Treating Anorexia/Anorexia Nervosa ‘Aruchi’ with Ayurveda

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Jiya Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, anorexia is caused by an aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha doshas, and psychological factors such as fear, anger and stress, leading to incomplete digestion of food. This leads to the formation of ama (mucus). This ama blocks the gastrointestinal channels of the body and thus disturbs the sense of taste.

The following contribute to this condition: inactive lifestyle; oily, sweet and heavy foods; snacking between meals; and having meals in a disturbed atmosphere, such as eating while watching television.

 

Dear Readers,

 

Please find two articles on curing anorexia with Ayurveda. This was sent to me by a mother in Gujrat India who has successfully used Ayurvedic treatment for her daughter’s recovery from eating disorder, anorexia. We’ve never tried these remedies but we hope you’ll find the information below useful. Please do consult your health practitioner.

 

Ayurvedically Anorexia nervosa Treatment – Jiva Ayurveda

Jiya Ayurveda

 

Anorexia nervosa ‘Aruchi’

Anorexia means the loss of desire to have food even when one is hungry. This disease is known as aruchi in Ayurveda. This condition can arise due to a sedentary lifestyle, stress and wrong eating patterns. In this condition a person has no appetite for food due to indigestion or psychological causes. In some cases the patient gets a bad taste in the mouth and has no desire to swallow the food.

Note that anorexia (simple loss of appetite) is not the same as anorexia nervosa (commonly known as anorexia), which refers to serious psychological and physiological conditions usually seen in women where they develop and aversion to eating and have a distorted body image and a fear of being obese. A person with anorexia nervosa often has severe and even life-threatening weight-loss. In contrast, anorexia (the simple loss of appetite) is usually temporary and does not develop into anorexia nervosa.

Causes

According to Ayurveda, anorexia is caused by an aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha doshas, and psychological factors such as fear, anger and stress, leading to incomplete digestion of food. This leads to the formation of ama (mucus). This ama blocks the gastrointestinal channels of the body and thus disturbs the sense of taste.

The following contribute to this condition: inactive lifestyle; oily, sweet and heavy foods; snacking between meals; and having meals in a disturbed atmosphere, such as eating while watching television.

Symptoms

  • Dieting despite being underweight
  • Obsessed about calories & fats
  • Avoiding eating with some excuse
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Secretly vomiting after meals
  • Overexercising

Ayurvedic Anorexia nervosa Treatment

According to Ayurveda, the physical causes of aruchi (anorexia) are aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha in the stomach. Kapha is a mucus-like substance, which is cold, dense, heavy, firm, slow, thick, sticky, wet and clear in nature. Aggravation of a type of kapha, known as bodhak kapha, leads to a loss of appetite.

Negative mental feelings such as sorrow, fear, excessive greed and anger can also lead to anorexia. As Ayurveda treats the root cause of the disease instead of treating the symptoms, the Ayurvedic line of treatment pacifies the bodhak kapha and relaxes the mind. This ensures that neither physical nor psychological factors affect appetite.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Have freshly prepared warm food. Meals should be taken at regular intervals, so that the previous meal gets digested.  When psychological factors are involved, creating a happy and calm atmosphere helps to improve the condition. Being in the company of good friends and relatives relieves stress and improves digestive power. Yoga postures such as pawanmuktasan and bhramari pranayama is also beneficial for people with anorexia.

Home Remedies

  • Prepare a mixture of ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice, ¼ teaspoon of lime juice and a pinch of rock salt. Have this preparation in separate doses 15 minutes before meals, twice a day.
  • To remove mucus and improve the functioning of taste receptors, clean your tongue after brushing the teeth. This helps in preventing tastlessness in the mouth and improving appetite.
  • Put 5 tbsp of small chopped, fresh ginger in a glass jar. Cover ginger with lemon juice, add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of cumin seed powder. Put jar in the sun for 2 days in summer, or 3 days in winter. Eat half tsp before meals.
  • Mix the following in powdered form: 10g dried ginger root, 3g black pepper, 2g long pepper, 5g celery seeds, 10g cumin seeds and 10g rock salt. Store it in an airtight vessel. Take 1 teaspoon with the first bite of food during meals twice a day daily.

 

 

 

Home Remedies For Anorexia: 5 Easy Remedies That Can Help

NDTV Food

By: Sushmita Sengupta

 

 

Anorexia refers to the loss of appetite or loss of taste. Those suffering from anorexia lose interest in eating and in food. Anorexia is different from Anorexia Nervosa which is a kind of a psychological eating disorder, where people develop a phobia of eating more than required. This aversion to eating is rooted in a distorted body image and a fear of being obese. Anorexia, per say, is just a loss of apetite which can arise due to several reasons ranging from unhealthy eating habits, tummy problems, indigestion, inactive lifestyle, snacking between meals, emotional stress or prolonged illness. Anorexia is temporary and mild anorexia may be treated with a couple of home remedies. In Ayurveda, this condition is known as ‘Aruchi’. Ayurveda expert Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi explains, “Aruchi is simply declined interest in food, or loss of taste. If a person is not in a mood to eat, or has lost interest in food or simply doesn’t like what is on the plate, he is said to have developed a ruchi towards the food.”

In ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr. Vasant lad , he explains that the loss of appetite, ” is a condition of low jatharagni (digestive fire). Low agni creates not only poor appetite but also indigestion, bloating and ama(toxins) in the gastrointestinal tract.”

 

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According to Ayurveda, anorexia is caused by an aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha doshas, and a couple of psychological factors such as fear, anger and stress that tend to hamper your digestive processes. This leads to the formation of ama (mucus) in the digestive tract which in turn might disturb the sense of taste.

Here Are 5 Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Anorexia

Dr. Vasant Lad suggests a rather counter-intuitive remedy to treat anorexia which is not eating anything for a while. “A short fast will help rekindle the digestive fire”, he writes. He further mentions, “Lack of apettite is often due to continual munching, combined with drinking cold drinks , which depresses again.” Ayurveda Expert Dr. Dhanvantri suggests a handful of home remedies for anorexia that may help revive the lost taste.

1. Ginger: Ginger can come to great help as it is loaded with health benefiting properties. A piece of ginger, combined with a pinch of lime juice and rock salt taken after food, stimulates taste buds, and also aids digestion. It is always better to consume it raw.

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2. Trikatu: Trikatu is a classic Ayurvedic herbal blend of equal parts of pippali, ginger, and black pepper. It aids gastric support. You can have it in powdered form with water or you can take it with a tablespoon of honey too.

 

3. Imli and Salt: Anorexia is a psychosomatic disorder, so if you can trick your mind into having food, you may revive the loss in taste. Take a teaspoon of imli powder and salt and just lick it. This would titillate the taste buds of your mouth, and invoke ruchi in food.
4. Badi elachi (cardamom): Adding badi elachi in certain dishes is also known to help treat anorexia. It has a unique taste and piquant aroma, which can add flavour to almost every dish. Using it in small amounts in different dishes can prove to be quite beneficial for this health condition.

 

5. Hot water: Hot water can come to use while dealing with a number of health issues. A glass of hot water has also shown effective results in some cases. Dr. Danvantri tell us that in many cases even bathing in hot water stimulates the lost interest in food.

 

Dr. Dhanvantri also clarifies that if the loss of appetite is due to certain illness or disorder, these home remedies may not be enough and in that case one must consult a medical practitioner who can prescribe some measures to regain healthy appetite.

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Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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