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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Alternative Treatment for Somatoform Disorders With Herbal Remedies


There are many situations and conditions in life that have an impact on our day to day activity as well. Some people are affected by these situations so much that they develop various types of physiological conditions as well. In some other cases the person who is suffering from a certain diseased condition can also suffer from certain psychological suffering. But there is another aspect and that is when a person is suffering from a psychological condition and has unexplained physiological suffering. This condition is called Somatoform Disorder. The article has detailed information regarding somatoform disorders and also about its Ayurvedic management.

Somatoform Disorders, Alternative Treatment, Ayurvedic treatment, Herbal Remedies, Mental Illness, Somatic Disorders, Ayurvedic, Ayurveda, Treatment, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Somatization Disorder


The somatoform Disorder is a group of psychiatric conditions in which patients present with a myriad of clinically significant but also unexplained physical symptoms. The patient generally focuses on pain or fatigue which is followed by major emotional distress and problems functioning. The patient may or may not be diagnosed with a medical condition which has association with symptoms but the reactions to the symptoms are not normal. Patients with somatoform disorder are not faking their symptoms, the distress they have due to pain and other problems is real regardless of whether or not a physical explanation can be found. Due to this distress and symptoms their day to day life and activity is hampered. This is also responsible for stress and frustration in many patients.

Key notes for Somatoform Disorder

  • Somatoform Disorder: Group of psychiatric conditions with physical symptoms which are not having any physical basis.
  • In most of the cases a psychiatric assessment will show that the physical symptoms bear a close relationship with stressful life events or emotional conflicts.
  • The degree of psychological understanding which the patient achieves is minimal and the efforts of the physician to discuss the possibility of psychological causation are firmly resisted
  • By the time patient is referred to a psychiatrist there is multitude of negative investigations and unhelpful operations, particularly hysterectomy, cholecystectomy.
  • The cardinal feature is severe, persistent pain which cannot be explained by a physical illness or physiological disturbance.
  • Patients with this condition demand great emotional support from their families.
  • In Ayurveda the condition can be very well related to Unmada. Unmada is termed as insanity but it is more than that.
  • Unmada patient’s generally have symptoms like masked intelligence or diversion of intellect, deviation of mind, lack of courage & irrelevant speech.
  • Aforementioned symptoms can result in the manifestation of symptoms similar to Somatoform disorders.

Causes of Somatoform Disorders

It is not precisely clear what causes Somatoform disorders. But it is believed that there are several contributing factors. Such factors can be genetic or hereditary. Such things can include hypersensitivity to pain sensations. Family influence can be one more countable factor as well.

An individual who possesses a negative personality trait which can influence illness and physical symptoms as well. Even when an individual gives more attention to the bodily symptoms or sensations, such cases can also be involved.

So the causes according to modern science in somatoform disorders can be summed up as following three:

  • Family influences
  • Genetic factors
  • Hypersensitivity

Now if discussed According to the Ayurvedic aspect then Somatoform disorders are somehow related to Unmada explained in Ayurveda. The causes of Unmada explains:

विरुद्धदुष्टाशुचिभोजनानि प्रधर्षणं देवगुरुद्विजानाम्|
उन्मादहेतुर्भयहर्षपूर्वो मनोऽभिघातो विषमाश्च चेष्टा||

Reference - Chikitsa sthana 9/4

The above verse means incompatibility of food, unclean or contaminated food, possession of spirits, gods, teachers along with mental trauma due to recurrent fear, exposure to fear and adopting difficult posture are the most general causes of Unmada occurrence.

The above mentioned causative factors then results in

तैरल्पसत्त्वस्य मलाः प्रदुष्टा बुद्धेर्निवासं हृदयं प्रदूष्य|
स्रोतांस्यधिष्ठाय मनोवहानि प्रमोहयन्त्याशु नरस्य चेत||

Reference - Chikitsa sthana 9/5

The verse suggests causative factors result in the dosha aggravation in the person who is having low level of sattva guna (Heena sattva). Low levels of sattva guna means weak minded people (In the simplest language). Then in aforementioned people vitiation of hridya (Seat of intellect) takes place. Thus the manovaha srotas (Channels carrying mental factors) delude a person's mind quickly.

Types of Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders are distinguished by thoughts, emotions or actions which are related to somatic symptoms. Following are the types of somatoform disorders:

  1. Somatization Disorder: This occurs when a person continuously complains of physical symptoms irrespective of any physical condition. The diagnostic criteria includes experienced inexplicable physical symptoms that starts before the age of 30, persistence of symptoms for several years. Symptoms can include pain, stomach problems, sexual or neurological issues.
  2. Conversion Disorder: The condition is diagnosed when physical symptoms mimic symptoms of a neurological disorder when there is no neurological disorder present.
  3. Pain Disorder: Somatoform disorder characterised by pain in one or more parts of the body without any known cause.
  4. Hypochondriasis: This occurs when the person believes that his/her minor signs or symptoms are the result of a major disease.

Symptoms related to Somatoform Disorders

Modern science suggests that somatoform disorders have symptoms as following:

  • Persistent worrying about possible illness.
  • Interpretation normal bodily sensations as an indication of a severe disease.
  • Fear that the symptoms are life threatening or dire, even when there is no medical confirmation for the same.
  • Excessive visits to a physician or hospital.

Ayurveda suggests following as Somatoform Disorder Symptoms

धीविभ्रमः सत्त्वपरिप्लवश्च पर्याकुला दृष्टिरधीरता च|
अबद्धवाक्त्वं हृदयं च शून्यं सामान्यमुन्मादगदस्य लिङ्गम्||

Reference - Chikitsa sthana 9/6

The above verse suggests Abnormal intellect, Psychic agitation, eyes restlessness, impatience, confused speech, feeling of emptiness in mind are the most general symptoms explained in ayurveda regarding somatoform disorders.

Diagnosis of Somatoform Disorder

The somatoform disease is only diagnosed if the patient is displaying at least one somatic symptom like presence of pain or sleepiness that causes distress or negatively impacts daily routine.

The patient will have extreme and unrelenting thoughts along with severity of their symptoms, experience high levels of anxiety regarding their health and also spend too much time on symptoms or health.

Such symptoms must be present at least for six months or more, so that the patient can be diagnosed with somatoform disorder.

Treatment of Somatoform Disorder

Various therapies are recommended for somatoform disorder. The therapies include the following:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
  • Mindfulness-based interventions
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Relaxation therapy

According to Ayurvedic view point, the treatment in somatoform disorder or unmada is as following:

  • The patient is administered with various types of ghrita formulations like hingvadi ghrit, kalyanak ghrita, mahakalyanaka ghrita, mahapaishachika ghrita and lashunadya ghrita.
  • The isolation of the patient is also done so that any type of violent action or self harming activity can be avoided.
  • Some therapies like psychotherapy & spiritual therapy are done in this case so that the sattva guna can be established and maintained.
  • Some herbs like brahmi, ashwagandha, vacha, yashtimadhu, giloy, haridra, bibhitaki, haritaki, amalaki etc can be used well in this condition.

Herbal Remedies for Somatoform Disorder by Planet Ayurveda

Planet Ayurveda is a leading herbal manufacturing unit which has its distributorships almost all over the globe. The Planet Ayurveda was established approximately 20 years back and now is helping a huge sum of the Global population with Ayurvedic herbs and Herbal formulations. The Formulations prepared by Planet Ayurveda are both Classical as well as patent. These formulations are manufactured under the strict guidance and surveillance of MD Ayurveda Doctors. All of the Herbal formulations undergo proper Quality check and hence contain no dyes, additives, adulterants, colours, favouring agents etc. In case of Somatoform disorders Planet Ayurveda offers following Formulations:

Somatoform Disorders, Alternative Treatment, Ayurvedic treatment, Herbal Remedies, Mental Illness, Somatic Disorders, Ayurvedic, Ayurveda, Treatment, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Somatization Disorder

Products Description

1. Neurogenie Capsules

The Neurogenie capsule is a very impressive patent Formulation by Planet Ayurveda. The capsules are the fantastic combination of two herbs Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) and Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri). The herbs have an impressive effect in Anuloman of Vata dosha and also give really good results in stabilising the thought process of a person. Generally the recurrent stress and anxiety can cause occurrence or aggravation of pain but with this formulation both the stress along with anxiety can be handled well. Also the capsules are manufactured with the standardised extract of both herbs and do not have any side effects. As the name of the formulation suggests, it is a genie formulation in conditions like somatoform disorders.

Doasge: Two Capsules twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

2. Boswellia Curcumin

Boswellia curcumin is also a patent formulation by Planet Ayurveda which has a lot of benefits due to its amazing ingredients. The formulation has two ingredients that are shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and haldi (Curcumin longa). The constituents of these herbs are very well known to tackle any type of pain and also help in Anuloman of the vata dosha in the body. The formulation has great results in relieving many types of pain and also helps in proper digestion as well. Boswellia curcumin is prepared from the standardised extract of herbs and gives very impressive results not only in this condition but also in many other disorders as well.

Dosage: One Capsule twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

3. Phyllanthus Niruri

Phyllanthus niruri is a single herbal capsule which is manufactured using bhumi amla (Phyllanthus Niruri). Bhumiamla is a very popular herb in Ayurvedic texts and Capsule Phyllanthus niruri, which is prepared from its standardised extract, is also having amazing benefits. The formulation has an anti-inflammatory effect and due to its effect on the liver, it aids better digestion. The formulation helps in the pacification of kapha and pitta. In addition, it helps in the elimination of ama dosha that is endotoxins from the digestive tract due to its purgative effect. The formulation has an impressive result in somatoform disorders as well.

Dosage: One Capsule twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

4. Kalyanaka Ghrit

Kalyanaka ghrit is an impressive Classical formulation manufactured by Planet Ayurveda. Kalyanak ghrit has ingredients like haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Badi elachi (Amomum subulatum), Devadaru (Cedrus deodara), Shweta Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and many others. The ghrita has its effect in anulomana of vata dosha and is mainly used in the management of unmada (understood as insanity). The ingredients of kalyanaka ghrit help in clearing bowels as well and improves the status of digestive fire too. The classical formulation also gives good results in improving the memory and brain functioning as well.

Dosage: One tsp twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

5. Saraswatarisht

Saraswatarisht is a classical preparation manufactured by Planet Ayurveda. This formulation has ingredients like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa), Harad (Terminalia chebula), Khas (Vetiveria zizanioides), Adrak (Zingiber officinale) and many others. The saraswatarisht is known to reduce anxiety and fatigue as well. The arishta preparation is really good and impressive and shows results much quicker because of its liquid preparation because liquids tend to absorb more quickly than any other form of formulation. Saraswatarisht is a very impressive channel opener and also helps in the anuloman of Vata dosha as well. All over the formulation has a great impact in boosting central nervous system functioning.

Dosage: Two tsp twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

Contact Planet Ayurveda Support Team to provide you the costing/ordering and delivery information at – or Call at 0172-521-4040 (India), +91-172-521-4040 (Outside India) or Whatsapp at (+91) 842-749-4030.


The somatoform disorder are the type of conditions which are not fully understood and the patient is misguided with various medications and many types of procedures like Dilatation and curettage, hysterectomy, cholecystectomy, endoscopy, colonoscopy and what is the result? Nothing.. Patient has no improvement, the pain still persists and then after so much damage the patient is finally referred to psychiatric care. But what's done is done. The irreversible procedures which are being done are done. So, it is really important to rule out what exactly is the problem from which a person is suffering and how it can be ruled out whether it's psychological or physiological. For such conditions it is better to opt for Ayurveda because with Ayurvedic herbs and formulations, there is no side effect and they help in gradual recovery quite well. In case of any queries kindly visit

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