Ayurvedic Weight Loss (Part 3): Herbal Supplements

By Dr. Harrison Graves, MD
September 30, 2016

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In our last blog we learned how stress reduction is one of the keys to successful weight management. The Sudarshan Kriya, as taught at AOLRC, was recommended as a wonderful breath technique for managing stress and reducing anxiety. Today our blog is about three herbal supplements useful for rejuvenation and weight loss. They are Ashwagandha, Triphala and Chyawanprash.
Some Ayurvedic herbs maintain ideal weight by stoking up the digestive fire and enhancing absorption of nutrients. Others boost energy and reduce the effects of stress. Here are three herbal remedies that are suitable for everyday use, regardless of one’s body-mind type, or dosha.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, sometimes called “Indian ginseng,” is one of the most powerful herbs used in Ayurvedic healing. In Sanskrit, Ash-wa-gan-dha means “the smell of a horse.” It is a horse that can “impart the vigor and strength of a stallion.” It is recommended as an energy booster, treating stress and fatigue. It is also used to enhance sexual potency in both men and women. Ashwagandha root can help stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol and improve memory.
A recommended amount is 600-1000 mg twice a day.

Triphala

Tri-phala means “the three fruits.” Often prescribed as a bowel tonic and mild laxative, it is an Ayurvedic wonder made of three herbs: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki.
Packed with antioxidants, this potent combination does much more than treat constipation. It pulls toxins (ama) from the intestines and enhances absorption of nutrients.
A recommended amount is 500-1000 mg once or twice a day. Click here to order.

Chyawanprash

Traditionally known as the “Elixir of Life”, Chyawanprash is the most widely used Ayurvedic supplement in the world. Many take Chyawanprash it as an energizing tonic, a rejuvenative for mind and body.
Chyawanprash (pronounced “cha-wahn-prash”) is an Ayurvedic jam, whose recipe was given to us by the sages of long ago. “Prash” means “specially prepared.” Originally it was specially prepared for the elderly sage, Chyawan, to restore his youth and vigor. It is a collection of 37 herbs, mixed into a nutritive jam made of Amalaki fruit, honey and ghee. Some say it tastes like a spicy apple butter.
Amalaki, also known as amla, is renowned for its rich antioxidant content. It has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the plant kingdom.
Chyawanprash supports all three doshas. It enkindles the digestive fire without aggravating pitta. It balances vata and kapha while strengthening the body against the effects of a stressful lifestyle. Ayurvedic herbs are especially useful when used alongside an Ayurvedic home cleanse.

Note: The transliteration from Sanskrit to English has resulted in a variety of spelling variations, including: chyavanprash, chyavanaprasam, and chyavanaprjasha.

Dosage: 1 teaspoon/day with meals. Often taken with milk.

Medical Caution: Though Chyawanprash has been used safely in India for centuries, it should not be used if you have diabetes, are pregnant or nursing.

Review

To review, Ayurvedic weight management draws from all three areas of Ayurveda’s holistic approach to wellness:
Ayurvedic Foods — fresh, organic and vegetarian — loaded with healing spices and the six tastes, and eaten according to dosha
Ayurvedic Lifestyle (think Yoga and stress reduction)
Ayurvedic Herbal Supplements

Healthy vegetarian foods, combined with healing herbs, exercise and stress management are the keys to successful weight management.

 

Review Question: Which Ayurvedic herb is sometimes called “Indian ginseng”?

Comments? Please share your comments about your favorite Ayurvedic herbal supplements in the comment box below.

 

The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner

 

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