Ayurveda For Anorexia

Anorexia is an eating disorder in human beings in which there is a dislike or aversion to food and loss of appetite. It is also known as Anorexia Nervosa. Bulimia is a psychological eating disorder in which the person habitually binges on food and then vomits it. Both diseases are a result of adapting to improper weight control methods.  Anorexia is one of the most common complaints today. It may also be the symptom of diseases like arthritis, jaundice, gastritis, anemia and tuberculosis.  

Ayurveda’s preventive as well as therapeutic approach uses complimentary therapies to restore the body’s natural physical and mental balance. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system was developed by the sages (Rishis) and scientists through centuries.
 
Ayurveda has a holistic theory that the mind and body influence each other. The life energies present inside and outside, in the universe are the same and remain in balance in a healthy person. Any disturbance in the balance can result in vitiation of the three doshas known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Ayurvedic treatment comprises of merging together of the spiritual, emotional and physical elements of the person.  

Symptoms of Anorexia

The person with anorexia tends to eat less and develops a disliking for eating. They also experience bad taste in the mouth or total tastelessness. The deficiency in Vata dosha is responsible for this condition. The psychic factors namely anger, jealousy or fear may also cause anorexia. This condition is therefore named as ‘Aruchi’ in Ayurveda.  Charaka, the author of Charaka Samhita attributes the disorder to the three dosha disturbance individually or in combination in the tongue and the heart.  Mental unrest may also be noticed in these persons.  

Ayurvedic Treatment of Anorexia

To restore the dosha balance emesis therapy along with enema or purgation is the fist step in the treatment. For external purification mouth washes, gargles and other methods of oral hygiene are advised. Medical smoking is also found helpful. To alleviate the psychological factors, pleasantness at food time and general atmosphere conducive to happiness are also recommended.
 
A decoction made of Jeera (cumin seeds), black pepper, black salt and sugar works well for vata dosha. The decoction of Amla, cardamom seeds, long pepper, red sandalwood and lotus stem is given to correct pitta dosha. A decoction of Lodra, long pepper, Terminalia Chebula, black pepper and dry ginger can be effective in the case of Kapha dosha. When Anorexia’s cause is due to the disturbance of all the three doshas, the patient is given a decoction made of dry ginger, sugar, cumin seeds and pomegranate juice.
 
Recommended foods of Anorexia are rice, wheat, milk, butter milk, ghee, green vegetables, pomegranate, garlic and ginger. Spices like ginger, coriander, cardamom, black pepper are used in combination with ghee, sugar and juices to induce appetite. Vegetable soup with a pinch of rock salt and black pepper increases the appetite. Including 2 or 3 oranges in the daily diet is also a simple home remedy for Anorexia. Garlic is also helpful in improving appetite and promotes digestion of food.  

Ayurvedic medicines for Anorexia 

Vata: Ashtanga avaleha, Ardhraka Matulunga avaleha , Madhiphala Rasayana and Taleesadi Churna
 
 Pitta: Ardhraka Kanda, Draksha avaleha and Karpooradhi choorna,
 
Anorexia of all types: Draksha asava , Lavangadi choorna and Panchakola asava,
 
Yoga postures such as Vajrasana and Pavanamuktasana are helpful in increasing the appetite. 



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