What Is Clozapine? What Are The Best Alternatives In Ayurveda To Replace Clozapine?
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that alters a person’s thought processes, feelings, and behavior. One may lose the sense of perception, time, and may struggle to differentiate between real and unreal experiences. A schizophrenic person may hear voices and see things that do not exist. They may have an irrational suspicion or mistrust of others and often struggle to initiate plans and express emotions. Another area of functioning that gets affected due to schizophrenia is cognition which eventually leads to troubles in memory, attention, and concentration levels of an individual.
The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown. Research studies propose that a combination of physical, psychological, genetic, and environmental factors can make a person more likely to be schizophrenic. It is evident that stressful and emotional life events can trigger psychotic episodes. However, the mechanism behind some people developing psychotic symptoms while others remaining symptomless is still not known.
Clozapine For Schizophrenia
A wide array of antipsychotic medications are potent in reducing the symptoms and severity of schizophrenia even though a complete cure is far from reality. Clozapine is a second-generation antipsychotic or atypical antipsychotic that rebalances dopamine and serotonin levels. It is seen to be effective in schizophrenic patients resistant to other antipsychotic drugs. Clozapine helps with all or any of the symptoms of schizophrenia including hallucination, delusion, paranoia, disorganized thinking, lack of motivation, etc. Clozapine is also of help in reducing recurrent suicidal behaviors in schizophrenic patients.
However, Clozapine owns a unique side effect profile that gives rise to several considerations regarding the prescription of the drug. Long-standing use of clozapine is known to cause potentially life-threatening agranulocytosis that has led to restrictions on clozapine’s use in many countries. Other ill effects include clozapine-induced myocarditis, orthostatic hypotension, seizures, urinary incontinence, etc. Patients with diabetes mellitus, obesity, dyslipidemia, atherosclerotic vascular diseases, etc may experience worsening of these conditions when treated with clozapine. Hence better, promising, and comprehensive alternatives for clozapine are a pressing priority.
Ayurvedic Concept of SchizophreniaAyurveda classifies all the mental disorders under the heading of unmada and atatva abhinivesha. The course and presentation of schizophrenia may be correlated to the cause, symptoms, pathogenesis, and prognosis of the Ayurvedic concept of Sannipataja Unmada. Ayurveda insists that any mental disorder is induced because of the inconsistent state of mind, consciousness, conduct, behavior, perception, inclination, memory, and character. As a result, the intellect gets inflicted that further causes impairment of thoughts and thought processes. The individual develops ill-feeling, biased thinking, orientation, and responsiveness.
Ayurvedic Management of Schizophrenia
Ayurvedic treatment principles place emphasis on the fact that each individual has a unique mind-body constitution. Ayurveda provides a holistic treatment incorporating herbal medications and yogic exercises along with diet and lifestyle management that renders the patient with the quietude of mind and contemplation. Ayurvedic treatment protocol for schizophrenia is based on the chikitsa sutra of Sannipataja Unmada.
Internal and external oleation is done using medicated oils that aim at relaxing the mind. The oils used for this are herbal infusions individually prepared to meet each body constitution. This is followed by fomentation, therapeutic emesis, purgation, enemas, and other detox therapies that render the body and mind free from toxins.
With countless benefits to the body, mind, and spirit, Shirodhara is one of the deeply effective therapies used in the treatment of mental disturbances. Pouring of warm and medicated oil to the head stimulates and soothes the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of the pituitary gland and inducing sleep. The warm oils cause vasodilation of the channels and improve blood circulation to the brain. Shirodhara also reduces the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline and thus relaxes the mind.
Ayurvedic Alternatives For Clozapine
Ayurveda provides a vivid array of herbs known for their nootropic activity like Medhya Rasayana. Nootropic drugs are acknowledged to boost cognitive abilities in many of the neuropsychiatric conditions that present with cognitive deficits. Medhya Rasayanas are a category of medicinal plants that are accredited with multi-fold benefits specifically in retaining memory and improving intellect. Medha means intellect and Rasayana means a therapeutic procedure that on a regular basis improves intellect, memory, health, and thereby longevity.
The 4 medicinal plants in Medhya Rasayana are Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn), and Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois). These may be used singly or in combinations. Other notable drugs with the same property are Jyothishmati (Celastrus paniculata), Aindri (Bacopa monnieri), Kushmanda (Benincasa hispida), Jatamamsi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Vacha (Acorus calamus).
Ayurveda further insists on Satvavajaya Chikitsa (psychotherapy), Daivavyapasraya Cikitsa (spiritual therapy), and Paraspara pratidwandha Chikitsa (antagonistic treatment) that are exceptionally effective towards the treatment of mental illnesses.
Diet And Lifestyle RecommendationsIntake of milk, ghee, and other sweet dishes regulates higher mental equilibrium. Sweet and sour foods strengthen the senses and positively influence the state of mind. Pranayama, meditations, and yoga therapies are also beneficial towards the maintenance of mental counterpoise.
Achara Rasayana (Behavioral Therapy)
Achara Rasayana is a rejuvenating behavioral therapy explained in Ayurveda treatises. Following Achara Rasayana enhances optimistic thinking, relieves mental stress, improves tolerance capacity, develops personality traits, and acts as a catalyst for rejuvenating therapy. One should always be truthful as being truthful takes away our anxieties and worries to a greater extent. Learn to control anger. Avoid alcohol consumption and practice maintenance of celibacy. Avoid excessive thinking, follow religious rites, and maintain hygiene. Always be stable and courageous in thoughts and actions. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle pattern. Indulge in charity, practice self-analysis, learn to respect others, and have an open mind.
Therefore coming to an end, we can say that above provided herbs is the best alternative to clozapine. So what are waiting for? Use these herbs and keep yourself fit and healthy.