Karshya - Low Weight


Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine originating from India, holds profound wisdom on various health conditions. One such condition is low weight – “Karshya,” a term that refers to emaciation or weight loss. In this article, we delve into the Ayurvedic perception of Karshya, exploring its causes, symptoms, and holistic treatment approaches.


Low weight is common in slum areas. The main reason for this is not getting enough food and going hungry, regardless of one’s natural body type. However, for those with a body type characterized by “Vaat Prakruti,” weight loss tends to happen more frequently. In this case, gaining and maintaining weight becomes a challenge as the body loses weight quickly when hungry and gains weight slowly with excess and proper diet. 

Exercise helps burn calories and is essential for proper digestion. Eating a healthy diet alone doesn’t guarantee that our body will get energy every time. For the body to absorb nutrients, food needs to be digested properly. If digestion is not efficient, the body receives less energy even from high-calorie foods. Therefore, exercise is necessary for proper digestion. One of the most beneficial exercises is morning walks.

Ayurveda and Low weight

A. Understanding the Doshas

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine, recognizes three fundamental bio-energetic forces known as Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These Doshas are integral to the functioning of the human body, and each governs distinct physiological and psychological aspects. Imbalances in these Doshas can lead to various health concerns, including a condition known as Karshya, which refers to weight loss or emaciation. To comprehend the significance of Doshas in maintaining a healthy body weight, it’s crucial to explore the characteristics of each Dosha.

1. Vata Dosha: Associated with the elements of air and ether, Vata governs movement, communication, and creativity. An imbalance in Vata may lead to erratic eating patterns, digestion issues, and difficulty in absorbing nutrients, contributing to weight loss.

2. Pitta Dosha: Aligned with the elements of fire and water, Pitta governs metabolism and transformation. When Pitta is imbalanced, it can lead to excessive heat in the body, affecting digestion and potentially causing weight loss due to heightened metabolic activity.

3. Kapha Dosha: Rooted in the elements of earth and water, Kapha governs stability, structure, and lubrication. Imbalances in Kapha may result in sluggish metabolism, water retention, and weight gain.

Understanding the unique characteristics and roles of each Dosha allows Ayurvedic practitioners to tailor recommendations to an individual’s constitution (Prakruti) and current imbalances (Vikriti). 

B. Causes of Low weight

Some common causes of Karshya in Ayurveda include:

  • Imbalanced Doshas: An excess of Vata Dosha, which governs movement and metabolism, can lead to irregular digestion, poor nutrient absorption, and weight loss.
  • Aggravated Pitta Dosha: Increased Pitta, associated with fire and transformation, may lead to excessive heat in the body, resulting in heightened metabolism and potential weight loss.
  • Weak Digestive Fire (Manda Agni): Poor digestion, characterized by weak digestive fire, can hinder the proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients, contributing to weight loss.
  • Ama Accumulation: The presence of undigested or partially digested food particles, known as ama, can clog the channels and impair nutrient absorption, leading to weight loss.
  • Disease Conditions (Vyadhi): Underlying health conditions, especially those affecting the digestive system, can contribute to Karshya. Chronic diseases or infections may impact nutrient assimilation and utilization.
  • Mental Factors (Manasika Karshya): Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and emotional disturbances can influence eating habits, leading to inadequate food intake and weight loss.
  • Excessive Physical Activity: Overexertion, intense physical activity without proper nourishment, and irregular exercise routines can deplete the body’s energy reserves and contribute to weight loss.
  • Dietary Factors: Poor dietary choices, irregular eating habits, or a diet lacking in essential nutrients can result in inadequate calorie intake, leading to weight loss.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental conditions, seasonal changes, and exposure to extremes of weather can influence digestion and metabolism, potentially contributing to weight loss.
  • Malabsorption Disorders: Conditions affecting the absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract, such as malabsorption disorders, can result in weight loss.
  • Other: Hormonal disorder, Hyperthyroidism, addictions, Late night sleeping,

C. Symptoms of Karshya

Common symptoms of Karshya according to Ayurveda include:

  • Emaciation: Visible and significant weight loss, leading to a thin and depleted appearance of the body.
  • Weakness: Generalized weakness and fatigue, reflecting the diminished energy reserves in the body.
  • Dry Skin: Dehydration and reduced nourishment may result in dry and rough skin texture.
  • Constipation: Imbalances in Vata Dosha can lead to irregular bowel movements and constipation, affecting digestive functions.
  • Irregular Digestion: Difficulty in digesting food, bloating, and irregular digestion patterns may be observed.
  • Reduced Muscle Mass: Loss of muscle mass, especially in the limbs, contributing to a frail and weakened physical state.
  • Brittle Nails and Hair: Nutrient deficiencies may manifest as brittle nails and hair, indicative of compromised overall health.
  • Pale Complexion: Diminished blood circulation and nutrient absorption can lead to a pale and lackluster complexion.
  • Lethargy: A pervasive sense of tiredness and lethargy, making daily activities more challenging.
  • Reduced Immunity: Weakened immune response, making the individual more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  • Poor Wound Healing: Slower healing of wounds and injuries due to inadequate nutrient availability.
  • Cold Intolerance: Imbalances in Vata Dosha may result in sensitivity to cold, with a tendency to feel colder than usual.
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle: In females, disruptions in the menstrual cycle may occur, reflecting hormonal imbalances.
  • Loss of Appetite: Reduced interest in eating, leading to insufficient calorie intake.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or mood swings may accompany Karshya, reflecting the mind-body connection in Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic Diagnosis Techniques

Ayurvedic practitioners employ unique diagnostic methods to identify Dosha imbalances contributing to Karshya. Learn about pulse diagnosis, tongue examination, and other traditional techniques that form the basis of Ayurvedic diagnosis.

Ayurvedic Treatments for Karshya

Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach to treat Karshya, focusing on balancing the Doshas. Discover the array of treatments, including Panchakarma therapies, herbal formulations, and rejuvenating practices, that aim to restore harmony to the body.

A. Dietary Recommendations

 Individualized dietary adjustments based on one’s constitution (Prakruti) and imbalances (Vikriti) play a crucial role. Here are general Ayurvedic dietary guidelines for addressing Karshya:

  • Balanced Diet: Consume a well-balanced diet that includes all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent) to satisfy the body’s nutritional needs.
  • Nourishing Foods: Prioritize nourishing and easily digestible foods such as whole grains, lentils, legumes, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
  • Healthy Fats: Include healthy fats like ghee (clarified butter), olive oil, and coconut oil to provide energy and support overall well-being.
  • Warm and Cooked Foods: Opt for warm and cooked foods over raw and cold options, as they are easier to digest and help balance Vata Dosha.
  • Regular Meals: Establish a regular eating routine with three main meals and light snacks as needed to ensure a consistent and balanced nutrient intake.
  • Herbs and Spices: Incorporate digestive herbs and spices such as ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric into your meals to enhance digestion and metabolism.
  • Protein-Rich Foods: Include adequate protein from sources like lentils, beans, tofu, dairy, and lean meats to support muscle mass and overall strength.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking warm water throughout the day. Herbal teas, especially ginger or cinnamon tea, can be beneficial.
  • Avoid Empty Calories: Minimize the intake of empty-calorie foods, processed snacks, and sugary beverages that provide little nutritional value.
  • Digestive Aids: Consume foods that enhance digestion, such as fermented foods (yogurt, kefir), buttermilk, and lightly spiced meals.
  • Avoid Excessive Bitter and Astringent Tastes: While incorporating all tastes is important, excessive bitter and astringent tastes may aggravate Vata Dosha, so moderate their consumption.
  • Adequate Caloric Intake: Ensure that your diet provides sufficient calories to meet the body’s energy needs and prevent further weight loss.

B. Herbal Remedies

It’s important to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations based on individual constitution (Prakruti) and imbalances (Vikriti). Here are some commonly used Ayurvedic herbs for addressing Karshya:

  • AshwagandhaAshwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its rejuvenating properties. It helps combat stress, supports adrenal function, and may aid in weight gain.
  • ShatavariShatavari is considered a nourishing herb for the female reproductive system. It helps improve digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, and supports overall vitality.
  • GuduchiGuduchi is valued for its immunomodulatory properties. It may help strengthen the immune system and promote overall health in cases of weight loss.
  • VidangaVidanga is known for its digestive and carminative properties. It may help improve digestion, alleviate gas, and support healthy metabolism.
  • AmalakiAmalaki, or Indian Gooseberry, is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. It supports digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, and contributes to overall well-being.
  • HaritakiHaritaki is one of the components of Triphala, known for its cleansing and rejuvenating properties. It aids digestion, detoxifies the body, and supports nutrient assimilation.
  • Vidari KandaVidari Kanda is considered a Rasayana (rejuvenating) herb that may help promote weight gain, enhance vitality, and support overall strength.
  • BalaBala is traditionally used for its strengthening properties. It may help improve muscle mass, stamina, and overall physical endurance.
  • MustaMusta is known for its digestive benefits and may help improve appetite, digestion, and absorption of nutrients.

C. Lifestyle Changes

Here are some general Ayurvedic lifestyle recommendations:

  • Establishing Routine (Dinacharya): Follow a daily routine that includes waking up and going to bed at consistent times. This helps regulate biological rhythms and promotes balance.
  • Balanced ExerciseEngage in gentle and balancing exercises, such as yoga or walking. Avoid excessive or intense workouts that may contribute to further weight loss.
  • Adequate RestEnsure sufficient rest and sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to support overall rejuvenation and well-being.
  • Warmth and ComfortStay warm and comfortable, especially during colder seasons. This helps balance Vata Dosha, which is associated with cold and dry qualities.
  • Avoiding Skipping MealsMaintain regular meal times and avoid skipping meals. Consistent eating patterns support stable blood sugar levels and help prevent further weight loss.
  • Stress ManagementIncorporate stress-reducing practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and gentle yoga. Chronic stress can contribute to weight loss, and managing stress is integral to overall well-being.
  • Proper Digestive Habits: Cultivate good digestive habits, including sitting down to eat, chewing food thoroughly, and avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime.
  • Herbal SupportConsider incorporating Ayurvedic herbs known for their rejuvenative and digestive properties. Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations.
  • Warm Oil Massage (Abhyanga): Regularly indulge in warm oil massages to nourish the skin, improve circulation, and provide a sense of grounding. Sesame or almond oil is commonly used.
  • Social and Emotional Well-beingFoster positive social connections and emotional well-being. Surround yourself with supportive relationships and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. 


Ayurveda focuses on overall well-being, making it effective for sustainable weight management.

Results vary, but many individuals experience positive changes within a few weeks of following Ayurvedic practices.

Ayurvedic treatments are generally well-tolerated, but it’s essential to consult with a qualified practitioner to ensure safety.

Yes, Ayurveda emphasizes lifestyle changes and preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of weight loss recurrence

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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