Epilepsy is termed Apasmara or Apasmaram in Ayurveda. It is a neurological disorder. The disorder of the central nervous system causes the abnormal activity of the brain. The affected person tends to have fits and seizures. Though it can affect both children and adults infants and teenagers are mostly affected.
Ayurveda the oldest medical science attributes the disorder to the imbalance in the life energies called doshas in the body. The imbalance in the three doshas vata, pitta, and kapha singly or all of them together can lead to Epilepsy.
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- The person becomes unconscious and may fall down
- Convulsions of hand and feet and tremors
- Eyes become distorted
- Foam from the mouth
- Consciousness is regained after the convulsions are over
- twitching of muscles
- biting the tongue
During convulsions, the person may lose control over urine and stool. The person may be confused and have headaches and may go to sleep.
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- Presence of tumors or tuberculosis in the brain
- Brain Infections such as encephalitis and meningitis
- Allergic reaction to certain food
- Presence of excessive liquid in the brain
- Parasitic infection of the brain
- Circulatory disorders
- Poor mineral assimilation
- Conflict in the mind
- Genetic conditions
- Lead poisoning
- Use of medicines for angina and depression such as penicillin and chloroquine
- Chronic alcoholism or use of cocaine
- In babies, it may occur due to less oxygen supply to the brain due to delayed delivery
- The injury suffered by the baby during delivery
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Ayurvedic Treatment for Epilepsy
Ayurveda believes in balancing the life forces to remove the root causes of the disorders. Treatment methods of Ayurveda include herbal medicines, certain procedures, yoga, meditation, etc. Accordingly, the therapeutic remedy of epilepsy is as follows:
The brain’s activity is restored back to normalcy through purification methods that help to remove the dosha vitiation.
Vata The body is cleansed using an enema (Basti) to correct the dosha aggravation. This is due to stress, poor sleep, and mental exertion. Constipation and gastritis can also cause this type of epilepsy. Treatment may include Abhyanga the medicated oil massage, Shirodhara in which medicinal oil is poured over the head to calm the mind. Nerve tonics prepared with Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shankapushpi are used to regulate abnormal brain activity.
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Pitta The dosha disturbance is corrected by purgation (Virechan). Encephalitis and inflammation of the head may cause this epilepsy. This is mostly caused due to exposure to excessive heat.
Kapha – Removal of unwanted food material from the body by inducing vomiting. (Vamana). This is caused by a blockage in the nervous system. Excessive saliva secretion is noticed in this type of epilepsy. The reason may be a sedentary and secluded lifestyle. Tulsi and Acorus Calamus are used to treat Kapha-type epilepsy.
Herbal medicines used for epilepsy treatment are Panchayagavya Ghrut, Mahapanchagavya Ghrut, and Vachadhya Ghrut. Herbs that are effective in restoring brain activity to normalcy are Brahmi, Malkagni, Jatamansi, and Shanka Pushpi.
Avoid mental tension and stay positive as far as possible. Eat nutritious food and avoid eating late at night. Massaging with coconut oil or sesame oil at bedtime is helpful in lending a cooling effect to the brain. Yoga and meditation help in calming the brain and the nervous system and improve a positive attitude to life.