Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system and is the most common form of progressive neurodegenerative disorders. Although defined clinically as a movement disorder presenting with tremors, it can also involve a variety of non-motor symptoms, including autonomic, sensory, sleep, cognitive, and psychiatric disturbances.
In Parkinson’s disease the dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra projecting to the corpus striatum undergo degeneration resulting in the depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the striatum. Normally there is a balance between the dopaminergic and cholinergic systems in the striatum. In Parkinson’s disease there is a hypodopaminergic state with a relative hypercholinergic state.
Caraka describes a disorder called Vepathu (tremor), as 1 of the 80 types of Vataja Nanatmaja Vyadhi. The term Kampavata (tremors due to vata) was mentioned later in the text Basavarajeeyam with many of the same clinical features as Parkinson’s disease. The Ayurvedic text also mentions other symptoms, prevepana (excessive shaking), sirakampa (head tremor), and spandin (quivering). Ayurveda commonly refers to Parkinson’s disease as Kampavata.
The development and progression of Parkinson’s disease varies from person to person and many live long productive lives. Although some people do become disabled much more quickly due to a variety of symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
- Stambha - rigidity
- Kampa - tremor
- Ceṣṭa sanga - bradykinesia
- Ceṣṭa hani - akinesia
- Gati saṅga - gait disturbance
- Skhalanam gatau - postural instability prone to falling
- Vak graha - dysphasia
- Svara graha - dysarthria
- Vina mana - flexed posture
- Smṛti kṣaya - dementia
- Visada - depression
The Ayurvedic symptoms above are not direct translations and are taken from different classical texts. Among the symptoms stambha and kampa are most important. They are the preliminary symptoms and the other symptoms are resultant. These two preliminary symptoms are the key to a deeper understanding of this disorder.
Manifestation of Stambha
Stambha can be explained as rigidity or stiffness. Stambha is a cardinal symptom of vatakopa (aggravated vata dosa) and is also seen in pittaksaya (decreased pitta dosa). Caraka explains stambha and vepathu along with other symptoms like saitya (cold), toda (needle pricking pain), gaurava (heaviness), in the symptomology of hinapitta (less pitta dosa) - vrddhavatakapha (increased vata and kapha dosa). When pitta is in ksina asayapakarsa (diminished local place) of samakapha (toxin kapha dosa) with kupitavata (aggravated vata dosa) it causes stambha along with saitya and gaurava.
Stambha and kampa occurs when vata is vitiated in snāyu (ligaments). When dosas are in snāyu, the symptomology is stambha, sañkoca (constriction), khalvi (emptiness), granthi (cyst), sphurana (expansion), or supti (numbness). Stambha may manifest as ekānga (localized) or sarvānga (generalized). It is a symptom in mamsamedogata-vata (aggravated vata in muscles and adipose tissues), snāyupravata (aggravated vata in ligaments), sarvāngavata (aggravated vata in all body parts), and sirasthakapha (kapha in blood vessels).
- Vatakopa ↑↑↑
- Pittakṣaya ↓
- Hinapitta ↓ - vṛddhavatakapha ↑
- Sama kapha by vṛddhavata ↑
- Māṃsā, meda
Manifestation of Kampa
Kampa is explained as vepathu (tremor) and localized tremor as vepana. Kampa is a cardinal symptom of vātavṛddhias well as vatakopa and pittaksaya. Vepanam is explained under the symptom of kaphakṣaya (decreased kapha) and as explained earlier vepana is seen along with stambha in doṣavikalpa of hinapitta-vṛddhavatakapha. Vepana may also manifest when pittaslesmakṣaya (decreased Pitta and kapha) leads to kevalavātavṛddhi (aggravation of vata dosa) which afflicts māṃsā. Rasakṣaya (depletion in plasma tissues) may manifest as kampa and a cardinal symptom kampa is snāyupravata (vata in ligaments). As is the case of stambha, kampa may also manifest as ekānga or sarvānga.
- Vātavṛddhi or kopa ↑↑↑
- Pittakṣaya ↓
- Kaphakṣaya ↓
- Hinapitta-vṛddhavatakapha - kaphavikalpa
- Ksinapitta - kaphavata - vrrdhavikalpa
Stambha and Kampa
Stambha and kampa are an abnormal pattern of cala, both seem to be interdependent, yet manifest together in hinapitta and kaphavatavṛddhi. Vata is always vṛddha or kupitā in both kampa and stambha and pitta is always ksina. The status of kapha may be vṛddha, sama, or ksina. When vata is in snāyu, it may manifest as hypokinetic as seen with stambha or hyperkinetic as seen with kampa. Caraka has enumerated stambha and kampa as upadhatu – pradoshajavyādhis (disease is caused due to vitiation of upadhatu).
It is not ideal to call the disease by all the clinical presentations, at the same time all these are present as pathological elements in the sequence. They maybe used as diagnosis as well as treatment protocol.
Although most patients seem to have no strong genetic determinant, epidemiologic evidence points to a complex interaction between genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. Parkinson’s disease affects 1–2 people per 1,000, with an estimation of four million people living worldwide with Parkinson’s disease.
- Rukṣadi guna - rukṣa, laghu, khara, etc.
- Viṣa - toxin or drug induced
- Sirobhighata - repeated head trauma
- Secondary from neurological disorder
- Post encephalitic
- Brain tumor
According to Ayurveda, most of the disorders of vata are essentially the conditions of degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Kampa Vata is one such condition caused by imbalance of vata. The treatment of Kampa Vata consists of both internal and external therapies aimed to reverse the vata imbalance.
Kottakkal Products for Managing Kampa Vata
Kshirabala Oil is used for the treatment of diseases related to the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. It pacifies vata dosa in the body and gives relief from pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and other symptoms related to aggravated and increased vata dosa. It is rejuvenating, which helps to repair the damaged nervous tissue. It also provides nourishment to the nerves, brain, and spinal structures.
Anu Oil helps to nourish brain cells and the nervous system. Balances tridosa vata-pitta-kapha. Also, it cleanses the entire head region of toxins.
Dhanwantaram Oil is used to help rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis, neck pain and back pain due to spondylosis. It is also useful for many neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Dementia, Amentia, Alzheimer’s, Neuritis, Neuralgia, paralysis, facial palsy, etc. Useful in intercostal neuropathy when the patient complains of body, muscle, and joint pains.
Kshirabala 101 (10 ml) helps to relieve pain and inflammation. It is useful in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, sciatica, myalgia, spondylosis, spinal cord injury, etc. It is used in pain due to neurological origin – neuralgia. When taken internally as Kshirabala 101 softgel capsules it helps bring about nerve regeneration. It is used in all types of arthritis, Rheumatoid, Osteo-arthritis, knee pain, meniscus tear, repair of torn ligaments and gout. It brings about rejuvenation and is nourishing in nature. Being a nerve tonic, it can be useful in myasthenia gravis, stroke, cervical spondylosis, lumbar spondylosis, developmental delay, brachial plexus injury and hypotonia when the patient complains of body, muscle, and joint pains.
Bala (Maha) Oil helps to improve muscle and nerve strength and balances vata - pitta dosas. Useful in vata disorders, rheumatic pain and in gout.
Dhanwantaram Kwatham tablet is an Ayurvedic formulation which is useful for various health ailments. It is usually used in diseases of the nervous system like paralysis, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, and tissue wasting. It naturally provides strength to the muscles and nervous system. It balances vata and pitta dosa. Due to the presence of vata pacifying herbs, it helps to relieve vata disorders like numbness, pain, and swelling, rheumatic disorders, spondylosis, hernia, and tremors.
Mahakalyanaka Ghritam is helpful in all types of neurological problems. It is used in anemia, epilepsy, psychosis, schizophrenia, infertility, inflammatory conditions, fever, lack of memory. It balances vata dosa and nourishes the nervous system.
Vidaryadi Ghritam is a useful Ayurvedic supplement that helps ailments of the upper body. It helps to balance vata and pitta. It is a medicated ghee and useful in emaciation where the state of the body is abnormally thin or weak. It nourishes all dhatus and reduces weakness. This ghee improves body weight, muscles strength and immunity.
Ayurvedic Mentoring for Practitioners
Whether Kampa Vata is in the early stages of kriya kala or the later stages, helping your client to manage their condition is the highest importance. An Ayurvedic mentoring consultation is like a second opinion and offers you a fresh look at your client’s condition. You will learn the best ahara, vihara, and the correct products to prescribe, along with the dosages and times to administer Arya Vaidya Sala’s classically formulated products.
If you would like a mentoring consultation, visit our website to meet Vaidya Vishwanath and schedule your consultation now.
Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal, Ayurvedic Approach to Parkinsonism, seminar papers 2006
For more information about Ayurveda and Parkinsonism, you may purchase this book by Ayurvedic experts from Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, available on our online store.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at email@example.com and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.