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Article: Parkinson's Disease | Kampavata Treatment | Parkinson's Supplements

Parkinson's Disease (Kampavata): Care by Ayurveda 

Author:

Dr. Imlikumba, Health Naturally Clinic, Mercy Building, Kevijau Colony, Dimapur, Nagaland

"Parkinson’s is my toughest fight. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to explain. I’m being tested to see if I’ll keep praying, to see if I’ll keep my faith. All great people are tested by God." — Muhammad Ali

Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, deals with the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of mankind. It aims to preserve the health of healthy individuals and cure the diseases of patients. Kampavata (Parkinson's disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that typically begins in the second half of life. It is characterized by slowly progressive akinesia, rigidity, postural abnormality, and tremor. Due to its debilitating nature and the lack of curative treatment, Parkinsonism remains a significant problem in aging societies. Home treatment can be helpful early on in Kampavata when the disease has not yet significantly disrupted life or after substantial relief has been obtained from treatment. Modifying diet, and activities, and simplifying day-to-day tasks can provide benefits at all stages of the disease when done regularly.

Signs & Symptoms:

According to Ayurvedic literature, the key symptoms of Kampavata include:

  • Kampa (Tremor)
  • Sthambha (Rigidity)
  • Chestasanga (Slowness of Movement)
  • Vak Vikriti (Speech Disorder)
  • Avanamana (Flexion Posture)
  • Kshinamati (Dementia)
  • Smritihani (Loss of Memory)
  • Vivandha (Constipation)

Tremors can occur in various parts of the body, such as Shirkampa (tremor in the head), Hastakampa (tremor in the hands), and Padakampa (tremor in the legs).

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis is primarily based on signs and symptoms. Resting tremors (tremors that occur when the body is at rest) along with rigidity, loss of facial expression, or gait abnormalities strongly suggest Parkinson's disease. Since only 70% of patients exhibit tremors, the remaining 30% are more difficult to diagnose. This condition may be confused with other causes of tremors, depression, and gait abnormalities.

Management:

There is no specific description of Kampavata treatment in the Ayurvedic samhitas, so the general Ayurvedic treatment of vatavyadhi (disorders caused by Vata) is considered applicable. All major Ayurvedic texts outline the treatment of diseases due to Vata provocation.

  1. Snehana (Oleation Therapy):

   - Oleation involves the external and internal intake of medicated oils, ghee, vasa, and majja. External oleation is done by abhyanga (massage) with medicated oils, while internal medication involves the intake of medicated oil, ghee, vasa, and majja. Effective oils for Abhyanga include Balataila, Laghuvishagarbha taila, Mahavishagarbha taila, Narayan taila, Prasarini taila, Tilataila, Ksheerabala tailam, and Mahamasha tailam.

  1. Swedana (Fomentation Therapy):

   - Swedana involves inducing sweating, typically after Abhyanga or Snehana. When the patient is well-oleated, they should undergo Svedana treatment. Post-oil abhyanga, the patient may receive suitable types of Sveda such as Nadi Sveda, Prastara Sveda, or Samkara Sveda, using unctuous articles.

  1. Basti Chikitsa (Enema Therapy):

   - Basti is considered the best treatment for vitiated Vayu, the chief cause of Kampavata. Basti helps control Vayu, bringing body elements into rhythm and equilibrium, strengthening joints and soft tissues, rejuvenating health, aiding fast healing, and preventing recurrence. There are two types of Basti:

     - Asthapana Basti (Kashaya Basti): Herbal decoctions or milk (ksheera Basti) processed with decoctions are given as enemas. Effective Asthapana Basti for Parkinson's includes Erandamuladi Kashaya Basti, Dashamula Kashaya Basti, Dashamula Ksheera Basti, Raja Yapana Basti, and Mustadi Yapana Basti.

     - Sneha/Anuvasana Basti: Medicated oils or ghee are used for enemas. Additional oral medications are employed for better results.

  1. Single Drugs:

   - Ashwagandha, Kakoli, Ksheerakakoli, Brahmi, Mandukaparni, Shankapushpi, Vidari, Jivanti, Punarnava, Guduchi, Amalaki, Pippali, Shatavari, Shilajit, and Yashtimadhu.

  1. Compound Formulations:

   - Asava/Arishtam: Dashamularishtam, Balarishtam, Saraswatharishtam, Ashwagandharishtam, Punarnavasavam, and Draksharishtam.

   - Gulika (Tablets): Yogaraja Guggulu, Mahayogaraja Guggulu, Trayodashanga Guggulu, Panchatikta Ghrita Guggulu, Brahmi Bati, Smritisagar Rasa, Vatakulantaka Ras, Vatagajankush Ras, Brihatvatachintamani Ras, Mahavata-vidhwans Ras, Chaturbhuja Ras, and Tapyadi Loha.

   - Rasayana Medicines: Vanari Kalpa, Vajikara Rasayanam, Ashwagandha Rasayanam, Ajamamsa Rasayanam, Drakshadi Rasayanam/Drakshadi Leham, Kushmanda Rasayanam, Chyavanaprasham, and Dashamula Haritaki.

Other Measures:

- Education: Educate the patient and their family about the disease, its management, and progression.

- Support: Utilize support organizations like the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, National Parkinson’s Foundation, and local hospitals.

- Exercise: Exercise is crucial for medical and psychological well-being, improving health and functionality, and positively impacting mood and energy levels. Continuation is essential for maintaining gains from physical therapy.

Ten Basic Exercises for Parkinson's Patients:

  1. Lift your toes with every step to prevent freezing.
  2. Spread your legs (10 inches) when walking or turning for better stability.
  3. Use small steps with feet widely separated for greater safety when turning.
  4. Practice walking into tight corners to overcome fear of close spaces.
  5. Practice rapid body movements in all directions for balance.
  6. Lift toes to eliminate muscle spasm when legs feel frozen.
  7. Swing arms freely when walking to reduce leg fatigue.
  8. Rise quickly from a chair and sit down slowly to counteract gravity.
  9. Carry a weighted bag in the opposite hand if the body lists to one side.
  10. Practice difficult tasks frequently to make them easier.

Nutrition:

Patients with Parkinson’s disease often experience muscle loss and weight loss. They should be instructed to eat a healthy diet and take multiple vitamins with calcium if needed.

Yoga and Meditation:

Yoga and meditation help build resistance and immunity and regulate the central nervous system.

Note: Ayurvedic medicines and treatments should be taken under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor/physician. The drugs described are for general information/educational purposes only and should not be used without consulting a qualified Ayurvedic doctor/physician.