Working Under Stress
Maharishi Ayurveda Worry Free Research
Our cell phone is ringing. E-mails pour in by the minute. Deadlines, competition, budgets, bottom lines. Let's face it, the modern workplace is stressful. As a result more people than ever are suffering from sleep disorders, anxiety attacks and even depression.
What we need is the ability to meet the mental demands of the day without feeling over-stressed. It was exactly this need that prompted The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians to formulate the Worry Free tablets.
"People have told me that if they take tranquilizers it reduces their anxiety, but then they feel so drowsy that they can't work," says an ayurvedic expert from The Council . Research shows that Worry Free provides the best of both worlds: it not only reduces generalized anxiety and calms stress, but it also heightens alertness so you can meet the demands of your day and prevent mental stress from mounting.
How does this herbal formula accomplish those three objectives? Here's a chance to look deeply into the ayurvedic wisdom and scientific research on this remarkable formula.
Reduces Generalized Anxiety
Researchers at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) conducted a randomized, controlled pilot study to measure the effects of Worry Free on ten patients who suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a condition that affects 25% of the population.
The treatment period was three months. One group took two tablets of Worry Free twice a day, while the other group took a placebo. At post-testing, after three months of taking Worry Free, 80% of the Worry Free group no longer exhibited Generalized Anxiety Disorder, exhibiting a two-fold greater decrease in the Hamilton Anxiety Scale than the placebo subjects.
What is the Ayurvedic explanation for this dramatic drop in generalized anxiety?
In ayurveda, mental abilities are divided into three categories. They are dhi (acquisition), dhriti (retention), and smriti (recall). Worry Free helped patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder because it contains a special group of herbs such as Herpestis Monniera (Brahmi), Aloeweed (Dwarf Morning Glory or Shankapushpi), and Heart-leaved Moonseed (Indian Tinospora or Guduchi), which have an enhancing effect on dhi, dhriti and smriti.
These special herbs are called medhya herbs in the traditional texts, and are known to not only nurture the three areas of the mind individually, but also to nurture coordination among them.
Muskroot (Jatamansi) and Greater Galangal are additional herbs that clear the channels. These keep the gaps between dhi, dhriti and smriti free of toxins and blockages. In the Vedic understanding, the gap, or union, is where all intelligence resides. Thus these herbs keep the coordination between acquisition, retention, and recall working well.
So if people who take Worry Free are confronted with a stressful situation, they have the tools to make it a positive, rather than a negative experience. They can recall related experiences from the past to help them deal with the present problem, and they tend to learn from each new one. They can do this without disturbing their mind, without feeling anxious.
One additional herb in the formula also has a key effect. Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha) enhances the mind's overall ability to fight stress. Because it helps overall mental functioning, not targeting just one area of the mind, people find that they can think more clearly and can solve their problems without incurring stress. They avoid being damaged by stress in the first place.
Reduces Cortisol and Other Markers of Stress
One of the measurements used in the UCSD study was the salivary cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress, and high cortisol levels show high stress. In the patients who took Worry Free for three months, the mean salivary cortisol levels went down 2.77 nmol/l.
Again, The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians provides an explanation from Maharishi Ayurveda. There are three subdoshas that govern the mind, he says. Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that governs the brain, sensory perception and the mind. Tarpaka Kapha is the subdosha of Kapha that governs the cerebral-spinal fluid. And because acquisition, retention and recall originate in the heart, Sadhaka Pitta (the subdosha of Pitta that governs the emotions and their effect on the heart) is also involved.
When people overuse or misuse their minds, the subdoshas governing the mind counteract that overuse by producing more fluid. It's similar to the extra saliva that is produced by the taste buds when you're about to eat chilies or other hot foods. The extra saliva protects the whole digestive system, and prevents the chilies from creating an abrasive effect.
When your mind is strained by engaging in excessive mental work, the subdoshas go out of balance. Sadhaka Pitta begins to create a burning effect and Prana Vata creates a drying effect. Then Tarpaka Kapha generates extra fluid to counteract this effect and protect the brain.
But if you overuse your mind over and over and over again, the lubricating value of Tarpaka Kapha becomes excessive, and begins to diminish the metabolizing fire (medhya agni) in the gaps between dhi, dhriti and smriti. It's similar to the effect of too much moisture in the digestion -- it can put out the digestive fire (agni).
When this happens, ama (toxins) start to be created. Ama accumulates in the gaps and channels of the brain, and mixes with the fluids created by Tarpaka Kapha, creating a harmful type of cortisol, the indicator of stress. Cortisol in itself is not bad, in fact it's created by the body to protect the brain. But when Tarpaka Kapha becomes excessive and there is ama in the physiology, it does more harm than good. That's when anxiety attacks and other signs of too much stress take over.
The reason that the subjects' cortisol levels when down after using Worry Free is because the Muskroot and Greater Galangal enhance the medhya agni. Medhya agni began to burn brightly again, ama was no longer produced and no ama was no longer mixing with Tarpaka Kapha. Thus only a good quality of cortisol was released, which actually protected the brain from stress. That's why the salivary cortisol levels went down.
As mentioned earlier, Muskroot and Greater Galangal also help clear the channels of ama, as does Winter Cherry. Winter Cherry is such a sharp, cleansing herb that it in itself self-sufficient, but when combined with Muskroot and Greater Galangal, it becomes an extremely effective agent for clearing the channels, enhancing medhya agni and reducing amal.
Relaxed But Alert
The subjects in this study and many thousands of people who have taken Worry Free over the past six years have reported that it makes them feel relaxed, but also more alert.
"My job involves a tremendous amount of mental stress and sometimes I feel torn in several directions," says Molly Blackwell, a graphic designer. Worry Free takes me to a whole new level of calm. It settles me down so I can focus, accomplish and not feel confused.
The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians says that people feel more alert even though calmer because of the factors already mentioned. The medhya herbs enhance the capacity of dhi, dhriti, and smriti and improve coordination between them. Other herbs clear the channels. Winter Cherry increases overall alertness. Researchers were so intrigued with this effect that a whole new study is now being conducted to measure how much Worry Free increases the alertness of the mind.
We are confident that the new research will verify the experience of so many thousands of people who have benefited from this traditional Ayurvedic formula.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.