Column: Arti Gaur


Herbs for reducing fat

A well balanced and beautiful body is there because the tridoshas (vata, pitta, kapha) are in balance and in harmony with the elemental composition of the body. It is when one dosha imbalanced that physical abnormalities begin to manifest. In this series of articles I shall be highlighting certain remedies for specific dosha imbalance vis a vis’ an increase in body fat, in other words obesity and excess weight. 

In ayurvedic terminology fat means excess kapha and its imbalance (that is aggravation) causes obesity. There can be many factors that cause its aggravation. As kapha is heavy, cold and sticky in nature it requires a lot of heat to expel the ama which collects and gets deposited in the system, which we see as fat.

For a kapha predominant person sleeping in day is prohibited, as it aggravates kapha in the body. In fact a kapha person should try and wake up at least an hour before sunrise. A diet which is light and nourishing is best for effecting fat loss. It is important to scrape away collected ama from the system first, for that purpose triphala can be taken. Herbs and spices which are digestives, carminative and hot can be added to regular diet so that agni is strengthened and food is properly digested some examples are freshly grounded black pepper, cayenne pepper (lal mirch), dry ginger. Persons with pitta prakriti can have fennel (saunf) as this does not disturb pitta. 

Honey with its special mucous removing properties is also effective. I have seen people prescribe honey for fat loss and people adding spoonfuls of honey to their morning teas and nimbu pani. But it is important to note here that it is actually at least a year old honey that is effective in aiding fat loss as its changes its qualities over a period of time. Another important fact about the consumption of honey is that it should never be heated. In all ayurvedic preparations honey is added only after cooling the preparations as it develops toxins when it is heated. Honey can be taken in the morning added to a glass to tepid water, lemon juice can be added. Honey also has a laxative effect on the digestive system. This can be taken even after meals.

—The writer is an ayurved expert from Dhyan Foundation.
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November 2009

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