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A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

Overweight

Medically obesity and overweight is defined as a condition when a person is 20% above their ideal weight relative to their height and at such a stage the excess body weight become a medical liability and can be termed even as a disorder. Because of the fact that overweight individuals are at a greater risk for serious debilitating conditions such as diabetes, various cardiac disorders and heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and even certain kinds of malignant cancer, medically obesity is considered serious even is not defined as a disease in and of itself. Overweight also places a person at risk for arthritis because of the fact that the excess weight puts a lot of stress and pressure on the joints, this increases their wear and tear and leads to the early onset of arthritis.

Hereditary and genetic factors as well as other causes influence the speed of a person's metabolism which is simply the rate at which the body uses up the calories or burns fat, this factor plays a very important role in whether individuals become overweight or stay trim. A gain in weight is immediately registered when there is an input of a few calories above that needed by the body by a regularity in consuming even a few calories extra everyday. For example a person may gain a pound, in the course of a single month-a pound is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories if he or she consumes an extra 100 calories every day of that month. The consumption of excess calories is put in the second place when compared to a sedentary lifestyle as the major causative factor for overweight by certain scientist and researchers. This is the reason regular exercise assumes so much importance as it builds muscle and eliminates the excess calories accumulated in the body in the form of fat. This has another important correlative in that; the amount of calories that the body burns in a resting phase increases proportional to the amount of muscle mass in the body.

Supplements and herbs

By boosting weight loss and killing the appetite, supplements can greatly help with overweight problems even though they are not "magic bullets" that will mysteriously remove the excess weight in a person. Discomfort and very unpleasant side effects can result through the use of high dosages and larger amounts of the supplements will neither quicken nor improve the situation and must thus be avoided as far as possible.

Increase in muscle mass and the proper utilization of fat for metabolic purposes can ensue through the use of the mineral chromium as a supplement in obese individuals. The good effects of the use of this mineral will come gradually and there will not be a sudden or mysterious loss of weight if it is used as a supplement. The accumulation of large quantities of fat in the body can be hindered through the use of various essential fatty acids as supplements. By combining with the herb psyllium, which is very rich in a kind of fiber - that can bring on a feeling of fullness in the individual - these essential fatty acids can become very effective as supplements. Alternately supplements of fatty acids can be taken along with a substance called chitosan, which will greatly hinder the absorptive capacity of the intestine in assimilating fat and thus this type of combination can also prove very useful.

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To avoid the familiarity that the body may develop to a supplement through constant use, rotate the use of the following supplements in cycles of a month each during supplementation, to make full use of the property of the supplements to help control your appetite. Though a recent study published in the journal of the American Medical Association has shown no potential benefits the use of the herb Garcinia cambogia to suppress sudden pangs of hunger has been often mooted, and it could have some beneficial effects. Use either the St. John's wort herb or 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is a form of the amino acid tryptophan as appetite depressants. This is because of the fact that levels of a brain chemical serotonin are possibly connected to overeating and since these supplements boost the production of serotonin in the body while also possessing antidepressant properties, they can be helpful in controlling appetite. At the same time depression in a person and a tendency to gain weight may possibly be connected so suggest some researchers in the field of nutrition. Only under the supervision of a qualified medical professional should the utilization of the St. John's wort herb along with ephedra be undertaken and this is only for people, who are extremely obese.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for overweight:

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Homeopathy

Dosages for the homeopathic remedies suggested below can be administered for a total time period of three weeks and at potency levels of 6c given one dose everyday. This dosage regimen can then be followed up by doses of potencies from 12c and 30c, per dose everyday. A dosage level of potency 200c can be administered every week or once a month if the remedy shows beneficial effects in the patient. A tincture or liquid form (potency level of 1x), made up to 5 to 30 drops, or dosage levels of 2x, 3x or 6x which is very low potency of the fucus which is a type of sea kelp can be administered to the patient.

  • Calc carb.
    Calc carb. is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in all obese persons who display a physical sluggishness and dullness along with extreme gain in weight and flabby flesh. Young and overweight people can be prescribed this homeopathic remedy. The other physical characteristics of such persons are the presence of chalky and white skin and fair hair on the body and the head. Other physical symptoms in such persons may be excessive perspiration and the presence of sweating in the night time the parts of the body such as the hands and the feet and the head will exude a great deal of sweat. There may be a diarrhea as a symptom and the sweat will taste sour. The parts of the body such as the shape will show a strange curvature and there could be weakening of the bones, along with disorders such as arthritis and the presence of soft nails on the hands. Such people are prone to overeating and gain weight rapidly. There may be a delay in the ability of children with such tendencies to walking and development in general is slow, children tend to be flabby and given to a lot of talking. The glands may swell and the abdomen may be distended. All symptoms like the profuse sweating can easily worsen after midnight and on drinking milk or on exposure to cold and damp conditions. The presence of any of these symptoms in an obese person requires the use of Calc. carb. as a supplement.
  • Capsicum
    Capsicum is to be prescribed to persons who show a great deal of reluctance to undertaking physical exercise of any sort and are obviously obese and fat. Such persons also have a tendency to tire easily and become exhausted even after minor physical exertion. The obese person may also be very clumsy and awkward when moving around. These persons are also very lazy and shiftless. They are not given to thinking, or working and show reluctance to motion. The physical features almost always include a round shape in the face. Other physical signs are a reddening in the nose and the cheeks and even the eyes. The character of such people is an interesting mix of a quick temper and joviality, thus they have a contradictory nature in place. They are also given to greed while eating food. Problems may include a tendency towards alcoholism and other addictions. Psychologically they are susceptible to nostalgic feelings and prone to feeling homesick. They are very easily startled and surprised and are scared of being scolded. Such persons may experience a burning pain as a symptom. Their symptoms typically worsen when exposed to damp and cold conditions, to drafts of air and in open spaces and they dislike taking a bath as the symptoms may increase. The symptoms in such people may tend to improve when they are allowed to eat and under warm conditions. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires Capsicum to be used as a homeopathic remedy.
  • Graphites
    Graphites are to be used as a homeopathic treatment in all overweight individuals who display any of these symptoms. The skin of such individuals may be prone to oozing, fissuring and cracking and disorders like eczema can come about. The nails on the hands and feet tend to become affected and are corrugated in shape. The person may display a dislike or abhor salty and sweet foods and may abhor meat. There may be a tendency to nibbling at all times which can greatly increase in intensity when the person is famished. Other physical signs include a susceptibility to the cold. The person may become very tired even in minor exertions and constipation could be present as a further symptom. In obese women there may be a delayed or scanty menses during the menstrual cycle. Psychological profiles of such individuals include a humble and simple attitude and an honest and realistic nature. The person may appear dull and stolid. Emotionally they are very easy to upset or irk and are prone to anxiety. All these symptoms can greatly worsen in the person when he or she is exposed to drafts and cold conditions, or when staying in a warm room. They become emotionally irritated when listening to sad music the condition of such individuals can improve when given hot milk to drink and when walking out in the open air. The presence of any of these symptoms requires the use of Graphites as a homeopathic remedy.
  • Kali carb.
    Kali carb. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of aged and overweight people. Such individuals have a tendency to such disorders as anemia along with the overweight, and the ligaments in their body may become lax and weak they will also easily retain a lot of water and are prone to tiredness and exhaustion even after minor movements. Other physical symptoms include the occurrence of Indigestion, and a feeling of fullness immediately after consuming food. They may also display a craving for sweet foods and are very sensitive to milk; physically they are prone to a lot of sweating and tire rapidly under all conditions. The eyes may become puffy and swell up. The heart of such persons is typically weak. Other physical signs may be the presence of a backache. Psychologically such people posses a fear of losing control and scared of dying, at the same time they are also very dutiful. Emotional displays of possessiveness may be present. The symptoms typically will worsen on being exposed to cold temperatures, and after midnight at around 2-4 a.m., they are also irritated when even slightly touched, and drafts of air can aggravate symptoms, women show a great deal of discomfort before their menstrual cycle starts. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the utilization of Kali carb. as a homeopathic remedy.
  • Thuja
    Thuja is to be used as a homeopathic treatment in all overweight individuals who have an excess of flabby tissues on the body. Other physical symptoms in such people are the appearance of moles and tumors including formation of warts and polyps. There is a tendency towards the production of excess oil on a pale looking face. The nails may display ridges and the perspiration tends to have a musty or sweet smell. Problems of the uterus may be present in obese women with the development of fibroids in some. Psychological symptoms include a tendency to mix words and foggy and confused thinking. There may be discharges of fishy smelling mucus and other allergies could also make an appearance. The condition of the person will worsen when exposed to cold and damp weather, and discomfort increase at around 3 a.m.; symptoms worsen when consuming tea or onions in the diet. The symptoms greatly improve during discharges exuded from the body and in warm weather. The presence of any of these symptoms requires the utilization of Thuja as a homeopathic remedy in the overweight individual.

Additional things you may do

The adoption of healthy habits such as eating slowly and consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains, is very effective in dealing with weight gain. By the mere act of chewing food well and thus slowing the rate of consumption of food, weight gain can be averted because the brain takes time to register a feeling of fullness and by prolonging the process of eating, while keeping the quantity at a minimum lets the brain know that you are full and this shuts off the hunger center in the brain. The importance of regular and consistent daily physical exercise cannot be overemphasized.

Usual dosage

  • Ephedra / St. John's wort, 130 mg ephedra and 300 mg St. John's wort two times a day. Do not use if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, insomnia, anxiety or if you take 5-HTP or prescription anti-depressants.
  • Psyllium, one to three tbsp of powder dissolved in juice or water thrice daily.
  • 5-HTP, 100 mg thrice daily.
  • Chromium, 200 mcg two time daily. Take with water or food.
  • Garcinia cambogia, 500 mg thrice daily. (HCA or hydroxycitric acid, is the active ingredient.)
  • Essential fatty acids, 1,000 mg oil of evening primrose thrice daily; 1,000 mg oil of flaxseed two times daily. Or 1,000 mg of oil of borage once daily for evening primrose oil.
  • Chitosan, 1,000 mg thrice daily.

For kids

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

With particular reference to overweight people who are not energetic and have a tendency to exhaustion, and especially female dieters can make use of the Chinese herb dong quai, this herb will prove to be very effective in combating weight when used as a regular supplement. Where dieting is hard to maintain especially for many young women during the menstruation period this herb is an excellent choice as a supplement. For a total supplementation period of three months, dosages of the herb can be every two weeks in each month, and for girls thirteen and older a single dose, once every day will prove to be sufficient. Because of its ability to lessen the cravings or pangs for sweets the use of the root of the licorice herb in tea or tincture form is recommended, this herb quells the desire for sweets by bolstering the adrenal glands, this action ensures that the blood sugar level is regulated at optimal levels. In order to sweeten other herbal teas use can also be made of the licorice as it is very sweet in itself, and it can be combined with other herbs suggested underneath as a sweetening agent. For a dosage period of a total of three months children can be administered licorice one week out of each moth with a single dose every day during the treatment. For your attention: children who have hypertension cannot be administered this herb even as a sweetener in other herbal infusions.

The mildly diuretic property of the chlorophyll-rich tea made from parsley can be used; it is also a detoxification agent and will cleanse the body. Dosages for children at the beginning of a diet are a single dose each day of the diet. In extremely obese people the use of the red clover is recommended as it is helps in the detoxification of the body. For a total treatment period not exceeding three months children can be administered a single dose of the herb on a daily basis for a week in each month of the treatment period. The great tasting, red raspberry leaf tea aids in suppressing appetite, while having the ability to regulate the hormonal system, and is also a great energizer. For a total treatment period not exceeding three months children can be administered a single dose of the herb on a daily basis for a week in each month of the treatment period. The energy boosting powers of the herb are such that it must not be administered to children just before bedtime as it can keep them awake. The reduction of cravings for sweets and an ability to stabilize and regulate the levels of sugar in the blood are unique properties of the Siberian ginseng, this herb is also great at boosting energy levels in children. For a total treatment period not exceeding three months children can be administered a single dose of the herb on a daily basis for a week in each month of the treatment period.

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