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Treatment of depression in Ayurveda

Treatment / June 10, 2017

Ayurveda is an ancient form of medication and treatment originated in India, that makes use of natural herbal medicines along with exercises and meditation to treat several diseases conditions. Though lacking a strong scientific base it is hugely popular in Asian as well as the western world for the effectiveness it has shown over the years. Ayurveda is believed to successfully treat any disease apart from those that are genetically propagated or caused due to complications in the pregnancy period. There are suitable treatments for depression also in this technique of medication.

The treatment for depression in the conventional medication and psychiatry has several problems including strong side effects that affect other areas of life. Moreover, the occurrence of depression cannot be prevented by these means, it just gives temporary relief as and when it occurs. On the other hand, Ayurveda provides a natural and effective way of treatment of depression which also prevents re occurrences to a large extent.

Causes of Depression according to Ayurveda

Ayurveda believes that the reason for depression is one of the following two:

1. An imbalance among the three doshas.
2. Being un aware of the inner self.

Majority of depressions are believed to be caused due to Kapha imbalance which eventually leads to the other two elements of Vata and Pitta go out of balance too. Due to these imbalances between the basic body elements, feelings of negativity and hopelessness are generated which causes abnormal functioning of the nervous system causing depression.

Natural Remedies & Ayurveda Treatment for Depression

Ayurvedic treatments are not general ones, but depend on the mind and body constitution of an individual. The treatment of depression too depends on these factors and also which of the doshas have undergone a state of imbalance. Based on that following are the classifications of treatments:

1. Vata type of depression

  • Make dietary changes and try to incorporate food elements that pacify Vata. Eat food that are warm and heavy and strength giving. Do not eat salads, fruits etc and do not take excessive caffeine containing substance. Avoid spicy cooked vegetables, nuts, milk and dairy products. Eat heavy and warm foods like rice, pasta and soups.
  • Go to sleep early and have sufficient sleep at night.
  • Try to get a whole body oil massage daily, and if time doesn't permit then at least massage the foot and head.
  • Incorporate yoga and mild exercises.
  • Use some herbs like ginger, cinnamon, Gotu kola and cumin.

2. Pitta type of depression

  • Make dietary changes to include diets that pacify Pitta element. Do not take spicy and rich food like fish, red meat, cheese, vinegar or tobacco. Try to take food that cool you down like dairy products, sweets, cool drinks and stick to a vegetarian diet.
  • Avoid sun.
  • Meditation and yoga will be beneficial for fast recovery.
  • Take bath in cool water and avoid hot water baths or showers.
  • Take herbs like aloe, coconut, shatavari, sandalwood and mint.
  • Practice purification techniques like Panchakarma.

3. Kapha type of depression

  • Make dietary changes to incorporate food items that pacify Kapha element. Try to minimize the use of oils and fat elements, desserts, sweets, meat and food that is not warm. You should eat spicy and hot food items and include soups in your diet. Honey is also very good for pacifying Kapha and should be taken in moderate amounts daily.
  • Do meditation, mild exercises like jogging and yoga.
  • Incorporate heat producing herbs in your food like turmeric, ginger tea and pepper.
  • Try to avoid sun as much as possible.