Ayurveda herbs have since times immemorial been used in treating and curing ailments as well as enhancing the wellbeing, vigour and vitality of an individual. In the recent years, these herbs have found a lot of acceptance worldwide. This is because they are easy to use, safe with no side effects and an ‘asset’ that puts our bodies in harmony with the nature. Herbs are gifted with natural properties that actually cleanse the body, enhance the vital energy and at the same time help the body in preparing its own defense system against disease. It is also not a lesser known fact that these medicinal flora and foliage present a way to put the body in tune with nature.
Herbs that are healers
Aloe vera or Ghritkumari has been used in our Indian homes from ages. This herb is slimy and mucoid by nature and cold in action, bitter in taste and has a pungent after taste. Therefore in Ayurveda it is believed to subside the aggravated heat and phlegm body humors.
The uses of the herb of Aloe vera are immense. The fresh juice applied on the face can result into fairness and loss of blemishes. The pulp extracted from the leaves of the plant can be taken regularly to improve digestion. The pulp of Aloe vera can be boiled in milk and taken for energy boost. Mix some turmeric powder into the pulp of Aloe vera and this has to be heated on fire and can be applied to the affected part for relief from pain and swellings of joints. Regular intake of the herb enhances the body response to healing and recovering. Aloe vera is also regarded as a Rasayana i.e. that which strengthens the immune system of the body and keeps the disease away.
Sacred Basil or commonly known as Tulsi is regarded as ‘king of all herbs’.
It is believed that the sheer presence of this herb purifies the entire environment. And yet the medicinal and curative uses of Tulsi are abundant.
Basil is rough and light by nature. The taste of the herb is bitter and pungent and the after taste is bitter and it is hot in potency. Therefore, according to Ayurveda, it being hot in action, Basil helps to decrease the aggravated air and phlegm body humors.
Tulsi possesses health-giving assets. It has proven anti toxic properties as well as nerve tonic and boosts intellect. The herb of Basil is highly beneficial for respiratory ailments and a boon for fevers of mixed origin. It would not be wrong to state that this herb alone can withstand the toxins in your system and at the same time elevate your resistance against disease.
In seasonal ailments like cough, colds and allergic disorders combined use of Basil along with ginger is of great help. Researches have proved this herb to possess unique anti asthmatic and anti tubercular properties. Studies are being conducted to connect the benefit of this herb to combat cancer.
Turmeric or haldi is the dried and cured rhizome of the herb that comes to use both for edible and medicinal purposes.
By nature turmeric is light, rough and hot. The taste is pungent and bitter and the after taste is bitter. As per Ayurveda, turmeric is believed to be a destroyer of all the three basic humors of the body viz. vatta, pitta and kapha, thus replenishing with the fruit of health. Therefore, haldi is not only recommended for curing a large variety of ailments, but also to keep most of the maladies away.
Turmeric comes to an extensive use in treating any kind of allergic malady. Applying turmeric warmed along with some mustard oil can treat a pain and swelling resulting from an injury. Turmeric is also a possessor of unique wound healing properties. In Ayurvedic texts, it has been told that the fumes of burning turmeric can combat the toxicity and pain. This single herb is also advocated in case of low body resistance.
Other than this, this herb is also a good cleansing agent recommended for enhancing naturally beautiful skin.
When it comes to clear, smooth and supple skin, one prime herb that cannot be left out is the Neem. Neem has the property of blood purification and therefore comes to extensive use in skin maladies like acne, dermatitis, blemishes and also in skin allergies.
According to the traditional Indian science, Neem has been always known to provide protection from disease. The name of the herb is itself derived from the shloka – Nimbati sanchyati swasthyam that means that what increases the health.
Neem is light in nature and cold in potency. The taste is pungent and astringent, whereas the after taste is bitter. Neem comes to use in treating all the ailments in which the fire and phlegm body humors get aggravated beyond their normal limits. The leaves and bark of the tree are antiseptic, anti pruritic and a natural wound healer
Recent researches have determined the role of Neem in curing Diabetes.
Not only does the herb have wormicidal effect, fresh juice extracted from the juvenile leaflets and flowers of Neem are also believed to be good for the eyes and aid in healing as well as keeping away the eye diseases.
The properties of garlic include being hot in action, slimy and heavy and provide a bitter aftertaste. The varied properties of Garlic reveals that it helps in digestion, it has a soothing action on the brain, good for the eyes, useful in the diseases of the throat, helps to remove parasites from the intestines, relieves any swelling and also helps in reunion of the broken bones. Also it contains a unique virtue to fight toxins and enhancing the general body resistance against a disease.
Garlic, according to Ayurveda is considered to be a stimulant and a rejuvenator. It is carminative, a good diuretic and has a distinctive property of renewing the damaged body tissues.
The use of Garlic has been seen in heart ailments because of its property of being a natural stimulant. It aids in lowering the elevated cholesterol and aids as a heart tonic. Therefore it would be of extreme use to swallow two to three fresh bulbs of the herb daily on an empty stomach.
So be it Hypertension, Cough and Bronchitis, Joint Pains, Tuberculosis, Asthma, Dyspepsia or Indigestion or even simple wounds; a variety of disorders can be benefited by the regular intake of Garlic.
Dr. Sonica Krishan is Ayurveda and Natural Lifestyle Consultant, Freelance Health Writer and Book Author based at Chandigarh, India. She has authored natural home cure books ‘Herbal Healers’ , ‘Home Remedies’ and ‘Healing through Ayurveda’ ; and is presently writing for National and International publications. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.herboveda.co.in