How to Get Rid of Depression with Ayurveda ?

Abstract

Depression in life can have many different forms such as anxious, sad, loss of interest in daily activities, loss of pleasure in hobbies, social withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness, poor concentration, feeling of guilt, etc.

   

People with depression do not seek medical help because they feel that the stigma of a mental health disorder is not acceptable in society and it will hinder their personal as well as professional life. The science of Ayurveda gives us some practical guidelines to stay happy and healthy throughout our lives.

Herbs that are effective in treating depression are:

1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha is considered as a Rasayana in Ayurveda. It is a powerful herb that assists the body’s natural resistance to stressful conditions by balancing Prana Vata and thus improves mental stability. Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen and enhances the body’s resilience to stress.

 

2. Jatamanasi (Nardostachys jatamansi): It is a high- altitude medicinal plant whose roots are used in various herbal formulations to treat mental weakness. The decoction of this herb is also used in Insomnia, disorders of the Cardiovascular system and it exhibits anti-depressant and anti-convulsant properties.

3. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi is considered an important plant in Ayurveda which is traditionally used for various ailments but it is widely used as a neural tonic because of anti-oxidant properties. Brahmi is categorized under the Medhya-Rasayan class herb as it sharpens the intellect and attenuates mental deficits. It is anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, and adaptogenic in nature and useful in Depression, Anxiety, Manic Depressive Psychosis, Sleep Disturbances, etc.

4. Mandukparni (Centella asiatica): Mandukparni commonly known as Gotukola is believed to be responsible for its wide therapeutic actions. This herb is a wonder herb for relieving Anxiety and improving cognition. Ayurvedic practitioners consider it a main herb for revitalizing nerve and brain cells.

5. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Guduchi commonly known as Giloy has been used in Ayurveda as Rasayana for ages. Rasayanas are known to impart strength to the tissues.  It has Tridoshshamak properties i.e. it maintains the homeostasis of Doshas during stressful conditions. It is considered as an adaptogen as it increases the resistance of the body to biological, physical, and chemical stress and effective in cardiac debility as well.

6. Shankhpushpi (Convulvulus pluricaulis): All plants of Shankhpushpi herb are known to possess therapeutic properties. It is used in Ayurveda for Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression, etc. Shankhpushpi exhibits anti-depressant, tranquilizing, anti-stress, neuro-degenerative, anti-oxidant, and cardiovascular activities. It is found to be effective in reducing different types of stress such as psychological, physical, or traumatic.

7. Tagara (Valeriana wallichii): Tagara is included among the Nidrajanana (sleep-inducing) herbs in the Ayurvedic classical texts. Due to its ushna (hot) potency, it alleviates Vata dosha and relieves insomnia which is caused due to the imbalance of Vata dosha.  The decoction of its root is used for treating Convulsions, Hysteria, and Insomnia. Tagara has the property of calming the mind as it interferes with the brain chemical GABA that communicates the information between the nerve cells in the brain.

 

Lifestyle:

1. Meditation: Meditation is considered as the best medicine for Depression and Anxiety-related disorders. Regular meditation for 20 minutes twice a day is quite effective for the natural treatment of Depression. It helps the person to gain good health and relieves mental, emotional, and environmental stress.

 

2. Massage: Daily oil massage calms the mind and relaxes the body. It improves circulation and allows the toxins to be cleared and balances Vata dosha.

3. Exercise: Moderate exercise and walking during the sunrise help in relieving toxins from the system that lead to stress. It also helps in expelling blocked emotions and hormones out of the body.

 

4. Early to bed, early to rise:  Going to bed before 10:00 pm is essential as enough rest refreshes the mind, and waking up before sunrise is useful in preventing Depression. Waking up late leads to the dullness of mind, poor concentration, and depressed mood.

5. Food: Food that is sattvic in nature should be included in the diet. Sattvic food is unprocessed and grown naturally and it creates Ojas. Fruits such as banana can be taken by the patient as it is known to increase serotonin and tryptophan levels.