Addiction of any kind is not good as it exceeds the limit of being healthy. Addiction can not only affect the individual and his family but, can also affect the society. Especially addiction of tobacco, drugs, alcohol are the worst and are bound to create their negative impact sooner or later.
That is why de-addiction needs a well-planned holistic approach of ayurveda that includes, herbal medication, personal counseling, exercises and meditation.
The Ayurvedic way of diagnosing addiction involves
- Evaluation of tridoshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha
- Nadi (pulse) examination
- Examination of organs like tongue, nails, eye etc.
- Detailed understanding of physical traits, habits, sleep patterns and hereditary traits of the individual
- Some clinical tests depending upon the individual
These all examinations are done to understand the nature and tendencies of the individual.
De-addiction & Ayurveda
The de-addiction treatment and rehabilitation in ayurveda comprises of the following:
I) Purification Therapies:
The first step of ayurvedic treatment is purification of the body by removing toxins through panchkarma:
- Vamanam: is the process of inducing vomiting to cleanse the body.
- Virechanam: is the process of removing toxins from the body through anal route.
Both these procedures involve intake of herbs or their formulations to induce vomiting or purgation. Herbs like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon etc. are used for the purpose.
II) Rasayana Therapies:
After purification of the body by panchkarma, body is nurtured and fortified with rasayana therapies:
- Dietary changes: Diet plays a very important role in ayurvedic de-addiction procedure and following changes are recommended to every patient:
- Take diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins but low in fat
- Reduce intake of tea/coffee
- No alcohol intake
- Increase intake of fruits like grapes, dates and apples during the first thirty days of treatment
- Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin B6 such as nuts, whole grains and green vegetables
- Lifestyle changes: Along with diet, lifestyle is also a part of body nourishment plan. Few of the lifestyle changes required for de-addiction are:
- At least30 mins of exercise daily
- Diverting attention from addiction
- Practice deep breathing at the time of craving
III) Herbal medicines:
This is the most important part of ayurvedic de-addiction treatment and rehabilitation. A range of herbal medicines and their combinations are given to the patient depending upon its addiction and body type. These herbal formulations decrease the craving of the patient and keep them away from their addiction.