Schizophrenia, a complex mental health disorder, affects millions globally. While conventional treatments exist, exploring alternative perspectives, such as Ayurveda, opens doors to comprehensive well-being. Let’s delve into the Ayurvedic perception of schizophrenia, focusing on its Vataja, Pittaj, and Kaphaj subtypes.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental condition with a significant imbalance, and Ayurveda places equal importance on the mind as it does on the body. Ayurveda emphasizes the need for a balanced mind and identifies three doshas in the mind – Satva, Raja, and Tam. Among these, only Satva provides strength to the mind, while the other two can make the mind unstable. In daily life, a proper balance of all doshas is necessary, and any disturbance can lead to mental disorders.

This imbalance can occur at any age due to physical or mental factors. Schizophrenia can be acute or chronic, requiring proper counseling and emotional support. It affects various brain functions, leading to alterations in behavior and cognition.

Ayurvedic Approach to Schizophrenia

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing system, views health as a balance of mind, body, and spirit. In Ayurveda, Schizophrenia is known as Unmad, and ancient texts provide detailed descriptions and treatments. Ayurvedic literature identifies five types of Schizophrenia and several subtypes. Unmad is characterized by disturbances in the mind, affecting memory, senses, knowledge, recalling, cognition, behavior, and movement.

A. Causes of Schizophrenia: 

 Our mind is intricately connected to the universal consciousness, and in major mental disorders, Ayurveda acknowledges the role of negative energy on the mind. The energy around us is influenced by our thought processes, and maintaining a positive mindset contributes to a positive environment. However, certain factors can weaken the mind, leading to disorders like Schizophrenia. In addition to the previously mentioned causes, Ayurveda highlights the following contributors:

  • Incompatible Food Intake (Prakruti): Frequent consumption of food that is not suitable for our body constitution (Prakruti) can disturb the balance of doshas in the mind.
  • Consumption of Contaminated Food: Regular intake of inappropriate food, such as old or bad-smelling food or food mixed with impurities like mud, can negatively impact mental well-being.
  • Ingestion of Poisons: Frequent intake of substances considered as poisons, including alcohol, smoking, tobacco, and drugs, can contribute to mental disorders.
  • Mental Trauma: Experiencing mental trauma, whether due to past events or ongoing stressors, is identified as a significant cause of Schizophrenia in Ayurveda.
  • Extreme Stress and Fear: Prolonged periods of extreme stress and fear are known to disturb the mental equilibrium, potentially leading to disorders.
  • Inappropriate Physical Activities: Engaging in wrong or excessive physical activities that strain the body and mind can contribute to mental imbalances.
  • Inflicting Harm on Others: Actions involving harm or hurting others are considered detrimental to mental health in Ayurveda.
  • Emotional congestion: Emotional congestion happens when we don’t express our feelings. If we keep emotions inside without sharing them, they build up and make the mind weaker.

B. Process Behind Formation of schizophrenia

When individuals have a weakened Satva (mind’s clarity and purity), they tend to endure causative factors for an extended duration. This prolonged exposure disrupts all three doshas in the physical body simultaneously, resulting in a disturbance in the mind’s balance. This imbalance manifests prodromal signs, and if the causative factors persist, the imbalance intensifies, causing permanent damage to the Satva of the mind. Subsequently, the mind becomes susceptible to control by other energies, ultimately leading to the development of schizophrenia. The symptoms that emerge vary based on the controlling energies, contributing to the complexity and diversity of schizophrenia manifestations.

C. Types and Symptoms of schizophrenia

In Ayurveda, schizophrenia is known as Unmad, and it is classified into different types, each presenting unique symptoms. The types and symptoms of schizophrenia according to Ayurveda are as follows:

1. Vataja Unmad:

  • Symptoms include restlessness, fearfulness, anxiety, trembling, and disorientation. Individuals may experience difficulty in focusing and exhibit erratic behavior.

2. Pittaja Unmad:

  • Symptoms involve aggression, irritability, anger, excessive sweating, and a sensation of heat. Individuals may display hostility and impulsiveness.

3. Kaphaja Unmad:

  • Symptoms include lethargy, apathy, excessive sleep, and a feeling of heaviness in the body. Individuals may exhibit slow movements and reduced responsiveness.

4. Sannipatika Unmad:

  • This type combines characteristics of all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Symptoms include a combination of restlessness, aggression, lethargy, and varying mental states.

Symptoms of Unmad (Schizophrenia) in general include disturbances in memory, perception, speech, and overall cognitive functions. Individuals may exhibit erratic behavior, emotional instability, hallucinations, delusions, and impaired social interactions. The severity and combination of symptoms can vary, leading to distinct subtypes within the broader classification of Unmad.  

Ayurvedic Treatment for Schizophrenia

A. Ayurvedic Medicines: 

In Ayurveda, the treatment approach for schizophrenia involves the use of herbal medicines that aim to balance the doshas, strengthen the mind (Satva), and address the specific symptoms associated with the condition. Some Ayurvedic medicines commonly used for schizophrenia include:

  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi is renowned for its cognitive-enhancing properties. It is believed to promote mental clarity, reduce stress, and support overall mental well-being.
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its stress-relieving and calming effects. It is used to enhance mental resilience and support the nervous system.
  • Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis): Shankhpushpi is traditionally used to improve memory, concentration, and cognitive functions. It is considered beneficial in managing mental disorders.
  • Vacha (Acorus calamus): Vacha is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and is used to enhance memory and concentration. It is considered supportive in managing mental imbalances.
  • Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): Jatamansi is valued for its calming and grounding properties. It is used to alleviate stress, anxiety, and promote emotional well-being.


B. Ayurvedic Therapies:

Ayurvedic therapies for schizophrenia focus on balancing the doshas, strengthening the mind (Satva), and promoting overall mental well-being. Some Ayurvedic therapies commonly used for managing schizophrenia include:

  1. Panchakarma TherapyPanchakarma involves detoxification procedures to eliminate accumulated toxins and restore balance. Specific therapies like Basti (medicated enema) and Shirodhara (pouring medicated oil on the forehead) are employed for mental disorders.
  2. Nasya (Nasal Administration): Nasya involves the administration of medicated oils or herbal preparations through the nasal passages. This therapy is believed to have a direct impact on the mind and is used to address mental imbalances.
  3. Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Massage): Abhyanga involves therapeutic massage with medicated oils to relax the body and mind. It is considered beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety, and promoting mental well-being.
  4. Swedana (Herbal Steam Therapy): Swedana involves exposing the body to herbal steam, promoting relaxation and detoxification. It is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
  5. Manasroga Chikitsa (Mental Health Therapies): Ayurvedic mental health therapies include counseling, meditation, and practices to enhance Satva (mind’s clarity and purity). These therapies aim to address the psychological aspects of schizophrenia.

Ayurvedic Dietary and Lifestyle Modification for Unmad 

Ayurvedic dietary and lifestyle modifications for schizophrenia aim to balance the doshas, strengthen the mind (Satva), and promote overall well-being. Here are some recommendations:

A. Dietary Modifications:

  • Sattvic DietEmphasize a Sattvic diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. This diet is believed to enhance mental clarity and balance.
  • Avoid StimulantsLimit or avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and processed foods. These can potentially aggravate mental imbalances.
  • Herbal InfusionsInclude herbal infusions such as Brahmi tea, which is known for its cognitive-enhancing properties. It may help in promoting mental well-being.
  • Balanced MealsHave regular, balanced meals that include a variety of nutrients. This supports overall physical and mental health.
  • Warm FoodsPrefer warm and cooked foods over cold or raw options. Warm foods are considered easier to digest and more supportive for the digestive system.
  • Hydration: Stay adequately hydrated with warm water. Proper hydration supports the elimination of toxins from the body.

B. Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Establish RoutineCreate a daily routine that includes regular waking and sleeping times. A consistent routine can help stabilize the mind.
  • Mindful EatingPractice mindful eating, paying attention to the taste and texture of food. This fosters a deeper connection between the mind and body.
  • Regular ExerciseEngage in regular, moderate exercise such as walking or yoga. Exercise promotes circulation, reduces stress, and contributes to overall well-being.
  • Adequate RestEnsure sufficient rest and sleep. A well-rested body and mind are better equipped to handle stress and maintain balance.
  • Avoid OverstimulationMinimize exposure to excessive stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, and chaotic environments. Create a calm and peaceful living space.
  • Pranayama and Meditation: Include pranayama (breath control) and meditation practices in your daily routine. These techniques promote mental focus, relaxation, and emotional balance.
  • Limit Screen TimeReduce screen time, especially before bedtime. Excessive screen exposure, particularly to stimulating content, can impact sleep quality.
  • Social ConnectionFoster supportive social connections with friends and family. Social engagement contributes positively to mental health.

It is crucial for individuals with schizophrenia to consult with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized guidance. Ayurvedic treatment is holistic, considering individual constitution (Prakruti) and specific symptoms. Dietary and lifestyle modifications, when combined with Ayurvedic therapies and medications, can contribute to a comprehensive approach in managing schizophrenia.


    • Ayurveda can complement conventional treatments but should not replace them. Consultation with healthcare professionals is crucial.
    • Individual responses vary, but consistent practice of Ayurvedic principles may lead to gradual improvements.
    • When used under supervision, Ayurvedic herbs generally have no side effects. However, consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized advice.
    • While Ayurveda contributes to overall well-being, preventing relapses involves a holistic approach that includes ongoing conventional treatments.
    • Ayurvedic treatments are personalized based on individual doshas and symptoms, making them adaptable for various subtypes.

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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