Anxiety comes under manovaha strota vyadhi in ayurveda. Nasya therapy is used as nasal cavity is considered to be the entrance to the brain. Nervine tonics like ashwagandha and bala strengthen the nervous system and reduce anxiety. Brahmi, Jatamansi are good herbal medicine as they don't cause withdrawal symptoms like conventional medicines.
Ayurveda strives to achieve balance within the individual’s mental and physical state of being. According to Ayurveda, anxiety disorders are caused due to pragya apradh (the unhealthy adaptation of physical and mental type leading to the mental imbalance).
Symptoms of depression and anxiety are triggered by excessive mental and physical stress, or disruptions of natural biological rhythms. According to Ayurveda, psychological problems start when fundamental imbalances develop in the biological intelligence that controls all bodily processes.
–Vata imbalance contributes to anxiety, fear, mental instability and insomnia
–Pitta imbalance may give rise to anger and irritability
–Kapha imbalance may lead to lethargy and depression
Anxiety According To Ayurveda
Anxiety comes under the umbrella of mental diseases called as manovaha strota vyadhi. Unmaad (hysteria) and apasmaar (epilepsy) are some of the mental diseases described in Ayurveda.
The pathology of the anxiety disorders in Ayurveda is due to the vikriti of manovaha strota due to vata. The basic line of treatment would be to eliminate the vata dushti (reason). Nasya therapy (inhalation therapy) is used as the nasal cavity is considered to be the entrance to the brain.
The anxiety disorders and the symptoms described in the classical ayurvedic texts are almost similar to those mentioned in modern science. The symptoms in anxiety disorders can be divided into physical and mental symptoms.
Physical And Mental Symptoms Of Anxiety
The physical symptoms of anxiety are the consistent condition of the reflex action that body shows in cases of danger like increased pulse, hot or cold flashes, stiff muscles, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, headache and insomnia.
The mental symptoms are restlessness, behavior problems, nervousness, imaginary fear, hyperactivity, and confusions.
Herbs To Treat Anxiety According To Ayurveda
Brain Tonics And Relaxation Herbs
Medhya (brain tonics /intellect improvisers) are used to balance the loss of concentration, memory, and insomniac disturbances that occur with anxiety.
-Nervine tonics like ashwagandha and bala are used to strengthen the nervous system.
-The choorna of single and multiple combinations are used. Like saraswat choorna, tagaradi choorna and ashvagandhadi choorna, and single drug choorna like vacha choorna, jatamansi choorna are used.
-Along with these medicines, the Rasayana preparation Brahmi Rasayana, ghrita (ghee based medicines) like maha paishachik ghrita, panchagavya ghrita, puran ghrita, and brahmi ghrita are also given.
-Fermented preparations like saraswatarishta, balarishta are used. The rasa (mercuric) preparations like krishna chaturmukh ras, unmad gajkesari ras and smriti sagar ras are frequently used in anxiety disorders.
-For controlling insomnia, jatamansi kwath (decoction) and madananand modak (big shaped sugar mixed pill) are given.
-The herb brahmi (bacopa monari) is a good anti-anxiety medicine (see- bacopa monari). The jatamansi herb is also a good sedative and safe, it doesn’t build up dependence and cause withdrawal symptoms like conventional medicines.
-Regular use of Brahmi medicated oil on the scalp at bedtime and inhalation can prevent anxiety attacks.