the head for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with shampoo. Alternatively, boil neem leaves in water for an hour and let it cool. Wash the hair with this water. This helps reduce hair fall.
• Massage juice of fresh coriander onto the scalp to reduce hair loss.
• Apply a well blended paste made from pigeon pea and red gram on the hair and scalp and leave it on for about half an hour. Wash it off. This remedy helps treat hair loss and baldness.
• Add 1 gm of ground black pepper in 100 gm of curd/yogurt and apply to the scalp. Wash hair with warm water. Applying it once a week will stop further hair loss.

Lifestyle changes

• Stress and tension is known to cause hair loss. So, learn to relax. Try to reduce stress and tension in your life through yoga and meditation.
• Diet and nutrition also plays an important role in hair growth and maintenance. Include plenty of fresh fruits and leafy vegetables in your diet. Pay special attention to your breakfast.
• Conditioners can damage hair roots. Take care to apply conditioner (after shampooing) only on the hair and not to the scalp or hair roots.

Ayurvedic treatment involves attacking the root cause of the disorder. It is believed that excess of Pitta dosha in the body is the main cause of hair disorders. Pitta is increased by excessive consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, and excessive smoking. Oily, spicy, and acidic foods also tend to increase Pitta. So the first step is to change the diet or lifestyle conditions responsible for increasing Pitta dosha. Regular physical exercise and inclusion of fresh fruits and green vegetables in the diet is useful in correcting hair disorder.

Irregular bowel movement and constipation can indirectly affect hair health. A mild laxative or Triphala (Ayurvedic preparation) can be useful in such cases.

We are born with 5 million hair follicles of which only one million hair (shafts) show up on the head. Five million hair follicles is the maximum we can have because we do not generate new hair follicles during our lives. Drinking a mixture of lettuce juice and spinach juice regularly helps induce hair growth by stimulating the dormant hair follicles. Alfalfa juice, carrot juice, and lettuce juice mixed in equal proportion also serves the same purpose.

Grind licorice in milk and apply the paste on the bald patches of the scalp. This helps induce hair growth.

There is a special Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss and it is called ‘Thala podichil’. The treatment involves application of an herbal pack for 21 days. The herbal pack consists of just one herb or a mixture of herbs depending upon the constitution of the patient.

An Ayurvedic remedy prepared from Bhringaraj herb (Eclipta alba), Amla (Phyllanthus emblica), corals, iron, and black sesame seeds is very beneficial for treating hair loss as well as graying of hair.

Oil massage helps stop hair loss. Gently massage the scalp with coconut oil or mustard oil at least three times a week. Herbal massage oils such as Mahabhringaraj oil, Amla oil, or Arnica oil are also very useful in controlling hair fall.

Since chemicals and certain drugs are responsible for causing hair loss, it is best to use natural shampoos or soaps to clean the hair.

Here’s a home made recipe for shampoo – Soak dried fruits of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica), Reetha (Sapindus detergens), and Shikakai (Acacia concinna) overnight and boil the mixture in the morning. Allow it to cool before using it as natural shampoo.

Yoga and meditation also help control hair fall by reducing stress and other hair loss causing conditions. Vajransana, Pawanmuktasana, the camel pose, are some of the important yogasanas that help tackle hair problems.

6. i have a black dark spot between my lips and chin for past 10 yrs.please suggest any medicine for me sir


Dear Prasath,

Please consult a dermatologist. Dark spots can be related to many vitamin deficiencies. If possible kindly share the photo. As a home remedy please apply fresh butter on the spot followed by warm water wash after 45 minutes.

7. Hello, My age is 32 years, but my weight is only 40 kgs, I have started using Ajamamsa Rasayanam from last 15 days, but no improvememt. can you please suggest me some medicines to gain my weight.
Thank you

Hi Bhavani,

It takes 60 days for any visible change in weight. If you want to achieve quick weight gain, please visit the near by Ayurveda therapy center, Ayurveda recommends a therapy called Navara Kizhi which can improve the weight and appearance qualitatively and quantitatively.

This therapy especially very helpful in improving muscular areas like breasts, butt and thighs etc. Cancer patients after the Chemo and Radio therapies this particular treatment helps to rebuild the weight and appearance in no time.

Send in your questions on Ayurveda to bawarchieditor@sify.com now! And don’t forget to include `Ayurveda FAQ` in the subject line.