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AUTISM

The incidence of autism in the United States and Canada continues to increase at rates never before
observed in recorded history. Diagnosis of autism and autism spectrum disorder conditions have
increased nearly 50-fold over the last 40 years.
While western medicine and research have stalled with respect to the treatment or management of
autism, Ayurveda has come to the rescue and is increasingly being used to treat autistic symptoms.
Ayurvedic practices have demonstrated to be effective in supporting autistic patients in becoming
functional in managing various symptoms of this condition.

Of course, these set of remedies may also work with adults, but the earlier you start using ayurvedic
herbs and treatments the better it works for your child.

Treating Autism With Panchakarma


Ayurveda has a 5,000-year-old treatment that is extremely effective, called Panchakarma which is a
cleansing and rejuvenation program. The purpose of this process is to stimulate the layers of toxins
from the body and bring them to the places where they can be excreted. After Panchakarma, one is
likely experience significant health improvements in a relatively short time.

Panchkarma therapies for detoxification are:


Snehana (Oleation therapy) with herbal oils like Chandan bala lakshadi tailam
Swedana (Fomentation therapy)
Vamana (Emesis therapy)
Virechana (Purgation therapy)
Basti (Medicated enema therapy)
Shirodhara
Nasyam
Pizichil
Pinda sweda

Curbing Aggression Through Ayurveda In Autistic Children


Autism results from a neurological condition and affects normal brain function; impacting areas of the
brain responsible for the social interaction and aggression. While not all children with autism
demonstrate aggression that manifests itself in violence, a significant percentage experience frustration
that demonstrates in various ways, including self-harm, mechanical ticks, and emotional outbursts.
Sandhya, Sowjanya, & Veeresh (2012) demonstrated that herbal supplementation with herb Bacopa
monniera demonstrated significant improvements in reducing the symptoms associated with autism.
The researchers concluded the herb to be beneficial due to its anti-anxiety, antioxidant and
neuroprotective activity.
Regular massage with oils of gotu kola, sandalwood, lavender and rose oils provide calming relief. It
also stimulates blood flow, stimulating neuron response between the brain and various parts of the
body. Research has demonstrated that massage has improved eye contact, less stereotypic behavior,
more on task behavior, increased social relatedness and improved sleep.
Importance Of Sleep
Proper sleep and sleep habits have also demonstrated to be a significant contributor to reducing the
aggressive tendencies observed in autistic children. In addition to practicing normal sleep routines,
including removal of electronic devices or other items that may delay the sleep cycle, melatonin
supplementation has demonstrated significant results.
Whitehouse (2013) found that melatonin can be effective as a treatment for sleeping disturbances
associated with an autism spectrum disorder. Malow (2011) found that the behavior and sleep patterns
of children with autism significantly improved after only one week of supplementation with melatonin.
[Read: A Complete Nutritional Guide For Treating ADHD]

Ayurvedic Herbs To Treat Autism In Children


Brahmi: In a study conducted in Australia, Brahmi, (Bacopa Monneiri) has been established to delay
the forgetting process, implying Brahmi improves memory. It acts on CNS where it improves grasping
power, memory, intellect and speech, and correct aberrations of emotions, mood and personality of an
individual.
Study: A double-blind placebo-controlled investigation was carried out to study the effects of Bacopa
extract after a 90-day trial. The results of this study showed that Bacopa significantly improved
performance of the working memory, more specifically the spatial working memory. Our working
memory is the ability to actively hold information in the mind to perform complex tasks such as
reasoning, comprehension, and learning.
Shatavari: Benaras Hindu University has successfully conducted the a study on anti-depressant
activity of Shatavari in an animal experimental study.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somneifera): Research conducted by Scott (1995) showed Ashwagandha
show high affinity for GABA receptors. Since GABA agonism and CCK antagonism have been linked
to anxiolysis, these findings support the recommendation in Ayurveda that Ashwagandha can be used in
the treatment of Memory loss, Anxiety, Attention deficit etc.which are common features of Autism.
Shankhapushpi (clitoria ternatia): Research conducted in collaboration with kasturba medical
college, Manipal, India showed that Treatment with 100 mg/kg of Clitoria ternatea aqueous root
extract (CTR), for 30 days in neonatal and young adult age groups of rat, significantly increased
acetylcholine (ACh) content in their hippocampi as compared to age matched controls. Increase in ACh
content in their hippocampus may be the neurochemical basis for their improvised learning and
memory.
Centella asiatica: Used in the treatment of mental retardation, speech disorders, insanity, epilepsy.
Convolvulus pluricaulis: It strengthens the brain, brightens the memory and intellect. It is indicated in
the treatment of loss of memory and associated mental disorders like insanity and epilepsy.
Celastrus paniculatus: stimulates the intellect and sharpens the memory
Nardostachys jatamansi: It has a biphasic action on CNS indicating nerve stimulation and nerve
sedation (sedation to spinal cord specifically).

Other ayurvedic herbs that can help


Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
Mandukparni (Centella asiatica)
Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra)
Padmak (Nelumbo nucifera)
Vacha (Acorus calamus)

Ayurvedic medicines useful to treat Autism are:


Suvarna prashan
Panch tikta ghrita guggul
Saraswat churna
Saraswatarishtam
Panch gavya ghritam
Suvarna brahmi vati
Chaitanoday rasa

Yoga for Treatment of Autism


Yoga as a form of exercise can be used in autistic children by addressing their physical and sensory
issues. The practice of yoga improves muscle strength, tone and helps children to become aware of
their placement of arms, legs and feet in comparison to the rest of their body. The additional physical
strength also helps to improve coordination.
Many children with autism may have sensitivities to lights, noise, smells, texture and taste causing
them to become agitated. Yoga can help to decrease the amount of sensory stimulation they are
experiencing by decreasing their anxiety, releasing energy and calming down their burdened system.

Breathing Exercises
Breathing Exercise can also be very helpful. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma)is easy to
practice This exercise affects your autonomic nervous system (the one we have no conscious control
over). The mind is being used directly to regulate the breath, allowing the body to learn to self-regulate.
Being centered has to do with balancing the energy on the left and right sides of the body, an important
part of self-healing.

How to practice anuloma viloma:


1. Use your right hand to close your right nostril with your thumb
2. Inhale through the left nostril
3. Hold the breath, closing both nostrils
4. Exhale through the right nostril, while keeping the left nostril closed
5. Inhale through the right nostril, while keeping the left nostril closed
6. Hold the breath, closing both nostrils
7. Repeat this exercise for up to 10 minutes, twice daily

Sheetali
Sheetali, or cooling breath, reduces stress, frustration, irritation and anger while promoting inner
calmness and tranquility. It also assists in promoting healthy digestion and inducing sleep, both
beneficial for patients with autism. The key to maximizing the benefits of this deep breathing exercise
is to ensure cooling breath is inhaled over curled tongue.

Meditation Fo Treating Autism

So Hum Meditation
So Hum meditation is another way for children with autism to quell aggression by calming the mind
and body. It utilizes deep breathing and repeating of the word hum to expand consciousness and
promote relaxation and self-awareness. While So Hum meditation is most effective when completed in
20 to 30 minute sessions, many patients with autism will need to start with one or two minute sessions,
increasing in length as they are able.

Conclusion
Currently, a cure for autism does not exist, research has provided several useful findings to assist with
the management of the symptoms associated with autism. Through the strategic practice of herbal
supplementation, yoga, meditation and a very specific and controlled diet, autistic children are able to
become functional, contributing members to their families and communities.
References
http://ayurvedicscience.com/newsletters/ayurvedic-practice-for-assisting-patients-of-autism/
http://www.bornnaturopathic.com/blog/health-articles/autism-spectrum-disorder-ayurveda-and-
naturopathic-medicine/
http://www.prokerala.com/health/diseases/autism-spectrum-disorder.htm
http://vishwacareclinic.blogspot.in/2012/06/autism-and-ayurveda.html
http://health.sulekha.com/ayurvedic-treatment-for-autism_558568_blog
http://easyayurveda.com/2009/09/12/autism-has-ayurveda-something-to-offer-to-improve-autistic-
children/

Immune System Support for Children with Autism


In addition to providing digestive support, probiotics demonstrate key support of immune system
function. This is essential to the autistic population as many have demonstrated the likelihood to suffer
from a compromised, or generally weakened, immune system.
Managing the immune system needs of the autistic by using Ayurvedic practices requires constant
focus on sustaining proper immune function. In addition to supporting immune system function with
probiotics, several herbs are recommended, including:
Tinospora Cordifolia
Emblica Officinalis
Piper Longum
Trikatu
Astragalus
Regeneration of Neurons in Patients withAutism
While not yet mainstream practice in the western world, supplementing the diet with herbs and natural
and homeopathic treatments is demonstrating to be effective in promoting the regeneration of neurons
associated with autism. Several natural treatments are demonstrating promising effects, improving
cognitive function and response in the autistic population. Supporting the use of natural supplements
for neuron regeneration, Mohondas & Rao (2012) provide evidence that supplementation with fresh
leaves extract of Centella asiatica , a creeper, growing in moist places in India and other Asian
countries, demonstrate significant improvements in neuron function in areas of the brain associated
with learning and memory[4].
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are reported to be used by nearly 30% of children with autism[5]. A
systematic review of the use of EFAs for autism spectrum disorder in 2009 by Bent, Bertoglio &
Hendren found favorable outcomes and measurable improvements in the language and learning skills
of autistic children supplementing with EFAs[6]. These findings indicate a correlation between the
improvement of neuron function and regeneration and EFA use among children with autism. Some of
the food sources of -3 and -6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), hemp oil, chia
seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts. EFAs are also present in butter
and ghee made from yogurt. Other good fats are medium chain triglycerides or MCTs Significant
amounts of MCTs are found in coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter and ghee.
In addition to EFAs, several herbs, including Gotu Kola, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo, Mucuna Pruriens
and Ashwagandha have demonstrated significant contributions to the regeneration of neurons
associated with decreased cognitive function. Specifically, these herbs have demonstrated the ability to:
Increase blood circulation to the brain
Protect and repair neurons
Improve mental strength, concentration and memory
Enhance concentration, intelligence, attention and overall cognitive ability.

relatively normally. However, in this trial, and a similar study carried out at Great Ormond Street
Hospital, a number of patients developed a T-cell leukaemia that was caused by the inserted MLV gene
delivery vector switching on an adjacent oncogene [51,52]. So for SCID-X1 the majority of the 19
younger patients gained significant clinical benefit, but five developed leukaemia, of whom four were
successfully treated and recovered immunity without the need for further intervention. Clearly, the long
terminal repeat (LTR) of the MLV vector contains a powerful enhancer, which can cause insertional
oncogenesis, for example, when the wild-type virus infects tumour-prone mice [53]. A more recent trial
treating SCID-X1 has used an MLV vector without the enhancer in the LTR. Thus far the patients have
reconstituted T cells with no leukaemia [54]. It is not totally clear why the LTR-containing MLV vector
caused insertional oncogenesis in SCID-X1 but not ADA-SCID, but similar insertional oncogenesis in
patients treated for chronic granulomatous disease and WiskottAldrich syndrome suggests that ADA
deficiency offers some intrinsic protection [55,56]. A new clinical trial using a lentiviral vector to treat
WiskottAldrich syndrome has not reported insertional oncogenesis [57].