The Anorexia starts from the brain
The anorexia is a combination of physical and psychological anomalies. The development of the physical ones leads to destruction of the body, but they are caused by, as well activated by the psychological ones. For Ayurveda followers, the physical body is in unity and interdependence with the other two essences of the man – emotional and spiritual. They believe that every disease starts first from the brain, the thoughts and feelings.
This is an emotional trauma behind which lies the fear, anger, sadness and associated with them negative thoughts. The patient has a distorted image of himself and his body. In some difficult cases the struggling ones think that they are fat or they will gain weight even when they are already with unnaturally low weight. This comes from the fear that if they are fat, the society will laugh at them and reject them.
The basis of anorexia is the unbalanced Vata. This energy is responsible for all kinds of body movements – as well of the physiological processes, the energy flows, thoughts and feelings. For example, the movement of Pitta and Kapha – the other two energies/Doshas in the body, can’t work properly, unless Vata is in balance.
At the same time, anorexia is an overall condition, there is imbalance of Pitta, as well of Kapha. At the advanced stage of the disease, the patient has lost his appetite and even has developed food intollerance.
Due to the critical food limitations, Agni – the digestive fire, is so weak, so the patient can’t keep food in the stomach – he vomits it. Here are imbalances existing with regard to all three Doshas.
Pitta, which is responsible for the digestion, the chemical transformation of substances, and their absorption, can’t properly perform its functions. Kapha which has to liquefy the food, also can‘t work properly.
There is a strong imbalance of Vata. It is also connected to nutrition – from the movement of food to the release of the unnecessary from the body, but also the negative feelings and thoughts.
Anorexia and Ayurveda treatment
The treatment of anorexia is similar to underweight treatment, but it is more complex. In anorexia, the complex imbalances of the energies are stronger and usually there are developed concomitant diseases that are not present in underweight conditions, or they are present to a lesser extent.
These include kidney damage, problems with gall-bladder, liver, heart, etc. In anorexia, attention is paid to the stronger calming herbal effect and the various types of natural therapeutic oil, due to the emotional condition of the patient, his negative thoughts and inner resistance to change. The person has to brought back to his natural energy balance, which is strictly individual for everyone.
The Ayurveda therapist will prescribe to the patient a personal daily diet according to the respective Dosha, which the patient has to adopt as a new lifestyle.
The most important thing is the nutrition. The appetite has to be awaken, vomiting stopped and the digestive fire – stimulated, so Agni can restore the food processing and its digestion. Fresh ginger, dill, cardamom can be used for this purpose.
The food itself must be easy to digest, shouldn‘t be fatty, no strong tastes – spicy and sour for example, because in anorexia the digestive fire is weak.
Very good option is the Kichari meal, containing basmati rice and bean mung. This meal is easily digested, and the rice balances all three doshas. Balancing and cleansing spices have to be added to it, as they enhance digestion – ginger, turmeric, asafetida, cumin, bay leaves.
Many of the spices have combined effect. For example, the ginger besides the good effect on digestive problems, has antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, pain-relieving effect. The ginger is a powerful antioxidant, and actually has over 40 pharmacological effects.
The asafetida, besides improving digestion, is used to soothe the nervous system. The turmeric is called "the golden spice", because it is a cure for more than 600 diseases.
Of the healing oils for anorexia, a good choice is the sesame oil, as it can be used for massage of the head and legs, as well the oil extracted from the sandalwood.