ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S, EPILEPSY, STROKES, DEPRESSION, DEMENTIA, ANXIETY, SCHIZOPHRENIA….Do you know that nearly one in six of the world’s population, suffer from full blown some or the other brain disease, with some 6.8 million dying of the maladies each year. This data was issued by United Nations in 2007 and since diseases have been exponentially rising (despite an equally exponential increase in the number of specialists), this number too has gone up in the last ten years. Modern medical science understands these diseases as a result of build-up of plaque in the brain/ change in the brain’s chemistry (primarily neurotransmitters that conduct current in between the nerves of the brain for conveying messages), but has not been able to explain the root cause behind all these diseases but as ever Ayurveda can explain. So let us understand the reasons for such diseases along with their cure/management by using simple principles of Ayurveda which will keep you and your near and dear ones at bay from them.
Very logically, Ayurveda explains flow of the blood to different parts of the body as the most important aspect because it is the blood only which supplies nutrition and oxygen to each and every part of our body and mind and if, because of some reasons, this blood is not reaching properly in a specific part of the body (which is brain in such diseases) then that part is bound to decay. This is one of the reasons that a person with alzheimer’s is highly likely to develop even depression/anxiety (https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-depression.asp). Likewise goes for association found in between alzheimer’s and parkinson’s ( https://www.alz.org/dementia/parkinsons-disease-symptoms.asp ). So, if the blood supply to brain is restored/not interrupted, then these diseases can be reversed to a great extent/avoided.
Now, Ayurveda explains that where blood doesn’t reach Vata does, where Vata is one of the three doshas of Ayurveda representing space and air. These three doshas called as Vata, pitta and kapha define every living being (to understand how the three doshas of Ayurveda i.e. Vata, pitta and kapha you may pick up a copy of the book THE ROOT CAUSE and watch videos on youtube channel). Thus all these diseases of the brain are nothing but arising out of Vata dosha (i.e. paucity of blood in the brain). Now we must understand even our body conducts electricity to send signals from one place to another. And for that, our body is full of wires called as nerves which like electrical wires are also covered with an insulation. Since this insulation is made out of food that blood carries to the nerves, less blood (or say high vata) would mean poor insulation. Thus high vata leads to short circuiting of nerves due to weak insulation. So what happens when short circuit takes place in the electrical wires? There is sudden surge of power/blast and everything around that area burns. Exactly this is what happens in our mind as well when less of blood (or say vata) reaches our mind. All this leads to accumulation of dry plaque in the brain which doesn’t let the nerves conduct electricity (or say pitta) thus affecting communication leading to these brain diseases. As such even the electrical wire stops sending current beyond the point of short cct. Ayurveda calls this phenomenon as Vata blocking pitta.
Now, to cure any disease, Ayurveda follows a very logical principle. It says that first of all the root cause, which is the reason of the disease (which in most cases is different foods that we eat), needs to be removed and then only begin with the cure/reversal of disease (unfortunately this principle of removing the cause is missing in modern medical science because of lack of understanding of how Vata, pitta and kapha work and how six tastes of different foods that we eat affect these vata, pitta and kapha. As a result most of the doctors tell the patients to eat everything and not alter their diet as per their constitution). And therefore if someone has developed any of this disorder, the only way to cure such a person to absolute normalcy is first of all, abstinence from those foods/medicines that reduce blood towards brain and then to work on restoration of blood circulation towards the brain. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Removal of the cause- the first step
So what are those foods which reduce blood to the brain? These foods are bitter in taste and are called as vasodilating foods as they dilate our blood vessels. Examples of some of the commonly used highly bitter foods that dilate blood vessels are alcohol, tobacco, onion, garlic, tea, coffee, beetroot, chocolates and even broccoli. So what will happen if such dilating foods are taken when one is sitting or standing? Gravity will slowly and gradually reduce blood flow from the brain and thus decay it thereby inviting such diseases. Also remember that even allopathic BP medicines also reduce blood from the brain as discussed in the previous blog (here I must mention that I personally know several people having parkinson’s/alzheimer’s/dementia who developed these diseases after taking allopathic BP medicines for years. In certain cases they earlier used to take lots of garlic and other vasodilating foods and later on they developed this disease which further got aggravated due to high BP medicines).
On the other hand, if such foods (i.e. bitter/vasodilating) in combination with certain other foods/tastes (i.e. astringent and sweet) are taken just before lying down, then this will increase blood flow towards the core of the brain (not the peripherals of the brain), thereby reversing the disease to some extent. This is because while bitter while lying down will increase blood towards brain, astringency will constrict cells and widen blood vessels to take sweetness to deeper parts of the brain thereby settling deep seated vata. Thus vasodilating foods are not always bad and can be rather beneficial if they are used wisely employing the fundamentals of ayurveda. Fruits like wood-apple (Bael fruit) and Medha vati (an ayurvedic medicine whose composition is similar to Mukta vati which is used for curing high BP about which we discussed in the previous blog), works on this principle only. As both of them (bael fruit and medha vati) have these three tastes i.e. bitter, astringent and sweet, it has to be noticed that for a hyperactive mind which is the cause of hypertension in most of the cases, such medicines/fruits should be taken in the night only as I mentioned in the previous blog. Remember that such a medicine can be taken in the morning only if one needs to increase blood circulation (reduce vata) in the lower body parts for curing diseases like ulcerative colitis, piles, diarrhea, hyperactive liver (this does not mean fatty/sluggish liver).
Restoration of blood circulation to the brain
However a very important part to be noted here is that such medicines even if used in the night cannot push blood too deep into the brain where blood has not been reaching, either because of inborn constitution or acquired constitution, due to unwise use of vasodilating foods/drinks. So, here no medicine of the world can help, not even Ayurveda. Here the only act that can help is Yogasanas that push blood towards brain such as harepose and its counter-posture (i.e. ardh-chakrasana), headstands, half headstands and moolbandha asana (the root-lock pose). But hold on! there are some basic rules that we must follow while doing Yogasanas else they can be counterproductive. Click here to understand these rules.
Last but not the least, its very important to note that such diseases do not happen overnight and progress very slowly and gradually and therefore symptoms like uncontrolled anger, unnecessary fear/irritation, over-jealousy, over criticism or emotional breakdowns indicate that one is prone to develop such diseases in the long run because of high vata towards the brain.