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Overweight and obesity

Obesity (very overweight) is one of the important risk factors for the health and mental well-being of people in the 21st century. Century. The prevention of obesity in children and young people is therefore extremely important.

If the body mass index (BMI) is 25-29.9 kg/m², one speaks of overweight. Obesity starts with a BMI of 30.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (as of 2014), two thirds of men (67%) and half of women (53%) in Germany are overweight. A quarter of adults (23% of men and 24% of women) are even severely overweight (obese).


Obesity also leads to a variety of secondary diseases:

  • Metabolic diseases, for example type 2 diabetes or gout
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system
  • Illnesses of the musculoskeletal system, e.g. Osteoarthritis
  • Diseases of organs, for example the kidney, liver, gallbladder
  • Infertility in men
  • Mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders or depression due to exclusion or stigmatization in everyday life due to obesity



According to conventional medical understanding, obesity is excess body mass and fat. The most common cause is consuming more calories from food than the body needs while at the same time lacking exercise. The following causes of overweight and obesity can be distinguished:

  • Genetics: Every person has a so-called basal calorie metabolic rate, which they burn while completely at rest, and which is probably genetically determined.
  • Disorders in eating behavior: For some people, the feeling of satiety occurs late, even with high calorie intake. This may be hormonally related: in the form of hormones and nerve stimuli, the fullness of the stomach is reported to the brain and a feeling of satiety arises. If this transmission is disrupted, you eat more than necessary.
  • Psychological causes: Unhappy people often eat more to feel better.
  • Lack of exercise – leads to correspondingly lower energy consumption and disruption of digestion.
  • Medicines: The pill, cortisone and some psychotropic drugs can stimulate the appetite and lead to water retention in the body.
  • Other underlying diseases of hormone-producing organs (e.g. an underactive thyroid) can also lead to obesity.


All cells in the human body contain fat. For example, there is The cell membrane of a typical blood cell is made up of half saturated and half unsaturated fat. The correct ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats is important to ensure the correct functioning of a cell. In overweight people, on the other hand, the cell membrane contains a degenerate mixture of fat molecules. Excess saturated fat increases the risk of diabetes by putting constant stress on cells. If the lipid imbalance lasts longer, it even leads to programmed cell death (source: ).

Obesity in Ayurveda

As with all health issues, Ayurveda always begins with determining the constitution of the respective individual. In the case of obesity, this initially provides information about the respective “ideal weight”:

Vata-dominant constitutions are more prone to low body weight. However, they like to counteract stress with sweets and therefore prefer...a Stomach fat easily accumulates when you spend most of your time sitting. Kapha dominance basically means a high level of body mass and therefore high body weight, which, unlike Vata dominance, is not just concentrated on the stomach, but is distributed over the entire body. The body shape associated with the Pitta dosha is rather athletic and powerful and in Ayurveda stands for a medium body weight. Pitta constitutions have regular and strong digestion. It is only in combination with Vata or Kapha that weight problems arise - and this especially.a in the hip and thigh area.

It is important to understand that ALL basic constitutions can develop obesity over the course of life.

Obesity was described as one of the eight difficult-to-treat diseases by the Indian doctor and author of classic Ayurvedic writings, Charaka. When a person has excessive accumulation of “Meda” (fatty tissue) and “Mamsa” (meat), it is called obesity.

According to Ayurvedic understanding, fatty tissue, like Kapha, consists of the elements earth and water. If we eat food that is difficult to digest, cold, fatty and sweet and do little exercise, Meda becomes overfed.

Obesity is therefore also referred to in Ayurveda as “Medoroga” and is viewed as a Kapha disorder, caused by a disturbed digestive fire (Agni) and, as a result, the formation of Ama (incompletely metabolized food) in the body. The Ama blocks microchannels in the body and thus increases Medhas (fatty tissue).

Since the digestive fire Agni and therefore the metabolism weakens with increasing age, a lot of exercise and a dosha-appropriate diet are particularly important in the second half of life. But also a Vata excess, for example due to too much stress, has a negative effect on the Agni strength.

Ayurveda provides a bundle of measures to reduce obesity:
Diet, lifestyle changes, medicinal plants, massages, yoga and a Panchakarma treatment.

In Ayurvedic understanding, nutrition should primarilya Be Kapha-reducing. The preferred foods therefore have the properties light, bitter, tart, spicy, clear and are usually warming. E.g. hot spices, hot water, barley grain or mustard oil. Foods containing yeast, light flour, frozen foods and red meat should be avoided.

The decisive factor in food intake in Ayurveda is not only the “what”, but also the “how”:

  • The food should be freshly prepared and eaten calmly and chewed well.
  • Regular meal times with lunch as the main meal are important.
  • Nothing should be eaten three hours before going to sleep.
  • No cold drinks, but hot water or teas with food (ideally: boiled drinking water with a little cumin and coriander seeds).
  • Only eat when you are really hungry. And then two handfuls are enough per meal.


There are alsomethods to reduce stress such as yoga and meditation, because no one can lose weight with increased Vata. Any physical and mental activity also helps to stimulate the metabolism. Cleansing enemas with Kapha-reducing herbs are also often part of Panchakarma treatments.

Furthermore, Ayurveda provides for special medicinal plants to reduce fat and ama. These must be sharp and bitter; Therefore, Trikatu is the first choice when it comes to stimulating Agni and activating tissue metabolism.

Obesity in TCM

From the perspective of TCM, obesity often involves a weakness in the functional circuit “Spleen” or in the functional circuit “Stomach” (a so-called “heat” process). What both cases have in common is the disruption of the inflow and outflow in the body's metabolism, so that an accumulation of "waste substances" occurs.

Analogous to Agni formation in Ayurveda, TCM speaks of “Tan” formation. The tan hinders the supply of food to the cells and their disposal, so that at the same time cell starvation occurs while food stores are overfilled. TCM therapy for obesity therefore always aims to eliminate tan.

As with every therapy in TCM, it starts with an anamnesis with pulse and tongue diagnosis, on the basis of which individual recipes are prescribed that help the body to eliminate the tan. This is not a long-term solution to the problem, but it does provide short-term relief for changes in food intake and the body's perception of individual satiety.

In the long term, even according to TCM, obesity can only be combated with proper nutrition. Too much meat and dairy products, for example, promote a tan accumulation. If the cause of obesity is a weakness in the spleen's functional circuit, its Qi can, for example, be strengthened by energetically warm foods with a neutral to sweet taste, such as: grain, beef, sheep and chicken.

In addition, the metabolism can be specifically stimulated through acupuncture, massages (Tuina) and meditative movement techniques such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong.

Important nutrients for fat metabolism

The Maitake could, according to studies, reduce the storage of fat and glucose in the liver and thus prevent weight gain.

A very recent study from 2020 examined for the first time in humans the effect of a daily administration of 9.2 g of maitake extract for 4 weeks on type 2 diabetes and obesity - with the result that there were significant positive effects on health through a reduction in triglyceride levels. In addition, an animal experiment on mice showed that maitake helps lower blood sugar and triglyceride levels and breaks down fatty tissue.

Choline contributes to normal fat metabolism.

Trikatu is a mix of ginger, long and black pepper that stimulates the metabolism. In Ayurveda, the digestive fire Agni is central to fat loss, so food should be as spicy and bitter as possible; both apply perfectly to Trikatu.

A 2004 animal study in rats postulates that Trikatu may reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis due to its ability to lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Therefore, Trikatu could be used as a potent hypolipidemic agent and reduce atherosclerosis associated with a high-fat diet. Studies on humans are still pending.

L-Carnitine is essential in the energy metabolism of human cells. It plays an important role in fat metabolism and acts as a so-called Acceptor molecule (allows the fatty acids to pass through the cell membrane of the mitochondria) for the fatty acids to be absorbed into the mitochondria, the so-called “power plants” of the cells, where they are converted into energy. L-carnitine accumulates mainly in heart tissue and skeletal muscles because it is mainlya is needed where there is increased energy demand. The heart muscle, for example covers up to 80% of its energy requirements from the breakdown of fatty acids.

A study as part of a dissertation at the University of Rostock in 2007 found a significant influence of L-carnitine on the orocecal transit time; further studies are required. Patients requiring dialysis often have to take L-carnitine because dialysis flushes out large amounts of L-carnitine.

The active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia is the calcium salt of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is found in such a high concentration in hardly any other fruit. The focus of scientific investigations is the potential inhibition of fat synthesis from proteins and carbohydrates as well as the possible inhibition of a key enzyme in fat metabolism, whereby excess carbohydrates could be converted into glycogen and therefore no longer be stored as fat. However, there are no meaningful clinical studies on this.

A 2003 study examined the effects of short-term HCA use on endurance training performance and fat metabolism in untrained women. In two double-blind crossover tests, 6 subjects took 250 mg HCA or a placebo for 5 days and then took part in a workout on a bicycle ergometer. HCA tended to decrease respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and carbohydrate oxidation during an hour of exercise. In addition, the training time until exhaustion was significantly increased. These results suggest that HCA increases lipid metabolism, which may be associated with a decrease in glycogen utilization during exercise at the same intensity and improved exercise performance.

The active ingredient in bitter orange extract is synephrine, which is mainlya occurs in their peel and pulp. Synephrine is a phenylethylamine that is found in the body.a β3-adrenoreceptors activated.

A double-blind study from 2016 supports the hypothesis that synephrine helps burn fat when the user moves after taking it. The study involved 18 young, healthy adults who received 3 mg/kg of body weight synephrine or took a placebo. As long as the subjects didn't move, synephrine didn't change how they burned fat and carbohydrates. However, at light to moderate exercise intensity, synephrine significantly increased fat burning. The maximum fat oxidation rate increased by ~38% with synephrine - i.e.H translated into weight that 7g more fat was burned per hour of workout without additional physical exertion.

The Coenzyme Q10 supports the mitochondria in burning fat. The body produces the majority of our Q10 requirements itself; however, this decreases with increasing age.

A 2016 randomized, double-blind study was conducted among 60 overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
Compared to the placebo group, Q10 supplementation of 100 mg daily for 8 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in insulin levels as well as a significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) concentrations.

2017 Study Background: The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of Q10 supplementation on adiponectin concentration (a peptide hormone produced in fat cells that regulates hunger and food intake) and glucose metabolism in overweight and obese diabetics. Coenzyme Q10 significantly reduced HbA1c levels in overweight and obese patients with diabetes. Furthermore, the possible anti-adipogenic effect of Q10 could explain the significant reduction in weight and waist circumference and thus the decrease in adipoline. Further studies are needed to evaluate the precise role of Coenzyme Q10 on adipose tissue and adiponectins.

Legal consumer information

German and European case law wants to protect consumers from supposedly misleading claims about effectiveness. The statements made here refer to the original Ayurvedic and TCM texts. This ancient knowledge, which is thousands of years old, is based on experiences that are passed on from generation to generation. It is not intended to claim that the products described here have an effect in the sense of western medicine. All products are nutritional supplements; they are not medications and have no medical effect. If you are sick and need medical care, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.“

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