Epilepsy or Apasmara in Ayurveda is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden recurring fits of seizures with or without loss of conscience. It is a neurological disorder which can occur either as a symptom of a brain disease or without any known pathology. An epileptic attack may range from mild episodes of progressive numbing of a part of the body to sudden involuntary contractions of the muscles.
It is generally characterized by ‘clinical events’ called seizures featured by instantaneous loss of memory with or without spasm of body (generalized or localized). Violent convulsions, twitching of the muscles, biting of the tongue, distorted fixation of thumb, rotation of the head etc are a few of the other symptoms seen in patients suffering from epilepsy. Factors like deprivation of sleep, high fever, use of alcohol, alcohol withdrawal, mental stress etc can trigger seizures.
According to Ayurveda, epilepsy is a result of the vitiation of the vata dosha which particularly affects the head. However, it can also be caused by vitiation of pitta or kapha. Sometimes external situations combine with internal doshas to cause this disease, but external events can never be the sole cause. It is described as Apasmara or apasmaram in Ayurveda.