Atattvabhinivesha (Obsessive compulsive cisorder): An ayurvedic prespective

Atattvabhinivesha (Obsessive compulsive cisorder): An ayurvedic prespective
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/29/2019 6:41:19 AM IST

 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder It’s like you have two brains – a rational brain and an irrational brain. And they’re constantly fighting. – Emilie Ford

ATATVABHINIVESHA- Atatvabhinivesha is made up of two words having meaning. Atatva means ayathartha, false, non-elementary having no existence and the term abhinivesha means interpretation, knowledge to take in sense or indulgence.

OCD OR OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER: It is defined as a condition in which the sufferer has uncontrollable thoughts or behaviors that may or may not be harmful to self or others. Many a times, these compulsions are for minor activities such as washing hands or checking locks etc. The person always feels an urge to repeat the act over and over again.


• Intake of polluted food and beverages.

• Suppression of natural urges.

• Excess intake of cold and warm, unctuous and dry eatables irrespective of combinations.

• Grief, stress, jealousy, depression etc.

• Inferiority and shameful situations.

• Fearful situations.

• Dissatisfaction in life etc

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER SYMPTOMS: The diagnostic guidelines mentioned in ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for obsessive -compulsive disorder are as follow.

• Obsessional symptoms/compulsive acts or both must be present on most days for at least 2 successive weeks and be a source of distress /interference with activities.

• Obsessional symptoms should have the following characteristics:

• They must be recognized as the individuals own thought/ impulses.

• There must be at least one thought /act that is still resisted unsuccessfully, even though others may be present which the sufferers no longer resists.

• The thought of carrying out the act must not in itself be pleasurable (simple relief of tension/anxiety is not regarded as pleasure in this sense)

• The thought, impulses or images must be unpleasantly repetitive.

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER TYPES:  Different types of OCD symptoms can be subdivided in two groups: 

• The obsessions (such as the thoughts and fears listed above)

• The compulsions which they drive. 

Obsessions and compulsions interact since compulsive behavior is a way to counteract the anxiety caused by the obsession.

Some researchers categorize people with OCD into different subgroups based on their recurring compulsions: 

• Washers: usually fear contamination, germs and becoming dirty or sick 

• Hoarders: find it very hard to discard of things, throw things out and pass on uncessary items.

• Doubters: strongly fear being wrong, rejected, blamed or ridiculed by others.

• Checkers: fear being harmed from perceived dangers, such as from fires, robbers, animals, etc.

• Counters: tend to fixate on numbers and need to count things over and over again.

• Arrangers: fixate on order, patterns, symmetry and balance.


• Avoidance of the causative factors

• Intake of wholesome food and habits.

• Assurance and education – confidence building exercises and counseling are helpful.

• Mindful meditation, Yoga, Pranayama are very useful to discipline the mind.

• Purification and pacification remedies have greater contribution. 


• The patient is made to wash hands only once and made to believe that it is clean. 

• The patient is made to put the wastes such as old news papers to dustbin.

• The patient is exposed to his fears / sinful thoughts and is comforted that it is fine. 

Ayurveda has described three types of management for every disease viz; 

• Daiva Vyapashrya Chikitsa (Spiritual Therapy)

• Sattvavajaya Chikitsa (Ayurvedic Psychotherapy)

• Yukti Vyapashraya Chikitsa which includes Shodhan i.e. elimination of vitiated Doshas by Panchkarma therapy and Sanshaman that is alleviation of Doshas by different type drugs, diets and activities. 

PANCHAKARMA TREATMENT: Purification procedures: The morbidity of mind is related with morbidity of body. For example, you feel fresh and energetic after taking a bath. Your concentration levels will be more when your stomach is light. Purification of body with Panchakarma treatment leads to clarity of mind. 

After determining the dominant Dosha, appropriate Panchakarma purification procedures are undertaken, like Vamana (emesis), Virechana (purgation), Nasya (errhines), Basti (enema) etc. By assessing the feasibility and convenience, oil procedures to calm mind such as Sirodhara, Shirobasti are also conducted.

INTERNAL MEDICATION USEFUL IN OBSESSIVE DISORDERS: Because it is a psychiatric condition, medicines used in the treatment of depression and psychosis are used in the Ayurvedic treatment of OCD. 

• Brahma Rasayana

• Panchagavya Ghrita 

• Mahapanchagavya Ghrita. 

• Brahmi Ghrita.

• Vacha Choorna.

• Saraswata Choorna.

• Saraswatarishta. 

• Mansyadi Kashaya.

• Brahmi Vati.

• Manasamitra vatakam.


• Wake up early; go to bed early, sleep for at least 7- 8 hours at night. 

• A calm mind relieves anxiety and restlessness. 

• Practice Pranayama for at least 3 minutes a day. 

• Stop smoking and alcohol Stop any kind of narcotic drugs 


• Have at least 7-8 hours sleep. This helps in relaxing the mind. A calm mind helps to relieve anxiety and stress.

• Avoid smoking, alcohol intake and drug use.

• Practice Yoga, Meditation and do Pranayama.

• Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products in your diet.

• Avoid intake of caffeinated products like tea, coffee and chocolates.

• Practice deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.

• Have warm baths to relax the mind and body. 


• Soak 10-15 almonds in the night. Blanche and grind them to prepare a fine paste.

• Heat two teaspoons of pure ghee and roast the paste in it for five minutes. Add some sugar to this and eat it every day.

• Almonds help in nourishing the brain and maintain the health of the nervous system.

• Eat some walnuts in the early morning as walnuts are rich in essential fatty acids that correct the imbalance in the brain. Walnuts are rich in magnesium and calcium that help in relaxing the muscles of the brain and improve its functions.  

NOTE: Ayurvedic medicines and treatments should be taken under Qualified Ayurvedic Doctor/Physician. The drugs described in this article are for general information/educational purpose only. Anyone should not use these without consulting a qualified Ayurveda doctor/physician. The dose and duration of the treatment may be decided by the physician according to the condition of the patient. 

Dr. Imlikumba, Medical Officer (Ayurveda), North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM),                                                                                      Ministry Of AYUSH, Govt. of India,  Pasighat: Arunachal Pradesh

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