The mental health crisis is one of the greatest catastrophes of the 21st century. It has always been a sore spot, and mental health disorders are so common that it accounts for a burden of about 970 million people, that is, 1 in every 8 people. COVID years have shown a significant jump in these statistics and have contributed a staggering 25 percent increase in the same.

Mental health is described as the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of an individual. Despite the global initiatives launched by world-class organizations, mental health remains a sore spot. It is still considered taboo in majority societies and is not talked about enough. Clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are only the tip of the iceberg. As we know, there is no person with a perfectly sound mind, free of problems. Considering these small problems can pave way for bigger mental health issues, one has to be careful while handling them. Open discussions, therapy, and appropriate medication at the right time are the only management options.

Known by the names cow hage, cow-itch, and velvet bean, Kapikachu is a  wonder drug for manasika rogas. It balances all three doshas and bestows the individual with Ojas or vitality, making him imperishable and immune to the harmful effects of long-standing pressure.

L-Dopa extracted from this herb is widely used for the treatment of Parkinsonism, a neurological condition characterized by decreased levels of dopamine. Its ability to calm the nerves and curb stress and anxiety is excellent. Kapikachhu tablets are also a famed aphrodisiac that has the potential to nurture virility and stamina, especially in males. The madhura rasa and ushna veerya of this herb give a kick start to the slothy metabolism.

Ayurveda shows a holistic approach to mental health. It has always been an exponent of integrating mental health with physical health, giving both equal statuses. Ancient scholars pose a simile regarding the codependency of the body and mind- the example of hot ghee and pot. If hot ghee is poured into a pot, the latter gets hot, and if ghee is poured into a hot pot, the former will get hot too. The same is the thing with body and mind. Manas or mind is also under the influence of tridoshas. Vata is the most unstable dosha and therefore can cause delusions, incoherent talk, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc. Pitta, being the hot and sharp dosha, is associated with anger, jealousy, violence, and hallucinations. Kapha, like the heavy, cool, and inert dosha it is, can trigger depression, moodiness, stress eating, and melancholy. The trigunas, the imaginary mental counterparts of the tridoshas, namely sattva, rajas, and tamas are also responsible for mental well-being. The imbalances between these entities are cited as the reason for manasika rogas. Shoka (grief), krodha (anger), moha (hallucinations), lobha (greed), mada (intoxication), irshya (jealousy), dwesha (hatred), abhimana (pride), chinta (overthinking) are a few factors that can aid such imbalances. The mental illnesses described by Ayurveda are unmada (psychosis), apasmara (convulsions), atathvabhinivesham (obsessive-compulsive disorder), avasada (depression), chittodvega (anxiety), and bhrama (illusion).

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