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Ayurveda and Anxiety

Today, Anxiety, stress, and depression are almost like a pandemic. Thanks to exposure to a variety of electronic media, it affects not only the grown-ups but also the teenagers and the children now. If uncontrolled, anxiety can cause severe damage to the mind and the body. There are a variety of anti-stress medicines that work by either blocking the reception of stress signals or preventing the physiological symptoms. However, they never cure the stress permanently. However, they can cause dependence or even addiction if used inappropriately. Besides, they carry a big bundle of side effects, ranging from drowsiness, mood swings etc.  to suicide!

Brahmi (Indian Pennywort) – The word “Brahmi” means the one that bestows bliss or wisdom. Brahmi (Bacopa monniera). It is one of the most important herbs for anxiety or stress release. It is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to fight against the overall effects of stress and preserve normal physiological functions. It is a complete nervous tonic. According to the latest scientific researches, It has anxiolytic action equivalent to lorazepam, one of the anxiolytic drug of benzodiazepine group. Also, it helps in the repair of nerve cells and increases the speed of neurotransmission. In fact, it has an excellent memory enhancing the effect on the brain. This effect is so strong that it can help reverse amnesia.

The entire plant is used for the medicinal purpose.

Shankhapushpi (English Speedwheel)– Shankhpushpi is another herb with scientifically proven adaptogenic effects. It provides a very comprehensive anti-stress effect by simultaneously stabilizing multiple stress parameters (hyperglycemia, plasma corticosterones, creatine kinase, adrenal hypertrophy). It protects the brain from neurodegeneration induced by stress. It is very effective in stress-induced insomnia. It has a soothing effect on the mind and reduces the stress induced aggressive behavior.

The entire plant is used for the medicinal purpose.

Jatamansi( Spikenard) – It is the root of the plant Jatamansi(spikenard). The extract from roots has significant anti-oxidant properties. It is an excellent tranquilizer. It helps to normalize the blood pressure. It helps to activate anti-oxidant enzymes like catalase. It attenuates the production of harmful chemicals in the brain due to stress.

Ashwagandha(Indian Ginseng) – it is another very good Adaptogen. It has amazing NEURO protective results. It helps to protect neurons by free radical scavenging. Thus, it enhances the quality and speed of NEURO transmission. Its effects on nervous system help to nullify the negative effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Roots of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.

All the above herbs are edible nature. However, there is a special herb that releases stress and anxiety just by its smell.

Lavender – Lavender is scientifically proven to have a remarkable anxiolytic effect due to the virtue of its beautiful and relaxing smell. Anti-anxiety effects of Lavender work on the basis of aromatherapy. Aroma of lavender modifies the effects of stress producing mechanism in the body and helps to release the anxiety.

Research Notes

Brahmi

http://greenpharmacy.info/index.php/ijgp/article/viewFile/111/154

http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/23180/1/IJEB%2043(7)%20640-645.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746283/

Shankhpushpi

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Neeraj_Sethiya2/publication/38088709_An_Update_on_Shankhpushpi_a_cognition_boosting_Ayurvedic_medicine/links/53d351ca0cf2a7fbb2e9d156.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259439344_Comparative_evaluation_on_commercial_sources_of_indigenous_medicine_Shankhpushpi_for_anti-stress_potential_A_preliminary_study

Jatamansi

http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/97134/14/14_chapter%205.pdf

http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/97134/11/11_chapter%202.pdf

Ashvagandha

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inner-source/201401/ashwaganda-anxiety

Lavendar

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711307000451

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Belinda_Bradley/publication/312177800_Anxiolytic_effects_of_Lavender_Lavandula_angustifolia_odour_on_the_mongolian_gerbil_Meriones_unguiculatus_elevated_plus-maze/links/58aac8a5aca27206d9b998d1/Anxiolytic-effects-of-Lavender-Lavandula-angustifolia-odour-on-the-mongolian-gerbil-Meriones-unguiculatus-elevated-plus-maze.pdf

Kanika V
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Ayurvedic Physician

I am an Ayurveda Physician(BAMS, MMS, PGDHHM) with a focus on preventive Ayurveda. I specialize in Ritucharya(Preventive Seasonal Ayurvedic Regimen) and Ayurvedic psychotherapy “Satvavjaya” consultation. I am currently practicing at Mumbai, India. I love blogging about Ayurveda and Meditation.With Ayurvedic preventive knowledge, let us live invincible a hundred autumns!
Kanika V
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