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AYURVEDIC HERBS

AYURVEDIC HERBS: A NATURAL MEDICINE

 

Ayurveda is not just only about curing diseases. It is the practice of leading a healthy life in physical, mental and divine level. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the radiance of nature we experience all have prospective medicinal values.

         Herbs are considered as the heart and soul of Ayurvedic tradition. Quite a while in the past, Ayurveda understood the importance of botanicals grown on earth. Every flower, root, stem and leaf has medicinal qualities under specific conditions.

Ayurvedic herbs

Health Benefits of Ayurvedic Herbs

  According to Ayurvedic herbology, the herbs are beneficial for the mind, body and spirit. They can be used externally or internally. Some of the health benefits of using ayurvedic herbs are:

1.    Boost mental health.

2.    Detoxify the body and purify blood.

3.    Smooth functioning of the liver.

4.    Helps to fight cancer.

5.    Help retain radiant skin and lustrous hair.

6.    Provide a robust immune system.

7.    Helps to loss weight.


Ayurvedic Herbs: History and Benefits

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) otherwise known as an adaptogen is a small woody plant found in India and North Africa. This herb will aid our body to manage stress more efficiently by reducing the levels of cortisol, a hormone that is produced from the adrenal glands in response to stress. Its root and berries are used to produce Ayurvedic medicines. There’s also evidence linking  ashwagandha to lower levels of anxiety and improved sleep in people. In addition, research shows that ashwagandha may enhance memory, male fertility, muscle growth and lower blood sugar levels. Moreover, there’s evidence that it may help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.


Triphala

Triphala is a combination of three different Ayurvedic herbs (amla, myrobalan, and belleric myrobalan). It is believed that Triphala is helpful for curing many disorders. Researches and studies have suggested that it can act as an antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals that in long-term cause harm to cells. By doing so, Triphala is believed to prevent or delay many aging-related diseases from cancer to heart disease.

    Ayurvedic acharyas also claim that Triphala, classified as rasayana herbs, is capable of restoring digestive and constitutional health in people with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Studies from different countries suggest that a 12-week course of Triphala is able to decrease body fat, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Triphala

Boswellia

Boswellia, otherwise called Indian frankincense is sourced from the sap of the boswellia tree. The concentrate is rich in boswellic acid, a compound known to have strong anti-inflammatory effects in studies. Experts believe that these properties can help in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, for example, asthma, cardiovascular malady, COPD, and ulcerative colitis. Moreover, experts believe that a synthetic known as acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid can suppress certain inflammatory proteins. These are the proteins associated with chronic pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis.

    A recent report from India announced that a purified form of boswellia called Aflapin was effective to reduce pain in adults with knee arthritis. Further examinations will be needed to evaluate the safety of Aflapin and whether similar outcomes can be repeated in individuals with joint arthritis.

Boswellia

Guggul

Guggul (Commiphora wightii) is a very important herb in the Ayurvedic tradition widely used to cut cholesterol. It is made from the oily resin of the guggul tree native to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It has a fragrance similar to that of myrrh and is commonly used in perfumes. An entire class of medicines has been developed around the use of guggul.

    In Ayurvedic text, it is mentioned that guggul has been used to treat cardiovascular disease back from 7th century itself. Researchers are being conducted to check whether the herb can actually deliver on this purpose.


Gotu Kola

Gotu kola, commonly known as Asiatic pennywort or Centella asiatica, is a perennial plant in the flowering plant family Apiaceae. It is used as a medicinal herb and culinary vegetable. It is also regarded as one of the most rejuvanative herbs in Ayurveda which enjoys the name “Bhrahmi”. Because it is known as a bhrahmi, it is often recommented for balancing the nervous system. It has also been used to treat minor wounds and several disorders like anxiety, depression, and alleviate mental fatigue.

        Ayurvedic experts believes that this herb act as a mild stimulant which can enhance memory and even help to overcome depression, stroke or Alzheimer’s disease which are cognitive problems of people. Numerous clinical trials have shown that Gotu kola has beneficial dermatologic effects by supporting the connective tissue that lines many of the external surfaces of the body including the skin and the scalp. It also supports the integrity and strength of blood vessels as well as normal circulation of blood.

Gotu Kola

Shatavari

Shatavari, or Asparagus racemosus is a herb common throughout India and Himalayas. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to support the digestive system and reproductive system, particularly for females. The sap made from dried roots are used for various hormonal and reproductive issues in women. It is also used in cases of indigestion and gastric ulsers. It is used widely for treating kidney stones and diarrhea. Because of its several usages Shatavari’s demand is increasing day by day. It’s name indicates the traditional use of shatavari as a rejuvenative tonic for the female reproductive system.

Kava

Kava is known to be originated on the archipelago of Vanuatu, whose name means “The Land Eternal”. It comes from places like Fiji, tonga,Tahiti and Hawaii and there it is called as Awa. This is considered to be a member of the pepper family has been used for centuries.

      Clinical studies show great promise of Kava to support healthy lung tissue and as a supportive aid for the nervous system. It has a relaxing and calming effect during periods of distress. Studies show that, it is the phytochemicals in Kava that contributes to the medicinal activity of the herb.

 

Side effects of Ayurvedic herbs

Like the benefits, Ayurvedic herbs has  some side effects also. Some of the side effects of certain herbs are given below.

   Triphala: Abdominal discomfort, especially in high doses.

Guggul: Headaches, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting.

Boswellia: Diarrhea, stomach pain and an allergic rash when applied to the skin

Gotu kola: sensitivity to light, stomach upset and nausea.

In this blog we have given a brief account of some important Ayurvedic herbs, history, benefits and their side effects. Do not use these ayurvedic herbs without the prescription of Doctors.

 Written by:

Shamna S

Health Analyst (Writer)



   

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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