More than a year now, corona virus is still messing not only with our bodies but also with human minds.
“Rupali, when you will come back to Pune, you will not see the same India you had left behind! This corona is trying to change the face of the entire society. There is a desperate need today to distribute psychotherapy and ayurvedic herbs like shankhpushpi , Brahmi just like cookies to people. No matter how bad it may feel, trust me ,the mental health of the patients and the people around seems to be deteriorating. I am afraid that we will become likes walking zombies, ” my doctor friend was telling me on the phone in painful voice. This made me think too. Covid has begun to weaken the roots of the world’s society. Along with financial loss, loss of lives, educational confusion, halted industrial growth , impaired physical health, social health, personal mental health has also fallen victim.
People are scared, they are defensive, sadly becoming either insensitive or oversensitive to the people around themselves. On one hand we see how people are taking benefits from others pain and on another hand, we can see the angel like persons fighting, helping and doing their best to overcome . Politics are taking toll on the trust ,faith and optimism and at the same time organizations and groups are setting examples of goodness. No wonder from kid to old is in some kind of stress and mental fatigue today. Mild to moderate anxiety ,depression is seeking firm place in society.
I am writing on mental health and Ayurveda from few weeks now. I have been writing on ayurvedic diet for many years. But many people here may not be aware that diet and mental health are closely related. And Ayurveda recognized it thousands of years ago and accordingly dietary rules, daily routines were introduced to the world . It is clearly mentioned in Ayurveda that diet nourishes not only the body but also the mind. Nutrition is a very important subject that has been neglected by modern medicine for decades. Fortunately, research over the past few years has shown that diet is important in mental health, so there is an emphasis on diet as well. But once again the limitations of modern dietetics appear in psychiatry. The reason for this is that every person is different, is unique and the diet and illness of that person too. Not everything will be same or generalized , it will be unique. The one size fits all equation does not apply to diet and therapy, and the patient does not get the desired results. Today, ‘Gut Health – Gut Health’ is in full swing. The fancy new product for maintaining intestinal health, which has already been mentioned in gut Health in Ayurveda, and its importance in every physical and mental ailment is also stated in a bold letter in Sanskrit Shloka. Let us look at a simple example. There is an old tradition of practiced in India to eat plain rice with cow ghee for two days after anyone die at home. Now in normal course of life just try and put ghee on only white rice before you put daal and see how the elders of the house will run on you for doing so. As it is so obvious that rice and only ghee is typically practiced in sad incidents .Okay put the custom aside, but why rice with ghee?. What is logic behind it other than faith ?In Ayurveda, ghee is praised to be one of the best dietary supplements for the mind. Now some people will ask for scientific support for this theory. Yes, talk of research. Science says that cow’s ghee is the best source of DHL, essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for nerve cell myelin sheet formation, its health and the deficiency can lead to many mental disorders such as Parkinson’s, Dementia, Mood swings, Depression, anxiety , loss of concentration etc. . Therefore, ghee or other good fatty acids are much essential. That is why many Ayurvedic medicines which work on the mind are in the form of treated ghee. Medicinal ghee is used for mental health. That is why in sad incidents when mind is disturbed, ghee and rice acts as pacifier for mind (nutraceutical). The same is true for today of functional foods and nutraceuticals that are marketed in shiny forms. So major dietary deficiencies can be a cause of mental illness many times .Yeah don’t get surprised !Even my 8 year old some years back had the same innocent reaction when talking about diet, He said “What???Food can make people crazy?” Yes wrong food, poor diet, incorrect habits and dietary mistakes that are made over the years certainly affect the health of the mind as well as the body. That is why the large intestine is called the second brain of the body. The hormone serotonin, which affects mental health, is secreted more in the intestines than in the brain. So intestinal illness has a definite effect on mental health. That is why the root of many physical ailments is found in the deterioration of mental health and the root of mental illness may lie in the intestines. This is complex thing . The same complex is solved in Ayurveda in a very simple way. Since the approach of Ayurveda is prevention is the best policy , Ayurveda gives in-depth information about sound lifestyle, how to behave(behavioral therapy) and correct nutrition.
Preventive Measures for Maintaining Mental Health is an urgent need for Ayurveda to reach the society in the easy language. Antipsychotic, sedative, antidepressant is an incomplete and incompetent approch. Only symptomatic treatment and very frightening side effects do not cure the underlying mental illness, but the patient continues to suffer. Today, the integration of essential medicines and services in modern science and the principles of Ayurveda and medicinal diet and lifestyle is very important. Even the types of diets described in the Geeta Satva, Raja,Tama explains nutritional impact on the body and mind. So why not consider this category when it comes to diet consulting. Can modern food types like cocktails, multicuisine food, processed food, ready to eat food be classified in the Satva Raja Tama category diet today? Can be done. Many ayurvedic Physicians and I certainly consider integrated approach when examining patients, giving dietary advice, and directing accordingly. This is because of our physical and mental habits that affect mental health in addition to diet. In Ayurveda, some of the urges that arise in our body and mind are mentioned as needs and called as Vega (urges)in Ayurveda.
Some of the involuntary physical urges are natural and are not supposed to resist ,such as thirst, hunger, sleep, sneezing, coughing, tears, and others. If not satisfied , they can cause physical illness in short- or long-term future. Ayurveda says that some natural feelings of the mind are manifested in the same way, but they should be assessed before you express, or they should be stopped resisted intentionally . There are some emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, violence which should be handled properly, expressed in proper way and/or destroyed. If this is not done, the tolerance of the human mind deteriorates, and health deteriorates too. Such a person then makes mistakes in behavior often. The person can be harmful to self and others. This theory nothing but the Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).In Ayurveda as a whole, mental health has been given a very thorough and thorough consideration. We will look at all the issues mentioned today in detail in the following articles, one by one. Just like we teach children hygiene habits, manners, dos-don’t from school life itself , don’t you think it is very important to give even small lessons related to mental health from an early age? Introducing spirituality along with science will be the support pillar for mental health of coming generations. We will also look at this aspect in the articles. Keep reading articles and reach out to as many people as you can without limiting yourself. In the end, you need the mental health of the society you live in, along with your own mental health.
So take away message from this blog is do not ignore the need of psychological health in coming future. Ayurveda science holistically offers solutions for mental health.Stay tuned!
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