Top 8 Ayurvedic Remedies to Deal with Schizophrenia

Top 8 Ayurvedic Remedies to Deal with Schizophrenia

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 19 Feb 2016 - 10:18


In Ayurveda schizophrenia is known as Ummada, a chronic mental disorder characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought, language and withdrawal from social contact. Even though schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very unhealthy. Mental stress and strain are mainly responsible for this disease which is caused by diet habits and constipation. Schizophrenia does not only affect the person but also their families, friends and society. People afflicted with schizophrenia are dependant, as they are incapabale of taking care of themselves.

Although the exact causeof schizophrenia is still vague, experts believe that schizophrenia results either from genetic factor (heredity); abnormal brain structure, possible viral infections or immune disorders.

Researchers found that the prevalence of schizophrenia in "least developed" countries was considerably lower than in the "developed" countries. Indian studies have indicated that the prevalence of schizophrenia is lower in India than in the West.

Natural Remedies for Schizophrenia Treatment:

  • Brahmi: Brahmi, an ayurvedic herb also known as bacopa, is popularly used in ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive ability. Animal studies have shown that it can also help improve schizophrenia due to its neuro-protective properties. A latest study showed that brahmiboosts mental power and stability of mind. It is very effective in controlling anxiety, anger, depression and agitation. Brahmi repairs the damaged neurons in the brain and enhances the nerve impulse transmission in brain. Consuming 500 mg of brahmi extract regularly for one whole month provides best results.
  • Fish Oil: People suffering from schizophrenia generally have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood as it is linked with reduction of certain fatty acids. Hence, fish oil supplements high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia. A 2010 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry Journal discovered that omega-3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) can lower the chances of evolving psychotic illnesses. Consuming 1-4 grams of fish oil supplements regularly and including salmon, trout, sardine and other cold water fish in your diet helps. Some seeds like pumpkin seeds, Flaxseeds, also contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that can help address the deficiency.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant such as vitamins  A, C and E are considered helpful in alleviating the severity of schizophrenia. A study published in theIndian Journal of Psychiatry showed that oxidative stress may have a role in the development of this brain disorder. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and alleviate oxidative stress. Hence incorporating antioxidant-rich foods such as lemons, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, spinach and carrots in the regular diet could help.
  • Exercise: Engaging in physical activity regularly for 30 minutes is recommended for maintaining physical and mental well-being for schizophrenic patients. It helps improve the mood and reduce anxiety and depression, all of which are associated with schizophrenia. However, Yoga therapy is also considered helpful for schizophrenia, as it can help alleviate psychotic symptoms, produce neurobiological changes and improve the quality of life. Researchers at the University of Toronto reported that regular, moderate aerobic exercise could reduce the feelings of depression, social isolation and low self-esteem in schizophrenics. Exercise may also boost healthier sleeping patterns, improve behavior and help maintain healthy weight, which is especially important for schizophrenics. Cycling, jogging, walking, weight training and yoga are all recommended types of exercise.
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is another excellent herb useful for treating depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders due to its anxiolytic, calming and antidepressant properties. A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology showed that this herb can provide blood glucose and cholesterol lowering effects to fight the side effects of antipsychotics. Consume 500 mg of ashwagandha supplement capsules, 4 times a day for at least one month.
  • Basil: Basil leaves possess antioxidant and healing properties that helps promote brain functionality to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. A few basil leaves may be infused in hot water for about 5 minutes, strained, and taken with honey has several health benefits. Consuming this herbal tea twice everyday shows effective results in a short span of time.
  • Green cardamom:Green cardamom seeds help to deal with symptoms of schizophrenia as they are good for the nervous system and possess healing properties. Infusing a teaspoon of powdered cardamom seeds in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, strained and taken with honey in lukewarm condition, is beneficial. This herbal tea may be taken twice a day.
  • Indian Gooseberry (amla): Indian gooseberries have natural antioxidants that help fight against Schizophrenia. People afflicted with schizophrenia symptoms may consume 2 to 3 gooseberries regularly for at least a month.   Alternatively taking amla powder in a glass of hot water, twice a day also helps.

Is there a cure for Schizophrenia?

You may be wondering if schizophrenia disease can be cured. According to Dr Peter J. Weiden, professor of psychiatry, Center for Cognitive Medicine & Department of Medicine; says that probably there is no complete cure for schizophrenics. But yes, schizophrenia patients can regain their lives without being hampered by their symptoms.  Dr Tyrone Cannon, professor of psychology at University of Yale says that unfortunately no cures for this disease have been found yet. Even though many effective therapies exist, none can assure a permanent end to a specific case of the disease.

Early warning signs of schizophrenia include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • A feeling that someone is observing
  • Speaking or writing in a meaningless way
  • Change in personality
  • Excessive anger
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling indifferent to very important situations
  • Deterioration of work performance
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Inability to cry or express joy
  • Depression
  • Irrational, angry or fearful response to loved ones
  • Inappropriate behavior


Different types of schizophrenia:

  • Paranoid schizophrenia – This is the most common type of schizophrenia in almost all parts of the world. Examples of paranoid symptoms include: extremely suspicious, persecuted or grandiose, or at times experience a combination of these emotions.
  • Disorganized schizophrenia - A person is often confused in speech and thought, but may not have delusions.
  • Catatonic schizophrenia -A person is withdrawn from social interactions, mute, negative and often assumes unusual body positions.
  • Residual schizophrenia - A person is not experiencing delusions or hallucinations, but has no keen interest in life.
  • Schizoaffective disorder-A person experiences symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder such as depression.

Dietary changes: Apart from above natural remedies,  diet is another alternative treatment to deal with schizophrenia, a diet low in fat, high in fiber, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.



Indian Journal of Psychiatry;

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