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Impact of Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) on Attention


Affiliations
1 Department of Psychology, M.A.C.W, Jhajjar, Haryana, India
2 Department of Psychology, M.D. University, Rohtak, Haryana, India
     

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Attention stands at the forefront of cognition. Without attention abilities, there would be no learning, no perception, no intellectual functioning, and no development of language. Attention enables the individual to gain these experiences. But, recent years have seen a sudden surge in an array of cognitive dysfunctions such as decline in memory, distraction in attention and attention related disorders. Stressful lifestyle in this competitive world may be the root cause. Allopathic psychoactive drugs have been the main stay of treating attention related problems in India and the world wide. However, experiences with these drugs have always not been satisfying. The administration of these drugs is very expensive and most often accompanied by side effects like insomnia, mood change, dizziness, respiratory depression, irritability, nausea, rash, and clumsiness etc. Therefore, the whole world is looking towards ancient science of Ayurveda to explore safe, alternative, cost effective treatment as well as reliable cure with no or minimal side effects. Ayurveda largely uses plants as raw material for the manufacture of drugs. Shankhpushpi is believed to be the one such herbal plant that is capable of enhancing all the aspects related to the brain power, such as learning memory, and the ability to recall. Earlier work on this plant conducted by many researchers as well as in our own department clear-cut indicates the memory enhancing potential of this plant. It can be inferred from the memory enhancing potential of this plant that if this plant can enhance memory, it is quite possible that attention also must be getting affected by it. Any improvement in attentional processes would have its implications in improving all other cognitive abilities. Keeping this wide implication in mind, this present piece of work was designed to examine the effect of Shankhapushpi, a herbal plant, on attentional processes. A 2 X 2 double blind, pre post, placebo controlled, parallel group design was employed. Sample was selected from college going students, belonging to an age group of 19 25 years, who were ready to sign informed consent. Total 60 subjects were selected and divided into 4 groups, each having 15 Ss. 2 groups were experimental groups, who received Shankhapushpi powder (3.5 gm per day with honey followed by a glass of milk) for 2 different durations i.e. 10 and 20 days. Other 2 groups were control groups, which were treated with ordinary powder (made with coriander, spinach, fenugreek etc.) with the same dose and in the same manner as experimental groups. Two aspects of attentional processes were tested i.e. Selective and Divided attention. The subjects were tested on these tasks before starting the treatment and immediately after the treatment. The paper will discusses the obtained results in details as analyzed by two-way ANOVA.

Keywords

Shankhapushpi, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Attention.
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  • Impact of Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) on Attention

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Authors

Priyanka
Department of Psychology, M.A.C.W, Jhajjar, Haryana, India
Promila Batra
Department of Psychology, M.D. University, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Abstract


Attention stands at the forefront of cognition. Without attention abilities, there would be no learning, no perception, no intellectual functioning, and no development of language. Attention enables the individual to gain these experiences. But, recent years have seen a sudden surge in an array of cognitive dysfunctions such as decline in memory, distraction in attention and attention related disorders. Stressful lifestyle in this competitive world may be the root cause. Allopathic psychoactive drugs have been the main stay of treating attention related problems in India and the world wide. However, experiences with these drugs have always not been satisfying. The administration of these drugs is very expensive and most often accompanied by side effects like insomnia, mood change, dizziness, respiratory depression, irritability, nausea, rash, and clumsiness etc. Therefore, the whole world is looking towards ancient science of Ayurveda to explore safe, alternative, cost effective treatment as well as reliable cure with no or minimal side effects. Ayurveda largely uses plants as raw material for the manufacture of drugs. Shankhpushpi is believed to be the one such herbal plant that is capable of enhancing all the aspects related to the brain power, such as learning memory, and the ability to recall. Earlier work on this plant conducted by many researchers as well as in our own department clear-cut indicates the memory enhancing potential of this plant. It can be inferred from the memory enhancing potential of this plant that if this plant can enhance memory, it is quite possible that attention also must be getting affected by it. Any improvement in attentional processes would have its implications in improving all other cognitive abilities. Keeping this wide implication in mind, this present piece of work was designed to examine the effect of Shankhapushpi, a herbal plant, on attentional processes. A 2 X 2 double blind, pre post, placebo controlled, parallel group design was employed. Sample was selected from college going students, belonging to an age group of 19 25 years, who were ready to sign informed consent. Total 60 subjects were selected and divided into 4 groups, each having 15 Ss. 2 groups were experimental groups, who received Shankhapushpi powder (3.5 gm per day with honey followed by a glass of milk) for 2 different durations i.e. 10 and 20 days. Other 2 groups were control groups, which were treated with ordinary powder (made with coriander, spinach, fenugreek etc.) with the same dose and in the same manner as experimental groups. Two aspects of attentional processes were tested i.e. Selective and Divided attention. The subjects were tested on these tasks before starting the treatment and immediately after the treatment. The paper will discusses the obtained results in details as analyzed by two-way ANOVA.

Keywords


Shankhapushpi, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Attention.