Ayurveda looks to restore balance of mind, emotions, body type, and lifestyle of an individual holistically. It also tackles the problem of cellulite the same manner. Cellulite, according to ayurveda is caused by vitiated meda (agni that metabolizes fat) or dhathu in skin (twak) and flesh (mamsa). It is essentially a lymph drainage problem as toxins and fluid accumulate as fat pockets when the lymph system is not working properly. Cellulite is classified as Vasa (heavy, saturated type of fatty tissue)which is an Upadhatu (secondary structural unit) of body.
Cellulite occurs when the fire (agni) aspect of the body is malfunctioning and the metabolism becomes sluggish, the digestive impurities interact with body tissue (ama) and become toxic.
Vasa will be a dilute form of fat under the skin in an healthy individual. It acts as a lubricant for the body, brightens complexion, nourishes and strengthens other tissues of the body. Hence, vitiated Vasa can bring a negative impact on complexion and appearance.
Ayurveda’s View on Cellulite
Cellulite occurs when the fire (agni) aspect of the body is malfunctioning and the metabolism becomes sluggish, the digestive impurities interact with body tissue (ama) and become toxic. This accumulates in the gut and is spread through subtle channels of the body. By correcting agni in the fat or meda dhatu, cellulite can be treated. Improving the circulation of the lymph in areas that are prone to cellulite will reduce the cause of cellulite.
Ayurvedic Corrective Treatments for Cellulite
.Ayurveda suggests treatments like Panchakarma which detoxify the liver, thus improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat.
.Gharsana (dry massage) traditionally done with raw silk gloves helps in exfoliating skin, breaking up fat deposits and stimulating blood circulation. Oil massages are not recommended for people with cellulite.
.Sauna and steam massages are useful to remove blocked channels or srothas.
.Virechana, a kind of purging is given using some natural, herbal purgatives to restore the agni in the body.
.Udvartana massage is done by using a blend of chickpea flour, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder and almond oil.
.Vasthi, a kind of lower alimentary canal cleaning is used to clear subtle channels. This is only done in extreme cases, where the agni has increased in abnormal proportions.
.Daily oil massage with sesame and mustard oil in equal proportions can be applied, but the powder of ‘calamus herb’ (bacha) should be applied thereafter.
Diet To Reduce Cellulite
.Water: Ayurveda suggests to drink plenty of water but not cold beverages.
.Spices: Pepper and ginger good sources to prevent ama as they promote circulation, however, too much will cause an aggravation in Pitha (fire)
.Liquorice: Guggul helps in reducing cellulite.
.Food: Light and warm foods are recommended.
.Tulsi: Eating two tulsi leaves in the morning and night helps in regulating fat as it contains both laghu(light) and ruksha (dry) properties.
.Avoid High-Fat Diets: Cellulite is caused by aggravated Kapha dosha, hence high fat-diets must be avoided as they are Kapha-provoking.
.Kapha Tea: A good detoxifying tea is Kapha tea. Take 1/4 teaspoon each of dry ginger, dill seed, fenugreek seed, 1 clove , and 1 cup water. Mix all the ingredients. Boil water and add the herb mixture to it. Steep for 5 minutes and drink it.
.Kapha Churna: This seasoning can be made by grinding fenugreek, cumin, black pepper and ginger into a powder. It reduces ama when taken in normal quantities. Don’t take it in excess as these hot spices can aggravate Pitta. You can use this as seasoning for salad or other food, once a day.
.Gotu kola: It is used as a paste which is applied directly on the skin
.Herbal tea: This can be made from Dandelion, Milk Thistle and Parsley, Gingko Biloba, Horse Chestnut to flush out toxins
.Regular meals: Eating three regular meals a day is suggested while sipping on any one of the above mentioned herbal concoctions or hot water throughout the day
Exercises To Help Reduce Cellulite
Exercise is a vital part as diet is in reducing cellulite. Yogasanas like Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing bow pose), Ardha Chandrasana (Half moon pose), Utkatasana (Chair pose), Supta-Vajrasana(Reclining adamant pose), Dhanurasana (Bow pose) and Salabhasana (Locust pose) are recommended.