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Glimpse of Mental Disorders and Treatment in


Ayurveda

Article September 2013

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Cover story

24
Glimpse of
Mental Disorders
and Treatment in Ayurveda
Dr. G. S. Lavekar, Former Director General,
CCRAS-AYUSH, Govt. of India

I
n Ayurveda Mind is consid- indriyabhigraha - Direction of (dynamic) and Tamas(inertia).
ered as dual organ means as senses These are considered as
Sensory and Motor in nature, svasya nigrahah- Self-control. manogunas(qualities of mind) and
so the diseases of mind are The fundamental functions of satva is called as Enlightening i.e.,
affecting both mind and body. mind are: thinking (chinta), consid- it acts like a mirror and it shows
The mind is an essential internal eration (vichara), reasoning (uha), what we are, and it never takes
instrument, required to conjugate concentration (dhyana) and deter- any role in producing psychological
the subject. mination (samkalpa). Avoidance disorders. Only raja and tama take
Without this conjugation, one of these fundamental functions in part in pathology of psychological
may not get the understanding of hyper (ati), hypo (heena), or per- disorders, hence Ayurvedic scrip-
any subject. The mind is always verted (mithya) manners serves to tures say that mind has only two
dynamic and very subtle in na- cure psychiatric problems. doshas. When these two doshas
ture, so it conjugates frequently Acharya charaka explained the are disordered, mental diseases
and swiftly with many subjects, character of mind with two basic appear.
but only one at a time. The men- qualities Charaka recognizes three
tal qualities are satva=purity or Anutvam (Atomic dimension). origins of mental disease: those
Knowledge, raja=dynamism and Ekatvam (Singularity). produced by imbalance in bodily
tama=lethargy or inertia. The lo- The mind is atomic and singu- doshas, those produced by men-
cation of mind is considered in lar. Hence at a time it can come tal doshas and those produced by
heart and brain ,but being subtle, into contact with only one sense. a combination of the two. Thus
swift and dynamic it seems to be That is why we cant perceive Charaka classified five types of
located everywhere in body as per the sensations relating to colour, insanity: Vata born, Pitta born, Ka-
concentration. touch, taste, smell and sound si- pha born, that born from a combi-
Mind is souls bridge between multaneously. nation of all three doshas and that
senses (indriyas) and sense ob- Gunas (qualities) of mind: The which is accidental.
jects (indriyarthas). When the theory of Trigunas(three quali-
senses and mind are in contact, ties) of samkhya is the basis of The psychological role of gunas
then the perception and knowl- Ayurvedic philosophical concept are as follows:-
edge occurs. According to ancient as well as the concept of the hu- Satva offers pleasure in vari-
sages of Ayurveda, mind has two man constitution and psychic per- ous forms such as purity or trans-
roles: sonality development. Acharya parence, lightness, love, joy. Ra-
Kashyapa opines that there are 3 jas contributes to pain in various
types of satvas or psycho- mor- forms such as grief and the like.
phisms, they are: Satva (en- Tamas causes delusion in various
lightening), Rajas forms.
25
Cover story
The various diseases affecting mind are described in almost all classical books

S.N. Names of Diseases of Mind Classical Ayurveda Treatise Prevalent- Equivalent

1 Aswpna Charaka Insomnia


2 Ati-Pralap Charaka Irrelevant Excessive talk
Insanity (initial stages co-relat-
3 Unmada Charaka ed with Schizophrenia, Alzheim-
ers diseases
4 Parushya Charaka Cruel attitude
5 Bhirutva Charaka and Kashyapa Weak mind- Coward
6 Vishad Charaka and Kashyapa Sadist Nature

7 Vyudas Kashyap Depression

8 Matibhrama Sharangadhara Confused mind


9 Atinidrata Sharangadhara Excessive sleep
10 Mandbuddhitva Sharangadhara Undeveloped mental faculty
11 Mada Charak Mania

12 Hrunmoha Charaka and Kashyap Mild Sanity

Treatments mind from unwholesome objects. balance in ones life, and balance
According to Ayurveda, 'life' is a A physician should help his patient is the gateway to health, according
somato-psycho-spiritual entity. by regulating his thought process, to Ayurveda.
Most of the diseases develop as replacing negative ideas, prop-
a result of the combined action er channelling of presumptions 2. Daiva Vyapasraya chikitsa
of these psycho and somatic fac- and proper advices. According to (spiritual therapy)
tors. Thus all issues of health and Charaka, the physician should help This therapy involves the use of
disease warrant a comprehensive the patient to develop six types of mantras (incantations), oushad-
holistic approach. An Ayurvedic Jnanas (awareness): his (sacred herbs), mani (precious
psychotherapist has to select gems), mangala (propitiatory
a combination from the major Atma jnana- (who I am, what is rites), niyama (vows), prayaschit-
types of therapies prescribed in beneficial to me) ta (repentance), upavasa (fasts),
Ayurvedic classics. They are: Desa jnana (society in which prostrations and pilgrimages.
one lives, his responsibility to-
1. Satva Avajaya chikitsa wards it) 3. Adravya Bhoota chikitsa (psy-
(psychiatric measures) Kula Jnana (Family and his rela- chic therapies)
Satvavajaya has a major role in the tionships and responsibilities) Generally drugs are not prescribed
treatment of all diseases. Satva is Kala jnana (Awareness of sea- under this mode of treatment. In-
the mind and avajaya is bringing son and seasonal regimen) stead, some measures (upayas)
the mind under control. Satva ava- Bala jnana (awareness of his like causing fright, surprise, or
jaya is the therapeutics for mental strength) threats are employed. For exam-
or emotional stresses and distur- Shakti jnana (awareness of his ple, causing surprise in hiccup.
bances. Through this therapy the capacity). Yoga, pranayama and meditation
patient is taught to restrain the Proper awareness of these brings are also advised in this mode.

26
4. Yukti Vyapasraya chikitsa thya rakshanam.) Achara rasaya- beneficial.
(medical management) na, coupled with yoga, can bestow The Panchakarma ,Bio-Cleansing
This mode of therapy is done by one with complete tranquillity. An the five therapy procedures are
using various medications. Yukti ethical code of conduct is advised very much effective in mental dis-
or statistical investigation helps to to the patient. Charaka samhitha orders. During panchakarma, the
grasp a complex of causation, with enumerates achara rasayana as deeply accumulated morbid dis-
potential and additional causes. follows: Speaking truth, non- vio- ease -causing material is removed.
The causes are removed by proper lence, peace of mind, chanting, It is believed that the morbid toxic
medications, including samana meditation, learning, hygiene etc. material accumulated in long term
and sodhana. Meditation and Yogic Practices passes the brain barrier, causing
help in attaining concentration of mental diseases.
5. Rasayana (replenishment of mind, which is unstable in mental The preparatory procedure for
basic body constituents) disorders. The Padmasana is con- main panchakarma , the massage
The word rasa means the primary sidered the most suitable Yogic is very much effective in many
liquid tissue which nourishes all posture in meditation. mental disorders; different types of
the tissues in the body, and ayana The diet plays an important role medicated oils are used in massage
means its circulation. Rasayana in mental disorders,putting em- procedure.
means the purification of all seven phasis on fresh seasonal fruits, Shirodhara, Medicated Oil drip-
tissues from rasa to sukra(semen). satvic diet (mind calming) and ping over head plays an important
Rasayana treatment rejuvenates diet rich in certain ingredients like role in Insomnia, anxiety neurosis,
the whole body. It contributes to Tryptophan and amino acid, which depression and many other mental
the integrity of all the dhatus (ba- increases Serotonin, a neurotrans- disorders.
sic body tissues) and thus increases mitter hormone in brain. In our The other main procedure nasya,
longevity. body,Serotonin is naturally present nasal medication is advocated in
in gut lining, platelets and brain. many mental disorders, it is con-
6. Achara Rasayana (ethical life) the dry fruits, complex carbohy- sidered a port for brain for drug
The term Achara rasayana refers drates, red rice, milk, banana, delivery. Many herbs are routinely
to certain regimen one should fol- grape fruits, pine apple, apples, used in Ayurveda and other tradi-
low in his daily life. It promotes figs, almonds, and pistachio etc. tional medicine for mental disor-
maintenance of the health of the are all beneficial. Besides, garlic, ders, which are supported by re-
healthy people (swasthasya swaas- carrots, asparagus, and broccoliare search findings.

Abhyanga Pizhichil

Nasya
Kizhi

Shirodhara 27
Cover story

SOME HERBS USED IN MENTAL DISORDERS

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Cover story
5 SARPAGANDHA- SCHIZOPHRENIA, PREETI KOTHIYAL 1 Scott J Brown published in
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30

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