What is Dementia? Causes, Symptoms and Ayurvedic Treatment

Abstract

With ageing process we are more likely to suffer from various ailments. One such very famous disorder is dementia. If not treated initially it can lead to development of mental stress that might progress into depression and other psychological ailments. Thus it is very important to deal with these disorders as early as possible. We can start using herbal medicines as they will provide strength and stamina to the patient by doing detailed prakriti analysis (nature) of the patient. As per ayurveda in old age there is an excess of vata dosha within the body. So lets start discussing the role of ayurveda in managing dementia.

Introduction

Dementia  is defined as a group of symptoms that interferes with the thinking process and impairs daily functioning. It is not a specific or particular disease, but it is a general symptom characterized by impairment of at least two brain functions that includes loss of memory power and judgment ability. It is a slowly progressive disease. As per ayurveda we can correlate dementia with “vata vyadhi” vata dosha is considered as one of the main energies in the body. It controls all the bodily movements. As this ailment is seen more prominently in old age we can precisely say that it is a type of vata vyadhi due to vridha avastha (vata dosha prominent disorder due to old age).

Dementia

Etiological factors

These are the main causes (nidan as per ayurveda) that results in formation of an ailment.

  • Injury to the brain
  • As a result of normal ageing process
  • Brain stroke

Due to presence of underlying disorders

  • Alzheimer’s disease produces Alzheimer’s associated dementia.
  • Cardiovascular dementia giving rise to vascular dementia.
  • Dementia due to nutritional deficiency disorders.
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Neurosyphilis
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy.

According to Ayurveda

  • Intake of ruksh (rough), sheetal (old), alap (in less amount) food.
  • Langhan (over fasting)
  • Asatamya ahar (unhealthy dietary habits)
  • Over consumption of katu (spicy), tikat (bitter), kashyay (astringent) food items.
  • Strenuous physical exercises.
  • Chinta (stress)
  • Vegdharan (suppressing natural urges of the body)
  • Ratri jagran (who doesn’t sleep at night)
  • Krodh (anger)

Clinical Features

It includes the signs and symptoms. A symptom means the general complaints along with which patients present in front of the physician.

Signs: It means what a physician notices himself by observing the patient’s condition.

  • Impairment of memory and thinking ability.
  • Difficulty to perform daily activities
  • Problem with language speaking
  • Lack of motivation
  • Decreased ability to remember things
  • Depression
  • Delusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness

Risk factors

It includes the factors responsible for increasing the chance of developing an ailment in the body. In right coronary artery blockage the common risk factors are

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy
  • Vitamin b12 deficiency

Diagnosis

Through physical examination of the patient by using

  • Inspection
  • Palpation
  • Auscultation
  • Percussion
  • Noticing a great change in a person’s normal behavior.

Laboratory findings

  • Thyroid function test.
  • Renal function test
  • Liver function test
  • C- reactive protein
  • Cognitive testing

Radiological findings

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Mini mental state examination (MMSE)

According to Ayurveda

The two most preferred diagnostic procedures used by a physician are as follow

1. Trividh pariksha (Group of 3 diagnostic procedures)

  • Darshan- Diagnosis is made by visual examination of the symptoms.
  • Sparshan- Physician uses tactile examination to evaluate whether skin is cold/hot
  • Prashan– Physicians ask direct questions from the patient, to evaluate the root cause of the disease i.e. history taking.

2. Asthavidh pariksha (set of 8 examination procedure)

  • Nadi pariksha– By palpating the pulse rate of the patient.
  • Mutra pariksha– By examining the urine of the patient.
  • Mal pariksha– By stool examination.
  • Jivha pariksha– By examining the tongue whether coated or not.
  • Shabad pariksha– By listening to the natural sounds within the body like intestinal sound (peristalsis) sounds of moving body fluids.
  • Sparsh pariksha– By observing the patient skin texture whether it is cool, wet or dry.
  • Drik pariksha– When a physician inspects patient symptoms through his/her eyes.
  • Akriti pariksha– When a physician evaluates the general appearance of a patient whether he/she looks dull, lethargic or fatigued etc.

Management

According to ayurveda- To treat “vata vyadhi” we need to do

(A).Shodhan chikitsa (detoxification procedure)

  1. Deepan– It means increasing the power of Agni (digestive fire) within the body by using ayurvedic medicines.
  2. Paachan– In this we do assimilation of undigested food present inside our digestive tract with the oral intake of herbal medicines.
  3. Snehan (Oiling/Massaging) – The massage of the body is done with slightly warm oil/ ghrit to smoothen the raised level of toxin.
  4. Svedan (Steaming procedure) – where fumigation/steaming is done with herbally made kwath/solution to relax the channels and openings of the body.
  5. Basti karam (enema) – in this liquid form of medicine (kwath/ oil) is put inside the body via anal canal with the help of specially made basti yantr (instrument)

(B) Shaman chikitsa (using herbal medicines orally)

Classical medicines explained by our acharya in “vata vyadhi” are as follow

1. Rasa/bhasma/pishti

  • Vatari ras
  • Rasraj ras
  • Vata chintamani ras

Dosage: 125-250mg with honey

2. Churna

  • Shaddharana churna

Dosage: 2-5 gram with lukewarm water or honey

3. Kwath

  • Maharasnadi kwath
  • Mashbaladi kwath

Dosage: 20-40 ml with plain water after meals.

4. Arisht

Dashmoolarishta – 10-20 ml with equal amount of water after meals.

5. Tail

  • Bala tail
  • Rason tail

Dosage: 10-20 ml apply locally

6. Guggul

  • Yograj guggulu
  • Kaishor guggulu
  • Sinhnad guggulu

Dosage: 500mg with plain water after meal

If you want to use herbal formulations, Planet Ayurveda (it is a leading herbal company serving people worldwide with their herbal and authentic products) offers various herbal formulations for this and are as follow

Dementia Herbal Remedies

Dementia

1. Brahmi capsule

This herbal capsule contains pure and standardized extract of brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) this herb is considered as the best ‘medhya herb’ means it helps in strengthening the nervous system as making nerve cells strong and healthy in function so shows great results in patients suffering from dementia.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice daily with plain water.

2. Gotu kola capsule

This herbal capsule contains standardized extract of gotukola (Centella asiatica). This herb is mentioned as the best ‘medhya herb’ (brain tonic) in classical ancient texts. It rejuvenates our mind and helps in strengthening the nervous system of our body. It also contains great antioxidant properties thus helps in removing  obstruction present inside the blood channels and proves as a great choice in dementia patients.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules with plain water two times a day.

3. Memory Support

This herbal capsule contains various medicinal herbs such as brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), vacha (Acorus calamus), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra). All the herbs present in this herbal formulation posse’s sheet virya (cold potency) so it will have a soothing effect on the nervous system of the body. It helps in increasing the memory power of the patient as a patient of dementia suffers from loss of memory problem.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules two or three times a day with plain water after meals.

4. Medhya Churna

This powdered form of herbal formulation contains herbal such as vacha (Acorus calamus), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), ajmoda (Carum roxburghianum), sonth (Zingiber officinale), marich (Piper nigrum), patha (Cissampelos pareira), brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) etc. It is very effective in raising the intellect power of the nervous system. Being a brain tonic it shows great results in patients suffering from dementia.

Dosage: 1/4 teaspoon once in a day with plain water.

Conclusion

Now we can conclude that in old age-related disorders like dementia our ancient acharya has already mentioned detailed treatment modalities that show wonderful results. By using ayurvedic herbs we can effectively manage the further advancement of dementia symptoms. For ayurvedic treatment, you can consider consulting expert doctors of planet ayurveda we have been serving people for the last 20 years. You can directly visit us at our clinic at Mohali, Punjab or you can also send your doubts and queries on our official email id-www.herbalremedies123 @yahoo.com

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.