How Effective are Ayurvedic Medicine for Weight Loss?

Ayurvedic medicine is an alternative or holistic type of medicine that is traditional to Indian origin and has been around for thousands of years. It is quite popular in South Asia and is beginning to gain acceptance in the Western World.  In the United States this practice is known as a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) or a whole medical system.  Many of the treatments used in Ayurvedic Medicine include herbs, massage, exercise, fasts and specialized diets.  Ayurveda works on the premise of prevention as well as promotion of the body’s own capacity to maintain, balance and heal.  According to this type of medicine our health is based on the interrelationship between mind, body and spirit.  When one of these components is not well the other two will be effected as well.

Ayurvedic Medicine has been used for weight loss for many years.  In fact in Ayurvedic Medicine, being overweight and even underweight are signs that one’s energy or “doshas” are out of balance.  When it comes to weight loss Ayurvedic Medicine may use specialized diets, fasting, massage, meditations, herbals and/or specific exercise routines.  One of the primary methods of healing in this holistic type approach involves people’s diets.  Food is considered vital in the strengthening or weakening of various doshas, therefore people are prescribed specific diets based on their issues.

Whether Ayurvedic Medicine is scientifically effective whether in health issues or weight loss is still ongoing.  The bottom line is that it is extremely difficult to make scientific statements on the effectiveness of this type of holistic Medicine.  However there is some evidence regarding the herbal therapies involved with Ayurvedic Medicine beginning to surface.

It is important to be aware that many Ayurvedic herbs have not undergone proper safety evaluations.  The FDA has actually posted a warning that the presence of heavy metals in some Ayurvedic products makes them potentially harmful.  They state that studies have found detectable levels of lead, mercury and arsenic.  These types of products are labeled “Indian” or “South Asian” and are sold online and in stores.  The FDA does not review or approve Ayurvedic products, which can be especially harmful to children. Consult with your doctor before considering any type of Ayurvedic treatment whether for weight loss or other health issues.


Ayurvedic Medicine: An Introduction:




The Ayurvedic Institute

The National Institute for Ayurvedic Medicine

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