Traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herbs
The thousands of years of practice of Ayurveda consists of various branches. One of the very distinct lines is the study of plants and herbs, which serves as the basis for medicines and treatments in this life science. Ayurveda is built on the concept that the human body is in synergy with Mother Nature.
Herbs have significant preventive and curative properties, so they provide a localized solution/nutrition for physiological systems and processes. Herbs are used externally for the treatment of wounds, lacerations, bruises, cuts, taken internally (orally) or even added to dishes. Depending on the type of disease, it is incorporated in the diet. More than 600 original herbal formulas and a remedies consisting of 250 unique plants play a role in the treatment of diseases, detoxification of the body, strengthening the immune system and our vitality.
Ayurveda focuses on harmonizing the mind, body and soul, thus avoiding diseases. In fact, the healing properties of plants and herbs are boundless. Another advantage of them is that they do not have harmful side effects on the body in contrast to drugs produced from chemicals. Ayurvedic remedies are grouped according to what they affect — what they treat, e.g. painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicines, or immune system enhancers.
In general, herbs are not used individually, but in complex formulas (mixtures) that enter into synergy with our body. Each plant complements the other this way together they improve the healing effect of each other. There are certain ancient Ayurvedic basic remedies such as Triphala, Dashamula or Trikatu. Many new preparations have also been developed in recent years by Ayurvedic healers and herbal laboratories. Herbs are often used with the help of an intermediary. It’s called “anupana” and contains ghee, milk, aloe gel or honey, which enhance the properties inherent in plants and act directly in the tissues.
In the past, there were traditional herbs that stood out in popularity.
Here is some information about the six most important herbs that all Ayurvedic healers use to treat their patients:
- Tulsi or sacred basil:
Known in scientific society as Ocimum sanctum, it is a sacred Hindu plant, most often found in church gardens and family vegetable gardens. With its wonderful aroma, it opens the airways and allows “our soul to rise”.
The main components of tulsi are eugenol and caryophyllene, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It can also be found in African countries, where it is known as an antipyretic plant that helps to cure diseases. The antifungal and antibacterial components of Tulsi help against the E-coli and Candida fungi.
They clear excess fluid from the lungs and increase lung capacity and alleviate breathing problems.
Sacred basil helps to relieve stress and in case of anxiety disorders.
- Haldi or Turmeric (Turmeric):
This brilliant yellow herb containing rhizome, also known as Curcuma longa or long Turmeric is one of the greatest gifts of Ayurveda.
With its impressive healing and strengthening properties, rich ingredients such as cucuminoid and curcumin have a wide range of effects and benefits. This includes maintaining brain function, high oxidation activity, prevention of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the treatment of inflammations.
In fact, contrary to aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs, turmeric has no side effects such as gases and bloating. Powders from turmeric can also be used in cooking or consumed in powder form.
- Methi or fenugreek (fenugreek):
Scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graceum, it is also used as a fragrant appetizer, eliminating vata dosha hyperfunction and intestinal gases in the body. Great for digestion and sedative effect in Ayurveda. It also has many other good properties, such as reducing secretions, eliminating fever and lowering cholesterol level. It is also very useful for women — it helps breast-feeding and uterine contraction. One of its most useful properties is that it protects the liver from damage caused by alcohol.
The name Ashwagandha literally means “horsepower”. Also known as Withania somnifera, this exotic shrub has been used for thousands of years in classical Ayurvedic medicine. There are 4 main healing effects that help maintain harmony and equilibrium of the body:
- Medhya — promotes brain function and cognitive development
- Balya — increases resilience and condition that helps recovery
- Rasayana — rejuvenating and age-prolonging effect
- Nidrajanana — promotes sleep and overcomes insomnia
It is an excellent stress reliever, protects the brain and helps maintain a healthy balance of the nervous system. It is an alternative medicine and method of treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Triphala (three fruits):
This herbal mixture contains three pitted mirobalans:
- Amla or Emblica officinalis
- Bibhitaki or Terminalia bellirica
- Haritaki or Terminalia chebula
The Triphala cocktail is rich in acids such as gallus acid, chebulagic acid and chebulinic acid. It is a great detoxifier and digestive enhancer as it promotes gastric and intestinal motility and has an organ-specific anti-inflammatory effect in the lower gastrointestinal region.
Very good cure for food allergies, bloating, slow nutrient absorption, or postprandial fatigue and constipation. By the way, it is also used for eye problems and hair loss problems.
- Trikatu (three types of pepper):
This extract complements Triphala, it is a mixture of three types of spicy, warming pepper:
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Indian long pepper (Piper longum)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Helps absorption and digestion. It destroys accumulated toxins and debris substances that impede digestion. In addition, it is an effective carminative, flatulence suppressant, used in the treatment of stomach disorders. It helps the stomach work to a large extent.
Ayurveda has simple, natural solutions for dealing with a wide range of problems — from simple acne to more complex cancer and tumors. The beneficial effects of ancient formulas and herbal mixtures are so obvious that these remedies have come to the foreground again in the treatment of various diseases. The real beauty of Ayurveda is that we can rely extensively on its advice on how life works and how we can prioritize these already forgotten practices and natural remedies.