Lets look at the some of the most amazing herbs for Ayurvedic medicine.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, amla is one of the most used. It is reputed that Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry or Emblica officinalis) contains the highest level of vitamin C of any naturally occurring substance. Balance is maintained among the three doshas of the body, thereby controlling digestive issues, strengthening the heart, controlling cholesterol, preventing cancer, building and maintaining defence mechanisms, improving eyesight, as well as detoxifying the body.
The amla fruit is said to have 20 times more vitamin C than the orange. Amla contains approximately 625mg to 1814mg of vitamin C per 100gms. Amla is also shown to increase haemoglobin and red blood cells. It was discovered, through research, that when taken regularly as a dietary supplement, amla can counteract the toxic effects of prolonged exposure to environmental heavy metals, such as lead, aluminum, and nickel.
Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry or Withania Somnifera)- Ashwagandha is one of the main herbs for promoting libido and rejuvenating the body in ayurveda. An effective semen enhancer, it is used to treat impotency and infertility.
Ashwagandha has been proven to possess antibacterial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties in clinical studies. It is an adaptogen helping the body cope with stressors and change. Stress-reducing effects also facilitate learning and memory. It has also been found to help with rheumatic and arthritic disorders, such as pain, swelling, etc.
Overall, it is considered an aphrodisiac, immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-stress herb. This why Ayurveda holds this herb in such high regard as a general tonic.
‘Arjuna‘ (Terminalia Arjuna) is a highly effective cardiac tonic. It has been known since 500 BC that the herb Terminalia arjuna can be beneficial for treating heart problems. In clinical research, it has demonstrated its effectiveness as a treatment for anginal pain. As well as for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and possibly hypercholesterolemia.
Some studies reported ”Improvement of cardiac muscle function. Subsequent improved pumping activity of the heart seem to be the primary benefits of Terminalia Arjuna’‘.
In the ancient world, Brahmi was called “food for the brain”. This herb is traditionally used to boost the immune system, as a nerve tonic, and as a mental tonic. This enhances mental function and promotes clarity and calmness.
Brahmi is claimed to improve memory and help combat stress. The benefits of brahmi are particularly suitable for students, as it improves their ability to learn and to focus, and for elderly people who want to regain their memory. Specifically, it is unique in its ability to stimulate mental processes while reducing the effects of stress and nervous anxiety.
Brahmi is often used as a nervine tonic for stroke victims, those who are prone to nervous breakdowns and those who are suffering from ADHD. Ayurvedic brain formulas with the best memory and brain power often include brahmi, as do many other compounds known to promote long life.
Guggulu (Shuddha Guggulu, Guggul, Commiphora Mukul) – Studies indicate that it is one of the most effective ayurvedic herbs for treating obesity and high cholesterol. Research shows that guggulu lowers serum cholesterol and phospholipids, and that it also protects against cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis. In these clinical studies, guggulu resulted in lower body weight.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, Guggulu is also effective for treating arthritis and other joint pains.
Karela (Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, Momordica Charantia) – At least three different constituents of bitter Melon have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Among these are steroidal saponins known as Charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. In studies, bitter melon consistently lowers Type 2 diabetics’ blood sugar levels.
It may reduce the patients’ consumption of antidiabetic drugs. Bitter Melon is also thought to have proteins that repress other viruses.
Bitter melons have been recommended as one of the best herbal medications for diabetic management by the Department of Health in the Philippines.
Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is an extensive blood purifier, excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema, teeth and gum diseases. Since neem can be applied externally and internally, it is commonly found in Ayurvedic Skin products.
Shilajit (Mineral Pitch, Asphaltum) – Shilajit is one of the prime Ayurvedic compounds for rejuvenating the body. It is great to treat diabetes and debilitating urinary problems, as well as being an aphrodisiac and anti-ageing herb.
Shilajit is said to begin to manifest regenerative effects after approximately one month of use according to the Charaka Samhita. Impotence and infertility can also be treated with Shilajit. It is said that the libido levels of the general population will be returned to the level of teenagers when shilajit is used.
The indigenous people of the Himalayan region have a folk saying that shilajit makes the body strong as a rock. As an adaptogen (Rasayna), it can help people manage their immune system, urogenital system, nervous system, and sexual dissatisfaction.
The Boswellia herb has been found to have beneficial properties in the treatment of various painful and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint mobility and pain. Boswellia serrata extract was found to be effective in treating knee osteoarthritis in a recent clinical trial.
In addition to treating back pain, knee pain, joint pain, and arthritis, boswellia has also been found useful for treating a number of other disorders. Several studies have been conducted on the herb’s potential as a treatment for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Triphala (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, Haritaki) – Triphala has the properties of three famous nutrients: amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki. In addition to its mild action, this formula has a more balanced action than the three taken separately.
It works as a detoxifier and cleanser. With regular use, it promotes gentle, slow detoxification, first of the digestive tract, and then of the deep tissues. With continued use, it can also normalize all three humours. (Doshas)
Triphala is easily one of the best supplements available today and pretty hard to beat; this is why in Indian you may hear them say “even if your mother leaves you, you’ll be fine if you have Triphala”
As its very name Holy Basil indicates its sacred nature, Tulsi (Holy Basil, Ocimum Sanctum) deserves special attention. It’s a sacred plant worshipped in many Indian households and a must for any Hindu household.
There are also many Ayurvedic cough syrups that use holy basil over other ingredients. Research has found that it is a good stress reliever. Moreover, it is good for respiratory problems, colds, fevers, and all types of cough.
Please ensure you consult a qualified Ayurvedic, Naturopathic or Herbal Practitioner before using herbs. Most importantly, do not stop taking your medicine without doctors approval.