Herbal medicine has maintained popularity over the decades, and people seek out alternative health solutions as they gain more knowledge. Ayurvedic medicine falls right in line.
In fact, the global Ayurvedic market accounted for $3,428.0 million of the overall market back in 2015. That figure is projected to grow to $9,791.0 million by 2022. That’s a growth rate of 16.2% percent.
Why is this such a strong market? Ayurvedic herbs make up one of the oldest holistic medicines, dating back 3,000 years in India. This article contains just some of the many benefits of Ayurveda.
Short Overview of Ayurvedic Herbs
The foundation of the Ayurvedic medicine that your health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the body, mind, and spirit. This philosophy promotes good health more so than fighting disease.
Thus, treatments focus on health, though they can target specific health problems as well.
Your Life Energy
Those who abide by Ayurvedic medicine believe that everything in the universe is connected. If your body, mind, and sprite are in harmony with the universe, you will remain in good health. Should something disrupt your balance, you will fall ill.
Examples of things that upset the balance are birth defects, genetic abnormalities, and injuries. Other things include seasonal changes, age, and your emotional state.
The Five Elements
Those who practice Ayurvedic medicine maintain that every person is made up of the same five basic elements. Those elements are air, fire, space, water, and earth.
The elements combine with your body to form three life forces or energies. They are called doshas, and they control how your body functions. The first dosha is called Vata dosha, or space and air.
Next is Pitta dosha, which is fire and water. The third is the Kapha dosha, which is water and earth.
If you decide to see professional treatment and advice, an Ayurvedic practitioner will evaluate you. Then, he or she will develop a treatment plan for you.
The plan takes a look at your physical makeup, emotional status, and primary life force. Finally, the practitioner takes a look at the balance of the three elements.
The primary goals are always to cleanse your body of undigested food because that can stay in your body and cause illness. The cleansing is called “panchakarma.”
It’s intended to relieve your symptoms by restoring balance and harmony. Some practices include Indian massage, medical herbs, and oils. It may also include blood purification, enemas, and laxatives.
Next, are some of the common Ayurvedic herbs and their benefits that practitioners and consumers use most frequently.
Amalaki is also called Indian gooseberry, is a small, round fruit native to southeast Asia. Amalaki is high in vitamin C and has potent antioxidant powers.
Amlaki balances all your doshas, at the same time nourishing your immune system as well as your physiology. Amalaki is available in powder form. Though, you can also find it combined with other herbs as dried and candied edibles.
It’s always the main ingredient in chyawanprash paste, a jam-like mixture containing herbs, ghee, honey, and sesame oil. The mixture boosts strength and your immune system.
The Arjuna herb is essentially tree bark. People have used it for thousands of years to boost cardiovascular health. You can take Arjuna as a tincture or powder. Stir it into warm water and drink in a quick shot.
Ashwagandha is a shrub that originated in India. The translation of the name means “strength of a stallion. Ashwagandha increases vitality, fights adrenal fatigue, balances stress hormones, and increases energy.
Many people add powered Ashwagandha to their morning drink or take it as a supplement.
Brahmi refers to two Ayurvedic herbs that have similar benefits. One is Centella Asiatica, and the other is Bacopa Monnieri. Brahmi is more or less a brain tonic that helps balance the two hemispheres of your brain.
This way, you can think with both the analytical side (left hemisphere) and the intuitive side (right hemisphere).
You can take Brahmi as a powder or in supplement form. In fact, you’ll find that many of the ayurvedic brain-boosting supplements out there contain Brahmi.
Cardamom is a spice originally from India. Cardamom removes excess Kapha from your body. If you recall, Kapha is one of the Ayurvedic doshas.
Too much Kapha causes problems such as phlegm, mucus, lethargy, weight gain, and even clammy hands. Since it’s a spice, you can cook with cardamom or use them as a tea.
Cardamom, then, is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for weight loss. The aromatic seed is also present in many beauty products.
Cumin is also a spice. It’s derived from the seeds of the Cuminum Cyminum, which was grown originally in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Cumin aids and removes excess Vata from your body.
Too much Vata can manifest as gas, bloating, or constipation. It can also lead to insomnia, anxiety, cracking joints, low body temperature, and dry hair and skin.
You can make a digestive aid by mixing cumin with fennel and coriander. You can also add cumin to certain drinks.
The Manjistha vine has heart-shaped leaves and a red root. It grows in mountainous regions. Manjistha has cooling properties that purify the blood.
It’s the remedy if you have a Pitta imbalance, which is the dosha associated with fire and water. This takes the form of hyperacidity, inflammation, hot flashes, and body odor.
Because it acts as an anti-inflammatory, it helps to clear rosacea, acne, and other skin disorders. You can take this root as a powder or add it to tonics.
Neem oil comes from the flowers of the neem tree. It’s a powerful detoxifier and blood purifier. Use it to treat psoriasis, eczema, and muscle and joint pain. It also helps acne because it’s a natural antiviral and antibacterial.
And, Neem is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for hair, noted for restoring shine and luster. You can find Neem in shampoo, in toothpaste, and as an oil for your face and hair and face.
Shativari is an adaptogenic herb from India often used to restore reproductive health. Women use it to balance issues with fertility, menopause, menstrual cycles, etc.
Recently, women who suffer from a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have benefited from it as well.
You should only take this one under the direction of an Ayurvedic doctor. It’s available in powder form. You can take it mixed in water or in capsules.
Triphala is an herb blend made up of three fruits: haritaki, amla, and bibhitaki. Triphala is a digestive remedy that balances the fire element or Pitta dosha.
It cleanses your tissues and rejuvenates the liver. It also strengthens the digestive system by acting as a mild laxative. For maximum benefit, take Triphala capsule in the evening.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that you may find familiar. It’s a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine. As an Ayurvedic herb, it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to cooking Indian cuisine, you can add it to other recipes. There is even such a thing as turmeric ice pops.
Indian Massage as Ayurvedic Medicine
While most of the herbs discussed above require you to drink them or use topically, Ayurvedic herbs also marry well with Abhyanga, which is the traditional Ayurvedic massage.
An ayurvedic massage is a therapeutic tool. It’s not for relaxation. Thus, the chosen oils target your dosha. The aim is to detoxify your body from your deeper tissues and into your digestive system for elimination.
It also stimulates your blood and lymphatic systems. To learn more, visit the Ayurherbs Ayurveda Clinic.
The practice of Ayurvedic medicine is ancient, though we are still discovering its benefits. Hopefully, this guide gave you a good understanding of the basics and health benefits of Ayurvedic herbs.
From here, you can begin balancing your doshas and eliminating the toxins can damage your immune system.