While obesity is a global concern, there are also people who are struggling to put on weight in healthy ways. Ayurveda defines three dominant personality types, vata, pitta, and kapha. The vata and pitta dominant people find it difficult to gain weight as they have a high metabolic rate. Being underweight or thin can be defined as a health concern when your body weight is less than what is ideal for your height, age, and gender. Common causes for being underweight are eating less, inadequate calorie intake, stress and anxiety, excessive exercise, irregular eating and sleeping patterns, metabolic errors, and excess vata dominance which makes it difficult to gain weight. Vata by nature is emaciating, dry, cooling, light, and may cause defects in digestion and metabolism leading to nutrients not being absorbed properly. To get better insights on herbs for weight gain, OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr. Manisha Mishra Goswami, Medical Adviser, Charak Pharma Pvt Ltd.
Herbs for weight gain
People who gain weight poorly may also suffer from anaemia, malnutrition, fatigue, lack of energy, poor bone and muscle strength, and have a weak immunity. Ayurveda advocates having a wholesome diet and a healthy lifestyle to improve weight. Consuming calorie dense foods when hungry helps improve energy intake and helps in weight gain.
Always avoid distraction while eating food. Sleep well and do not do excessive workouts. Apart from that there are many herbs which on regular consumption help to improve weight and metabolism. Here is a list of four ayurvedic herbs for weight gain:
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is a sweet, bitter, warm, nourishing, and rejuvenating herb. It is a well-known adaptogen and claims to help to reduce stress and anxiety, and improves quality sleep. Ashwagandha can help improve overall health, nourishes and stabilises the tissues to help in weight gain. Several researches prove that it can work to enhance immunity. Regular intake of ashwagandha can help improve metabolism and overall health. Ashwagandha powder can be consumed with milk daily.
2. Mulethi or licorice
This sweet tasting root herb is cooling and pacifies pitta and vata and helps to rejuvenate one. Licorice is a source of proteins, amino-acids, and natural sugars along with essential minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, and more. It is a potent anti-oxidant and can also protect the liver and respiratory health. It helps to improve overall health and is a proven immunomodulator. As a rasayana herb, it nourishes and helps in weight gain. You can have licorice in the form of tea daily.
One of the best known ayurvedic herbs for its anti-ageing and health promoting properties is amla. This sweet and sour herb cools and pacifies pitta as well as vata and hence helps to promote anabolic or weight promoting action in the body. It is a rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, antioxidant herb, which on regular consumption can improve health and weight. It can help reduce acidity and keep the digestive system healthy to promote better nutrient absorption. You can have amla as a daily staple in chutneys or as juices.
Gokhru or gokshur is a tonic for the reproductive system in men as well as women. It is supposed to improve digestion, purify blood, help keep the kidneys and bladder healthy, improve sperm count, and balance hormones for proper weight gain. It can nourish and improve strength and energy. It is a popular Ayurvedic herb to improve vitality, vigor, and improve muscle mass.
Always remember, weight gain is not a one-day job and persistence in the efforts towards improving diet and lifestyle is always rewarding. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle along with key Ayurvedic herbs can help in improving health and gain weight. If you want to reap the benefits of Ashwagandha, amla, gokshur, mulethi along with carrot, beetroot, and more health promoting herbs, you can blend them together and make a delicious smoothie at home.
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