Lipoma is a benign tumor that typically arises in the fatty tissues of the body. Lipomas are most common in people over age 40, but they can also occur in younger people. There are many treatments available for lipomas, but some Ayurvedic treatment for lipoma are more effective than others and is considered as lipoma treatment without surgery. In this article, we'll discuss some of the best Ayurvedic treatments for lipoma.
Approximately 2% of the population has a lipoma. Lipomas can occur at any age but are very common in middle age that is from 40 to 60 years old. Children rarely have cutaneous lipomas, but these can occur as part of the inherited disease Bannayal- Zonana syndrome. Usually, lipomas vary in dimensions from 1 to 3 cm but can also grow into giant lipomas measuring 10 to 20 cm and weighing up to 4 to 5 kg. Males are more affected than females. The first use of the term lipoma happened to be in the year 1709. The word lipoma is derived from the Greek word ‘lipos’ which means fat, from PIE root *leip- “to stick, adhere”.1
What are lipomas?
A lipoma is a round or oval-shaped lump of tissue that grows just beneath the skin made up of fat and is easily mobile on touch and painless. These are benign soft tissue tumors growing slowly and are non-cancerous in nature. Lipomas can grow on any part of the body but typically appear on the forehead neck, shoulders, arms, thighs, back, and trunk. Usually, lipomas do not need any treatment unless it bothers the person from a cosmetic point of view and hence surgical removal is the preferred line of treatment.2,3
Signs and symptoms of lipoma2,3
- Round or oval-shaped fatty lumps which are symmetrical
- Painless unless the lipomas are located near the blood vessels
- Encapsulated such that they do not spread to the surrounding tissues
- Mobile as they are located just beneath the skin surface
- It feels soft on the touch
- The growth of these lumps is very slow
What causes a lipoma?
The cause of lipoma is idiopathic. There may be a genetic cause in cases of multiple lipomas. Around 2 to3 % of people give familial history. Multiple lipomas are caused due to specific conditions like Dercum’s disease (a rare disorder with painful lipomas often growing on the arms, legs, and trunk), Gardner syndrome, hereditary multiple lipomatosis, and Madelung’s diseases (a condition seen often in men who are chronic alcoholic growing around the neck and shoulders).
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, lipomas can also be caused due to obesity, alcohol use disorder, liver disorders, and glucose intolerance.2,3
Types of lipoma
Depending on the appearance of lipoma tissue under the microscope, it is divided into the following types:2,3
- Conventional lipoma – the commonest type containing white fat cells.
- Fibrolipoma – made up of fat and fibrous tissue.
- Myelolipoma – these are made up of fat and tissue-producing white blood cells.
- Angiolipoma – lipoma that contains a large number of fat and blood vessels.
- Spindle cell lipoma – lipoma containing fat cells that appear like spindles.
- Atypical lipoma – these are made up of deeper fat tissue and a large number of cells.
- Pleomorphic lipoma – these lipomas are made up of fat cells of varied sizes and shapes.
- Hibernoma – these kinds of lipomas contain brown fat instead of mature white fat.
Tests advised in lipoma
Usually, a physical examination is done by the specialist and in very few cases a biopsy may also be done to rule out malignancy.
What does Ayurveda say about Lipoma?
The condition called Medoja granthi can be correlated with lipoma according to Ayurveda. This granthi occurs in the sixth layer of skin called “Rohini” as per the Ayurvedic classics. The vitiated Vata dosha and dushita medas dhatu along with Kapha dosha gets deposited in the Mamsa (Muscle tissue) and blood vessels causing cystic-like swelling with an excess collection of fat. The condition has similar symptoms to that of lipoma where the granthi is mrudu (soft), chala (mobile), shleshma tulya akriti or snigdha (smooth, ghee-like appearance), deha kshaya vriddhi kshaya (granthi increases or decreases in size in proportion to the growth of the body), pindyak sarpi prathimam (ghee like discharge when burst open). Medoja granthi is said to be curable.4,5
Ayurvedic treatment for Lipoma
According to the scholar, Bhavaprakasha, specific treatment is advised for Medoja granthi in its nonsuppurative and suppurative stages.5
Ayurvedic treatment for Lipoma is considered a treatment without surgery. In the early stages, lipomas are treated effectively using ayurvedic medicines, and in some chronic cases, one may need to undergo purification procedures (panchakarma treatments) to eliminate morbid doshas and to prevent the reoccurrence of lipomas.
Treatment in the non-suppurative stage which is mentioned as apakwa avastha:-
- Dahana with tapta loha which can be explained as cauterization with molten iron.
- Swedana with Darvi or Daruharidra which is fomentation with the bark of Berberis aristata.
- Laksha lepa or application of the secretion of an insect species Laccifer lacca.
Treatment in the suppurative stage which is mentioned as pakwa avastha:-
- Bhedana is followed by agnikarma which means incision of the lump followed by cauterization.
- Prakshalana with Gomutra means sprinkling with cow’s urine.
- Shodhana (wound cleansing) with tila pistha (paste of sesame), haratala (arsenic trisulphide), saindhava (rock salt), madhu (honey), ghrita (ghee), kshara (alkaline preparations), etc.
According to the classic Astanga sangraha treatment is as follows:5
Application with drugs like Ankola (Alangium salvifolium), Madhuka (Madhuca longifolia), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia), Devadaru (Deodar cedar), Sarshapa (Brassica juncea), etc.
Ayurvedic medicines for lipoma
Ayurvedic medicines for lipoma are selected depending on the status of the patient. A few of the medicines are given below
- Dashanga lepa choorna
- Mustha choorna
- Triphala choorna
- Triphala guggulu
- Kanchanara guggulu
- Aragwadhadi kashayam
- Varunadi kashayam
- Maha manjisthadi kashayam
Rasa (Mercurial preparations)
- Gandhaka rasayana
- A patent medicine in the name called Lipomia syrup has been mentioned to treat lipoma. This a product from a brand called Ayurved Shakti.
Diet for lipoma
Bright-colored fruits and vegetables as they are rich in antioxidants such as citrus fruits, raspberries, blueberries, and apples. Green leafy vegetables and Bell pepper are also advised. Fish having good amounts of omega3 fatty acids decrease the swelling and restrict the growth of lipoma.6
Home remedies for lipoma
- Castor oil- massage the lump with castor oil twice a day.7
- Aloe vera honey mix- apply this mixture over the affected site and cover it with a bandage. Leave it overnight and remove next day.7
- Warm salt water- Apply warm salt water over the lump which will soften fatty tissue so that it can be easily removed.7
- Apple cider vinegar- apply using a cotton ball just before bedtime and wash it the next morning.7
- One teaspoon of turmeric powder, black pepper powder, and ginger powder is mixed well; to this mixture, half a cup of coconut oil is added. The mixture is allowed to cool down and then applied over the affected site. Massage the mixture two times a day for about fifteen minutes and later wash it with warm water after thirty minutes.7
Lipoma being a soft fatty tissue lump is primarily painless and needs medical intervention only from a cosmetic point of view. We get scattered information across the ayurvedic classics in regard to lipoma where treatment is mentioned based on the symptoms observed. Ayurvedic lipoma treatment is also a way of treating lipoma without surgery.
“This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call or visit your doctor.”
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References and citations