Energy imbalance and low weight
Ayurveda associates both the low weight, which causes health problems, and the inability to gain weight with two of the three energies in the body – Vata and Pitta. People who are of the Vata type are generally weak. This, of course, doesn’t mean that every person with this type of body has health problems because of the low weight.
However, when Vata increases and goes out of balance, it may cause additional weight loss and a decrease in vitality. One of the main characteristics of this condition is the inconsistency, including of the appetite. For people with this imbalance, irregular eating is a common problem. For example, they are very moody, as their moods are easily variable.
These people are also very active, they are overburden with work, often forget to eat during the day. Other symptoms of the increased Vata, in addition to the weight are strong anxiety and even fear, insomnia, exhaustion, depression.
There are other signs for levels of Vata that are higher than the normal, such as intestinal problems, increased desire for spicy foods, pains in the bones and muscles, and so on. Vata, which is associated with the wind, is the most susceptible to change and imbalances. Thus it also causes imbalance to the other two doshas – Pitta and Kapha, who are dependent on it, because Vata carries out their movement in the energy flows in the body.
So the energy balances become complex and they should be determined by an Ayurvedic specialist in order the appropriate treatment for restoration of the balance to be prescribed.
In turn, the increased Pitta leads to excessive activation of the fire Agni and to accelerated metabolism. So if the person is overeating, the weight can stay the same.
At the same time, however, the increased Pitta leads to eye problems; acidity and ulcers of the digestive tract; acne and other skin problems due to greasiness; constant dissatisfaction, anger, irritability in the relations with others and so on.
Gaining weight with the help of Ayurveda
If you are experiencing difficulties gaining weight, Ayurveda can help by balancing Vata and Pitta doshas. Vata has to be decreased because primarily this energy is related to low weight and when this energy is increased, it makes the problem deeper, making it a health problem.
As with any Dosha, there are certain foods, herbs, healing oils for the balancing of Vata. Generally speaking, Vata Dosha is characterized with dryness, coldness and lightness. And a principle of Ayurveda is to balance the opposites.
Thus, the diet to decrease Vata should include moist, warm and heavier foods. Suitable choices are the meat, fish, root vegetables, dairy products, sugar, oils. But the “feeding” with them shouldn’t be started suddenly, first one has to start with soups and porridge, good choices are oats, rice, wheat. Cold – both foods and beverages, is contraindicated. Dry foods such as popcorn, crackers and others have to be avoided.
Foods that aren’t suitable are foods with astringent, spicy and bitter taste, as this also applies for the spices. The herbs, which are recommended are shatavari, aswaganda and other herbal combinations, which can be consumed with the lightly fermented Drakhsha juice – type of grapes from West India.
This grape is good for balancing of Vata, as it can be consumed raw or as raisins. The used oils for the purpose are sesame oil, walnut oil, ghee or olive oil, as the con oil has to be avoided, as well as the mixtures.
Pitta Dosha generally can be defined as hot, oily and light. To balance the increased Pitta through the opposites, the food should be cold, dry and heavy. The oils have to be with cooling effect.
The foods that are good for balancing of Pitta are whole grain such as rice and wheat, moderate use of unrefined sugars. Also suitable dishes are cooled oatmeal, kitchari, beans, lentils, chickpea meals. The herbs that are applied are in the form of a juice of aloe, shatavari, as also useful for the purpose are cardamom, cumin, coriander.