More secrets of the best ayurvedic herbs and remedies

More Secrets of The Best Ayurvedic Herbs and Remedies

More secrets of the best ayurvedic herbs and remedies. It is time for the continuation of the latest article about Secrets of The Best Ayurvedic Herbs and Remedies. As promised last week, it is time to finalize the top list of the best ayurvedic herbs. What’s there for today: Haridra (Turmeric), Moringa, Neem, Punarnava, Shatavari, Triphala, Tulsi. Some of my favorite items on the list!

Ayurveda is a sister philosophy to yoga. It is the science of life or longevity and it teaches about the power and the cycles of nature, as well as the elements.

Also, this time, note that the below is my personal experience sharing. It isn’t medical advice. In the past 12 years I have been referring to Ayurveda on an ongoing basis and in my view – it can work magic. Give it a try and build your own opinion. And before you do, a quick insight into Ayurveda’s doshas. That’s so interesting part of this natural medicine.

AYURVEDA – the doshas’ story

Want to learn what is your dosha? Check this Online Quiz and discover your Ayurvedic dosha! Which one is yours? My predominant one is Vata. The ultimate goal of Ayurveda is obtaining the balance. It can be achieved by harmonizing these three doshas. The aim is to get all of your doshas back to the appropriate levels. Which ones? To the levels at which respective doshas naturally exist in your body. It is about lifestyle, diet, daily routines, meditation, and yoga. And not to forget one: stress, especially if you are Vata, like me. 

THE BEST AYURVEDIC HERBS AND REMEDIES (CONT.)

HARIDRA (TURMERIC)

What is it

Turmeric is the root of a flowering plant, Curcuma Longa, from the ginger family. The plant, native to India and Southeast Asia, is perennial and rhizomatous. It is cultivated at a temperature of 20 to 30 °C. It is widely used to spice meat, stew, curry, rice, quinoa, bulgur, couscous and other vegetable dishes.

Want to ready more? Read my previous post Travel and Taste: Spicy India ~ Free Guide to Spices.

Benefits

  • It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties 
  • Supports important blood & liver functions
  • Maintains radiant skin and improves digestion

Tip for usage

From my How to Overcome the Lockdown post: turmeric is helpful in dry cough; roast the root and then powder it (unless you are using ready powder), then mix it with honey (2 tablespoons of honey for 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder); take it twice a day after food.

MORINGA

What is it

Moringa, commonly known as a drumstick tree, is used in India for ages. It is a very popular plant in India. It grows in home gardens or as a natural fence. In Ayurveda, it marks its special place thanks to its super nutritious properties. Drumstick leaves, fruits (or seedpods), seeds, bark, flowers, roots, and oil have numerous health benefits, including digestive, heart, and circulatory systems.

If you travel to the South of India, try sambar dish. Commonly, a drumstick is used in its preparation. More and more often, moringa is referred to as a superfood. Its powder, made from the leaves, is exceptionally nutritious. Need some proof?

  • 49 times more iron than in spinach
  • 9 times more calcium than in a whole milk
  • More than twice vitamin A than in a carrot
  • Nearly twice more vitamin C than in an orange

What I find especially important: the leaves and seed pods are used as food. And the studies involving leaf extracts indicate that moringa is very safe, even during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Benefits

  • Boosts overall energy level, helps increase stamina & vitality
  • Helps to naturally meets vitamin & mineral deficiencies (contains 90+ nutrients and 40+ antioxidants)
  • Good for those suffering from malnutrition and those who require extra nourishment (athletes, bodybuilders, expecting & lactating mothers, growing children, chronically ill persons)

Tip for usage

Personally, I take daily moringa tablets. Moringa is also very common in the powder. You can add it to smoothies, nutritional shakes, or oatmeal. As an alternative, you can also take moringa powder with honey; warm milk; ghee or with aloe vera!

NEEM

Secrets of the Best Ayurvedic Herbs Neem

What is it

Neem, known in English as Margosa tree, is an another extensively used herb in Ayurveda. It is an evergreen tree native to India. Last year, when our huge tree in front of the house felt down, we were considering to plant a neem tree. It grows fast and tall (15-30 meters). The tree is resilient and grows well in poor or rocky soil. However, it cannot survive freezing temperatures or constant rains. Its leaves, bark, roots, stem, gum, flowers, seeds and oil are used for multiple health benefits. Neem has great pesticidal and insecticidal properties. People can also use it in hair, skin and dental products.

Benefits

  • A natural blood purifier
  • Neem fights skin and body bacterial, viral and fungal infections
  • Effective against candida and parasites

Tip for usage

There are multiple ways to take neem. You can buy neem capsules or ready-made neem leaves powder. Neem is also commonly used as an oil, cream or mouthwash. You can apply oil to your hair, scalp, or skin. Additionally, if your plants have any insects, you can spray them with a neem oil-water mixture. The most natural way: use fresh neem leaves and make a paste out of them. It can heal wounds, acne, or any skin disorders. You can also apply neem paste or water to your hair during washing. Neem helps to remove dandruff.

Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking neem seeds or oil by mouth as it might result in serious side effects.

PUNARNAVA

What is it

Punarnava is a potent ayurvedic herb that has immense health benefits. In English, it is commonly known as Hogweed or Sterling. In Sanskrit, Punarnava translates into something that renews the body. Just like its name, Punarnava rejuvenates the whole body. Ayurveda practitioners use the entire plant in treatments.

Punarnava is a perennial, rare herb. Its stem grows up to 60 cm. It is collected from the wild and is used as a green vegetable in the local dishes and herbal products. In Ayurveda, Hogweed is classified as a Rasayana. It can rejuvenate the body by flushing toxins, and it nourishes the cells.

Benefits

  • Controls the recurrence of urinary system infections
  • Calms the urinary tract
  • Helps in arthritis

Tip for usage

Punarnava is commonly available in tabletspowderroots, or juice. In order to help with any stomach or digestive system disorders, it is best to take Punarnava before the meal. If you select to drink Punarnava juice, it might be enough to drink at once as much as 1-2 teaspoons, mixed with the same quantity of water. Juice is ideal for liver disorders, obesity, urinary tract infections, or rheumatoid arthritis. If you choose to take Punarnava powder or paste, you can have it with a small quantity of milk or honey.

SHATAVARI

Shatavari Herb

What is it

Shatavari, or Asparagus Racemosus, is a member of the asparagus family. It is an adaptogenic herb, as it helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress. In Ayurveda, it is also classified as a Rasayana herb, primarily known as the female-friendly plant. However, Shatavari is also beneficial for men, as it can improve the levels of testosterone.

Shatavari was botanically first discovered in 1799. Since then, it has been considered as the essential Ayurvedic remedy. The plant is native to India, China, Australia, Africa, and other parts of Asia. The plant is 1 to 2 meters tall. It is a climbing bush with many branches. In Sanskrit, Shatavari can be translated to the plant with a hundred roots or the curer of a hundred diseases. As per its name, the herb can cure many health conditions.

Benefits

  • Supports well-being through all phases of a women’s life cycle
  • A natural diuretic that helps relieve fluid retention
  • Supports lactating mothers by improving prolactin hormone levels, ensuring optimum breastfeeding

Tip for usage

There are many options for using Shatavari. You can find it in powder (churna), tablets, juice, or syrup. Nature first! You can also buy Shatavari roots and process them on your own.

Shatavari powder, taken twice a day with milk or honey, can give relief from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. While applying Shatavari powder paste, with milk or honey, on the face helps to limit wrinkles. It also helps in wound healing when applied to the skin together with coconut oil.

TRIPHALA

What is it

Triphala is not a herb nor a plant. It is a herbal remedy, a mixture of three dried fruits: Haritaki, Bibhitaki, and Amalaki, traditionally used in Ayurveda. It is believed that the combination of these three herbs together is more effective than when taken separately. I have decided to include Triphala on this list since it is very common, and the details might give you some more insight.

In fact, in Sanskrit, Triphala means three fruits.

  • Amalaki – I wrote about it in my previous post Secrets of the Best Ayurvedic Herbs and Remedies.
  • Haritaki – It contains many vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium), as well as antioxidants (polyphenols, anthocyanins, terpenes).
  • Bibhitaki – It contains many antioxidants (ellagic acid, lignans, tannins, flavones). They help to improve blood sugar levels and also provide anti-inflammatory effects.

Triphala doesn’t have any sugar, proteins, nor fat. One teaspoon has 10 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fiber.

Benefits

  • Cleanse the colon and relieves constipation
  • Reduces fat deposits in the intestines and eliminates intestinal toxins and gas
  • Prevents cancer

Tip for usage

How to use Triphala? You can select between syrup/juice, tablets, and powder. I have tried all three of them. For me, the syrup was the best since very effective and easy to take. If you do not feel like taking any of these, you can try a green tea with Triphala, an excellent option.

TULSI

Secrets of the Best Ayurvedic Herbs Tulsi

What is it

Tulsi, in English, is known as holy basil and in Latin as Ocimum Sanctum and Ocimum Tenuiflorum is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda. It is native to India and Southeast Asia. Don’t confuse holy basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum) with the commonly used basil (Ocimum Basilicum). People sometimes call tulsi hot basil as it has a peppery taste. Chemicals inside it aim to decrease pain and swelling. They can also lower blood sugar, and tulsi oil can act as an antioxidant.

Tulsi is classified as an adaptogenic herb, as it can help the body manage stress and boost energy. Which parts of tulsi are used in Ayurveda? All of them! Tulsi is a great tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. Holy basil is also very nutritious as it contains Vitamin A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, and chlorophyll.

There are 5 species of tulsi:

  • Rama tulsi (green leaf tulsi / basil)
  • Krishna tulsi (purple leaf tulsi / basil)
  • Kapoor tulsi (sweet fragrance tulsi)
  • Vana tulsi (hairy green leaf tulsi)
  • Amrita tulsi (known as immortality nectar)

Benefits

  • Helps reduces stress, improves stamina
  • Boosts immunity, fights & prevents chronic disease
  •  Helps suppress cough and aids the mobilization of mucus

Tip for usage

Just recently, I bought a new Rama tulsi plant for My Better Half. It is great to add 2-3 leaves of tulsi when preparing a masala tea. Tulsi leaves can also be bought fresh for processing (without the entire plant). It is also available in powdertablets, and syrup versions. And a very popular one: herbal tulsi tea, great as it is caffeine-free!

14 AYURVEDIC HERBS

Altogether, these are 14 Ayurvedic herbs that I not only recommend but also use frequently. 7 of them were shared today and another 7 in my previous post. Many of them, like turmeric, tulsi, or fenugreek are in our fridge at home nearly all the time. Others are part of our garden. And finally, some of them are stored as tablets, juices or syrups.

Have you used any of these herbs? Which one do you recommend? Share, sharing is caring!


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