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Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla
Raksha Ayurvedalaya: The Family Wellness Center

Under Weight and Ayurvedic Treatment

To most people who are overweight, this would be a dream come true. However, for underweight people who have trouble gaining weight, it can be a real problem.

A person may be underweight due to undernourishment during infancy and adolescence. Nutrition deficiencies of the mother during pregnancy can lead to lower number of fat cells in the baby, which in turn leads to less production of fatty tissue. Genetics and conditioning lead to the condition. In addition, many a time, thinness, like obesity, runs in the family.

Poor eating habits and less intake of food are other causes of a person being underweight. Illness can cause weight loss. Debilitating diseases such as cancer can also lead to loss of weight, which can be hard to regain, especially when those with these problems are not used to high calorie diet. Stress and anxiety often lead to fall in body weight. During periods of extreme emotional stress, a person finds it difficult to eat normally, and this automatically leads to a loss in weight. In addition, people who use stimulants such as caffeine and cigarettes are more commonly underweight.

Several medical problems are associated with weight loss or the inability to gain weight. Hyperthyroidism, for example, is the most common of these. It is also associated with many symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, and insomnia. Some psychological problems are also associated with a person being underweight.

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa are the two such serious food-oriented maladies. They are, in fact, often symptoms of much deeper emotional and attitudinal problems. The patient normally has fear of being overweight and vomits a lot. Usually, the problem begins between the ages of 14 and 19, especially in young women. There may be surreptitious use of laxatives or deliberate vomiting.

Guidelines & Ayurvedic Remedies

  • To cure the disease, remove the cause—says Sushruta samhita. As emaciation is the result of certain disease in most cases, the disease should be treated first.
  • Learning to slow down internally can improve the metabolism and assimilation of nutrients.
  • Primary focus for gaining weight is a good nutritive diet. Bigger portions, many meals along with extra snacks and more healthy, easily digestible, high calorie foods are to be taken. Gradual increase of high-energy foods is the key.
  • Often, underweight people experience symptoms of fatigue and coldness in the body. Fat helps to keep us warm, and low body fat with poor circulation will reduce vitality and warmth. Fatigue may also be related to nutritional deficiencies secondary to limited calorie diets and low intake. In these cases, more nourishing foods such as meat extracts, milk, curd, raw sugar, jaggery, black-gram and ghee can be therapeutic.
  • A decrease in the bulky, low-energy foods and a focus on the high-energy foods will help. It is good to eat the main course first, followed by richer foods, and vegetables and salads, if there is room.
  • Of the vegetables, eat the starchier ones, such as potatoes, carrots. Also, eat rice, yava, and such starchy grains.
  • Fluid intake just before or during meals is not recommended, as it reduces the appetite.
  • Intake of freshly prepared wine before a meal is helpful as it relaxes the person and improves appetite.
  • Bedtime snacks are appropriate when it comes to gaining weight, as long as it does not interfere with sleep.
  • Adequate rest and deep sleep, including a nap during day time are important to help the body slow down and relax the tension that can burn calories.
  • Avoid stimulants that increase nervous energy, especially in the evening. Stop smoking.
  • All kinds of labour, exertion, anxieties and exhausting mental activities, should be given up and spend time cheerfully in agreeable company.
  • As a thumb rule, excessive sexual indulgence should be avoided.
  • A regular exercise programme, which is to be oriented more towards toning and conditioning the body, should be followed. Vigorous aerobic activity, however, burns off more calories and may keep weight down. Walks in fresh air may help to stay fit and relaxed enough to be more receptive to food.
  • Body massage with nourishing oils such as aswagandhaadi tailam is recommended.
  • Aswagandha, Sataavari, Bala, Vidaarigandha are the herbs that are used in emaciation. In addition, there are good compound formulations that can be used internally for emaciation like Amritaprasana ghritam, Chaagalyaadi ghritam to name a few.


As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually formulated. This article is intended only for information. It is not a substitute to the standard medical diagnosis, personalized Ayurvedic treatment or qualified Ayurvedic physician. For specific treatment, always consult with a qualified Ayurvedic physician.


Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla, M.D. (Ayurveda)
Plot No. 13, H.No: 16-2-67/13,
Ramamurthy Nagar (CBCID Colony),
Landmark: Kukatpally Area, Metro Train Pillar No. MYP 29.
PIN - 500 085. Telangana State


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