Mankind has always tried to attain peace and happiness through all available means. The need of attaining mental peace is increasing day by day in view of tremendous increase in the stress and strain of life especially in urban areas . The rapid industrialization ,excessive crowding , too much of competition, excessive hurry and worry are some of the important factors.
At first this stress is manifested as irritability, nervousness, sleeplessness etc. If the process is not checked the person gets additional symptoms like palpitation ,raised blood pressure etc. As these changes continue he becomes a victim of one of the Psychosomatic disorders such as Hypertension , Ulcerative colitis , Ischaemic heart disease ,Peptic Ulcer , Diabetes mellitus , Bronchial Asthma , Migraine , Rheumatoid arthritis etc. How familiar these names sound to us !!!
Large number of synthetic
compounds are being practiced to minimize the stress and its induced complications
but none of them are devoid of their ill effects in the long run .
A much clear concept of health ,physical as well as mental , has been described in Ayurveda. They have also mentioned a large number of herbal preparations which reduce anxiety and stress and are harmless too !!
The drugs promotingmedha ( intellect) are termed as medhya drugs. Ayurvedic System
of Medicine has mentioned several naturally occurring medicinal plants
under the category 'Medhya' .
By virtue of of inducing mental upliftment as major influence several medicinal plants mentioned as 'Rasayan Drugs' in Ayurveda are primarily claimed as 'medhya' . Further there is a special class of
Some Rasayan drugs called 'Medhya Rasayan'which is supposed to be having specific influence on higher brain functions.
'Brahmi'(Bacopa monniera) and
'Vacha' (Acorus calamus) are the important plants in the group 'Medhya Rasayana'. They are widely claimed as restorative ,nervine and mental tonics. They have got prominent action on Central Nervous System where they improve grasping power, memory, intellect and speech,and correct aberrations of emotions, mood and personality of an individual
Other important 'Medhya' plants are -'Mandukparni'(Hydrocotyle asiatica) - It is indicated to be used in the treatment of mental retardation, speech disorders, insanity , epilepsy etc.
'Shankhapushpi'(Convolvulus pluricaulis) - One of the best brain tonics. It strengthens the brain, brightens the memory and intellect. It is indicated in the treatment of loss of memory and associated mental disorders like insanity and epilepsy.
'Jyotishmati'(Celastrus paniculatus) - Powerful nervine and brain tonic which stimulates the intellect and sharpens the memory
'Jatamansi'(Nardostachys jatamansi) - Highly aromatic plant bearing a biphasic action on Central nervous system indicating nerve stimulation and nerve sedation (sedation to spinal cord specifically).
A trial on mice was done, to understand amongst Brahmi, Shankhpushpi and Jatamansi, which was more potent anti-stress herb?
It was found that combined effect of Jatamansi, Shankhpushpi & Brahmi showed the most potent calming effect in mice. While in individual drug extract, jatamansi exhibited more potent effect than other two drugs. Jatamansi, Shankhpushpi and last was Brahmi in calming effect, when individual extracts were used.
"Evaluation of comparative and combined depressive effect of brahmi, shankhpushpi and jatamansi in mice", Indurwade, N.H. and K.R. Biyani, 2000, Indian Journal of Medical Science 54, 8, 339?341
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