Researchers at India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) have made a dramatic discovery about the effectiveness of ancient Ayurvedic practices in treatment of anxiety disorders.
Ayurveda has been found to be more effective than one of the most popular conventional treatments, and has been able to provide relief without side-effects.
The study tested 72 patients who had been diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety disorders for seven or more years, and researchers analyzed their anxiety using Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS).
One group received a standard daily dose of Clonazepam (Klonopin), while the second group received 200mg of ‘Manasamitra Vataka’, an herbal Ayurvedic remedy. The third group was given ‘Manasamitra Vataka’ and ‘Shirodhara therapy’, wherein the forehead is treated with warm Brahmi oil. All three treatment regimens were given for 30 days.
The Clonazepam group saw 67 percent better disposition after the 30-day period, while the Manasamitra Vataka group experienced 73% improvement. However, the third group which received Shirodhara therapy along with Manasamitra Vataka, experienced 91% improvement in symptoms.
The thirty day treatment with Manasamitra Vataka reduced anxiety, severity of the disease and offered better quality of life and improved clinical profile. Also, use of Shirodhara as an add-on therapy decreased daytime sleepiness and improved quality of life in patients.
Manasamitra Vataka is an ancient complex Ayurvedic formula comprising 73 natural ingredients and herbal extracts.
Several of the herbs in Manasamitra Vataka, including Tulsi (tulasidala or the Holy Basil) have the ability to calm and soothe the nerves. For instance, in a clinical trial involving 35 subjects diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, it was found that Tulsi considerably reduced anxiety when 30 days and 60 days of treatment were given with 500mgm of Tulsi twice a day. The researchers are therefore of the opinion that Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) may also be useful in treating General Anxiety Disorder in humans, and may be a promising anxiolytic agent in future.
Anxiety disorders could also be due to high stress levels. Stress and fatigue are two main factors affecting the modern-age population. This could be due to various factors including erratic work hours, taxing environment, lack of sleep etc. However, the ancient practice of yoga, meditation and an ayurvedic lifestyle can help de-stress in an effective manner.