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Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

6 Common Ayurvedic Herbs That MUST Be Included In Your Daily Life

Ayurveda is a 5000-year old Indian medicine system, which includes many ayurvedic herbs and medicines. Ayurveda has always aimed to improve the health of the people, by balancing the body, mind and spirit. 

Ayurvedic practices always try to prevent diseases instead of only treating them. 

For this purpose, the Ayurvedic practitioners use a holistic treatment strategy based on diet, herbal medicines, Yoga, and other lifestyle changes. 

The use of medicinal herbs, herbal extracts and spices, is well known in Ayurveda for a long time. They effectively increase the body’s immunity against the onslaught of diseases and improve the quality of life. 

A large number of Ayurvedic herbs can also be used in the foods we eat, thus proving the adage that ‘That which heals also prevents’.

Here are 6 commonly used herbs in Ayurveda and their benefits-

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

The name literally translated means Ashwa- horse and gandha- smell, i.e., the smell of a horse. This plant smells like horse urine. 

The roots of this plant have been used for a very long time and it is effectively used to decrease the Vata and Kapha dosha and neutralizes the Pitta dosha. 

This herb is generally used to boost the body’s immune system after a long illness. 

The use of Ashwagandha helps relieve the symptoms of stress, fatigue and energizes and rejuvenates the person.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

Benefits of Ashwagandha-

  1. Promotes energy and stamina in the body
  2. Protects the immune system
  3. Relieves stress
  4. Improves concentration
  5. Cures insomnia and other anxiety-related disorders
  6. Decreases brain-cell degeneration
  7. Stabilizes blood sugar level
  8. Lowers cholesterol in the body
  9. Has anti-inflammatory properties
  10. Increases the levels of Thyroid hormones –T3 and T4
  11. Improves sexual potency in both men and women
  12. Reduces pain considerably in combination with other herbs

  • Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)

Also known as Tulsi, this plant is actually considered sacred by many people in India and has been used for thousands of years. 

This herb is used to treat colds, coughs, and flu, relieve bloating, removal of toxins from the body. 

This herb is a rich source of essential oils and includes eugenol, nerol, camphor and a variety of other terpenes and flavonoids. 

The oil is a strong antiseptic against many micro-organisms, fungi and parasites.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

Benefits of Tulsi -

  1. Relieves stress
  2. Improves blood circulation, thus preventing the rate of heart attacks.
  3. Reduces depression and induces a feeling of calmness
  4. Decreases mucus congested in the lungs; clears phlegm and provides relief in cold and cough
  5. Increases lung capacity and promotes better breathing patterns
  6. Alleviates headaches
  7. Improves memory
  8. Treats allergies, asthma, bronchitis
  9. Reduces bloating and bodyweight of the person and alleviates flatulence
  10. Has anti-malarial properties

  • Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

This is one of the most rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda and is prescribed for ailments affecting the female reproductive organ. 

The word is translated as ‘she who has 100 husbands’ and is prescribed to improve the health of male and female reproductive systems. 

This herb balances the Pitta dosha.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

Benefits of Shatavari are:

  1. Acts as a gynaecological tonic, which balances the menstrual cycle
  2. Reduces symptoms for headache, abdominal cramping, emotional irritability, etc.
  3. Increases fertility and prevents miscarriage during pregnancy
  4. Increases the flow of breast milk
  5. Increases sexual potency in males and females
  6. Helps cure insomnia
  7. Treats urinary disorders

  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Brahmi leaves are widely used in Ayurvedic herbal medicines to soothe the mind, improve memory and combat stress. 

It is the best brain tonic. 

This herb can be used for all the tridoshas in the body, but mainly calms Vata.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

Benefits of Brahmi:

  1. Benefits the entire nervous system
  2. Helps calm the mind and relieve stress
  3. Increases neurological efficiency of the brain
  4. Promotes creativity and increases the power of memory and concentration
  5. Prevents further brain damage in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
  6. Improves liver function
  7. Used for treating depression, schizophrenia, mania, hysteria and other mental disorders.
  8. Prevents inflammation
  9. Reduces high blood pressure

  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

It is widely known as Indian gooseberry or Amla. The green Amlafruit has derived its name from the word Amalaki (Sanskrit, i.e., Nectar of life). 

It protects us from many illnesses like cancer, cold, cardiovascular disorders, etc. 

Ayurveda states that this fruit helps in balancing the 3 doshas and eliminates the root cause of several diseases. 

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits
Benefits of Amla:

  1. Help fight cold, cough and other respiratory conditions
  2. Burn fat effectively
  3. It is one of Ayurveda's greatest rejuvenators
  4. Acts as a strong natural anti-oxidant and improves immunity
  5. Helps lower cholesterol
  6. Is a great source of Vitamin C, and hence, improves the gum health
  7. Improves eyesight, and even the hair and skin health
  8. It balances Pitta

  • Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Neem is native to the Indian subcontinent. The Neem leaves are one the best Ayurvedic blood purifiers and show many antioxidating properties. 

Some researchers state that this plant contains more than 100 bioactive compounds.

In Ayurveda, Neem leaves are used for balancing the Pitta and Kapha doshas.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs | Health Benefits

Benefits of Neem:

  1. Shows anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties and hence, is used for treating psoriasis 
  2. Cures coughs, colds and other respiratory ailments
  3. Contains antioxidating compounds, which eliminate the free radicals in the bloodstream
  4. Neem oil is used for treating skin and hair issues and used in several cosmetic products
  5. Neem bark is effective against malaria, pain, fever, intestinal ulcers, etc.
  6. Is a popular insecticide
Besides the above-mentioned herbs, there are thousands of more Ayurvedic herbs and medicinal plants that can be used in Ayurveda for numerous ailments and diseases affecting a person. 

One of the unique aspects of Ayurveda herbal treatment is that once the dosha-constitution of a person is determined, the Ayurvedic practitioner can very easily know what herbs to prescribe. 

The medication and prescription of ayurvedic herbs is a well-defined and deeply-studied science, which requires an in-depth knowledge of plants and their effect on human physiology, biochemistry, and psychology. These herbs should only be consumed under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

It must be noted that the Ayurvedic herbal medicines are more effective if they are combined with the other Ayurvedic treatment strategies like diet, lifestyle changes and Yoga.

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