It is defined by experts as departure of memory associated with entering into darkness(unconsciousness) and loathsome appearance due to derangement of intellect and mind.
Causative factors: Those with perverted mind and abundant morbidity due to
- Infliction of mind with rajas and tamas
- Masking of heart with doshas
- Injury of mind by anxiety, passion, fear, anger, grief, agitation etc.
- Intake of unwholesome and unclean food
Doshas being carried by vessels to heart afflict it and as such the patient suffers stupefied with wandering mind.
He sees non-existent things(visual hallucination), falls down, gets twitching in tongue, eyes and eyebrows, excessive salivation, and convulsions in hands and feet.
After the paroxysm is over the patient awakens as if from sleep.
Types-Epilepsy is of four types
Vataj Apasmar-Patient trembles, bites his teeth, emits froth, respires excessively and sees things as rough, reddish and black.
Pittaj Apasmar- The patient has yellow froth, limbs face and eyes, sees things as yellow and red, suffers from thirst and heat and views the environment as caught with fire.
Kpahaj Apasmar- Patient has white froth, limbs, face and eyes, is cold, horripilated, heavy and views things as white. He recovers after a long period.
Tridoshaj Apasmar- The epilepsy caused by three doshas is known from all the above symptoms jointly. This type of epilepsy is incurable and also in the wasted person and the old one. The vitiated doshas give rise to paroxysmal fits of epilepsy at the interval of a fort-night, twelve days or a month with a slight variation.
Principles of treatment:
Physicians at first should take steps for the awakening of heart, channels and mind blocked by those doshas by drastic emesis etc. He should treat vatika type predominantly with enema, paittika type mostly with purgation and kaphaj mostly with emesis.
Massage and bath-mustard oil cooked with four times goat’s urine makes a massage. Cow dung and cow’s urine are used as bath and anointing. Palankasha, vacha, haritaki, paippali, lavana, hingu, sarshapa, dog’s shoulder bone, nails and ribs, lasuna, kushtha, arka etc. are few other medicines used to prepare the oils for massage.
Snuff-urine of brown cow is very efficacious. Similarly the urine of dog, jackal, cat, tiger etc. is recommended for the purpose. Oils cooked with triphala, trikatu, daruharidra, yavakshar, shyama, pippali, vruchikali, kushtha etc. are also used for nasal instillation.
Collyrium-application of dog’s bite extracted in pushya constellation is alleviator of epilepsy. This also makes an excellent fumigation when mixed with ghee. With these tested applications heart awakens, channels are cleansed and thus the patient regains consciousness.
As regards management, the patient should be evacuated with emesis etc. after unction and sudation. Thereafter proper dietetic regimen should be given to him. The Panchgavya ghruta combined with bramhi juice should be taken. Moreover, patient should take shankhapushpi and other intellect promoting rasayana. Very close, favourite and trusted friends speaking about righteousness and purpose should make him devoted to understanding, perseverance, memory and concentration.
The epileptic along with the insane should be kept aloof from risky situation like water, fire, tree and hills because they take away the life immediately.
Shaman/palliative treatment- Panchgavya ghrut, Mahapanchagavya ghrut.
One should use oil and garlic, shatavari with milk, bramhi juice, kushtha juice or vacha with honey.