Social Phobia – Ayurvedic Treatment, Diet, Exercises, Research Papers, Yoga & Pranayama

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is the third most common mental health disorder after depression and substance abuse. Persons with this disorder fear being humiliated or embarrassed in social and/or performance situations by their actions and may become intensely anxious, with an increased heart rate, diaphoresis, and other signs of autonomic arousal. These physical symptoms may cause additional anxiety, often leading to a conditioned fear response that reinforces their anxiety in public situations.

Signs and symptoms

  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged
  • Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
  • Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
  • Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
  • Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
  • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
  • Avoiding situations where you might be the centre of attention
  • Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
  • Enduring a social situation with intense fear or anxiety
  • Spending time after a social situation analysing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
  • Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation


Exact cause is not known in many cases. But the following factors are considered to play a role:

Inherited traits

Mental or physical trauma

Brain structure – an overreactive amygdala



The pathophysiology of social phobia is evolving as a result of research into brain connectivity and function and recent hypotheses regarding cognition.


Clinical examination

Criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association



Medications – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, Beta-blockers.


Mild social phobia has a good prognosis and mostly a benign course. Severe avoidance behaviour and substance abuse are often associated with a guarded prognosis.


Low self-esteem

Trouble being assertive

Negative self-talk

Hypersensitivity to criticism

Poor social skills

Isolation and difficult social relationships

Low academic and employment achievement

Substance abuse, such as drinking too much alcohol

Suicide or suicide attempts

Disease & Ayurveda

        Unmada (Kaphaja)


Intake of viruddha (contradictory to each other), dushta (rotten or toxic), and ashuchi (unhygienic) foods and drinks

            Insulting the gods, teachers and high-profile people in the society



Sudden happiness

Unwholesome diet and activities

Excess sleep


        Not mentioned


The causative factors vitiate the doshas and affect the hrudaya(heart) which is the seat of intellect & feelings. In a person with abnormal emotional quotient and less tolerance level (heena satwa) when the doshas reach the channels of emotional impulses (manovahasrotas) they afflict the mind and generate the signs and symptoms of unmada.


Sluggish or slow movements, speech and actions

Anorexia or aversion to food

Liking for women or lonely places (hating crowd, meeting people etc.)

Excess sleep

Vomiting and excessive salivation

Paleness or whitish discolouration of nails, face etc.


            Not mentioned




            Ayurvedic treatment for unmada primarily focuses on cleansing the body which is the seat of mind. It is done by doing sodhana therapies(panchakarma) in strong patients with snehana & swedana as preparatory procedures and samsarjana krama (stepwise improving Agni with light to heavy diet plans)






Snehana-abhyanga, siropichu, sirovasti








Commonly used medicines

        Varanadi kashayam

            Mahapaisachika ghrutam

            Panchagavya ghrutam



            Brands available

AVS Kottakal

AVP Coimbatore

SNA oushadhasala

Vaidyaratnam oushadhasala

Home remedies

No home remedies are proven scientifically to cure social phobia. But relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and pranayama can help the person to Improve the quality of life.


  • To be avoided

Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.

Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine

Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion

Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)

Milk and milk products causing indigestion, obstruction in channels and obesity

Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases

  • To be added

Light meals and easily digestible foods

Green gram, soups, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables

Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc


Protect yourself from extreme hot & cold climates.

Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.

Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule. Avoid keeping awake late night.

Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.

Avoid sedentary lifestyle. Be active.


Regular stretching and mild cardio exercises are advised. Also, specific yogacharya including naadisuddhi pranayama, bhujangaasana, pavanamuktasana is recommended.

Regular exercise helps improve bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.

 Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.

Yoga for social anxiety


Nadisudhi pranayama


Simple exercises for lungs and heart health

All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.

Research articles

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Dr. Rajesh Nair, Expert, Ayurveda Medicine, India

Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

Dr. Nair is a regular speaker at Ayurveda-related conferences and has visited Germany to propagate Ayurveda. You can write directly to him-

Whatsapp – +91 9446918019, +91 8075810816


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