The world has been a very competitive place, and everyone's running a race with stress crammed into the brain. Despite the unhealthy living conditions and a hundred lifestyle disorders, we are dealing with another demon- the mental health dilemma. Meanwhile, we have almost forgotten to take care of our mental health, so it has taken a toll on our day-to-day life.
Can we make use of Ayurveda to flatten the mental illness curve?
Let's take a peek at it.
Mental Illness to Mental Wellness- An Ayurvedic Perspective
Mind, though invisible, is inseparable from the body. A beautiful simile mentioned by Acharya Charaka depicts the relationship between the mind and the body- the simile of hot ghee and pot. When we heat the ghee and pour it into a pot, the latter gets hot, and vice versa. Likewise, if the mind is inflicted with something, the body reflects it, and if the body is affected, the mind mirrors the same. If you're a person looking for a lifestyle modification that benefits your body and mind equally, Ayurveda could guide you.
Organic Tonics for Healthy Mind
Ayurveda describes several herbs that help one attain a healthy mind.
1. Mandukaparni(Centella Asiatica) - Contains triterpenes having neuroprotective action.
2. Shankhapushpi(Convolvulus prostratus)- Improves neuropeptide synthesis and increases brain efficiency.
3. Brahmi(Bacopa monnieri)- It is a great memory enhancer. It is used in the management of Alzheimer's disease and ADHD.
4. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)- Alkaloids like Berberine present in it arrest degenerative changes in the brain.
5. Yashtimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra)- Glabridin present in Yashtimadhu is a noteworthy neuroprotective flavonoid that helps attenuate cerebral injuries in stroke, etc.
6. Amalaki (Phyllanthus Emblica)- Improves nervous health and enhances cognitive functions.
Numerous Ayurvedic preparations that contain these herbs are used in the management of mental illnesses, like-
Ghee/ghrita preparations- ghee, as an individual substance or combination with the different herbs, helps enhance cognitive functions. Different ghees like Brahmi ghrita are considered brain function boosters.
Nootropic herbs- The herbs mentioned above act as cognitive enhancers, memory boosters, neuro protectors, etc.
Chyawanprash- an age-old antioxidant-rich brain rejuvenator made of gooseberry, honey, herbs, and spices, boosts mental health and improves cognitive functions such as concentration, alertness, and learning ability.
Yoga for A Steady Mind
Exercise is like a brilliant bartender who serves a feel-good chemical cocktail of endorphins and serotonin. Haven't you ever noticed the difference before and after a productive workout? Let it be movements, postures, or breath control- Yoga covers it all.
Different yoga postures and breathing exercises like Pranayama have proved helpful to reduce stress and keep the mind steady. It increases the oxygen supply to the brain and decreases the activity of the limbic system, thereby letting your logical side take over the emotional side. Remember, Yoga is never a remedy for mental illness but a complementary approach that can improve the overall quality of life.
Bliss or blues, a healthy mind can take it all. Being a smart choice, Ayurveda would be a good companion on your path to mental wellness.