Epilepsy refers to a disorder in which the person has a tendency to have seizures or fits due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Actually by age of 80, about 5 to 10% of general populace in the world suffers from an unprovoked seizure at least once in his/her life. But not all of them develop epilepsy. Only 1% populace in the world i.e. 65 million people actually develop epilepsy. Out of those, almost 80% patients belong to the developing countries like India, Egypt etc. Fortunately, the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda offers effective support to epilepsy patients. It is known as ‚ÄėApasmara‚Äô in Ayurveda.
Several factors which are either genetic, structural or metabolic play a role in causing epilepsy, however the cause of seizure remains unknown in almost 60% of the cases. Problems during delivery, head injury, tumours or infections of the brain can cause seizures at the time of birth. Among the younger population, it is the genetic, congenital and developmental conditions that are primarily responsible for causing seizures, while brain tumors and strokes are more likely to cause seizures and fits in older people. Ancient Ayurveda experts believed that improper use of sense organs and inappropriate food can also cause ‚ÄėApasmara‚Äô.
¬∑ Sudden jerks in arms
¬∑ Strange feeling
¬∑ Sudden blackout & fainting
¬∑ Stiffness in muscles
¬∑ Twitching or trembling of muscles
Ayurveda categorizes epilepsy into four types, depending upon which particular Dosha is vitiated. Accordingly seizures are classified as Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj & Sannipatik in Ayurveda. Vataj seizures (caused mainly by vitiated Vayu) last relatively for shorter time, increase respiratory rate, cause more secretion of foam from mouth and abnormal body movements during fits. Pittaj seizures (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) cause yellowish or reddish tint on body, lot of sweating, the foam coming from mouth is also yellowish, patients experiences hotness in body and severe thirst after the seizure. Kaphaj seizures (caused mainly by vitiated Kapha) last for relatively longer time, the foam is whitish in colour while patient experiences heaviness in body. Sannipatik seizures are caused by vitiation of all three Doshas and therefore have mixed characteristics.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
¬∑ The main objective of the Ayurvedic treatment is to strengthen the brain and restore the proper function of the nervous system. Nourishing herbs with a tonic effect are prescribed along with diet and lifestyle adjustments that emphasize a light easily digestible diet and avoidance of mental strain.
¬∑ It is very important for the patient to maintain proper food timings and choose less spicy, less oily fresh food.
¬∑ Oily, fatty, spicy and stale food must be avoided.
¬∑ Late nigh parties, late night dinners, late night study or keeping awake at night for work should be strictly avoided.
¬∑ Meditation and other relaxation techniques should be used regularly to ensure that stress does not disturb the electric activities in brain.
¬∑ Doing Yoga, Pranayama regularly have positive effects on brain chemistry and help curing epilepsy.
¬∑ Putting few drops of warm pure ghee in both nostrils regularly reduces recurrence of Vataj & pittaj seizures.
¬∑ First Aid during Seizure:
¬∑ Putting few drops of onion juice in both nostrils of the patient reduce the effect of the seizure immediately and bring back the consciousness.