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Obesity and Ayurveda!


Womenlines takes pleasure to welcome Dr. Rupali Gondhalekar from OmVedic Heritage Centre as a guest writer in Women Lines panel. In this write up she is sharing about how Ayurveda can help to reduce obesity-

Obesity is one of the most common lifestyle disorders. It causes physical ailments and many psychological disorders as well. In the management of obesity, Ayurveda gives utmost importance to Lifestyle and Diet changes with ayurvedic medicines and a combination of Panchkarma treatment (Udwartanam, Abhyanga, Swedana) that helps to tackle this problem very effectively.

Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat. In Ayurveda, it is called as “Medoroga” or “Sthoulya” which is caused by the aggravation of kapha dosha.

Body is made of 7 body tissues (Dhatus )- They are Rasa (Lymph), Rakta(Blood), Maans (Muscle), Meda( Fat), Asthi (Bones), Majja (Nervous System) Shukra (Reproductive System).
Meda Dhatu is governed by kapha dosha. When Meda gets excessively nourished and other Dhatus get malnourished. Kapha dosha increases in an abnormal fashion, Fat metabolism gets hampered and the person becomes obese.
In a balanced state, kapha dosha gives nourishment to Meda Dhatu.(Fat tissue). However, when it is aggravated, Kapha leads to the production of toxins in the body. These toxins are heavy and dense in nature and accumulate in Medovaha Srotas (fat channels), causing their blockage. This leads to an increase in the production of fat tissue (Meda Dhatu). When the body produces more fat tissues, it causes an increase in weight.

We all know how obesity is measured by BMI and waist-hip ratio. But Here are some very simple signs of obesity explained in ayurvedic texts.

Symptoms of Obesity-

• Increased body fat (Excessive body fat is accumulated on the belly, buttocks, breasts, and thighs.)
• Breathlessness on exertion
• Lethargy, Fatigue
• Excessive appetite & thirst
• Excessive sweating with bad odor

Causes of Obesity-

• Lack of physical exercise
• Sleep during day time
• Excess intake of oily, sweet, carbohydrates and heavy to digest food.
• In diseases like- Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Cushing Syndrome, depression, stress
• In ladies- During pregnancy, lactation period, menopause, after hysterectomy surgery.
• Hereditary

Management- Diet and lifestyle changes are very important in the management of obesity.
Avoid causes of obesity.

Here is a list of Dos and Dont’s-

Dont’s – Avoid excessive intake of –

• Sweets, oily, fried and salty food
• Carbohydrates and fatty food ( pizza, pasta, noodles, cheese, butter, paneer, meat)
• Junk food, fast food, canned-packed food with preservatives
• Tea, coffee, carbonated cold drinks, ice cold water, cold food
• Yoghurt, chocolates, ice creams, cakes, pastries
• Bakery items (bread, biscuits, cookies), Snacks( chips, Maggi, kurkure etc)
• Drinking alcohol and smoking
• Overeating and high-calorie diet /heavy to digest food in large quantities
• Excessive water intake after meals
• Sleeping in daytime
• Sedentary lifestyle- “Seating is the new smoking”


• Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day, drink water before meals, take honey with warm water on empty stomach in the morning
• Limit intake of salt, sugar, and oil
• Increase intake of pungent, bitter and astringent tasting food in diet
• Replace refined flour with whole-wheat flour and rice with brown rice or parboiled rice.
• Increase intake of salads, sprouts, seasonal fruits (like watermelon, oranges, papaya, peach, pear), seasonal vegetables (like bitter gourd, cabbage, cauliflower, ladies finger, cucumber, carrot, pumpkin)
• Eat freshly cooked warm food
• Do not eat food with wrong combination (Incompatible food) E.g. Mixing sour fruits and milk, fruit yogurts, honey and ghee in equal quantity.
• Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking and overeating. Take light dinner and eat only when you are hungry.
• Eating sequence: First eat carbohydrates or sweet taste, next eat salty, sour, pungent and bitter foods. Finally, eat astringent food
• Fasting or fruit diet at least once a week.
• Adequate rest and mental balance
• Exercise- Regular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming along with yoga and Pranayam should include in our daily routine.

Ayurvedic Panchakarma Therapies –

Udwartanam – It is special therapeutic deep tissue massage specially mentioned for obesity in ayurvedic texts. The massage stimulates hair follicles and fat tissues to break down fat storage. It reduces blood cholesterol, obesity and reduces skin problems.
Abhyanga – It is ayurvedic warm oil body massage. It pacifies the doshas, improves blood circulation, eliminates body impurities and helps in reducing weight by fat burning.
Swedan /steam– It is a process to induce sweating artificially in a patient after Udwartanam or Abhyanga. It helps to reduce water retention, removes toxins from the body and relieves heaviness of the body.

To know more about Weight management and Ayurvedic therapies contact our Drs at

Ayurveda Pharmacy @8, Belilios Lane, Tel-63415020
Ayurveda Pharmacy @ 55, Siglap Centre, B1-18, Tel-66528464
Om Vedic Heritage Centre@43, Tessensohn Road, Tel-62972670

Dr. Rupali Gondhalekar
M.D. (A.M.), B.A.M.S.
H/P- 81800984
Ayurvedic Consultant
Ayurveda Pharmacy
OmVedic Heritage Centre.





Shailja Suresh Kumar- Owner of Om Vedic Heritage Centre

Holistic wellness- The Ayurvedic way

Dynamic, Aggressive and Highly spirited-three words describe Shailu Suresh in a nutshell who established Om Vedic Heritage Centre in Singapore (OVHC), a traditional wellness center to spread the message of Ayurveda, health, and wellness. Shailu was in the list of 15 finalists for SICCI-DBS Singapore entrepreneur award 2011 and this nomination speaks a lot about her hard work and passion for her entrepreneurial setup. Womenlines is proud to share her success secrets, dreams and her visions with its readers!

Om Vedic Heritage Centre is a unique medical spa and is a hybrid between a medical clinic and a day spa that operates under the supervision of a certified Ayurvedic physician. OVHC also offers other holistic services such as Yoga, Meditation, Astrological consultations and more. It is recognized as the first authentic Ayurvedic center in Singapore to be accredited by Case Trust [the accreditation arm of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE)], for Spa & Wellness Accreditation for good business practices since October 2010.

Mother of 2 girls (18 and 14) Shailu considers her center as her 3rd baby which is 1 yr. and 5 months old now, hence needs all her attention at this stage! Shailja held senior management, administrative and teaching roles at various Singapore Government and Statutory Boards such as A*STAR, NYP, NUHS for almost 13 years in Singapore, in 2009 she quit her role as the Assistant Director of the National Medical Research Council, MOH, to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Even though she is a qualified postgraduate in Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering, she wants to be known as an ‘Ayurvedic Lifestyle Practitioner’. The reason being her upbringing in a holistic environment with a family of Pioneers in Ayurveda. Shailu shares “A strong belief, drive and passion of wanting to spread Nature’s wealth in the form of our own 5000-6000-year-old Indian Vedic Traditions, I started the first One-stop traditional Wellness Centre in Singapore, in 2010 to spread the message of Ayurveda, Health & Wellness.” Currently, she still works part-time at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, helping manage a Government funded research project on Dengue and lectures part-time at MDIS.

OVHC in technical collaboration with the Ayurvedic Trust, Coimbatore, India, brings to Singapore the Pioneers in Ayurveda – The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore, India)). AVP which was established in 1943 is one of India’s premier multi-faceted institutions in Ayurvedic medicines, teaching, therapy, research and related areas. AVP today has a network of over 1000 agencies, 50 branches across India and more than 25 treatment centers and hospitals in different parts of India and abroad. In a short period of time OVHC has been successful in establishing its credibility among its visitors and has also been featured by Tabla and Channel News Asia. OVC’s clients and customers come from all walks of life, many races, and nationalities with only about 50% of its customer’s beings Indians. OVHC has been successful in managing many chronic diseases. To name a few- Sinusitis in kids and the old alike, skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, chronic pain management in chronic pain cases.
Talking about the challenges Shailu comments “Challenges and failures have always excited me and they actually help me strategize and become more creative.”Challenges for Shailu started right from finding an appropriate location for a holistic wellness set-up with close proximity to the Indian cultural belt in Singapore (Little India), with a heritage appearance. This business falls under Singapore’s Spa Service Sector and thus acquiring a Massage Establishment License from Singapore Police Force (SPF), Case Trust Accreditation from Case Trust were her next big challenges. Employing staff (Ayurvedic physician and therapists) with required skills after getting across the many hurdles she faced from the Ministry of Manpower and SPF, WERE and ARE still her biggest challenges in this business.

Shailu is big-hearted in giving credit to her supporters in her entrepreneurial journey. She says “Fortune of being born into a family that spreads the message of Indian Culture and Heritage, my passion, drive, support from my family, good service oriented staff, 7 decades of reputation from the family business in Ayurveda back in India, a good network built up over 14 years of having stayed in Singapore and a great country (Singapore) are some of the many reasons to get us to where we are today.” Family support is a big support for any women entrepreneur and Shailu considers herself very lucky to have such a supportive family, especially to her husband who provides IT support for her business too.

Om Vedic Centre

Any entrepreneurial setup grows well it is backed up by a big vision which aims to provide a strong basement to the setup. OVHC is also backed up by a big vision by Shailu “To see ourselves Leading the Wellness Revolution” in Singapore, by innovatively coupling our ancient and rich Indian traditions, heritage and culture with modern day people-oriented practices and technology and set foot on other shores in the region (SE ASIA) with confidence. I intend to diversify further and offer services in the areas of Ayurvedic Education, Ayurvedic/Healthy Diet/Food, and an in-patient facility either in Malaysia or Singapore.”

Shailu believes strongly in giving back to the society and also being a global citizen. Hence, organizes the Charity Drive twice annually where she collects toys, stationery, winter clothing etc. for the poor in India and sends the collection to GOONJ, an NGO in India founded by Mr. Anshu Gupta (based in Delhi).For the go green campaign what she loves to promote is ‘recycle used cooking oil’, and Om Vedic Heritage center is one of the collection centers for alpha biofuels.

It’s just not only about having vision for her business set up ,Shailu’s next big project in the pipeline, is to launch a “Heritage Library” with books on topics ranging from theology (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc.) and complementary and alternative medicine (Ayurveda, homeopathy, reiki etc). She has an excellent collection of about 1000 books already, donated to her by a Singaporean Chinese couple who spent about 20 years learning Indian Philosophy and Vedic Literature and various other complementary sciences and philosophies.
Om Vedic Heritage Centre

Shailu is an extrovert by nature and loves making friends. She considers TV as an idiot box in the true sense and loves spending her time reading books. An ardent fan of Carnatic music and old Hindi Songs Shailu loves spending quality time with her family. Shailu’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is “If you have a DREAM (that’s been haunting you for years) and a strong desire to make it a REALITY, ACT on it, not fearing the possibility of the obstacles that might arise enroute!”……and of course, if you need a mentor, do feel free to approach other successful entrepreneurs and I am ready to help too.”

Womenlines wishes best of luck to Shailu for her future endeavors!

Visit http://www.omvedicheritage.com.sg to know more about Om Vedic Heritage Centre or email at om@omvedicheritage.com.sg.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!