Winning Over Depression Through Ayurveda
Depression is not just being deeply sad or blue, but it is a group of signs where the person feels sinking, sad, hopeless and alone constantly for a couple of weeks or more, where he or she fails to address the positivity, irrespective of positive or negative life situations; feeling of emptiness, incapable to enjoy the things which the person would normally would like to do, example-work, hobby or company of friends which in turn affects productivity, sleep, appetite or even be the cause for serious physical ailments, mental disorders and abnormal behavioral patterns over a long period of time more than a couple of weeks. The social stigma and the cultural taboos regarding the mental disorders makes it worse for the person under depression to communicate to the people around or to get needed medical assistance. Even the great personality like Arjuna was not spared from Vishada/depression is described in the 1st chapter of Mahabharata as Arjuna Vishada Yoga. Depression affects 350 million global populations of which the women outnumber men and 1 million deaths per year are due to the same. It is said to be a “common cold of mental health” which can affect any person in any age group irrespective of socioeconomic status & race.
• Hereditary factors
• Seasonal changes especially winter season or cold countries with less
• Physiological factors – pregnancy, post partum and menopause
• Drug induced
• Excess exposure to electromagnetic waves (Television, computer, mobile
• Loss of a loved one, Mate cheating, etc
• Vatadosha associated with tamasic nature will have excessive worries,
feeling of hopelessness, pessimism, feeling of guilt, worthlessness or
helplessness, anxieties, fears, phobias, terrors, delusions, compulsions,
irrelevant talk, monologue or dialogue with self, attention deficit,
bi-polar disease, auditory hallucinations, irritability, restlessness,
difficulty to concentrate and remember details, difficulty in decision
making, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, loss of appetite, aches and
• Pitta dosha associated with tamas will give riseto thoughts of suicide &
even suicide attempts, murder and visual hallucinations, headaches and
digestive problems that do not ease even with treatments. It also causes
comparison, dominance, criticism, jealousy, frustration,
obsession, territorialism, anger, rage, and violence.
• Kaphadosha associated with tamas will produce sadness&feeling of emptiness, melancholia, prolonged crying, stubbornness, dark depression, hiding, hoarding, catatonia, overeating and kinesthetic hallucinations, fatigue and decreased energy, loss of interest in activities or hobbies that was once pleasurable, including sex, excessive sleep, drowsiness even after proper sleep, over eating and indigestion.
Ayurveda has the safest treatment for depression which is neither habit forming nor with side effects. There are 3 approaches for the treatment in Ayurveda -
• Yuktivyapasraya – Yukti means logical thinking or rational knowledge.
These include the internal medicines as well as external therapies.
Certain classical herbs like Jyotishmati, Brahmi, Ashwagandha,
Shankhapushpi tablets like Saraswatvati, Mansyadighanvati, preparations
like Brahma Rasayana are good for the depression. Shirodhara, Marma
Abhyangam, Ksheeradhara, Takradhara and even Shodhana Chikitsa or the
Panchakarma detoxification therapies are good for depression.
• Sattvaavajaya – This involves counseling part, which is inevitable as
rational treatment. The person under depression doesn’t need sympathy nor
does he or she want other person to interfere in their life decision but
need to be treated empathically with proper counseling and apt medication.
The branch of
Ayurveda that deals with the mental disorders including depression is
called Bhutavidya or Ayurvedic psychiatry. The Bhuta initially was
interpreted as the entities of superstitious origin. But by 20th century
in an attempt to avoid more epistemological and discursive aspect of Bhuta
or vernacular idioms of distress, was reinterpreted as more secular and
scientific idiom as bacteria, virus and microbes or even vectors which
cause genetic changes which confirmed the mind body correlation of
Ayurveda and also the hereditary aspect of diseases affecting the mind.
Thus the treatment for depression is explained elaborately in ancient
Ayurveda texts under Ayurvedic psychiatry (Bhutavidya).
The treatment for depression in the conventional medication and psychiatry has several problems including strong side effects that affect other areas of life. Moreover, the occurrence of depression cannot be prevented by these means; it just gives temporary relief as and when it occurs. On the other hand, Ayurveda provides a natural and effective way of treatment of depression, improves mental clarity and cognitive functions, also preventing re occurrences to a large extent.
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Product of the Month – Saraswat Vati
Saraswat vati helps to cope up with physical and emotional stress and is a mood alleviator. It increases memory and strengthens the mind.
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Chakrapani Ayurveda Center organizes Ayurveda lecture & counseling for Astha & Suranga Group from Israel
Ayurveda Center, with a mission to spread knowledge of authentic Ayurveda
worldwide, is conducting Ayurveda lecture every year for people from
Israel, organized by Astha & Suranga group, who specialize in customized
tours for women to different locations around the world from last ten
years. To bring people more closer to India, Ayurveda has been included as
a part of their itinerary for the group.