Obesity, the state of excessive adipose tissue, with increased morbidity, mortality from numerous diseases nearly in a pandemic stage; necessitates urgent search for safe, effective anti-obesity medications, as extant modern drugs have significant major adverse effects. Charaka elaborated very lucidly qualitative signs & symptoms of obesity (Sutrasthan A21). Gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), a widely available seasonal wild herb, called Som-Sum-Veerya (Sushruta), Palankash (weathers fat away; Shaligram), Mundi (beheads diseases), anti-obesity effects mentioned in seven Nighantu(s); thus holds promise. This study evaluates its anti-obesity efficacy using single-blind, placebo-controlled design.
Forty persons (age 25-50 yrs), 20 each in study and control groups, with weight >10kg excess than LIC actuarial mean normal, evaluated at baseline using BMI, Waist/Hip Ratio, skin-fold thickness at Biceps, Triceps, Sub-scapular & Supra-iliac sites and also 23 qualitative criteria collated from Ayurveda's Classical Texts; were administered for 90 days at 2gm/day dose either Gorakhmundi Panchang-Choorna or Spinach Choorna respectively and reassessed monthly. Anthropometric measurements analysed using descriptive statistics & paired t test. Qualitative criteria- descriptive statistics.
At 90 days, Study Group shows >5% weight reduction in 45%, 35% in 45%, 0.334/week or 1.34/month, Highly Significant weight reduction, p<0.001, Improvement in BMI, p<0.001; W/H Ratio, p<0.001; Skin-fold Triceps, Subscapular, Suprailiac, p<0.001, (Biceps p<0.05), Qualitative features viz. Body Malodor, Hyper-sweating, heaviness, slackness, lack of swiftness, laziness, exercise intolerance, deep breathing discomfort, excessive thirst showed considerable improvement in majority persons showing these at baseline.
Study confirms Gorakhmundi's significant anti-obesity efficacy, using single blind placebo-control design and modest sample.