Ayurvedic treatment for Depression
Depression has become part of our everyday lives. Almost everybody has felt depressed or is stressed at some time or another in life. Aurvedic treatments are becoming popular for treating depression.
Stress and depression have in fact become a part of our everyday lives. Almost everybody has felt depressed or is stressed at some time or another in life. However when stress and depression, become a constant part and parcel of the persons life it becomes a problem.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Depression: Ayurveda considers that depression is caused due to a vitiation of either the vata or the kapha doshas. Treatment of depression in ayurveda includes herbal remedies, yoga, meditation, massage, psychological counseling and diet changes.
Psychological counseling: Like in conventional medicine psychological counseling between the physician and the patient is done even in Ayurveda. This can help the physician to understand the possible cause of the depression and plan treatment accordingly.
Abhyanga: In Abhyanga or oil massage several aromatic oils are applied to the body and head and then massaged. The aroma of the oils and massage relieves the stress and provides a calming effect on the brain.
Shirodhaara: In Shirodhaara warm medicated oils or liquids on the forehead in a thin stream. This improves the circulation to the brain, relieves the nerve endings situated on the forehead and provides a calming effect on the brain. This therapy is used to calm down the vitiated vata dosha.
Yoga: Yoga has several effects that relieve depression. It helps a person to relax, free the mind of all worries and tensions and teaches how to meditate and focus on the positive aspects of life.
Herbs for Treatment of Depression: Several herbs help in treatment of depression. Some of these are Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum), Guggulu (Commiphora wightii), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Turmeric (Curcuma longa).
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): The aphrodisiac properties of this herb remove negative thoughts from the mind and help in curing depression.
- Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): This herb is usually given before a yogic session as it helps to relax the mind and bring it to a comfortable state. Brahmi oil has cooling and soothing effect on the mind. Regular application of this oil can prevent you from feeling depressed.
- Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum): The pleasing odor can soothe the nerves. In a person with depression tea made with cardamom has amazing effects.
- Guggulu (Commiphora wightii): The special chemicals in guggulu called as guggulsterones improve the nervous coordination and hence are beneficial in the treatment of depression. It is very effective for treatment of depression caused by seasonal affective disorder.
- Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): Jatamansi calms the mind and channelizes the energies of the mind in the right direction. These help to remove the depressive thoughts.
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa): This commonly used herb can effectively treat depression that is caused by the change of seasons, i.e. seasonal affective disorder.
Diet for depression: Diet changes probably have benefit in depression. Eat light food that is easy to digest. Avoid oily foods, spicy foods and pulses like Bengal gram. Avoid meats and milk products during an attack of depression. Include lots of vitamin C, fresh fruits, vegetables and juices in your diet
Home Remedies for depression: Get a good head massage with a cooling oil like brahmi oil, do regular exercise and yoga. Focus on activities and hobbies that interest you in order to keep the away the thoughts that cause depression.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Stress: According to Ayurveda, stress is caused by imbalance of the sub-doshas (prana vata, tarpaka kapha, sadhaka pitta) that govern the mind. This causes anxiety attacks and other signs of stress. Ayurvedic treatment for stress includes herbal treatment, diet treatment, pancha Karma, yoga, meditation and pranayama.
Herbal treatment: Herbs called adaptogens are beneficial in relieving stress. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), ginseng (Panax ginseng), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), borage (Borago officinalis), licorice (yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), and nettle (Urtica dioica). Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends the root of winter cherry or ashwagandha, shakpushadi, brahmi (gotu kola), jatamansi (muskweed), shakhpushpi, dhatri rasayan, praval pishti and the fruit of emblic myrobalan, are some of the herbs that promote adaptability to stress to reduce stress.
Variuos Ayurvedic formulas that contain herbs such as brahmi (gotu kola), shankapushpi (aloeweed), and guduchi (heart-leaved moonseed) help to reduce generalized anxiety, calms stress, increases alertness and prevents mental stress from increasing. Ashwagandha (winter cherry) improves the mind's overall ability to fight stress.
Diet treatment: Nutritious diet is beneficial in people with stress and the right diet can help to deal with stress. Avoid coffee, other caffeinated beverages, carbonated and alcoholic drinks. Eat liberal amount of fresh green vegetables, fruits and fruit juices.
Pancha Karma: Ayurvedic panchakarma for stress removes the harmful toxins from accumulating in the body and mind. It helps to cleanse the body and mind, improve digestion, strengthen the metabolic rate, and relieve stress.
Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama: Yoga, meditation and Pranayama (breathing exercises) can also help to relieve stress.
Caution with Ayurveda: Ayurvedic remedies are effective in treatment of stress and depression. If you have a severe problem, consult a professional rather than treating byself.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Aug 19, 2011
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