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The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines obesity and overweight as an abnormal and excessive accumulation of fat in body tissues that may impair health. It is measured with the help of body mass index or BMI. BMI is the weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters (kg/m2).

People with a BMI greater than or equal to 25 are said to be overweight and those with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 fall in the obese category. The fundamental cause of increased weight is the imbalance between the calories consumed and utilised. If you are consuming more calories than your body needs, you are going to be obese.

One of the most common health conditions associated with overweight and obesity are those of the cardiovascular system. Other consequences of these conditions involve musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers like endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney and colon.  

Homeopathic remedies that can be used in the treatment of overweight and obesity can be classified as those that can be used both in adults and children and those used specifically for children. Some remedies that are used for overweight and obesity in adults are ammonium bromatum, calcarea arsenicosa, fucus vesiculosus, phytolacca decandra and thyroidinum, whereas those that are effective in children are baryta carbonica, calcarea carbonica and kalium bichchromicum. A homeoapthic doctor considers both the physical and mental aspects of a patient along with his/her symptoms and miasms (tendency to suffer from a condition) before prescribing them a remedy.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for obesity
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for an obesity patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for obesity
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for obesity
  5. Takeaway
  • Ammonium Bromatum
    Common Name:
    Bromide of ammonia
    Symptoms: This remedy is indicated in chronic catarrh (excessive mucus discharge from the nose and throat) and obesity. It is also used in the treatment of the following symptoms:

Symptoms worsen with slight exertion.

  • Fucus Vesiculosus
    Common Name:
    Sea kelp
    Symptoms: Fucus vesiculosus is an excellent remedy for obesity. It is also useful in treating symptoms such as:
    • Indigestion and excessive formation of gas in the stomach
    • Persistent constipation
    • Enlarged thyroid 
    • Pain in the forehead as if it were being compressed with an iron 
  • Phytolacca Decandra
    Common Name:
    Poke-root
    Symptoms: Phytolacca is primarily used in the treatment of restlessness and pain in the body. It has been used successfully as an anti-fat agent and affects both the bones and muscles. This remedy can be used in the treatment of the following symptoms:
    • Inflammation and swelling in glands 
    • Scar tissue
    • Chronic inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles and fibrous tissues
    • Sore throat
    • Severe bone pains
    • Abscess in the region of tonsils
    • Diphtheria
    • Tetanus and opisthotonos (spasms and rigidity of the muscles leading to backward arching of the head and neck)

Symptoms aggravate when the patient spends time in cold and damp weather or gets drenched in rain. Lying on the right side, especially at night also worsens the symptoms The person gets temporary relief in dry weather, on exposure to warmth, after taking sufficient rest.

  • Thyroidinum
    Common Name:
    Dried thyroid gland of the sheep
    Symptoms: This remedy helps in the management of the following symptoms:
  • Antimonium Crudum
    Common Name:
    Black sulphide of antimony
    Symptoms: The remedy antimonium crudum is mostly used to treat symptoms related to gastric and mental health. Other symptoms that can be relieved with this remedy are:
    • Presence of a thick white coating on tongue
    • Gout along with conditions associated with the digestive tract 
    • Irritability

Symptoms that can be treated with this remedy worsen on consumption of acidic foods such as wine, on bathing, and in the evening. Symptoms improve when the patient spends time in open air and takes some rest.

  • Capsicum Annuum
    Common Name:
    Cayenne pepper
    Symptoms: Cayenne pepper suits those with loose, flabby muscles and diminished vitality. Symptoms calling for treatment with this remedy are:
    • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
    • Inflammation of joints and bones
    • Weak digestion in alcoholics
    • Pain and jerking of muscles

Symptoms get better on eating and from heat but worsen in the open air, with draughts and on keeping oneself uncovered.

  • Graphites
    Common Name:
    Black lead-plumbago
    Symptoms: This remedy is suitable for fair complexioned individuals who have a fat or heavy built and a tendency towards constipation and skin conditions. Individuals who are overweight and chilly and are prone to developing common cold also benefit from this remedy. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
    • Anaemia with redness of the face
    • Constricting pain in the abdomen
    • Unhealthy skin with a tendency to get skin infections with pus formation
    • Stomach cancer
    • Red, swollen eyelids

Symptoms get better in the dark and from covering the body and worsen at night, and during and after periods.

  • Baryta Carbonica
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of baryta
    Symptoms: Baryta carbonica is specially indicated for the elderly and infants. It acts well on scrofulous children (relating to tuberculosis), especially those who have swelling in their tonsils or abdomen and have an otherwise slow mental and physical growth. Symptoms that call for treatment with this remedy are:
    • Bleeding gums
    • Fatty tumours, especially about the neck
    • Swelling in the glands
    • Offensive foot sweats
    • Quinsy (an abscess near the tonsils)

Symptoms worsen on lying on the painful side and on worrying about the symptoms and are better on walking in the open air.

  • Kalium Bichromicum
    Common Name:
    Bichromate of potash
    Symptoms: Kalium bichromicum works well in overweight people with a light complexion. The speciality of this drug is that it acts on the inner lining of the gastrointestinal and respiratory passages. It also acts on the heart, kidneys and fibrous tissues. Other symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Cirrhosis (degeneration) of the liver and fatty infiltration of the liver
    • Weakness
    • Cold in children, especially that in chubby babies
    • Paralysis

Symptoms worsen in the morning, after consumption of beer, and in hot weather, whereas they get better in hot weather.

  • Calcarea Carbonica
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of lime
    Symptoms: Calcarea carbonica works best in overweight and flabby individuals who have a light complexion; perspire a lot and feel cold and damp most of the time. These people also ten to constantly experiences a sour taste in their mouth. Overweight children who have a pale complexion and a large belly also benefit from this remedy. Symptoms that call for treatment with this remedy: 
    • Mental and physical exertion
    • Swelling of glands
    • Abscesses in deep muscles
    • Short-lived chest pain
    • Pituitary or thyroid dysfunction
    • Nausea and acidity

Symptoms calling for this remedy worsen from in humid and rainy weather, on standing and with exposure to cold in all forms. Symptoms get better on lying on the painful side and dry weather.

Homeopathic remedies are made from highly diluted natural substances. Their action gets easily affected by various dietary and lifestyle factors. So, to get the maximum benefit from these remedies physicians advise certain do’s and don’ts to their patients along with homeopathic remedies. These include:

Do’s:

  • Follow a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Consume nutrient-rich food that is low in calories.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton that allow circulation of air.

Don’ts:

  • Avoid beverages like coffee and fine Chinese and herbal teas.
  • Avoid beer or liquor.
  • Avoid oily food.
  • Avoid all excess in food like sweets and salts.
  • Avoid meats like that of ducks and geese.

Homeopathic remedies for weight loss are selected based on the cause of the condition. The medicines work by stimulating the metabolic rate of the body to burn fat at a faster rate and must be accompanied by exercise and a controlled, balanced diet to get the maximum benefit.

A randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial that studied the effects of homeopathic treatment on overweight and obesity in pregnant women suggested that homeopathy did not prevent excessive body mass gain in these women. However, it did have a modulating effect on the vitality of newborns and hence more studies are needed to understand the action of homeopathic medicines in such conditions.

According to a study published in the Biomed and Pharmacology Journal, nutritional treatment along with homeopathic remedies is much more effective in the treatment of obesity than dietary changes alone. For the study,60 obese people were divided into two groups. One group was given nutritional treatment along with homeopathy and the other one was given only nutritional treatment. At the end of the study, the former group showed a greater reduction in body weight, though no differences were seen in the BMI of both the groups.

Homeopathic medicines are made from natural ingredients, and the active ingredient of each remedy is prescribed in minute doses. This makes it a gentle and painless method of treatment perfectly safe for adults, children, the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, it is best to take homeopathic medicines under the supervision of an experienced doctor. This is because not all remedies suit everyone equally.

Obesity is characterised by excessive fat deposition in body tissues. If left untreated, it increases the risk of various other problems, especially of the cardiovascular system and heart. Homeopathy is believed to be an efficient mode of treatment for obesity. It focusses on increasing the metabolic rates, which help get rid of excess fat. Homeopathic remedies are said to be safe for a wide range of population including the elderly, children and pregnant and lactating women. However, one must take these remedies after talking to a qualified physician.

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References

  1. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Obesity and overweight
  2. Oscar E. Boericke. Repertory. Médi-T; [lnternet]
  3. Vilhena EC, Castilho EA. Homeopathic Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Pregnant Women With Mental Disorders: A Double-blind, Controlled Clinical Trial. Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Oct;22(S3):14-22. PMID: 27866182
  4. British Homeopathic Association. Is homeopathy safe?. London; [Internet]
  5. Wenda Brewster O’Reilly. Organon of the Medical art by Wenda Brewster O’Reilly . B jain; New Delhi
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