Review Article

Anxiety and Depression

Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences

2023 Volume 8 Number 9 September

Anxiety and Depression management through Ayurveda drugs and Panchakarma

Harshitha S1*, Kishor SR2

1* Harshitha S, Bams Md, Sania Multispecialty Hospital, Sira, Karnataka, India.

2 Kishor SR, BAMS, Sania Multispecialty Hospital, Sira, Karnataka, India.

For about last one hundred year, two conditions which have affected human life in a profound way are Anxiety and Depression. When an individual is affected in any disease condition the major things which will be affected in their life are health and their financial condition but in these two conditions a patient’s life will be affected in every possible way be it financially, socially etc., these conditions more than being a diseased state sadly it has become a stigma especially in our Indian sub-continent both in rural and urban areas.

Keywords: Diseases, Stigma, Anxiety, Depression

Corresponding Author How to Cite this Article To Browse
Harshitha S, Bams Md, , Sania Multispecialty Hospital, Sira, Karnataka, India.
Harshitha S, Kishor SR, Anxiety and Depression management through Ayurveda drugs and Panchakarma. J Ayu Int Med Sci. 2023;8(9):149-152.
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Manuscript Received Review Round 1 Review Round 2 Review Round 3 Accepted
2023-07-15 2023-07-24 2023-08-01 2023-08-12 2023-08-24
Conflict of Interest Funding Ethical Approval Plagiarism X-checker Note
None declared Nil Yes 20.89

© 2023by S H, SR Kand Published by Maharshi Charaka Ayurveda Organization. This is an Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ unported [CC BY 4.0].


Anxiety and Depression are one of the symptoms in various diseases but not disease itself. It may be due to various reasons such as which involves aspects in both personal and professional life of an individual. The basic differences between these two conditions are Anxiety is characterized by worry. Worry which is abnormal in two ways - either the patient is habitual of worrying over everything or patient worries only in certain situations. In depression the basic feature is the inaction, sorrowful, idle and with low emotions. In anxiety Rajo Guna is majorly affected and in depression Tamo Guna is affected. Anxiety is usually characterized by hyperactivity, low decision making capability and depression with less activity or inactive state.

The incidence of these two conditions has sored high due to stress, strain. In actuality human beings have not been exposed the kind of stress and strain which they have bought themselves up due to the inevitability of current circumstances which is affecting them both by the influence of world around them and also by the individuals surrounding them. In the last one hundred years factors such as new inventions, industrializations, globalization, formation of nuclear families and different styles of living of human beings has affected the people in ways we have not imagined. They have changed and destroyed the life and somehow people are trying to adjust with the situations but our mind is not capable of adapting with the given situation and that is why these problems arise. We need to diagnose precisely these two conditions though there is lot of overlapping of symptoms. Majority of patients have mixed symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

We shall understand the features of these conditions in below table.

Psychological SomaticPsychological Somatic
WorriesRise of palpitationLow moodLow appetite or Excess of appetite
IrritabilityTremorsUnhappinessWeight gain or Weight loss
Anticipation of bad thingsSweating in hands, feet etc.,Negative thoughtsDisturbed sleep
Lack of concentrationDizzinessSuicidal thoughtsReduced libido, Erectile dysfunction
FearfulnessMuscle tension Constipation or Diarrhoea
Reduced memoryFatigue 
Inferiority complexInsomnia 
 Frequent urination 
 Chest pain 

As Ayurveda Vaidyas we have an opportunity to treat such conditions since our Acharyas have mentioned about these conditions and also suggested apt medications, do’s and don’ts to the individuals who are suffering from these problems.

Management of anxiety and depression

Anti-anxiety drugs - Medhya Rasayanas : Tagara, Brahmi, Mandukaparni, Shankapuspi, Ashwagandha, Jatamamsi, Parasika Yavani.

Anti-depressants - Manobalya : Jyotismati, Vacha, Akarakarabha, Gandira.

Aphrodisiac - Putranjiva, Kokilaksha, Kapikacchu.

Rasayanas - Shilajatu, Amalaki, Aswagandha, Abhraka, Yashada, Mukta, Shukti, Swarna, Rajata

Satvavajaya - Sadvruta, Yoga, Dhyana, Pranayama.

Brahmi and Tagara are drugs which are complimentary to each other in many ways which helps in anxiety. To a greater extent Mandukaparni has similar actions to Brahmi. Aswagandha which is both anti-anxiety and also anti-depressant drug. Jatamamsi induces sleep for a brief period, we should base our treatment with these drugs for anxiety and depression. Minimum of three months of treatment is required for treatment this condition.

Mode of action

1) Brahmi (Baccopa monneiri) - considered as an adaptogenic herb which increases body’s resistance to stress. Research says it helps in reducing stress and anxiety by reducing levels of cortisol & increases the serotonin levels which elevates the mood.[1]

2) Tagara (Valeriana wallichi) - Tagara roots help in improving sleep as it relaxes the central nervous system due to its sedative properties. It increases the amount of GABA- gamma aminobutyric acid which helps regulate nerve cells and has calming effect on anxiety. It is also beneficial in managing blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscles and increasing the blood flow.[2]

3) Mandukparni (Centella asiatica) - contains brahminoside, brahmoside which binds to cholecystokinin receptors, a group of G protein coupled receptors which bind the peptide hormones cholesystokinin and play a potential role in modulation of anxiety.[3]

4) Shankahpuspi (Convulvulus pleuricalis) - it balances the neurotransmitters and ups the dopamine secretion which inturn keeps the serotonin level under control and helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety.

5) Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) - increases in the levels of monoamines and inhibitory amino acids, serotonin, 5- hydroxyindole acetic acid, gaba and taurine contributes to its antidepressant action.[5]

6) Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - stabilizing effect on the HPA axis where it becomes less reactive to stressors. It reduces cortisol and DHEA-S levels suggesting it has moderating effect on HPA axis activity in stressed adults.[6]

Some of the formulations which are helpful in conditions;

1. Brahmi Rasayana
2. Saraswatarista
3. Kalyanaka Ghrita
4. Mahakalyanaka Ghrita
5. Manasamitra Vati

Panchakarma in Anxiety and Depression[7]

Apart from the medications said above, patients are treated with various Panchakarma Chikitsa. Procedures which are helpful are described below:

a) Abhyanga: Medicated oil massage which increases blood circulation in the body and brain. Srotas gets activated which release stress and relax the Manas. It is effective in balancing the Vata which is the main cause for mental illness.

b) Shirodhara: It is one of the most calming relaxation therapies. Medicated oil or Takra is poured on the forehead in cyclic pattern stimulates the points covering whole of forehead. It rejuvenates the central nervous system that gets clogged with residual stress, lifestyle habits and work pressure. It relieves various conditions rising by vitiated Vata Dosha.

c) Nasya: medicated oil is administered into the nasal cavity which helps in relieving headaches, sinus related migraines, reduces anxiety, strengthens the mind and stimulates nervous system.

d) Karnapoorana: the small bones in the inner ear called ossicles, stimulate the nerve endings,

transmits the signals to brain. When medicated oil poured in the ear it stimulates neurons and supports our mental well being by calming the mind.

Satva - mind, Avajaya - control, we need to control the mind, first we need to treat the patient through counseling and try to calm their mind, then train the patient how to calm their mind, because problems lies in the thoughts, emotions, behavior. Everything starts with the thoughts, so patient has to control their thoughts, emotions, whether it is anxiety, depression they must take control of their emotions. This is possible only through Satva Avajaya, counseling. Sadly, seeking counseling has become a taboo, once if patient approaches for counseling they will be regarded as insane. But factually every human being on earth needs counseling in one or other point in their life. That is described through Satva Avajaya, Achara Rasayana - ideal behavior, do’s and don’ts, reassurance, enlightenment. Yoga, Pranayama, meditation and exercise, walking also need to be followed.


There is close relationship between body and mind. Incidentally people who are inactive or who doesn’t indulge in exercise are prone to these anxiety and depression. Patient must be encouraged to have physical activities in various forms like exercise, Yogasanas, Pranayama is important too. The shortest way to calm the agitated patient would be through Kumbhaka - inhale and filling the maximum air in the lungs, retain for maximum time and exhale. This will have a positive impact on activity of brain.


Ayurveda has a lot to offer to the suffering humanity. Everyone in this world has some level of stress, depression and everyone needs to improve their mental health. So, for that we have counseling, exercises, Yoga, brain tonics (Medhya Rasayanas), Manobalya medicines etc. tools to manage patient suffering from anxiety and depression.


1. Ayurvedic herb to reduce anxiety and depression Ananta ripa ajmera;2021 [accesses 13 june]2023. Available at https://www.the-well.com.

2. Toolika E Ravi M, A comparative study on effect of tagara and jatamansi in management of anidra w.s.r primary insomnia. The journal of phytopharmacology.2015 May;4(3):150

3. Gohil, K. and patel, J. (2010) ‘Pharmacological review on centella asiatica- a potential herbal cure’, Indian Journal of pharmaceutical science, 72(5)

4. Yadav, M. and Paul, R. (2020) ‘Effect of shankhapuspi alone and its combination with Omega 3 fatty acids in anxiety in an animal model of rats’, International Journal of recent scientific research, 11(1), p.36915.

5. Toolika E Ravi M, A comparative study on effect of tagara and jatamansi in management of anidra w.s.r primary insomnia. The journal of phytopharmacology.2015 May;4(3):150

6. Speers, AB. And Cabey, K.A. (2021) ‘effects of withania somnifera on stress and eyes related neuro-psychiatric disorders anxiety depression and insomnia’, Pubmed Central, 19(9).

7. Faculty, Art of living (2020) Panchakarma for anxiety depression and chronic stress, The art of living retreat center. Available at: https://artoflivingretreatcenter.org /blog/panchakarma-for-anxiety-depression-and-chronic-stress/(Accessed:2023).