The term ‘underweight' in the medical fraternity is used to describe the human-body weight if below the average healthy weight. While the perfect body weight is dependent on an array of factors, majority of them cannot be determined. Body Mass Index is the best method to determine the ideal weight. If the Body Mass Index is below 18.5 it means that individual is underweight. Click here to calculate your BMI. That said, it's best to consult an Ayurvedic doctor and get to know whether you are really underweight.
Before we get on to specific Ayurvedic medicines to gain weight, let us first understand how Ayurveda sees the human body.
- 1 Dhatu (body-tissue) and their relation to weight gain
- 2 Formation of the dhatu
- 3 Ama and Agni: Their significance to weight gain naturally
- 4 Improving your weight naturally
- 5 Ayurvedic Medicines to Gain Weight
Dhatu (body-tissue) and their relation to weight gain
As per Ayurvedic Anatomy, dhatu is used to define the tissue. Overall, Ayurvedic medicine recognises seven dhatu. These are structural units of the human body. These are rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (flesh), medas (adipose tissue), asthi (bone), majja (bone-marrow) and shukra (seminal fluid or menstrual fluid. Fundamental knowledge of particular dhatu is significant to understand the pathogenesis of a particular disease. In fact, the overall balance of the seven dhatu dictates how healthy a person is, and whether he is of proper weight or needs to use some Ayurvedic medicine to gain weight.
Formation of the dhatu
So how does dhatu come about in the human body? The food consumed by humans is digested and converted into three things:
- The majority of food that remains undigested is converted into faeces.
- Some portion of it is converted into dhatu.
- A small portion is converted into oja (immunity).
Ama and Agni: Their significance to weight gain naturally
In Ayurvedic System of Medicine, the concept of agni (the biological fire), is of great significance. Agni is critical for determination of optimal-health and maintenance of the internal haemostasis. On the other side, ama is a toxic-substance of improper and culprit for all acute and chronic-diseases. Major reason behind production of ama is impaired function of agni.
A vicious cycle of impaired agni and the production of ama gets established. Understanding the basic concept of ama and agni is vital in diagnosis and treatment of the diseases. Use of appetisers and digestive stimulants and taking mild laxative in order to regularise bowel-movements are very important in maintaining the function of agni and thereby putting a break on the production of ama.
Dipana (Appetizer) is a drug used to promote appetite, and thus help in weight gain. Examples include Chirata (Swertia chirata). The drugs are highly bitter and they stimulate the taste buds in the tongue. They act reflexively to increase secretion of saliva and gastric juices.
Pachana (Digestive): is a drug used to correct digestive power. Bitter drugs are again used for this activity. Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus) is widely used by in Ayurvedic prescriptions for digestive action. Some drugs like Raktachitraka (Plumbago rosea) and Chitraka (P. zeylanicum) have dual activity viz appetizer as well as digestive.
- Sranshana (Laxatives or aperients): These groups of drugs lubricate the intestinal tract and soften the faeces. Aragbhada (Cassia fistula) is typical example.
- Bhedana (Purgatives): These groups of drugs usually irritate the small intestine and help in passage of faeces. Eranda (Ricinus communis) represents this group.
- Rechana (Drastic purgatives): These drugs irritate the small and large intestine resulting in griping, dehydration, and copious watery stool. Giriparpata (Podophyllum hexandrum) is common example of drastic purgative.
Rasna, Eranda are good for aampachana. These were some of the most respected Ayurvedic medicines for weight gain. Now let's shift focus away from medicines and examine the various reasons people are underweight.
Causes of Being Underweight
- Eating disorders.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Genetic factors.
- Lack of food (frequently due to poverty).
- Lack of nutrients in diet.
- Liver problems.
- Over exercise.
And how do get to know what you're underweight for sure? Here are some symptoms of being underweight.
Symptoms of Being Underweight
- A decline in stamina.
- Frequent and inexplicable fatigue.
- General malaise.
- Lowered resistance to infections.
Some people feel that being underweight is little more than an inconvenience. However, it is not so. If you do not get some Ayurvedic medicine to gain weight naturally, complications might arise.
Complications of Being Underweight
- A weak immune system.
- Chances of occasional infections.
- Complicated pregnancy.
- Poor physical stamina.
Improving your weight naturally
- Ayurvedic medicines: If prescribed by a doctor, Ayurvedic medicines are great for gaining weight. Ashwagandha and Shatavari are good examples. But remember not to self-medicate. Make sure you consult a doctor and follow Ayurvedic treatments for detoxification.
- Diet: individuals who are underweight should increase calorie intake in order to gain weight. Increased calorie intake can be achieved by consuming calorie-dense foods. These include cheese, nuts and dried-fruits. Nutritional supplements and body fluids are the best method for increasing body-weight. Regular intake of minerals and vitamins is necessary for proper nutrition.
- Exercise: Exercise is the best method for people looking to increase weight. Exercise results in hypertrophy of the muscle and results in increase in body mass. Weight-training is another method to build muscle mass and increase weight. During this phase, the body needs more proteins and amino-acids.
- Appetite-stimulants: Appetite-stimulants may be used but only under expert medical supervision.
Ayurvedic Medicines to Gain Weight
A POWERFUL IMMUNITY BOOSTER FOR ALL AGES
- Enhances body immunity
- Delays the physiological changes fights against chronic diseases.
- Improves appetite and digestion.
- Useful in anemia, general, debility, weight loss.
- A pediatric to geriatric tonic for vigor and vitality.
One-two tablespoons to be taken with milk or warm water, twice a day.
Some Useful Tips to Gain Weight
- If a patient has history of hyperthyroidism, great care should be exercised to take medicine and periodic medical check-up.
- Protein supplementation is necessary if malnutrition is the cause of being under-weight.
- Fruits like apple are vital as it provides good number of nutrients including potassium, which is vital for the heart.
- Great care should be taken if you are taking OTC remedies for increasing weight. Always consult your doctor if planning to consume products for increasing weight.
- Honey in combination with milk is very effective to improve the body weight. These agents are effective metabolism boosters and also aid in improvement of the immunity levels.
- Almond milk is another yet another panacea for promoting body-growth at cellular levels.
- Figs, dates and pomegranate juices are perfect appetite-stimulants.
Weight gain, although difficult, can be achieved by taking a balanced and nutritional diet. In this regard, ama-neutralisation is very vital as per Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda recommends brahneya dravya for improving nutritional status of the human body.
- Waaler HT. Height, weight and mortality. The Norwegian experience. Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1984;679:1-56. PubMed PMID: 6585126.
- Coin, A.; G. Sergi, P. Benincà, L. Lupoli, G. Cinti, L. Ferrara, G. Benedetti, G. Tomasi, C. Pisent and G. Enzi (2000). “Bone Mineral Density and Body Composition in Underweight and Normal Elderly Subjects”. Osteoporosis International 11 (12).
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