Kuntal Pal1, Sampat Kumar Kundu2, Shatabisha Bhattacharjee2, Shounak Roy3
1Institute of Medical Sciences, Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Banaras Hindu University, Barkaccha, Mirzapur.
2Gurunanak Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology, Sodepur, West Bengal.
3Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand

Psychiatric disorders are astonishingly common. In any given year, over 25 percent of adults have one or more diagnosable mental disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For the most part, psychiatric disorders are highly responsive to treatment. There have many ayurvedic plants/medicine which are effectively use for the psychiatric disorders. Ayurveda, being a stream of treatment, can no way ignore the importance of psychic condition of a patient to effectively diagnosis and treat disorders. Medical science admits that the root cause of multiple disorders lies in psychic tensions. Ayurveda too has a well developed branch of psychiatry, which has clinically proven practices of treating mental ailments and also physical problems associated with psychological imbalances. On a psychological level we naturally try to harmonies these problems but if we are not able to it can lead to a mental disorders. The causes are many but often stem from our own way of looking at things and the inability or unwillingness of our mind to process what is happening. Sometimes we just don’t want to let go of a belief or viewpoint. At other times we might be attached to a result and when something comes to challenge this, as life tends to do, we find our mind under stress in trying to work through the issue. On an unconscious level the mind may know what to do but at a conscious level the mind wants to do something else creating a conflict between the inner and outer, or the personality and the soul. The result often manifests as a Mental Disorder or sickness.


PharmaTutor (ISSN: 2347 - 7881)

Volume 2, Issue 9

Received On: 01/07/2014; Accepted On: 14/07/2014; Published On: 01/09/2014

How to cite this article: K Pal, SK Kundu, S Bhattacharjee, S Roy; A Review Paper on Psychiatry Disorders & its Treatment by Ayurvedic Approach; PharmaTutor; 2014; 2(9); 30-35

The Psyciatry disorder is a psychological pattern or anomaly, potentially reflected in behavior, that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of normal development of a person's culture. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions have changed over time and across cultures and there are still variations in definition, assessment and classification, although standard guideline criteria are widely used. In many cases, there appears to be a continuum between mental health and mental illness, making diagnosis complex. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of the common types of mental disorder.

Types of Mental Disorders[1]:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Dementia
  4. Dissociative disorders
  5. Factitious disorders
  6. Impulse-control disorders
  7. Mental disorders due to a general medical condition
  8. Mood disorders
  9. Other conditions of clinical importance
  10. Personality disorders
  11. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  12. Sexual and gender identity disorders
  13. Sleep disorders
  14. Somatoform disorders
  15. Substance-related disorders

The Ayurvedic Concept of Mind[2]:
In contrast, the Ayurvedic approach to mental disease rests on the premise that most mental illness is caused by gunic and doshic imbalance leading to clouding of the perception and loss of understanding. We lose the ability to understand the meaning of our lives and events around us.

The mind contains an organ of Intellect. it is called buddhi. Buddhi helps us understand immediately and clearly the true significance of things, thoughts and emotions; it allows us to know, judge and discriminate. Depending on its state, Buddhi forms real or unreal images of our husbands, wives, environment, ourselves and the entire world.

Manas, the outer mind, is the receptacle of sensory impressions from our sense organs, organizes them into categories, yet it has doubt about their true nature. Buddhi defines and judges them and brings about definite and determinate cognition. Thus while Manas simply assimilates sense-impressions and Buddhi defines them, Ahamkara, the Ego, self-appropriates the perceived impressions for its own agenda. Buddhi determines their nature, differentiates them and crystallizes them into concepts. Its function, then, is to bring about certainty and distinctiveness in knowledge.

The Three Doshas:
Most people get caught up every day in their own thoughts, concerns, perceptions, opinion, and emotions – becoming so identified with a thought that the mind creates its own interpretation of the world which can sometimes exist only in our mind. Our innate doshic constitution (deha prakriti) certainly influences the type of mental impressions which arise.

Kapha- predominant person tends not to see the world through the filter of fear or anger and might interpret the banker‘s call as something positive perhaps a reward for being a loyal customer or some good news about her investments[3][4][5].

Vata- type mental disorders cause mental instability and agitation, which invariably creates fear, unrestrained thinking, anxiety, and typically an unrealistic pessimistic anticipation and perception of life events. The Vata mind is hyper-sensitive, hyper-reactive, agitated and lacking in endurance. The mind is excessive porous and affected by the manifestations of others and can launch prematurely into impulsive actions that are seen as mistakes a short time later[6][7].

Pitta- type mental disorders commonly occur due the tendency to be self-important, even narcissistic. Pitta dosha when excessive in the mind often creates a fiercely focused but narrow, fanatic and confrontational mind. Excess aggression, hostility, blaming and criticism of others are the outer manifestations but misdirected desires and insecurity are root causes behind most pitta mental disorders[8][9][10].

The Three Gunas:
No one would say that the body has three legs, or that stomach pumps blood and brain digests food. The reason for this is that the body is easy to observe. We can easily list the main systems of the physical body, but we find it difficult to do so for mind. The mind appears as an amorphous or structure-less entity, rather than a structured instrument like the body. Ayurveda initially understands mind through the qualities exhibited by its component elements. The Sanskrit word guna means quality. Whereas the doshas influence both mind and body, the gunas relate only to the mind.

Rajas or active, stirring, desiring, passionate, moving; impelled towards action, which may be a negative if excessive or uncontrolled; it is positive when it overcomes inertia[11].

Tamas static, stable, inert; Negative aspects include heaviness, stubbornness, vice, ignorance, dullness, stagnation, or stupor. Positive aspects include stability and reliability[12].

Sattva pure, lucid, serene, illumined, equipoised, spiritual; As the veil of the other two is gradually lifted, there arises sattvic qualities of virtue, higher wisdom, peace, desirelessness, and expansiveness[13].

Mental disorders are fundamentally not personal behavioral or cognitive problems, but rather doshic and gunic energetic distortions of the mind-body continuum leading to perversion of intellect. They are not a personal inability to cope with life but rather a loss of harmony amongst the forces within and around us. Therefore the approach to mental disorders, and to any disease, begins by first understanding the prakriti (constitution) of the patient, his general strength, along with the digestive strength, immune status, age, diet, habits, and other elements.

Generally, there are three aspects to treatment in described in Ayurveda which are as follows:
Samshamana or pacification (which over time months to years re-balances the doshas and gunas), Samshodhana or deep cleansing (which over a shorter time weeks to months removes excess doshas and gunas), Rasayana or revitalization (which over one‘s lifetime strengthens specific weaknesses, prevents the recurrence of the disease and promotes sattvoguna)[14][15][16].

There are certain herbs that are mentioned in Ayurveda, which has wonderful effects in treating mental disorders, and improve brains efficiency.

Some of those are mentioned below
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): It is considered to be a nerve-rejuvenating herb, which has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for centuries in any condition in which brain is found affected or in psyche related disorders. Good results have also been found in epilepsy attacks. It acts as non-sedative tranquillizer which has made it idea for use in anxiety and hypertension. The whole plant is used in preparing herbal medicines[17].

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Its main function is to maintain the harmony of Vata whether it aggravates or become suppressed by effects of other dosha. Because of its heating it acts directly on unstable Vata (which is cold) thereby helping Vata to remain in stable state. Therefore is has a good effect on nervous system, circulatory system as well as joint related problems. Ashwagandha plays a major role in suppressing anxiety and hypertension. It has proved very affective in relieving stress and stress related problems. It has given wonderful results in joint pains and arthritic conditions. It has also proven its worth in improving body immunity and overall strength to fight against the disease. It has also been found effective in treating weakness and mental fatigue of the body. Good results in depression and other mental ailments have also been seen. Plant part used is the root[18][19].

Vacha(Acorus calamus): These are the important plants in the group 'Medhya Rasayana'. They are widely claimed as restorative, nervine and mental tonics. They have got prominent action on Central Nervous System where they improve grasping power, memory, intellect and speech, and correct aberrations of emotions, mood and personality of an individual[20][21][22][23].


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