Is Ayurveda able to treat mental health issues?
As a complimentary and preventative medicine, it is helpful in treating symptoms effectively. As much as we know Ayurveda as ancient science, its use as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine is fairly recent in the UK. Complementary therapies are often used in additional to conventional forms of medicine (allopathic treatment) and Ayurveda is becoming increasingly popular with patients as a method to reduce drug dependence for mental health issues. Though ayurvedic medicines are administered to complement medication prescribed by psychiatrists, psychiatry or the science of the mind is embedded in very definition of Ayurveda.
According to ayurvedic texts, a person is said to have good health when they enjoy a balance of physical and psychological elements, of energies produced in the body, and of tissues in the organs combined with proper elimination of wastes, a happy heart and soul, a happy, functioning mind and proper functioning of the five senses.
To put it simply, allopathy treats specific symptoms with quick results, whilst Ayurveda works on the premise that all disorders (whether physical or mental) result from an imbalance of one of more of the factors mentioned above. Effective treatment, Ayurvedic practitioners believe, lies only in the holistic approach. It is this approach that now leads psychiatrists to believe that Ayurveda may hold the possibilities of an alternative treatment, for mental health issues.
Ayurveda produces significant results as a complementary treatment method to allopathy in disorders such as depression, anxiety and OCD. There have been studies conducted where the dependency on allopathic medicine was reduced with a simultaneous increase in the ayurvedic dosage. There have also been cases where dependency on allopathic medication has been completely eliminated.
Ayurvedic medicine provides for a holistic change in the patient while allopathy deals with specific symptoms of the disorder. Ayurveda recommends traditional dietary and lifestyle habits along with and herbal treatment and therapy. It has proved to be an alternative form of treatment, which not only includes treating the disorder – physical and psychological – but also bringing in a change in the lifestyle of the person to prevent future illnesses.