Knowledge Base

What is Anxiety? Causes, Symptoms and Ayurvedic Treatment

by Dr Vaid Ji on Jul 08, 2024

What is Anxiety? Causes, Symptoms and Ayurvedic Treatment
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is a natural response to stress but can become excessive, persistent, and interfere with daily activities.

Major Causes of Anxiety

1. Genetic Factors: Family history of anxiety disorders.
2. Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
3. Environmental Factors: Stress from personal relationships, work, school, or financial pressures.
4. Medical Conditions: Chronic illnesses or significant health issues.
5. Substance Use: Excessive use or withdrawal from alcohol, caffeine, and other substances.
6. Trauma: Past traumatic experiences can trigger anxiety disorders.
7. Personality: Certain personality types may be more prone to anxiety.

Symptoms of Anxiety

- Excessive worry or fear
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Irritability
- Muscle tension
- Fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbances
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sweating
- Trembling or shaking

How Ayurveda is Helpful for Anxiety

Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India, offers holistic treatments for anxiety that focus on balancing the body, mind, and spirit. It aims to address the root cause of anxiety rather than just alleviating symptoms. Key approaches include:

1. Diet and Nutrition: Incorporating sattvic (pure) foods that are fresh, light, and calming to the mind.
2. Lifestyle Modifications: Encouraging regular routines, yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breathing exercises).
3. Herbal Remedies: Using herbs known for their calming and adaptogenic properties.
4. Detoxification: Panchakarma therapies to cleanse the body of toxins and balance doshas (body energies).
5. Massage and Oil Treatments: Abhyanga (oil massage) and Shirodhara (pouring warm oil on the forehead) to soothe the nervous system.

Common Herbs to Treat Anxiety in Ayurveda

1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): An adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress and promotes relaxation.
2. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Enhances cognitive function and reduces anxiety.
3. Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): Calms the mind and promotes sound sleep.
4. Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis): Reduces mental fatigue and enhances memory.
5. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): Helps in reducing stress and anxiety due to its adaptogenic properties.
6. Vacha (Acorus calamus): Known for its calming effects on the mind.
7. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Supports adrenal health and reduces Stress.
8. Tagara (Valeriana wallichii): Promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality.

In Ayurveda, it is important to consult with a qualified practitioner to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to an individual's unique constitution and imbalances.