A Guide To The Top 5 Ayurvedic Herbs
Nearly 5000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine originated in India. Ayurveda is considered by many as the oldest healing science. The Sanskrit term Ayurveda is a combination of two words; ‘Ayur’ which means life, and ‘Veda’ meaning knowledge or science. So Ayurveda means the science or knowledge of life. Ayurveda stemmed from the ancient Vedic culture, and this wisdom was passed on orally to new generations as a tradition from the masters to the disciples. Most of the natural healing or medicinal systems in the West have their roots in Ayurveda like Polarity Therapy and Homeopathy.
Ayurveda places great emphasis on the maintenance of health and encourages balance in one’s life with a disciplined lifestyle, positive thinking, use of herbs, and a proper diet. The constitution of the body is based on the overall balance of the mind, body and human consciousness. Every individual has their signature energy which is determined by several factors both internal and external. The three principles of energies which are based on the basic biology of the body are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata is composed of Space and Air and is a subtle energy that is associated with movement. When Vata is in balance it promotes flexibility and creativity but if it is out of balance it produces anxiety and fear. Pitta is a result of Fire and Water, and it expresses the metabolic system of the body. When it’s in balance, it promotes intelligence and understanding, and when it’s out of balance then it encourages the negative emotions of jealousy, anger, and hatred.
Kapha is formed from the combination of Water and Earth, and this energy forms the body structure. When Kapha is in balance, then the feelings of love, forgiveness, and calmness are uppermost but when it’s out of balance then it leads to greed, attachments, and envy.
There are three ancient books on Ayurvedic medicine; Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridya. These were written about 2000 years ago and are famously known as the Great Trilogy. Panchakarma therapy is also a part of this Ayurvedic system where ‘Panch’ means five and ‘karma’ means treatment. Let’s go through the list of best Ayurvedic herbs and their benefits as Ayurveda is effective for stress-related problems, chronic conditions, metabolism, beauty care, skincare, and general rejuvenation.
The best Ayurvedic herbs
1. Aloe vera
This is the most familiar Ayurvedic herb and is popular for its contribution to beauty products. It is a common ingredient in hand lotions and face gels, as it soothes skin irritation. It heals the sores and burns with its anti-bacterial and anesthetic properties, and makes for an outstanding indoor plant.
Ashwagandha is considered a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s used to reduce inflammation, decrease stress, and to increase libido. The leaves and roots of this plant act both as a sedative and an aphrodisiac.
3. Tulsi or basil leaves
Holy Green Basil has a milder taste than the Holy Red Basil and it helps to lower high blood pressure and the risk of diabetes. It helps in treating the flu, cold, and its oil is believed to relieve pains and body aches.
This traditional Ayurvedic plant is used for treating epilepsy, anti-aging problems, stomach ailments, anxiety, to sharpen the memory and to fight stress. Make sure you consult a doctor before using it as it may have some side effects if not taken with precautions.
5. Achillea Millefolium or Yarrow
It has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties which are used to heal wounds since ancient times. Native Americans use this Ayurvedic herb to treat bruises, burns, cuts, toothaches, etc. Also, one of the main ingredients of aspirin is extracted from the Achillea Millefolium. This plant attracts predatory insects who feed on the larvae which are attached to some nearby plants and is a suitable garden plant.
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