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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Mind-Body Approach to Depression

Depression is a serious mental disorder that is affecting the lives of people directly or indirectly. In today's world, 350 million people are affected by it. Depression is becoming a social stigma in terms of suffering, prevalence, morbidity, dysfunction and it is becoming an economic burden.

Occasionally, everyone feels sad and gloomy but these feelings pass within a couple of days, but when a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes in his or her personal life.

depression

World Health Organization (WHO) defines depression as a common mental disorder having the symptoms such as depressed mood, feeling of guilt or low self worth, disturbed sleep, appetite, loss of interest or pleasure, loss of concentration etc.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?

The symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day which include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness or tearfulness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all the normal activities
  • Angry outbursts, frustration or irritability even over small matters
  • Disturbances in sleep such as sleeping too much or suffering from insomnia
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • The feeling of guilt or worthlessness
  • Trouble in thinking or concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION?

A variety of factors are involved in depression such as:

  1. Inherited Traits: Depression is more common in those people whose blood relatives also have this condition.
  2. Hormones: The changes in the body's balance of hormones may also be involved in triggering or causing depression.
  3. Brain Chemistry: Changes in the function and effect of neurotransmitters play a role in causing depression. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that are likely to play a role in depression.

WHAT IS THE AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE ON DEPRESSION?

Ayurveda gives prime concern to the mind and its disorders when it is a matter of health. Negative thoughts directly affect the health of an individual. In all Ayurvedic classics, there is a description of physical disorders and their psychiatric impacts simultaneously.

Psychiatric disorders are described in Ayurveda thousands of years ago and are relevant in the present time too. In Ayurveda, it is stated that depression is a state of both emotions (mansikbhava) as well as a disease (mansikvyaadhi). In Ayurvedic terminology, depression can be co-related with avsaad, vishad, manodukhajunmada and kaphajunmada.

The understanding of pathology of depression by means of basic principles of Ayurveda such as sharirikdosha (body humor), mansikdosha (mental state), jnanendriya (sense organs), karmendriya (motor organs), satwabala (strength of mind), agni (biological fire), dhatus (tissues sustaining the body), ojas (vital essence of life) are essential.

WHICH DOSHA IS INVOLVED IN DEPRESSION ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA?

In Ayurveda, it is mentioned that every disease has a predominance of any of the humor i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

  • Most of the cardinal features of depression are due to the vitiation of Vata dosha. Vata dosha governs all the movements of mind and body.
  • Vata dosha mainly Prana Vata controls the manas (mind) as it has the property of retaining intellect.
  • Along with Prana Vata, Sadhaka Pitta and Vyana Vata which are located in heart are responsible for emotions are also vitiated.
  • In depression, the predominant dosha is tamas which is characterized by ignorance, apathy and inactivity.
  • So, depression is also a condition of tamo predominance over rajas.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA?

In Ayurveda, the treatment of depression is focused on mind-body approach. Ayurvedic treatment includes internal medications, external therapeutic procedures and diet.

HOW PLANET AYURVEDA CAN HELP IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION?

Planet Ayurveda offers various herbal remedies for depression that are effective and are aimed at purification of manovahasrotas and also act as Rasayana as depression debilitates the person both mentally and physically.

HERBAL REMEDIES BY PLANET AYURVEDA INCLUDE

  1. Gotukola Capsules
  2. Medhya Churna
  3. Memory Support Capsules
  4. Stress Support Capsules

Herbal Remedies for Depression

Depression Care Pack, Ayurvedic herbs for depression, Herbal remedies for depression

PRODUCTS DESCRIPTION

1. Gotukola Capsules

Gotukola herb is commonly known as Mandukparni. Planet Ayurveda's Gotukola Capsules contain the standardized extract of the herb Centella asiatica. This herb is relaxant in nature and acts as rasayana and rejuvenative. It improves intelligence, memory, improves blood circulation etc. These capsules are very effective in the treatment of depression.

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after taking meals.

2. Medhya Churna

Planet Ayurveda's Medhya Churna is prepared from dried extracts of various natural ingredients that are useful for relieving stress, cloudy thoughts, confused mind etc. This churna is an excellent formula for relieving stress and anxiety. Medhya Churna balances the doshas and acts as an effective nervine tonic for an overall improvement of mental health.

Ingredients Of Medhya Churna Are:

Sr. No.

Botanical Name

Common Name

Parts

Quantity

1.

Acorus calamus

Vacha

Roots

50 gm

2.

Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha

Roots

5 gm

3.

Carum roxburghianum

Ajmoda

Seeds

5 gm

4.

Cuminum cyminum

ShwetJeerak

Seeds

5 gm

5.

Carum carvi

Krishna Jeerak

Seeds

5 gm

6.

Zingiber officinale

Sonth

Rhizome

5 gm

7.

Piper nigrum

Marich

Fruits

5 gm

8.

Piper longum

Pippali

Fruits

5 gm

9.

Cissampelos pareira

Patha

Whole

5 gm

10.

Convolvulus pluricaulis

Shankhpushpi

Whole

5 gm

11.

Bacopa monnieri

Brahmi

Whole

5 gm

Dose: Take 1 pinch of powder twice daily or 1 gram twice daily with plain water after meals.

2. Memory Support Capsules

This product is a unique product of Planet Ayurveda which contains the standardized extracts of various herbs which are really very effective for the management of stress and depression. These herbs have a cooling effect on the mind as well as act as a strong brain booster. Sleep can be induced in a natural way by using these capsules which is a common symptom of depression.

Ingredients Of Memory Support Capsules Are:

Sr. No.

Herb Used

Botanical Name

Part Used

Quantity

1.

Brahmi

Bacopa monnieri

Whole

150 mg

2.

Vacha

Acorus calamus

Root

150 mg

3.

Shankhpushpi

Convolvulus pluricaulis

Whole

100 mg

4.

Licorice

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Root

100 mg

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after taking meals.

One of the main ingredients of these capsules is Brahmi. The benefits of brahmi are:

"सर्व्या स्मृतिप्रदा कुष्ठ पाण्डु मेहा स्त्र कास जित। विष शोथ ज्वर हरि तद्व मण्डूक पर्णिनी।"

Reference: Bhavprakash Nighantu, Guduchiyadi Varg, Shlok No. 281

Meaning: According to this shloka, brahmi is useful in boosting memory, useful in skin disorders, anemia and gives good results in jaundice, diabetes, cough, swelling and fever. It is also useful in poisonous conditions, inflammation, and fever similar to Mandukparni (Centella asiatica).

4. Stress Support Capsules

These capsules are manufactured by Planet Ayurveda that contains the standardized extracts of various herbs that support a healthy mind and brain. Stress Support Capsules are very effective in psychiatric disorders such as depression, stress etc. as the herbs used in the manufacture of these capsules promote mental health.

Ingredients Of Stress Support Capsules Are:

Sr. No.

Herb Used

Botanical Name

Part Used

Quantity

1.

Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera

Root

200 mg

2.

Tagar

Valeriana wallichii

Root

200 mg

3.

Brahmi

Bacopa monnieri

Whole

100 mg

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after taking meals.

DIET AND LIFESTYLE

  1. Ghee (Clarified Butter): In Ayurvedic treatment of psychiatric disorders, the prior line of treatment is snehapana that means the prescription of medicated ghee. The function of ghee is to alleviate Vata and Pitta doshas which are impaired in diseases like depression as Vata is the controller of mind and Pitta governs intellect. The property of ghee is that it does not increase Kapha too and improves Sadhak. Include 1-2 teaspoon of ghee in the daily diet.
  2. Pranayama should be practiced regularly. In addition, healthy daily regimens, regimens according to seasonal changes, the moral code of conduct are also explained in Ayurveda for the treatment as well as prevention of depression.

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