How Ayurveda Helps Maintaining Brain Health Naturally for a Healthy and Peaceful Life.

Brain Health

Introduction To Medha

Anatomically speaking, the most common definitions of the brain suggest it to be one of the largest and most complex organs of human body made up of billions of cells called nerve cells or neurons which transmit electrical and chemical messages to each other via synapses and which in turn, is responsible for integrating sensory information and directing motor responses. Well aware of that, are we all right? Now let us see what our dearest Ayurveda has to say about it.

Ayurveda says, physically the brain is made up of majja dhatu(marrow/nervous system) but the energy that resides inside the brain, the energy that is responsible for the intellect(dhi), the power to assimilate knowledge (dhriti) and ability to retain the imbibed knowledge such that it can be accessed when one wants(smriti) is “medha”. And in order to strengthen medha, which directly affects remembrance, retention, and acquisition, Ayurveda suggests diet and regimen, natural supplements, and classical therapies which we will be discussing further. If this is not nature’s gift then what is? Well admit it or not, who doesn’t need a good memory, better concentration, best performances along with better mental health in this world of competitions and deteriorating mental health conditions day by day? Ayurveda has got you covered.

Causes Of Deteriorating Brain Health

Ayurveda defines a disease as the disturbance of normal balance between the mind and body and the factors that disturb this balance are known as “doshas”. Doshas are known to be the three, namely, vata, pitta, and kapha. The specific brain functions are assigned to these doshas separately and when these doshas work accordingly and are in a balance, they give out the best brain functions. On the other hand, if any of them gets disturbed (aggravated or alleviated), the balance ends and it results in poor mental intelligence and deteriorated mental health.

  • Vata governs the nervous system and mind. When in balance, it is associated with creativity, reasonability, and expansiveness. But when imbalanced, it manifests instability, anxiety, agitation, and lack of direction.
  • Pitta governs the intellect. When in balance, nurtures courage, confidence, and contentment. But when imbalanced, it manifests anger, irritability, and impatience.
  • Kapha governs the capacity of memory. When in balance, it is associated with steadiness, endurance, and a sense of ease. But when imbalanced, it brings laziness, complacency, and depression.

Likewise, Ayurveda names three “mahagunas” which are the universal attributes or energies that also govern our states of consciousness, namely, sattva, rajas, and tamas.

  • Sattva crafts equilibrium, light, mental clarity, insight, intelligence, and wisdom.
  • Rajas sparks kinetic energy, movement, and passion.
  • Tamas renders heaviness, slowness, inertia, darkness, and sleep.

But there are factors that directly or indirectly influence sattva, rajas and tamas which are physical like what we do, what we say and with whom we engage; mental factors like what we see, hear and think and the dietary factors. These factors cause imbalance between the mahagunas and affect our mental health.

Symptoms Of Poor Brain Functioning And Deteriorating Mental Health

Do I need to explain the symptoms? It is every year from the past few years that we hear students preparing for their competitive exams attempting suicides because either they were not able to perform with the best of their capabilities in the examination they sat for or were suffering from stress and anxiety of the results.

Will there be a more alarming situation than we are in right now to know if our brain function and mental health is deteriorating and it’s time that we start living our lives the Ayurveda way? This depression, confused thinking, poor concentration, anxiety, mood swings, troubled understanding skills, and the excessive anger resulting in further stress and suicidal thoughts needs to stop. This cycle needs to end. We cannot fall victim to our poor lifestyle choices and do nothing about it. We need to change. Building better brain function is much more important than building abs, balancing vata, pitta, kapha, sattva, rajas and tamas is much more important than balancing a 5-25 kgs dumbbell. Isn’t it?

The Question Of How

As discussed earlier, it’s all about the balance. Balance in tridoshas. Balance in mahagunas. And this balance can be attained by subtle changes in our diet, regimen and lifestyles, natural supplements that help in better brain functions and a few therapeutic strategies.

Diet

To balance vata, pitta and kapha, Ayurveda suggests a diet that is not too dry or light, a diet that is not too hot, spicy, sour or fried or a diet that is too heavy, cold or oily. Eat everything but in moderation according to our digestive energy. Because I heard it or not yet? We are what we eat. And moreover, I would suggest, we are what we digest.

Likewise, to balance sattva, rajas and tamas, to quote Srimad Bhagavad Gita,

(Srimadbhagvad Gita,Adhyay 17/shloka 8)

We need a diet that improves the quality of life, quality of brain, strength, and immunity, restores health, makes us feel happy and loved, is juicy, has oils and fats up to a required quantity, renders stability, and is good for the heart. And avoid a diet that is anything opposite to these.

Classical therapies

(Ashtanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 10/1)

Which says for the disorders affecting organs of head(brain, eyes, ears, nose) and neck, nasya therapy is the best therapy because nose is the doorway to head and medicines administered through nasal route directly target the diseases of head and neck.

In this therapy, the neck, face, shoulders, and chest are gently massaged with a suitable herbal oil; heat fomenting is applied to help induce perspiration (sudation); the prescribed dose of herbal extracts/oil/powder is gently dropped or blown into the nostrils - one at a time - while inhaling.

  1. Nasya karma- To quote Ashtang Hrudyam,
  2. Shirodhara – It comes from the two Sanskrit words Shiro (head) and Dhara (flow). It's an Ayurvedic healing technique that involves having someone pour liquid — usually oil, milk, buttermilk, or water — onto your forehead.
  3. Shiro-Abhyang- Shiro Abhyanga is a Sanskrit term comprising two words: Shiro (head) and Abhyanga (massage). Shiro Abhyanga essentially means a complete massage of the head, neck, and shoulders using Ayurvedic herbal oils.

 

  • Natural supplements- They are the nervine(medhya) herbs that promote overall functioning of the brain, repair nervous tissue, useful in neuromuscular disorders, and stimulate the function of the nervous system. But in today’s fast paced world and busy lifestyles, it is practically impossible for us to collect authentic herbs ourselves and process them in a way that they can be used to intake or applied. Therefore, Planet Ayurveda has a perfect solution for us. With it’s 100% natural and vegetarian products formulated by M.D. Ayurveda doctors themselves, it is our go-to dietary supplement when it comes to brain health. For more information, consult “Planet Ayurveda – Holistic Healing Through Herbs – Taking Ayurveda To Every Home Worldwide''

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