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Managing Anxiety & Depression With Ayurveda!

Written and reviewed by
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi  •  42years experience
Managing Anxiety & Depression With Ayurveda!

Each year millions of people worldwide fall victim to depression. India is no different in this regard. In fact, cases of depression are increasing in the country with each passing year.

According to a survey conducted by the WHO in 2015, 4.5 per cent of the Indian population suffered from mental disorder, which amounts to more than 5 Crore people. Anxiety accounts for another 3 per cent of the population. Furthermore, due to the negative stigma attached with most mental disorders, many depression and anxiety cases go unreported.

Options available to treat depression and anxiety:

Conventional, allopathic treatment is the most commonly used route when it comes to managing mental disorders of any kind. However, such treatment procedures may lead to greater harm than good.

Antidepressants can cause adverse side effects, such as weight gain, nausea, insomnia, constipation and sexual dysfunctions.

Therefore, it is better to consider an alternative remedy for mental disorders, which is full of benefits, but do not possess any side effect. Ayurvedic treatment is the best option in this regard since it uses completely natural ingredients in preparing the medications. Because of the herbal compositions, ayurvedic remedies do not have any side effects.

Panchakarma therapy for depression and anxiety:

Panchakarma treatment refers to a specialized remedy in Ayurveda that mixes five types of therapy into one. The treatment will differ from one person to the next, depending on their individual needs. The five therapies include-

• Abhyanga
• Garshana
• Swedana
• Udvartana

While all of these remedies are useful to combat depression and anxiety, Shirodhara is especially beneficial.

What is Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is a specialized Ayurvedic treatment that involves pouring herbal oil on the forehead of the patient. This treatment aids in brain wave synchronization. Shirodhara treatment calms the brain and rejuvenates the spirit, which helps reduce the effects of depression and anxiety.

However, Ayurvedic treatment for stress-related disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are not limited to Panchakarma only. In fact, a patient needs to incorporate lifestyle changes as well to get the maximum benefits and cure depression completely.

Home remedies to fight depression:

If you follow Ayurvedic treatment for your anxiety and depression, here is a list of home remedies that should aid you in your battle against these mental disorders.

• Meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. This will calm your mind and help you get rid of the negative thoughts and energies.
• Go to bed early every night. In fact, you should not stay awake past 10 pm. Sleeping early results in deep and restful sleep, which is essential if you are trying to heal your mind and soul.
• Just as going to bed early is a good way to combat depression, waking up at dawn is another way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
• You should exercise daily as well. Ayurveda claims that daily work out increases the intensity of your Agni. Furthermore, exercising is believed to enhance your processing power. Research suggests that intense exercise causes the release of neuro-hormones in the body, which uplifts the mood and disposition of a person.
• Make sure you have a proper bowel movement each morning, as constipation can increase depression and anxiety, fatigue and dullness. One way to ensure proper motion is to drink plenty of water during the day.
• Follow a distinct routine when it comes to meal times. You should eat heavier during morning and noon, but meals should be light in the evening and night. Furthermore, ensure you stick to a diet that minimizes processed food in favour of unprocessed and fresh items.
• Undergo an Ayurvedic oil massage (Abhyanga) to cleanse your body of toxins and improve blood circulation. Such a massage will reduce stress immensely. You should undergo a medicated steam bath, known as Swedanam after the oil massage for greater benefits.

Before you can practice the home remedies mentioned above, make sure you visit an Ayurvedic practitioner for proper guidance and treatment for your depression. He/she will determine the kind of remedy you require and act accordingly.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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