In the present times, obesity has been considered one of the major hindrance to the beauty of a person along with its other known complications like hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems etc. In Ayurveda too, obese person has been counted among the ashtau-nindita vyadhis i.e. the 8 diseases which have been looked upon as a stigma in society. The ancient scholar Acharya Charak has mentioned Obesity in Santarpan-janya vikar i.e. diseases caused due to over-eating.
The treatment which is mentioned in Ayurveda for Obesity consists of daily internal medications, doing fasts in the form of light diet and Shodhan chikitsa which comprises of Panchkarma therapy-the most effective one in less time. In the context of Panchakarma , the types which are most commonly employed for the treatment of obesity is Virechan(purgation) and Lekhan Basti (enema for reducing weight).
Virechan is a type of Panchakarma which is completed in three time-consuming and laborious steps in which a strong purgative is given to the patient and which also comprises of the many do’s and dont’s which the patients find hard to follow in today’s hectic life. Also Virechan has been contra-indicated in excessively obese patients but Lekhan-Basti treatment can be employed for such patients since basti is one of the safest and easiest type of panchakarma which can be taken on a daily basis by person of any size and shape(contra-indicated or special precautions to be taken for ano-rectal diseases patients)
Lekhan Basti is a type of enema(given through the ano-rectal route) which contains ayurvedic drugs which cause the excoriation of the excessive fat from the body. The drugs which are used in the preparation of Lekhan Basti are Triphala decoction, Honey, Gomutra, Saindhav salt, Hing, Yavakshar, Kasis, Shilajatu which are all fat-reducing by virtue of their properties etc.
Just like how the water which is sprinkled on the roots of a tree nourishes the whole tree, in the same way the enema or the Lekhan Basti given through the anal route goes into the intestine and from there the active properties of the basti spread into the whole body. This therapy causes the reduction of excessive fat from all over the body right from the top to the bottom. According to pharmaco-kinetics, it has also been proved that rectal drugs administration might exceed the oral value of the drug due to partial avoidance of hepatic first pass metabolism. The rectum with its vasculiariy and venous plexuses provides a good absorbing surface and many soluble substances produce their effect more quickly without passing the liver where they may be destroyed.