Paralysis means incapacity to move or feel, which occurs due to damage to the nervous system.
Facial paralysis refers to weakness of facial muscles, mainly resulting from temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve.
Common causes of facial paralysis are:- Brain trauma, stroke, brain abscess, poliomyelitis, acoustic neuroma, herpes zoster oticus, fractures of temporal bone, metabolic disorders like Diabetes mellitus, Hypothyroidism, Uraemia, Polyarteritis nodosa.
Facial Paralysis is characterized by half sided facial weakness, loss of taste, decreased salivation and tear secretion.
Bell’s palsy is the most common type of facial paralysis. It is a peripheral facial paralysis of acute onset with no known cause. Although, it has been associated with herpes simplex, herpes zoster or Epstein – Barr viral infections, vascular Ischaemia, hereditary predisposition and autoimmune disorders. it is usually unilateral, clinical manifestations include pain in ear or around the jaw, drooping of eyebrow, smoothening of wrinkles, widening of eyes, watering of eyes, drooling, loss of nasolabial fold, deviation of protruded tongue to sound side, hyperacusis, eyeball turns up or out on attempting to close the eye (Bell’s phenomenon).
In Ayurveda this disease is called as “Ardita”. Etymological meaning of Ardita has been described as “अर्दयति पीडयति इति अर्दितः” which means bending or pain in half part of face. All most all Acharyas described face as affected part of Ardita.
Synonyms: - Ekayama.
Etiologies of Ardita as given by Acharyas are:-
Eating Vata Dosha aggravating food like excessive cold, dry or hard food, injury of vital parts of body (Marma), speaking in high tone, excessive sneezing or yawning, heavy weight bearing, improper body posture, suppressing natural urges.
The causative factors lead to vitiation of vata which settles in nerves and muscles supplying head, nose, lips, jaw, forehead and joints of eye leading to their bending and causing pain.
Acharya Charaka described that vitiated vata while settling in above regions causes shoshana (drying) of Rakta dhatu. Here shoshana can be understood as reduced blood supply to the above regions.
Prodromal symptoms of Ardita include: goose bumps (Horripilation), tremors, watering of eyes, belching, numbness, tingling sensation and rigidity in neck and jaw.
The treatment strategy can be divided into three ways : -
1) Single Herbs – Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Brahmi(Bacopa monnieri), Kaunch (mucuna pruriens), Kupilu (Strychnos nuxvomica), Vacha (Acorus calamus).
2) Powders – Dashmoola churna, Panchkola churna, Naarsingh churna, Ashwagandhadi churna.
3) Guggulu preparations – Tryodashang guggulu, Mahayograj guggulu, Rasnadi guggulu.
4) Herbomineral Preparations – Vatgajankush Rasa, Vatchintamani Rasa, Yogendra Rasa, Ekangvir Rasa, Abhrak Bhasma, Chandraprabha Vati, Shilajeet Bhasma.
5) Kwath (Decoctions) – Rasnasaptak Kwath,Maharasnadi Kwath, Mashbaladi Kwath.
6) Oil Preparations – Bala Taila, Prasarni Taila, Mahanarayan Taila, Rason Taila.
7) Asava/Arishta (Alcoholic Preparations) – Dashmoolarishta, Balarishta.
1) Regularly massage your facial muscles with any Ayurvedic oil or sesame/Olive oil. Massage helps in improving blood circulation and stimulating the nerves. It will also prevent drying of skin. Always massage slowly with finger tips.
2) Daily Practise special exercises for face for 10 to 15 mins like laughing or smiling, raising the eyebrows with the help of hands, blowing the air, stretching the corners of mouth, pouting the lips for 10 to 15 secs.
3) Take 5 ml of Castor oil with milk at night. Castor oil is very beneficial for alleviating Vata and Kapha dosha. It is mild laxative. It also helps in rejuvenating nerves and muscles. External application of luke warm castor oil helps in reducing pain and inflammation of facial muscles.
4) Take 2 or 3 garlic cloves and extract their juice. Mix this juice with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and massage the affected part of face with this. Garlic contains a sulphur compound allicin which helps in reducing pain and inflammation. Take 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves cooked with 1 glass of milk daily. It is very good anti viral and anti bacterial herb.
5) Practise meditation exercises like Anulom vilom Pranayama, Suryabhedi Pranayama, Kapaalbharti pranayama as it helps in relaxation of brain, cranial nerves and muscles of body. This will improve the overall recovery process.
6) Maintain your blood pressure at optimum levels.
7) Avoid direct exposure of cold or dry air, take proper rest and have proper diet and sleep routine. Include vata Dosha pacifying herbs in your diet like turmeric, tulsi, ginger, black cardamom and cinnamon.
The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.