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Ayurveda & Obesity # 2

Ayurveda & Obesity #2


In Ayurveda, obesity is regarded as 'medoroga', a disorder of 'meda dhatu' which are the fatty tissues of the body, which includes fat tissue and fat metabolism.


According to Ayurveda obesity begins with an imbalance of doshas (Vata, Pita, and Kapha), an imbalance of agni (digestive fire), an imbalance of the malas (waste products) or an imbalance of shrotas (microcirculatory channels).

This collection of imbalances then interferes with the formation of tissues or dhatus and leads to a tissue imbalance that we experience as excess weight.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, the key cause is found in lifestyle and diet choices that disrupt the healthy balance of the body.


The ayurvedic word for digestion and metabolism is agni. Agni has remarkable transformative qualities which help us to achieve good health. All the food what we take in our body must be transformed into that which can be made useful by the body (nutrients) and that which is not needed is (waste). The nutrients are used to create the body’s tissues. (dhatus).

According to Ayurveda to maintain balance and healthy strong Agni and clear shrotas are essential.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, the cause of weight gains is cyclical. It begins with balance.

Digestive Fire & Tissues

When we make choices in our diet and lifestyle that weaken the digestive fire, this in turns increases toxins in our bodies, clogging the communication channels called shrotas and thereby disrupting the formation of tissues.

The poorly formed tissue layers increase meda dhatu (fat in the body ) and create an imbalance in Kapha Dosha. This, in turn, increases the accumulation of toxins (ama), which leads to an imbalance in meda dhatu. It's a vicious circle, as accumulated toxins continue to deplete the system which continues to build further toxins that result in obesity.

Accumulation stops Vata movement

Accumulation of ama in shrotas the communication channels causes an imbalance in naturally-flowing Vata energy.

Vata energy is that which helps to move and clear the body, in this instance important for the Kapha imbalance.

Restricted, stuck or imbalanced Vata energy ends up increasing Agni increases the digestive fire, because the food is not properly digested, it literally burns up the nutrition leading to an increase in appetite and thirst. This leads in turn to an increase in Kapha Dosha and meda dhatu and the whole cycle starts again.

To break the cycle, the Ayurvedic consultant/practitioner determines the unique nature of the individual

(Prakriti) and the nature of imbalance (Vikriti). The essence of recommendation generally comes down to addressing a few core issues: strengthening digestion (balance Agni), removing ama, improving dietary habits and adjusting inappropriate daily routines and lowering stress.

See accompanying articles for further information on obesity 


Linda Bretherton

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