Nowadays, mental diseases are common in people, especially in old age. About 22 % people are living with these diseases in today's world. Ayurveda has extensively described and given various natural remedies or cure for mental diseases and neurological disorders.
These diseases include epilepsy, insanity, depression, psychosis, memory loss, fainting, loss of consciousness, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia etc. Alzheimer's disease and dementia are a neurodegenerative disorder of the brain characterized by memory loss and behaviour changes.
Alzheimer’s Disease comes under neuro-degenerative disease, which is characterised by accumulation of “amyloid bita protein” around the brain cells, leading to disturbance in its normal functioning.
Onsets of these bita proteins (tangles plaques inside and senile plaques outside the neurons cells) are the causative factor of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, and irreversible condition, effects memory, behaviour, speech, gait and thinking. AD is most common form of dementia.
In dementia, due to alterations and destructions of brain cells, gradual loss of memory and cognition happens, followed by loss of coordination of the senses and physiological functions like thoughts and actions.
Dementia can be divided into 3 stages as below:
Early stage: involves forgetfulness and confusion in speech and language.
Middle Stage: involves difficult to recollect, intensified confusion and sleep issues.
Late Stages: involves struggle in talking, distress and difficulty in understanding simple things.
Common Causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (1)
As per WHO (World health organisation), around the world, there is one new case of dementia every 4 seconds, and there are currently 40 million people with dementia, number will double by 2030 and triple by 2050.
Factors lead to dementia:
Also any other reasons, which lead to brain cell injury, could lead to dementia eg
In Ayurveda texts, AD and dementia are referred as Smiriti-bhramsha (2). Sanskrit meaning of “Smitiri” is memory and “Bhramsha” is depleted. As per ayurvedic principles main reason for Smiriti-bhramsha is vata dosha imbalanced followed by brain’s dhatu (tissue, cells) weakening.
Ayuveda explained brain health, nerve functions and cognition is controlled by vata dosha energy. Vata also control the blood circulation and other moment related functions.
Balanced vata at celleular level not only make cells to use the nutrients to build tissues etc but also helps to remove the wastes.
So when vata at neuron levels gets vitiated, leads to accumulation of waste and toxins (ama), which can be correlated to protein accumulation (amyloid bita protein) and the development of AD or Dementia.
Below vata disorder in chronic state become the precursors of disease like AD or Dementia.
So chronic vata imbalances, can lead to conditions like delirium or mental instability which when left untreated can lead to disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
So to prevent dementia, just prevent its precursors.
As per Ayurveda there are some risk factors, which could lead to those precursors. More we live with these risk factors more is the chance we would develop the conditions like dementia. Some of those risk factors are listed below:
1. Misuse, more use or less use (than usual) of sense organs- eg. ear, which is one of sense organs- more use, is hearing constant load noises or music or working is sound pulleted industries. Excessive use of phone or talking calls is its misuse.
2. Constant incorrect shoulder and neck posture- this hinders the blood flow to the brain. So over the time could lead to conditions directly related to obstructed blood flow to brain. Constant cervical spines curve obstruct the passages of blood vessels, lymph, nerves etc. So the extra pressure on these parts and slightly affected blood supply to the brain can lead to poor functioning of brain or vascular dementia. Eg constant bending of neck curvature while using phone.
3. Incorrect way of breathing- proper breathing leads to proper oxygenation or feeding of body cells. Improper or half breath leads to malnutrition to weakness and eventfully to vata imbalance.
4. Nasal blockages- constant phlem, deviated nasal septum, inflamed turbulent- obstruct the oxygenation to brain- cause lack of attention, poor memory and alertness.
All these could leads to vata imbalance or nerve damages.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Usual pattern for the onset of dementia is that, there is first gradual loss of memory and cognition followed by loss of coordination of senses and physiological functions like thoughts and actions.
Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and Dementia include:
Vata is dry in nature. AD and dementia could be considered as dryness of brain cells and tissues. In Ayurveda internal and external oleation (with ayurvedic herbs and oils) of head region is mentioned to prevent or to address any vata disease of the nerve cells. Simultaneously dry diseases of gut like constipation etc (most commonly found with AD and dementia) need to be addressed as well. If not then proper absorption and supply of nutrients from gut to neurons will be compromised.
Concept of Ayurveda treatment for head regions disorder like- mental and brain disease, sinusitis, disorders of senses, hairfall or early greying are:
Hyper-hydration of the head with oils (treated with herbs) eg is head massages, shirobasti, shirodhara. Vata is dry, so these oleation (snehana) treatment are quite effective to pacify imbalanced vata.
As the oil used is treated with many herbs, it increases the antioxidant functions. Study in Sri-lanka (3) suggested that if herbal oil formulated correctly could be delivered into the brain cells by transcranial route. Being nervous system contains lipid tissue, and herbal oil used is also lipid in nature, so can absorbs because of rich vasculature of the scalp and gets distributed to different parts of the brain through the communication veins (extra cranial or intra cranial), exerting its influence on different brain areas, like limbic system and hypothalamus.
It’s an age-associated condition with no practical treatment available, so better to work on prevention of this much ahead.
The following herbs are beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and dementia along with conventional medicines. Below mentioned herbs are well known to prevent and cure conditions like Alzheimer's disease and dementia when taken in appropriate proportion.
The appropriate combination of herbs, in the veggie capsule according to one’s ayurvedic body type is also available from Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic at Melbourne. Hundreds of our clients are taking benefits of this unique herbal formula’s capsule all over the world.
Vacha (Acorus Calamus)
The Vacha root is used to treat a number of neurological diseases and dementia. It improves speech coordination and increases ability to speak proficiently. It also affects positively on memory cells in the brain, so it is very helpful for enhancing memory power.
Licorice (Glycerrhiza Glabra)
Licorice works as an antacid and soothes the stomach and intestinal walls. It is beneficial for people suffering with abdominal diseases, mental disorders and arthritic problems. In Alzheimer's diseases, it pacifies the vata dosha. Thus, it improves the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia as helps to prevent the brain cell death.
Tagar (Valeriana wallichii)
Alzheimer's and dementia patient faces difficulty to concentrate and think. Tagar helps with this problem and improves the capacity of thinking and reasoning.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
It is also known by the name of Indian ginseng and it is very useful in a variety of health conditions. It helps in osteoarthritis, gout, mental stress and infertility. It reduces mental fatigue and gives strength to the brain cells. It is also very helpful for arresting the brain cell degeneration. Thus, it stops the progress of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It stimulates CNS (central nervous system). It is antioxidant in nature and increases the choloinergic activity. Mainly it is anti stress herb; increase memory and ability of learning.
Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
It contains natural bacopasides plant alkaloids, which are responsible for its beneficial effects on mental diseases. It is well known for its effects in Alzheimer, denentia and Parkinson’s diseases. It slows down the progress of the disease and prevents the brain cells from further damage due to the disease. It is a tranquilizer, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and brain function enhancer. It also increases and restores the memory.
Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis)
It improves problems with remembering recent events, which is very common in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It is a brain tonic and relieves the mental fatigue and stress. It is used in stress, anxiety, mental tiredness and sleep issues. It regulates adrenaline and cortisol levels. (4)
Turmeric (Curcumin Longa)
Turmeric contains a number of antioxidants, curcumin and curcuminoids. It helps to reduce the free radicals in the body and improves immunity and overall health. It also reduces inflammation and degeneration of brain cells.
Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia)
It is immune-modulating herb and enhance the memory.
Jotishmati (Celastrus Panculatus)
It enhances memory and concentration level. It is antioxidant in nature and has cholinergic activity.
Contains ferulic acids, phenols and non phenilic aromatic acids which are helpful for AD.
The following Ayurvedic therapies play very important role in managing Alzheirer's disease and Dementia:
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic therapy used in mental diseases. It involves gently pouring Ayurvedic oils or Ayurvedic decoction over the forehead. It helps with mental fatigue, stress and depression. It is also recommended for patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia because as it improves the memory and behaviour.
Nasya is an Ayurvedic therapy in which Ayurvedic nasal drops are administered through the nostrils. It helps in neurological disorders and diseases concerned with the upper part of the body.
Following classical preparation of Ayurvedic reciepies are used sucessfully by millions of Ayurvedic doctors all over the globe to treat Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Yoga can also help preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia in healthy individuals. Pranayamas are breathing techniques used in yoga. These techniques help rejuvenate the brain cells and improve memory and confidence. Yoga reduces stress, thus pacifies the factor involve in the progression of the Alzheimer's disease. Corpse pose and Seated forward bend pose are very effective in Alzheimer's disease.
Regular practice of Yoga and meditation (5):
There are six pillars of a healthy brain. These lifestyle changes can help prevent and reduce the progress of Alzheimer's disease and dementia:
Although, there is no effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease or dementia, but Ayurveda can helps a lot firstly by preventing and then by controlling the progress of these disease.
The causes of Alzheimer's disease and Dementia are yet unknown but in Ayurveda, it is linked with three body humour's imbalance in the body. According to first complete medical system known to mankind “Ayurveda”, mainly Vata Dosha disturbance in the older age causes Alzhemer’s disease or Dementia.
From Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic in Melbourne, Australia one can consult the best ayurvedic doctors to known ayurvedic body type and tips to prevent or cure alzhemer and dementia with ayurveda natural medicine.
Contact Pure Herbal Ayurved clinic to find the best possible preventive and curative natural plans for the diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Dr. Gurnam Saini
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery
MD Alternative Medicine
Panchkarma Detox Expert
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease