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Ayurvedic Approach to Manage Depression

Written by
Dr. Alka
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Apr 27, 2017 and last reviewed on Sep 02, 2022   -  3 min read

Abstract

In Ayurveda, depression is believed to be caused by vitiated Doshas in the brain. Learn about the types of depression and ayurvedic treatment for the same.

Ayurvedic Approach to Manage Depression

Whenever we hear the word depression, an image of the person comes to our mind, who is hopeless, unhappy, sad, miserable and living in a cocoon.

Depression is a very common, but severe psychological disorder affecting a significant number of people worldwide. In a few countries, people remain undiagnosed up to a large extent due to lack of awareness of psychological diseases. It is one of the most common mental disorders these days. It has many causes like genetic, biological, environmental, psychological and a combination of two or more reasons.

In ayurveda, depression is called as vishada. In ayurveda, it is believed that depression results from vitiated doshas in the brain.

Depression Types

The three doshas get suppressed and lead to loss of desire to participate in one's life activities. The three types of depressions are vata type, pitta type, and kapha type.

Besides generalized symptoms of depression, in ayurveda, different symptoms according to different dosha depression are also described.

  • The symptoms of vata type depression are mainly irrational fears, insomnia, forgetfulness, etc. Also, other symptoms might be associated with it.
  • The symptoms of kapha type depression are primarily apathy, lethargy, dullness, excessive sleep, etc.

Sometimes a combination of different symptoms might be present.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Depression

Ayurveda believes in the principle of 'removing or staying away from the cause is half the treatment '. It is mentioned as nidana parivarjanam. So first of all rule out the primary cause of depression. Once the cause comes into the knowledge, try to change the thought process related to it. It will help the patient to a great extent.

As far as other treatments are concerned, it includes panchakarma therapies, other external treatments, usage of various internal medications, change of diet and lifestyle changes.

1) Panchakarma:

Panchakarma procedures are helpful in purifying the channels of the body. In panchakarma, there are therapies included like vamana (emesis therapy), virechana (purgation), basti (enema or colonic irrigation), nasya (nose cleaning) and raktamokshana (clean the blood). Anyone of them is prescribed to the patient according to the type of depression and other associated conditions.

2) External Therapies:

Other external therapies include shirodhara, shirobasti, abhyanga, etc. All these therapies use medicated herbal oils. There are a variety of medicated herbal oils in ayurveda. These external therapies are very effective in curing depression.

3) Internal Medications:

Regarding internal medicines, many herbs in various ayurvedic combinations are used. The ayurveda books have written all the properties of these drugs as to how they help in curing depression. Nowadays, various researches have also been done on the efficacy of these drugs and some drugs are proved extremely useful in the disease.

Single herbs like brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), etc., are described in the context of depression and used extensively.

Besides these single herbs, there are many other medicines like Saraswatarishta, Vachadi churnam, Panchagavya ghrita, etc.

4) Lifestyle Changes

The medicine of choice can be according to patient’s condition. Besides the treatment other activities like yoga, exercise, pranayama, meditation, counseling, yoga nidra, and deep relaxation techniques are also advised to overcome depression. Dietary changes like the addition of some foods and neglection of some foods are also recommended. Lifestyle changes are also suggested for the overall well-being of a person.

Medicines and other modifications help to cure the problem. Along with that, the support of family, friends and will power of a patient also play a role in how much they are determined to fight against the depression.

To know more about the ayurvedic management of depression, consult an ayurveda specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ayurveda-specialist

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

What Is the Ayurvedic Treatment for Depression?

Ayurveda believes in the principle that 'removing or staying away from the cause is half the treatment.’  It is mentioned as nidana parivarjanam. So, first of all, rule out the primary cause of depression. Once the cause comes into knowledge, try to change its thought process. It will help the patient to a great extent. As far as other treatments are concerned, it includes panchakarma therapies, other external treatments, usage of various internal medications, changes in diet, and lifestyle changes.

2.

Can Brahmi Treat Depression?

Depression is a very common but severe psychological disorder affecting many people worldwide. It has many causes like genetic, biological, environmental, psychological, and a combination of two or more reasons. In ayurveda, depression is called Vishada. It is believed that depression results from vitiated doshas in the brain. Brahmi, though does not show a well-established treatment potential for depression.

3.

Can Aloe Vera Treat Depression?

Nutritional neuroscientists have studied aloe vera, along with ayurvedic medicines, for many years. There seems to be not a very strong bond between aloe vera and the reduction in emotions during the depression. Nevertheless, there may be a few calming effects on the mind due to aloe vera.

4.

Which Ayurvedic Treatment Is Best for Anxiety?

Single herbs like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), etc., are described in the context of depression and anxiety. Besides these single herbs, there are many other medicines like Saraswatarishta, Vachadi Churnam, Panchagavya Ghrita, etc.

5.

Does Shatavari Treat Depression?

Regarding internal medicines, many herbs in various ayurvedic combinations are used. The ayurveda books have written all the properties of these drugs and how they help cure depression. Nowadays, various types of research have also been done on the efficacy of these drugs, and some drugs are extremely useful in the disease. Shatavari is one such herb.

6.

Which Indoor Plant Is Useful for Mental Health?

Chamomile is an indoor plant with numerous advantages, mainly regarding the mental health of individuals. Chamomile is the best plant for indoors because of its soothing effects. It strengthens mental health, and with its calming aroma, a person begins to feel relaxed and at peace.

7.

Does Ayurveda Deal With Mental Disorders?

Yes, the medicine of choice can be according to the patient’s condition. Besides the treatment, other activities like yoga, exercise, pranayama, meditation, counseling, yoga Nidra, and deep relaxation techniques are also advised to overcome depression. Dietary changes like the addition of some foods and avoiding some foods are recommended. Lifestyle changes are also suggested for the overall well-being of a person. Medicines and other modifications help to cure any mental disorder. Along with that, a patient's support of family, friends and willpower also plays a role in how much they are determined to fight against the disorder.

8.

How Is Ayurveda Connected to Psychology?

In Ayurveda, depression is believed to be caused by vitiated Doshas in the brain. In ayurveda, depression is called vishada. It is believed that depression results from vitiated doshas in the brain. The three doshas get suppressed and lead to a loss of desire to participate in one's life activities. The three types of depression are Vata type, Pitta type, and Kapha type, which are indirectly linked to the different areas of the brain.

9.

How to Improve Serotonin Levels?

 
- Regular exercise.
- Maintaining ideal weight.
- Keeping track of body mass index.
- Getting regular and ample amounts of sunlight.
- Eating green and leafy vegetables.
- Stress management.
- Practicing how to be more grateful.

Last reviewed at:
02 Sep 2022  -  3 min read

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