Ayurveda, an ancient and time-tested system of medicine that originated in India, is widely recognised for its holistic approach to healthcare. It emphasises the importance of balancing the body, mind, and spirit to achieve overall well-being. While Ayurveda is often known for promoting physical health, it can also positively impact brain function in many ways. By incorporating Ayurvedic principles into daily life, individuals can enhance their cognitive abilities and improve their mental health. This article will explore how Ayurveda can help improve brain functions and overall mental well-being.
i) Ayurvedic herbs to enhance brain functions
Ayurveda recommends several herbs to help improve brain function.
Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) and Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) are two of the most popular. Both herbs improve memory and cognitive abilities. Among the most beneficial ayurvedic supplements include Gotu kola for memory improvement and Guggulu for brain function and overall health. Gotu kola helps improve memory and concentration, while Guggulu enhances brain function.
Other popular Ayurvedic supplements include Shankhpushpi for mental clarity, Jatamansi for reducing stress, and Ashwagandha for cognitive enhancement. These supplements are available in capsules, tablets, and powders.
While you can include some herbs in the diet, most others are prescribed as supplements. Either way, it is important to consume these herbs only with an Ayurvedic expert’s advice.
ii) Ayurvedic diet and practices for brain functions
Ayurveda recommends various dietary and lifestyle practices that can promote brain health.
One such diet is the Satvik diet, which emphasises fresh, organic, and plant-based foods. According to Ayurveda, Satvik or Sattvic diet digests easily, helps eliminate toxins from the body, promotes physical health, calms your mind, and can help you live longer. In addition, other Ayurvedic diets like the Kapha-balancing diet, Pitta-balancing diet, and Vata-balancing diet can help balance the doshas, or energies, in the body, leading to improved brain function.
Ayurvedic principles also suggest following an Ayurvedic daily routine (Dinacharya), which can benefit brain health. This includes practices like waking up early, meditation, and physical exercise.
iii) Ayurvedic meditation and yoga for improved brain functions
Ayurveda recognises the power of meditation and yoga in promoting brain health and cognitive function. One of the most effective is Kundalini yoga for improved focus and enhanced cognitive functions. It emphasises breathwork and movement to activate the energy centres in the body, leading to improved cognitive function.
- Yogic sleep, or Yoda nidra for stress relief, is also beneficial and promotes relaxation, enhancing brain function.
- Other types of yoga, such as Hatha and Vinyasa, can also be helpful for brain health.
- Similarly, Ayurvedic meditation techniques like Transcendental Meditation and Vipassana can help reduce stress and improve cognitive function.
iv) Ayurvedic therapies for improved brain functions
Adopting Ayurvedic diets and lifestyles can help enhance your cognitive skills. But are there Ayurvedic treatments that can treat various conditions affecting mental health? Yes, there are.
Several Ayurvedic therapies can effectively treat various conditions related to the brain. For example, Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic treatment involving a steady flow of warm oil on the forehead, is the best Ayurvedic therapy for nervous system disorders.
Additionally, Panchakarma therapy, which involves a series of detoxification procedures, has been found to improve brain function. You may also seek treatment for Alzheimer’s from Ayurveda practitioners, which includes herbs, diet, lifestyle modifications, regular meditation, and yoga. These therapies aim to restore the balance of the body and mind, which is essential for overall well-being and improved brain functions.
With the increasing demand for natural and sustainable healthcare, Ayurveda can be a valuable tool in promoting brain health and overall well-being. Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to improving brain functions by emphasising the mind-body connection. From herbs and supplements to diet, yoga, meditation, and therapies, Ayurveda offers many natural ways to enhance cognitive functions. In addition, Ayurvedic practices can also relieve various neurological disorders and promote overall brain health. Finally, if you intend to use Ayurvedic supplements or herbs to improve cognitive skills, getting a practitioner’s advice is best.