The Tibb Institute of South African in its paper, “Tibb and body weight – different options” tell us that, “Tibbʼs approach is to deal with three aspects of lifestyle – food intake, physical activity, and sleep hygiene. For instance, dietary sugar and fructose syrup, now revealed as major culprits, need to be severely curtailed, together with most processed foods. In support of these changes, physical activity needs to be increased, and good sleeping patterns developed.”

In their paper, “Concept of Obesity and its management in Unani Medicine – A Review”, Ali and Naushin outline Tibb approaches for the management of obesity, noting, “there is treasure of plant origin drugs having highest diversity in their properties both in dieto- and herbal therapy, which can reduce body weight and prevent diet induced obesity.” And recording that Buqrat (Hippocrates) advised that obese people should,

  • “reduce the amount of food
  • …Avoid all fatty diets
  • Use dry and desiccated food
  • Promote fasting
  • Restrict meat, milk …
  • Eat vegetables in excess
  • Hot spices should be added to food
  • Foods should be cooked in vinegar.”

Ali and Naushin set out 20 herbs with a hot/dry temperament useful in the management of obesity, a disease that is cold in temperament.

Ahmer, Khan, Jamil and Ali in “Research and Reviews: Journal of Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Obesity (Siman-E-Mufrat) in Greeco-Arabic Perspective: A Review” outline dietary, exercise and regimental therapies for dealing with obesity, noting for example that, “One should consume at least eight large glasses of water every day. This ensures effective removal of any toxins present inside the tissues and blood vessels. After a meal, one should not drink so much water that it might cause the food to leave the stomach and float about … one should abstain from drinking water till the food has passed down from the stomach.”

Tabassum and Mohammad Nasar in, “Scope of Unani Herbal Medicine in the Management of Obesity - A Review” give details of several well-known foods, herbs and spices useful in dealing with obesity, including, for example, lemon juice which “…is cold in temperament. It is digestive and having the property of jali (detergent). Lemon juice is quite effective for obesity patients. 5-10 ml of lemon juice is mixed with one glass of water and should be taken on empty stomach in the morning. The mix is very useful for melting of adipose tissue from the body as well as weight loss. However, it is recommended to take the above mix [only] once a day, otherwise, the person may experience loose motion or some digestive problems.”