Depression (manic-depressive illness) is a mood disorder, which means that the symptoms are disturbances or abnormalities of mood. Major depression is a more common illness, the symptoms of which are mainly those of low mood. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of both serious mania and depression. The person's mood swings from excessively high and irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. Different from normal mood states of happiness and sadness, symptoms of manic-depressive illness can be severe and life threatening. In fact, for those afflicted with the illness, it is extremely distressing and disruptive.
Bipolar disorder manifests due to imbalance of the physical doshas vata, pitta, and kapha and the mental properties satva, rajas and tamas.
Ayurvedic herbs used for bipolar disorder are adaptogenic in nature. They are equally valuable for mania or depression. The intent is not to force the brain out of a depressive or a manic episode by providing herbal uppers or downers but to balance the doshas and to normalize the production of neurotransmitters.