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Compiled by Dr. Priyanka Sampat, M.D(Ayu), D.Y.A – Head doctor – Birla Ayurveda

Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.

In Ayurveda, every human being is considered a combination of both mind and body.

Addiction is basically termed as a loss of mental ability to differentiate between wrong and right thus leading to dependency.

As far as the role of Ayurveda is concerned

We have 3 ways in which we can work on addictions

1) Food changes
2) Increasing the mental strength
3) Curing the damages which have occurred due to consumption or work on withdrawal syndromes

1) Food Habits

Food-Aahar plays an important role as far as mental status and physical status are concerned. Ayurveda has mentioned 3 types of aahar (food habits)-saatvik, raajsik, taamsik SAATVIK AAHar needs to be consumed as far as developing good mental status is concerned. Few examples of saatvik aahar: milk, moong, old rice, ghee, etc Consumption of such food help to built mental power thus improving buddhi(analytical power).

2) Increase of mental strength

I. Meditation/yoga
II. Medicines
III. Panchakarma and allied Ayurveda therapies. I. Meditation/yoga/mental training

I. Relaxation yoga aasanas like:

Anulom vilom
Shavasan etc
• Help to calm down the mind and ultimately increase the sattva guna of mana.
Yoga asanas are to be done strictly under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher.
• Periodical self-analysis is necessary
• Goal setting and focus efforts according to practical situation.
• Understanding limitation and scope of work to avoid depression and mental hazards.

II. Medicines

• There are many ayurvedic herbs and medicines which work on mind and body level
• These help to strengthen the mind.
• These develop a hatred or disgust for the addiction.
• Feeling of positivity and non-dependence.
Some herbs like
Jatamansi, jyotishmati, pimpali, vacha, kushmand, gokarna, sarpagandha.
Provide mental strength and increase analytical strength.
The above medicines need to be used strictly under the guidance of Ayurveda practitioners.

III. Panchakarma and allied Ayurveda therapies

There are enormous therapies mentioned in Ayurveda that will help in de-addiction.
Vata is the main entity that controls the mind and body in Ayurveda oleation therapy from various routes helps overcome the dryness caused due to addiction.
SHIRODHARA, ABHYANGAM (THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE) works on nourishing the mind and body.
BASTI – The main site of Vata is the abdomen hence Basti therapy (enema therapy) is generally advised with various medicines suitable according to the type of addiction.
NASYAM – Nasyam is the route of administration of various medicines through the nasal route.
It is said that it is the best route of administration as far as the action on the brain is concerned.
In order to de-addict a person, we need to work on the brain as well.
AGNIKARMA – it is a very specific therapy done in Ayurveda, in it, the gold stick is heated and then applied on the specific points.
All these only have to be taken in a proper Ayurveda center under the guidance of an Ayurveda doctor.

3) Curing the damages which have occurred due to consumption or work on withdrawal syndromes Can be achieved IN 2 ways.

1) Medicines
2) Rasayana therapies

1) Medicines and panchakarma
Medicines are dependent on the type of addiction and which organ damage has happened due to it.
Eg. Liver damage due to alcohol consumption etc
In such condition medicines which purify the liver and blood are given.
Also, there is a lot of heat which develops due to continuous consumption of these drugs, to take care of these we have few pitta pacifying medicines There might be some pathological conditions come up due to the addictions like rising in blood pressure, or development of the cardiac tissue, etc which have to be taken care immediately with medicines.
Due to heat-inducing drugs, there is the development of blood impurities thus blood purifying therapies are to be done according to patient conditions.

Panchakarma therapies that help in these conditions are:

  • Basti
  • Virechan
  • Raktamokshan
  • Rasayana Therapies

These therapies generally follow the Panchakarma treatments which purify the body.
This set of procedures and medicines further nourishes and strengthens the body after Panchakarma.
Rasayana treatments include dietary and lifestyle changes and consuming oral medicines.
Dr. Priyanka Sampat
Head doctor – Birla Ayurveda


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