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FROM STRESS REDUCTION TO COGNITIVE IMPROVEMENT: THE DIVERSE HEALING POWERS OF AYURVEDA

Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: June 1, 2024

In today’s world, stress and anxiety are almost inevitable. With an increase in work pressure, unbalanced lifestyles, and a never-ending to-do list, it can be difficult to find balance and peace in our lives. But what if we told you that there’s an ancient practice that can help you not only manage your stress but also improve your cognitive abilities? That’s right, Ayurveda may just be the answer you’re looking for.

Did You Know?

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States use herbal products as per the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Ayurveda is an ancient healthcare system that originated in India thousands of years ago. It is a holistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual components of human health. With its focus on personalized medicine and natural remedies, Ayurveda has become one of the most popular complementary therapies worldwide. It is a versatile and effective approach to healing, offering a range of benefits from stress reduction to cognitive improvement. 

STRESS CAN’T BE STRESSED ENOUGH! 

Stress and anxiety are ubiquitous in modern society, which can contribute to chronic physical disorders like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Ayurveda believes that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and, therefore, stresses the importance of calming the mind to reduce stress and anxiety. 

  • Imbalances in the doshas are the root causes of stress, according to Ayurvedic principles. By analyzing your dosha type, an Ayurvedic expert can create a personalized treatment plan to promote relaxation and emotional balance.
  • Ayurvedic remedies such as meditation, yoga, and specific herbs like ashwagandha and brahmi effectively reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Ayurvedic therapies like Abhyanga, Shirodhara, and Panchakarma aid in stress reduction and emotional balance.

With regular practice, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your overall well-being.


AYURVEDA PROMOTES COGNITIVE IMPROVEMENT:

Ayurveda, an ancient holistic healing system, offers powerful remedies for cognitive improvement. Ayurveda recognizes the vital role of the mind in overall health and well-being. By addressing both physical and mental aspects, Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to promoting mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive health.

  • Ayurvedic herbs like Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Shankhapushpi, and Jatamansi have been scientifically proven to enhance cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and concentration.
  • Regular meditation practice stimulates the growth of new neural connections in the brain, boosting brain function.
  • Ayurvedic therapies like Nasyam, Karna Purana, and Shirobasti are used to treat neurological disorders and enhance brain function.

LET’S DISCUSS MORE ABOUT THESE HERBS:

1

Ashwagandha [1]:

A traditional ayurvedic medicine with multiple uses. It is found in India, Africa, and some parts of the Mediterranean continent. The name Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words “Ashva” meaning horse, and “Gandha” meaning smell. According to tradition, it can enhance strength and stamina like a horse while nourishing the reproductive and nervous systems. Also known as ‘Winter Cherry’ or ‘Indian ginseng’, Ashwagandha roots are commonly used in ayurvedic remedies.

The benefits of Ashwagandha are as follows:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Decreases stress and calms your body
  • Enhance your memory and cognition  
  • Improve sleep patterns  
  • Helps to manage weight
  • Helps to maintain normal testosterone levels in males
  • Increase fertility  
  • Improve heart health
  • Helps to manage weight  
  • Promote thyroid health

Based on my observations, I have seen that Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, can have positive effects on biochemical parameters in Parkinson’s disease. The extract has shown potential in improving markers associated with the condition, potentially through its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

2

Brahmi [2]:

Also called the Bacopa Monnieri is a traditional ayurvedic herb that has been used specifically to treat neurological disorders. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The leaves of this plant are considered very pure and effective. 

The benefits of Brahmi are as follows:

  • Works as a brain tonic  
  • Enhance memory, concentration, and intelligence  
  • Improve nervous system function  
  • Reduces stress and depression  
  • Calm your mind
  • Reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) like hyperactivity, impulsiveness
  • It is used as a great antioxidant that helps to remove cancer-producing cells
  • Acts as a natural blood purifier to give healthy skin and hair

3

Shankhpushpi [3]:

Shyamaktanta is a perennial herb with medicinal benefits. According to Ayurveda, it calms the brain and relieves stress and anxiety. It can be used in the form of tablets, capsules, or powder to improve brain functions. Shankhpushpi can be taken with warm milk or water to boost memory.

The benefits of Shankhpushpi are as follows:

  • It aids in digestion and relieves constipation with its mild laxative properties.
  • Shankhpushpi improves mental health and helps manage depression with its antidepressant activity.
  • It enhances memory and concentration as a brain tonic.
  • Shankhpushpi has rejuvenating properties and may help manage wrinkles and prevent aging.
  • It aids in acne and wound healing when applied topically.
  • Shankhpushpi oil benefits hair health controls hair fall, and promotes hair growth.

As is well-known with the brain-related effects of Shankhpushpi, it may also keep away the signs of aging. Researchers think Shankhpushpi may be a natural anti-aging treatment. Antioxidants are thought to be abundant in it.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

4

Jatamansi [4]:

Scientifically known as Nardostachys jatamansi, is a delicate and resilient perennial herb that thrives in the moist, steep, and undisturbed grassy slopes of India, China, Nepal, and Bhutan. This small rhizomatous plant belongs to the Valerianaceae family.

The benefits of Jatamansi are as follows:

  • It may have brain-protective properties.  
  • May relieve symptoms of seizures, vertigo etc., in fever.  
  • The oil of jatamansi may have antiarrhythmic (alleviates heartbeat irregularities) properties.  
  • The jatamansi oil may be useful for silky, smooth, and healthy hair.  
  • It may have beneficial properties for hypertension.  
  • It may have the potential to increase appetite,
  • It may be beneficial for the liver,
  • May have potential properties that may be carminative (relieving flatulence).
  • May have potential antispasmodic (relieves spasm) properties.

In my opinion, a regulated intake of jatamansi in your balanced diet might be worth considering. Jatamansi might hold many potential benefits. It may be useful in dealing with hepatitis and liver enlargement issues.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Ayurveda is an ancient practice with a wealth of benefits for modern-day living. From stress reduction to cognitive improvement, Ayurveda offers natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments to promote balance and harmony in the body, mind, and soul. By incorporating Ayurvedic practices into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and well-being. So why not give it a try? The benefits of Ayurveda await you.

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