Ayurvedic Approch to Binge Eating Disorder (Bhasmak Roga)

Abstract

Binge eating disorder is characterized by frequent and recurrent eating habits. This condition is usually associated with negative psychological and social issues. This habit depicts low self esteem, compulsive habit of eating and do not have their eating urges in control. Such type of patients are never satisfied from eating, all they do is see and eat. Some physicians also understand it as food addiction. A similar condition, bulimia nervosa is usually discussed with binge disease but bulimia nervosa is not associated with purging episodes. On the other hand binge eating disorder is associated with characteristic purging episodes. In ayurveda this condition is explained by aacharya charaka in chapter 15 (under grahani) of chikitsa sathana.Bhasmak Roga

Introduction

Binge eating disorder is explained under psychiatry branch in modern science. But in ayurveda it is believed to be an annaveh strotas vayadhi. For modern science the causes of the condition are not known but under bhasmak roga it is explained that kapha diminishes and pitta gets aggravated. This pitta is strengthen by vayu (vata) and produces intrinsic heat. This result in fast digestion of everything that patient eats and after digestion of food it starts digesting sapta dhatus (rasa, rakta, mansa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra) which results in debility, disorders and finally death of a person. Ayurveda explains involvement of digestive fire in this case.

Causes

Modern science explains this as an expressive disorder which means that disorder is due to deep psychological condition like depression, having body dissatisfaction, low self esteem, mismanaged dietary habits, long restrictive diet, disordered eating due to rigid diet practicing etc.

Cause for Bhasmak DiseaseClassical Reference

In charaka samhita the binge eating disorder (bhasmak roga) is explained as the result of Ksheena kapha (plunge in kapha), that results in increased amount of pitta in body. This pitta is supported by vata in its seat (that is grehani) thus the fire (pitta) gets very strong and powerful along with vayu. Due to this intense fire person gets excessively rough, digests food forcibly, quickly and frequently. After the digestion of food if this fire do not get any anna for aharpaka it will starts digesting sapta dhatu which are essential for living.

Symptoms

    1. Eating faster than normal
    2. Eating a lot in short time span.
    3. Having large meals at once
    4. Loss of control over eating
    5. Eating alone due to embarrassment of having a lot of food.
    6. Dazed mental state that is not able to react or response properly.
    7. Feeling of disgust after having a large amount of meal
    8. Not being able to remember what was eaten.
    9. Sometimes patient have specific time for binging like after dinner or after lunch usually.
    10. Binging also involve intake of specific food articles like junk, chips etc.

Classical RefernceAyurveda explains symptoms of bhasmak roga as:

  1. Trishna (polydypsia)
  2. Shawas (dyspnoea)
  3. Daha (burning sensation)
  4. Murcha (fainting)
  5. Kshudha vridhi (excessive hunger)
  6. Bala hani (loss of strength)
  7. Bhar hani (weight loss)

Treatment

Ayurveda explains that treatment for bhasmak roga is pacifying the digestive fire. (Chikitsa sutra)Classical Reference

Classical Reference

  • For pacifying digestive fire administration of heavy, unctuous, cold, sweet and slimy food and drinks done. This procedure is same as pouring water into fire.
  • Only in this condition charak had said administration of heavy food even during indigestion. Patient should eat rice cooked in milk, rice cooked in with pulse, fatty and floury preparations.
  • Products of jaggery, fatty meat of aquatic animals and marshy animals is to be administrated. One should eat fishes particularly smooth and moving in still water.Classical Reference
  • Administration of sheep meat: Sheep meat that is grilled and cooked in ghrita is to be used so as to destroy the Agni.
  • On being hungry, bee wax mixed with gruel or administration of ghrita can also be done.
  • Goodhoma churna mantha: In this wheat flour is roasted with ghrita. Then water and sugar are added to make a thick bolus.
  • Siravedhan (bloodletting): Vitiated blood is withdrawn and then patient is administrated with milk which is boiled with jeevaniya drugs using Ksheer paka vidhi. Ghrita and sugar is also added to it.
    Classical Reference
  • Dry oily fruits like walnuts, almonds etc. are blended to powder form and then, their kalka (decoction) with sugar is made.
  • Meat or mutton soup cooked in ghrita is also administered.
  • Meat soup of marshy animals is mixed with or cooked in taila, vasa and majja (solid fat) and then administration of this soup is done.Classical Reference
  • Women breast milk is boiled with bark of udumbara (Ficus racemosa). This preparation is also known to pacify excessive fire.Classical Reference

  • Use of trivrta: Patient should be subjected to frequent purgation with milk boiled with trivrta for eliminating the excess of pitta.
  • Pathya in bhasmak roga or atyaagni: Whatever food is sweet, fatty, kapha aggravating and heavy is entirely wholesome for patient of excessive fire along with day sleep after meal

The patient who without going into fainting takes fatty diet in excess their fire does not falls a prey to the possible disorders. On the contrary, it attains corpulence. When kapha is increased, pitta along with vayu is overcome, this pacified fire in one having balanced dhatus, digests the food leading to promotion of corpulence, lifespan and strength.

Conclusion

Bhasmak roga which is known as binge eating disorder can be very humiliating for many people. People might turn obese or they might lose their charm fully. Such conditions are very carefully managed in ayurveda. Binge eating disorder can be the result of others conditions also like depression etc. In such cases treatment will be done accordingly after examining dosha involvement. If you have any query kindly  visit www.planetayurveda.com

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurveda) is an expert ayurvedic doctor based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda - Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. Read More

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