Published 11-09-2023

Ayurvedic Strategies to Combat Stress and Anxiety


Ayurvedic Strategies to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal is a renowned Ayurvedic physician, Panchakarma therapies specialist, and detox expert who has made significant contributions to the field of natural holistic healing and wellness. With her profound knowledge, expertise, and compassionate approach, she has transformed the lives of countless individuals seeking holistic health solutions. She is a Panchakarma expert, which are ancient detoxification and rejuvenation techniques. She believes in the power of Ayurveda to restore balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit.

Stress and anxiety are two relentless adversaries that often find their way into our lives in today's fast-paced world. The pressures of work, financial concerns, academic demands, or personal relationships can wreak havoc on our mental and emotional well-being. The consequences of these psychological struggles can manifest as persistent headaches, sleep disturbances, irritability, and concentration difficulties. Fortunately, the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine offers a holistic approach to alleviating these issues, guiding us towards a more harmonious existence.  

Understanding Stress and Anxiety

Before getting into the world of Ayurvedic remedies, it's essential to comprehend the nature of stress and anxiety. Stress is the body's response to external pressures or challenges. It's a natural mechanism to prepare us to confront perceived threats, often triggering the "fight-or-flight" response. While short-term stress can be advantageous if it helps individuals stay focused or motivated, chronic stress can harm our physical and mental health.  

On the other hand, anxiety is characterized by persistent fear, unease, or apprehension. Unlike stress, it may not always have an apparent trigger and can become a mental health disorder if left unchecked.  

Ayurvedic Insights into Stress and Anxiety

In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, stress and anxiety are understood through the context of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas govern various aspects of our physical and mental well-being and can become imbalanced, leading to various health issues.  

1) Stress (Chinta in Ayurveda)

 In Ayurveda, stress is primarily associated with an aggravated Vata dosha. Vata governs movement, communication, and the nervous system. When Vata is imbalanced, it can lead to feelings of restlessness, nervousness, and an overwhelmed mind. Excessive Vata can result from irregular daily routines, poor sleep, excessive travel, and cold and dry weather exposure. Ayurvedic practices recommend that Vata-calming practices, such as regular routines, warm and nourishing foods, and grounding activities, can help alleviate stress.  

2) Anxiety (Chittodvega in Ayurveda)

Anxiety is linked to an imbalanced Pitta dosha, which controls transformation, metabolism, and emotions. When Pitta is disturbed, it can manifest as intense emotions, irritability, and fear. Excessive heat, spicy and acidic foods, overworking, and perfectionism can worsen Pitta imbalances. Ayurveda suggests calming practices, such as a soothing diet, meditation, and relaxation techniques, to address anxiety.  

Headache Due to Stress and Anxiety

Headaches are often unwelcome companions of stress and anxiety. The tension and worry associated with these conditions can trigger various headaches. Stress-induced headaches typically manifest as dull, constant aches ranging from mild discomfort to intense pain. 

The two most common types of headaches associated with stress and anxiety are as follows:  

  • Tension Headaches: These headaches often feel like a tight band around the head, and the pain can extend to the neck and shoulders.  
  • Migraines: While migraines have various triggers, stress and anxiety are known culprits. Migraines are characterized by severe, throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.  

If you're experiencing headaches due to stress and anxiety, seeking proper care is essential. So, who should you consult for headaches? consult a holistic professional or a specialist in headache management, such as a neurologist, to help diagnose the specific type of headache and develop an appropriate treatment plan and lifestyle change.  

Also Read: Effective Proven Ideas Can Help You Manage Workplace Stress 

Managing Stress and Anxiety the Ayurvedic Way

Ayurvedic Approach to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Ayurveda offers a variety of natural methods to tackle anxiety and stress, emphasizing the importance of balancing the doshas and promoting overall well-being. These practices can seamlessly integrate into your daily routine to support your mental and emotional health. 

Some approaches to managing stress and anxiety are as follows:  

  • Daily Routine (Dinacharya): Establish a regular daily routine, including consistent wake-up and bedtime, calming activities like yoga and meditation, and a regular meal schedule.  
  • Yoga and Pranayama: Incorporate yoga asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) into routine to reduce stress and anxiety. These practices enhance breath awareness, promote relaxation, and calm the mind.  
  • Meditation: Regular meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. It fosters a sense of calm and inner peace by focusing on the present moment.  
  • Herbal Remedies: Ayurveda recommends various herbs and medicines for stress and anxiety. These herbs have calming and adaptogenic properties to support mental well-being. Notable herbs include Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Jatamansi, and Shankhapushpi.  
  • Ayurvedic Oils and Massage: Ayurvedic Oils and Massage Abhyanga, a traditional Ayurvedic oil massage, can promote relaxation and soothe the nervous system. Massaging using warm, calming oils like sesame or coconut can be beneficial.  
  • Dietary Modifications: Consume a balanced and nourishing diet, favouring fresh, whole foods while reducing or eliminating stimulants like caffeine and processed foods.  
  • Aromatherapy: Harness the calming power of aromatherapy by using essential oils such as lavender or chamomile to relax your mind and reduce stress.  
  • Social Support: Engage with loved ones and partake in activities that bring joy and relaxation, promoting positive mental well-being.  
  • Limit Sensory Stimulation: Reduce exposure to excessive sensory stimulation, such as loud noises, bright lights, and electronic devices, especially before bedtime.  
  • Prioritize Sleep: Get sufficient restful sleep, as sleep deprivation can worsen stress and anxiety.  

Ayurvedic Herbs and Tablets for Stress and Anxiety

Ayurvedic Medicines for Stress and Anxiety

In Ayurveda, numerous herbal remedies and tablets alleviate stress and anxiety by calming the mind, balancing the doshas, and supporting the nervous system. 

Some widely used Ayurvedic herbs and formulations include:  

  • Ashwagandha: An adaptogenic herb that helps the body adapt to stress, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.  
  • Brahmi: Known for enhancing cognitive function and reducing anxiety while calming the mind.  
  • Shankhapushpi: Traditionally used to reduce stress, anxiety, and restlessness, promoting relaxation and improved sleep.  
  • Tagara: This herb alleviates nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia, inducing a sense of calmness.  
  • Mukta Vati: A tablet formulation combining herbs like Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, and Ashwagandha, used to manage stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure.  
  • Saraswatarishta: A liquid Ayurvedic preparation containing herbs like Brahmi, known to support mental clarity, reduce stress, and enhance cognitive function.  
  • Sumenta Tablets: This herbal formulation includes herbs like Brahmi and Ashwagandha, effectively managing anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.  
  • Jatamansi Churna: A powdered form of Jatamansi, it can be taken with honey or water. It is renowned for its calming effects on the mind and its ability to reduce anxiety and stress.  

The effectiveness of these Ayurvedic medicines for anxiety and stress may vary from person to person. Always consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner or a healthcare professional before starting any herbal remedies or supplements, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications, to avoid potential interactions or adverse effects.  


Mental stress and anxiety may lead to unpleasant feelings associated with fear, worry, uneasiness, and depression. According to the World Health Organization, the highest overall prevalence of depression among Indians is around 36%. With the help of Ayurveda, one can manage stress and anxiety, emphasizing the restoration of dosha balance, overall well-being, and support for the nervous system. However, individual responses to Ayurvedic treatments can vary, and it's crucial to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to receive personalized recommendations based on your unique constitution and specific condition. Seek professional guidance at HealthyBazar by consulting Dr Shivani for Ayurvedic-based Herbal Treatment or Dr Himadri- A clinical and forensic psychologist consultant and counsellor. Consult Dr Himadri for an anxiety-free life. 

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2023

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