Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferers motor skills, speech and other functions. It belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders and it develops from a loss of dopamine producing cells.
Parkinson’s distinct triad of symptoms are
- Bradykinsesia (slow physical movement)
- Rigidity – muscle stiffness can occur in any part of the body
- Tremor/ shaking – often occurs when the hand is at rest
In Ayurveda Parkinson’s disease known as Kampavata or Vephatu and is considered to be a Vataja nanatmaja Vyadhi (diease of Vata). Kampavata can be translated as tremors due to Vata.
Reference from Madhava Nidana 22: 74
The whole body or head, hands, legs get tremors. This is called vepathu or kampa. This causes difficulty in movements and walking.
In the time of Charaka and Sushruta a cluster of symptoms (sanskrit words below) are described which can be seen as a description of Parkinson’s disease.
Kampa = tremor
Sirakampa = head tremor
Stambha = rigidity
Cestasana = bradykinesia
Vakvikrti = disturbance in speech
Bhudhikshaya = cognitive impairment. depression, anxiety, change in mood
Nidranasha = sleep disturbance
The Ayurvedic treatment approach will involve Vata and Kapha reducing measures with diet , and herbs (e.g. Kapikaccu churna, Rasona,Ashwagandha and Bala churnam) and external treatment.
External therapies are:
Abhyangam (oil massage)
Svedana (herbal steam)
Patra Potali svedam (special prepared bolus of medicinal leaves)
Pizhichil (pouring medicated oil in a specific manner over the body)
Thalam (applying medicines over the centre of the head)
Udvarthanam (powder massge)
Basti (Anuvasanam = a type of medicated enema)
Nasya (administration of nasal drops)
Rasayana (rejuvenation treatment)
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