This article deals with Ayurvedic preventive and treatment measures available for mental health disorders. Nowadays mental health related issues have arisen to a greater extent and in ayurveda; detailed explanation of these disorders is present. The common mental health disorders mentioned in Ayurveda are ‘उन्माद (Unmaad), अत्तव अभिनिवेश (Atavabhinevesh), अपस्मार (Apasmar roga). In today’s article, we will discuss it in detail.
In Ayurveda mental health disorder means “मानस रोग” (manas roga) means diseases related to dysfunctioning of nervous system i.e., impairment in the functioning of brain cells (neurons) which leads to disruption of signal transfer from brain to the whole body.
Diseases are divided into 2 parts according to their place of origin
- निज व्याधि
- आगन्तुज व्याधि
1.शारीरिक – Vataj, Pittaj & kaphaj
2. मानसिक(mental)- rajas &
- In Ayurveda ‘मानस एवं मनोविकार’ are of various types like unmaad, apasmara and atavabhinivesh.
- In उन्माद (Unmaad) – there will be “बुद्धिविभ्रंश” (buddhi vibransh) , loss of power of thinking and patients start doing strange things. We can correlate it with ‘schizophrenia’.
- In अपस्मार (Apasmar) – there is “स्मृतिविभ्रंश (smriti vibhransh). In this patient forgets what he had done in past and also there is presence of seizures .We can correlate it with ‘epilepsy’.
- In अत्तव अभिनिवेश (Atavabhinivesh)- in this there is”धी धृति एवं स्मृति विभ्रंश”(dhi, dhriti and smritivibransh). Patient does not have the power to acknowledge what is right and wrong for him/her.
Nowadays, the common mental health disorders that arise in our society are: Depression, Mood disorders, and Obsessive compulsive disorder.
Preventive Measures for “Mental Health Disorders”
As we all are aware of the famous saying that:- “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE”
So before going for the treatment protocol, if one takes proper precautions so that disease will not proceed further one can cure the disease in its early phase. In ayurveda we call it ‘kriyaakaal’. If we treat disease in its ‘Sanchay’ i.e the first kriyakaal mentioned in ayurveda, it will prevent disease from going to further stages and cure will also be easier for the disease.
Mental health disorders are those kinds of disorders if treated properly in their early stages the RECOVERY RATE is good. But once the disease progressed to the higher stages then the cure is slightly complicated and difficult. Below are some listed points one needs to take in consideration to prevent mental health disorders:
- One needs to surround himself/herself in a healthy and happy environment, try to stay positive in life by doing those things which gives you satisfaction and happiness.
- Take proper uninterrupted sleep of 7-8 Hours a day. Because sound sleep is very much important for the proper growth and development of the body. The “sleep-wake up cycle” must be regular for the proper metabolism of the bodily functions.
- Rest is equally important to relax your brain. Because once your body is properly relaxed then only one can stay active throughout the whole day. “Healthy mind keeps the body healthy
- Add green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet. It keeps your digestion proper and then only you can have a healthy mindset.
- Try to engage yourself in healthy activities like trying to pursue your hobbies. It could be anything such as doing yoga and meditation, dancing and athletics, it varies from person to person for some people it could be painting, dancing, reading, cooking etc.
- As mentioned in ayurveda, “Satavavjaya chikitsa” plays a magnificent role in mental health disorder. Under this chikitsa cure is achieved by keeping patient ‘सत्व’ (mind) motivated means to treat them by doing such things which gives patient’s mind satisfaction and happiness.
Treatment Measures for Mental Health Disorders
From Ayurvedic point of view treatment for mental health disorder is divided into 2 types:
1. संशोधन चिकित्सा (Sanshodhan chikitsa)
Which means to cure the disease by removing dosha’s out from the body through natural orifices present in the body.
In this comes complete ‘पंचकर्म’ procedure is done which includes:
(i). शिरोबस्ति (Sheerobasti) (placing a specially made ‘Hat’ on patient’s head to restore/fill it with herbal hair oil)
(ii). शिरोधारा (Sheerodhara) (it means pouring herbal preparation like takra (chach) or herbal hair oil.
(iii). शिरो अभ्यंग (Sheeroabhyang) (it means massaging patient’s head with slightly warm hair oil)
(iv). शिरो पिचू (Sheeropichu) (it means placing a cotton/cloth soaked in warm hair oil on a patient’s head particularly on his/her anterior or posterior fontanelle.)
- नस्यकर्म (Nasya karma)- giving nasal drops in each nostril eg. Anu tailam, shadbindu taila.
- धूमपान (Dhumpan) – Inhalation of herbal smoke made up of herbal medicines through nostril or mouth and exhales it through mouth (depending on the dosha’s) made up of कफ शामक द्रव्य( kapha shamak dravyas) like मरीच (piper nigrum), पिप्पली (piper longum) etc.
2. संशमन चिकित्सा (Sam shaman chikitsa)-
To cure disease within the BODY by subsiding Tridosha’s (vata, pita and kapha) by giving herbal medicine
In this comes an Ayurvedic formulation taken orally by a patient.
In manas rog famous Ayurvedic medicines which are mentioned our texts are
- ब्राह्मी (Bacopa monnieri)
- अश्वगंधा (Withania somniferum)
- वचा (Acorus calamus)
- शुण्ठी (Zingiber officinalis)
- मरीच (Piper nigrum)
- मुलेठी (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- शंखपुष्पी (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
Some formulations mentioned in our text for manovikar are as follow
- महापैशाचिक घृत –it contains jatamansi, haritaki, shankhpushpi, brahmi, shatavari dravay.it increases brain functioning helps in overall growth of the body.
- पंचगव्य घृत-it contains cow dung, cow milk, cow urine, cow ghee, it helps patient with epilepsy, jaundice and fever.
- कल्याणक घृत it contains amla, haritaki, bibhitaki, devdaru, haridra, elaichi, it helps in treating agnimandya, epilepsy, depression, mood disorders.
- लहसुनादी घृत– it contains lehsun beej 100,haritaki without seed 30, sonth, marich, pippali, cow milk, cow urine,it can be use in the form of nasal drops,it treats depression, mood swings like disorder.
According to Ayurveda, there are also other treatment modalities which are available to use in mental health disorders. It includes:
1. युक्तिव्यपाश्रय चिकित्सा (YUKTI VYPASHRAY CHIKISTA): In this physician cure patient by using ‘युक्ति प्रमाण’
- Use of (मेध्य रसायन) Medhya rasayan. It includes ब्राह्मी स्वरस (brahmi savras), मुलेठी चूर्ण (mulethi churna) शंखपुष्पी कल्क (shankhpushpi kalak) etc
- Follow आचार रसायन (Aachar rasayan) as mentioned by Acharya Charak .It tells us about our duties and activities toward ourselves and towards others.
- Using other Samshman dravyas like Ashwgandha (Withania somnifera), Vacha (Acorus calamus), and Sonth (Zingiber officinalis).
- By engaging patients in healthy and positive activities. Like yoga, pranayam, Asana, Meditation.
2. सत्वावजय चिकित्सा (SATAVAVJAY CHIKITSA)-Is non pharmacological approach aimed at controlling the mind and restraining it from stress.
3. दैवव्यपाश्रय चिकित्सा (DEVVYPASHRAY CHIKITSA)-In Ayurveda it includes performing होम, व्रत, मंत्र चिकित्सा इत्यादि to perform religious practices to destroys harmful/evil molecules responsible for given rise to a disease.
This treatment modality of Ayurveda is considered to be the one of the most unique and oldest modality used by our ancestors to cure the disease.
So we can now conclude that mental health disorders nowadays arise to great heights in this growing world. We can proudly say that Ayurveda has always proven its importance in curing disease from the root level considering minute levels of doshas in the body.