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Anorexia: Symptoms, Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment and Home Remedies

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Occasional fasting is very common but when it becomes an obsession. It turns to be a problem for everyone. Anorexia nervosa is a serious disorder in our society. Mainly high-class society people are more prone to this disease. It is a form of excessive dieting or complete aversion to food. For example actors, athletes, sportspersons and celebrities want their body in shape and they want to look slim and skinny. But as we all know that excess of everything is bad and chronic anorexia is one major reason that gives rise to disorders like anaemia, arrhythmias, osteoporosis, and heart disorders etc. hormonal disturbance is another major issue that is also caused by anorexia.

Anorexia is basically an eating disorder that is characterized by low body weight. It is mainly characterized by an intense phobia of gaining weight. People that are suffering from anorexia always become apprehensive of body weight gain and they always think of maintaining their body shape and have a distorted perception of weight. In the tendency of losing their body weight, they always restrict their quantity of food they take. People suffering from this disorder use an excessive amount of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, and diet eatables to control the daily calorie intake. 

In other words, we can say that anorexia is not only a food-related disorder, it is extremely unhealthy and miserable emotional health problem. It is very difficult to overcome and responsible for the onset of various other serious health-related troubles. The more simple term used for this disorder is that the “person is extremely hungry but he or she refused to take food”.


Symptoms of this disorder are further divided into two categories-

  1. emotional symptoms
  2. physical symptoms

Emotional symptoms-

  • excessive dieting 
  • frequent fasting
  • self-induced vomiting
  • excessive use of laxatives and enemas
  • exhausting exercise 
  • skipping of meals
  • frequent checking of body figure in front of mirror
  • prohibited eating in public
  • use of extra clothing to cover your body
  • lack of emotions
  • restrictive entry in social gatherings
  • excessive fear of gaining weight

Physical symptoms-

  • thin appearance
  • fatigue and weakness
  • abdominal disorders
  • chronic constipation
  • cold intolerance
  • dehydration
  • swelling in body
  • erosion of teeth due to induced vomiting
  • low blood pressure
  • discoloration of finger and toe tips
  • discoloration of skin
  • irregular cardiac beats
  • absence of menstruation
  • thinning of hair  
  • loss of muscle mass
  • brittle nails
  • bad breath

Causes– Environmental, physiological, and biological factors are responsible for the onset of this disease. Other factors responsible for this disorder include-

  • criticism related to body weight and shape
  • anxiety
  • low self esteem
  • history of dieting
  • sexual abuse
  • pressure by society
  • previous trauma
  • genetics
  • diabetes

Ayurvedic aspect of anorexia-

Aruchi” is the term used for anorexia in Ayurveda. Person has loss of desire of food even though he or she is extremely hungry. Major cause of this disease according to Ayurveda is imbalance of tridoshas- vata, pitta and kapha. Imbalance of all three body energies is responsible for disturbed digestion and metabolism due to which excessive amount of AAMA (toxins) are accumulated in gut and causes anorexia. Toxins along with kapha dosha block the all the channels of gastro-intestinal tract. This leads to aggravation of bodhak kapha in body and this kapha dosha has intense effect on brain and causes this disorder called anorexia nervosa. It is further divided into different types that include-

  • Vataj aruchi
  • Pittaj aruchi
  • Kaphaj aruchi
  • Sannipataj aruchi
  • Aagantuj aruchi

Herbs to treat anorexia-

According Ayurveda everyone should take their food when feeling hungry with relaxed mind and clean environment so that factors like grief and fear are not able to cause anorexia. Our first line of treatment is to make equilibrium of digestion and metabolism with use of beneficial Ayurveda herbs. Impaired digestive fire results in the excessive production of AAMA dosha in body and we use herb to neutralize AAMA dosha so that channels are not blocked and proper nutrition is provided to whole body. Pippali, Maricha, Shunthi, Ashwagandha and Hingu are the herbs to cure anorexia available at Suyogya Ayurwellness. All these herbs serve immense benefits for sufferer of anorexia. Major function of these herbs is to stimulate our digestive fire and increase  appetite to heal this problem called anorexia.

  1. Pippali – Pippali is a very effective herb of Ayurveda used in the treatment of anorexia available at Suyogya Ayurwellness. Regular use of this herb helps to light up the digestive fire and maintain proper metabolism in the body. Pippali helps to give relief from other digestive troubles that are associated with anorexia such as flatus, abdominal bloating, regurgitation, and chronic constipation. Regular use of this herb helps to increase reduced appetite and give satisfactory relief in anorexia.
  2. Maricha – Maricha is another beneficiary herb for anorexia available at Suyogya Ayurwellness. This herb is also digestive in nature and the use of this herb helps to stimulate jathara agni (digestive fire) and helps to cure anorexia. The piercing nature of this herb helps to eliminate all the toxins (aama) from the body that are the result of indigestion. This herb is deepaniya (appetiser) in nature and helps to improve the disturbed metabolism of body.
  3. Shunthi – Shunthi is the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive herb of Ayurveda available at Suyogya Ayurwellness. This herb has scrap properties and the use of this herb helps to expel out the defecated stool in the intestine and promote peristaltic movements of the gut. This is a very effective digestive herb that helps to cure various other underlying disorders associated with anorexia.
  4. Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is an anti-oxidant, immuno-modulatory, anti-depressant, and anti-convulsing herb of Ayurveda available at Suyogya Ayurwellness. Regular use of this herb helps to heal factors associated with the brain in case of anorexia. It helps to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression. The use of this herb helps to calm our brain and relax the muscles of the brain.
  5. Hingu – Hingu is also a very effective herb of Ayurveda available at Suyogya Ayurwellness that is stimulant in nature. This exudative herb helps to light up the weak digestive fires and promote healthy digestion. Use of this herb gives relief from nausea and vomiting. This herb combats other digestive ailments such as flatus, chronic constipation, abdominal pain and cramps.

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