Even though Ayurveda is mostly considered pseudoscience, there are some interesting connections to autism. Of course, ancient Ayurveda makes no mention of autism as the very idea is barely 100 years old, but most current practitioners consider it a Vata imbalance.
Here are some of the typical Vata imbalances:
- Fear, anxiety, feelings of loneliness
- Struggle keeping focus, restlessness
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Now compare this list with typical autism comorbidities :
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
- Anxiety disorders, most of all social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sleep disorders
You basically get a 100% match. It’s amazing that a lore that is over 4.000 years old would describe ASD comorbidities so accurately. And the similarities don’t end there. Vata types are supposed to have an ectomorph body type. And this is true for a lot of children on the spectrum. Picky eating often makes the skinniness even more obvious. On the other hand, adult people on the spectrum are also frequently overweight. This itself is not really is not a contradiction and doesn’t necessarily mean that they are Kapha types. It is common for ASD to undereat or overeat and have eating disorders, in particular, apergirls are often hit with both bulimia and anorexia. So, the basic ectomorph/Vata type is probably still true for many of them.
I have argued that the Ayurvedic Vata type is derived from hunter-gatherer tribes living in India at the time when pastoralist (pitta) tribes invaded farmers (Kapha). If Vata/hunter-gatherers are latecomers to agropastoralist societies we would expect them to have difficulties digesting agropastoralist produce. Indeed, lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity are among the most common problems for autistic people. Gluten-free and casein-free diets are often recommended for people with ASD.
So, how does Ayurveda help ease these Vata imbalances? Treatments include therapeutic procedures, internal herbal medications, dietary changes, yoga, and meditation. Ayurveda tries to pacify the Vata and reduce the symptoms and effects due to autism-like chronic constipation, agitated body and mind, impaired motor skills, and many more. I suppose most doctors in the western world would agree with these treatments.
For more on evolutionary types and Ayurveda check out my book:
Originally published at http://the-big-ger-picture.blogspot.com on May 8, 2021.