Herbs commonly used in Ayurvedic Medicine – PART 1
Lets look at the some of the most amazing herbs for Ayurvedic medicine. This is Part 1.
It is reputed that Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry or Emblica officinalis) contains the highest level of vitamin C of any naturally occurring substance. Balance is maintained among the three doshas of the body, thereby controlling digestive issues, strengthening the heart, controlling cholesterol, preventing cancer, building and maintaining defence mechanisms, improving eyesight, as well as detoxifying the body.
The amla fruit is said to have 20 times more vitamin C than the orange. Amla contains approximately 625mg to 1814mg of vitamin C per 100gms. Amla is also shown to increase haemoglobin and red blood cells. It was discovered, through research, that when taken regularly as a dietary supplement, Amla can counteract the toxic effects of prolonged exposure to environmental heavy metals, such as lead, aluminium, and nickel. Read More About Amla
Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry or Withania Somnifera)- Ashwagandha is one of the main herbs for promoting libido and rejuvenating the body in Ayurveda. An effective semen enhancer, it is used to treat impotency and infertility.
Ashwagandha has been proven to possess antibacterial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties in clinical studies. It is an adaptogen helping the body cope with stressors and change. Stress-reducing effects also facilitate learning and memory. It has also been found to help with rheumatic and arthritic disorders, such as pain, swelling, etc.
Overall, it is considered an Aphrodisiac, immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-stress herb that shows why Ayurveda held this herb in such high regard as a general tonic.
‘Arjuna’ (Terminalia Arjuna) is a highly effective cardiac tonic. It has been known since 500 BC that the herb Terminalia arjuna can be beneficial for treating heart problems. In clinical research, it has demonstrated its effectiveness as a treatment for anginal pain, as well as for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and possibly hypercholesterolemia.
Some studies reported ”Improvement of cardiac muscle function and subsequent improved pumping activity of the heart seem to be the primary benefits of Terminalia Arjuna”.
In the ancient world, Brahmi was called “food for the brain”. This herb is traditionally used to boost the immune system, as a nerve tonic, and as a mental tonic. This enhances mental function and promotes clarity and calmness.
Brahmi is claimed to improve memory and help combat stress. The benefits of Brahmi are particularly suitable for students, as it improves their ability to learn and to focus, and for elderly people who want to regain their memory. Specifically, it is unique in its ability to stimulate mental processes while reducing the effects of stress and nervous anxiety.
Brahmi is often used as a nervine tonic for stroke victims, those who are prone to nervous breakdowns and those who are suffering from ADHD. Ayurvedic brain formulas with the best memory and brain power often include brahmi, as do many other compounds known to promote long life.
Guggulu (Shuddha Guggulu, Guggul, Commiphora Mukul) – Studies indicate that it is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs for treating obesity and high cholesterol. Research shows that guggulu lowers serum cholesterol and phospholipids, and that it also protects against cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis. In these clinical studies, guggulu resulted in lower body weight.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, Guggulu is also effective for treating arthritis and other joint pains.
Karela (Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, Momordica Charantia) – At least three different constituents of bitter Melon have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Among these are steroidal saponins known as Charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. In studies, bitter melon consistently lowers Type 2 diabetics’ blood sugar levels.
It may reduce the patients’ consumption of antidiabetic drugs. Bitter Melon is also thought to have proteins that repress other viruses.
Bitter melons have been recommended as one of the best herbal medications for diabetic management by the Department of Health in the Philippines. Read More About Bitter Melon