Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Use of Herbs in Ayurveda ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Use of Herbs in Ayurveda
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: martina4847-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 31 Dec 2003 07:17 PST
Expires: 30 Jan 2004 07:17 PST
Question ID: 291780
What role do herbs, as used in the Ayurvedic system, play in the
health system of India?
Subject: Re: Use of Herbs in Ayurveda
Answered By: journalist-ga on 31 Dec 2003 10:05 PST
Greetings Martina4847:

The role that herbs play in the Ayurvedic health system have to do
with both preventative medicine (primary focus) and the treatment of
existing illnesses.

"Healers around the world have studied herbs up close for thousands of
years. The ayurvedic healers of India have been among the most
passionate of herb-lovers. Pounding and stewing, mixing and matching
whole flowers, roots, stems and leaves, those ancient vaidyas
discovered the very essence of healing plants. And modern medicine is
slowly recognizing today what those vaidyas of old realized and
recorded millennia ago-herbs heal because they are filled with
nature's intelligence."

This article goes on to cite that with herbs, one gets the "Flavor,
without the fat" and "Those aromas fill up your senses, making you
feel like you are indulging, even when you are not."  The article also
states that the benefits are that there is no sodium or calories in


Some of the common herbs used in Ayurveda and their indications are
presented at - this link
shows a comprehensive list of the uses of Ayurvedic herbs and includes
their Latin and Sanskit names.

A slightly different approach to description of the herb uses is found at

"Herbs like Indian Valerian and Muskroot are natural herbal sleep-aids
with a calming influence and have been used in ayurveda for centuries.
Winter Cherry helps resistance to stress, and helps balance the mind
and emotions."
"Our ayurvedic expert also recommends using a variety of herbs and
spices in everyday cooking. "You'll be surprised how a pinch of
turmeric or a dash of fennel can bring down tension levels and help
the body assimilate nutrients better," he says. "The seemingly tiny
grains of spices used in Indian cooking have big roles to play. Cumin
and fennel, for instance, help build tissue and flush out toxins from
the system."

Historical Uses of Ayurvedic Herbs



"Pungent herbs like ginger which increase internal heat and nourishing
herbs like ashwagandha bring balance to Vata. Ayurvedic programs
include not only herbs and diet but also color and aroma therapies,
detoxification, yoga and meditation."

"In order to bring balance to Pitta, programs are designed to
emphasize the opposing qualities of coolness, heaviness (nourishing)
and dryness. Cool spices like fennel are recommended in the diet along
with foods such as raw vegetables, cooked rice and wheat as well as
most beans. Sweet herbs like shatavari are used to nourish the body
while bitters like dandelion root temper the fire. A Clinical
Ayurvedic Specialist puts together programs that not only include
foods and herbs but also aromas, colors, massage, detoxification, yoga
and meditation."

"Grains such as quinoa and amaranth are recommended as well as hot
spices like cayenne pepper. Lots of vegetables and very little nuts or
dairy are prescribed. Cleansing herbs like guggul and pungents like
clove bring balance to Kapha. "


"The cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine is the concept of the Doshas or
the biological humors...Vata is composed of space and air, Pitta of
fire and water, and Kapha of water and earth.
The tridosha regulates every physiological and psychological process
in the living organism. The interplay among them determines the
qualities and conditions of the individual. A harmonious state of the
three doshas creates balance and health; an imbalance, which might be
an excess (vrddhi) or deficiency (ksaya), manifests as disease."

The doshas further explained are located at


A very comprehensive presentation of Ayurvedic medicine begins at - there are many
links relating to the practice and one included "Effects of the Six
Tastes: Sweet" at
.  You may also access the other tastes (Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent,
and Astringent) from that page.  This main link ( )is the most
comprehensive that I located.


I believe you will learn much by examining the case study "A Simple
Ayurvedic Case Study: Pitta Woman with Anartava and Vata Vikruti
(where has all the Ojas gone?)" at - the author shows the
diagnosis and treatment (including herbs and the formulas prescribed).


Ayurvedic Concept [herbs]



"The Ayurvedic concept of immunity or "Vyadhi-Kshamatva" involves both
"Vyadhi Utpada Pratibandhakatva" i.e. the capability to prevent the
onset of a disease and " Vyadhi Bal Virodhitva " which fights the
developing disease. According to Ayurveda, "Oja" denotes the substance
that imparts strength to various tissues in the body to resist

"Ayurveda has eight branches called Ashtangas. They are Kaya (general
medicine), baala (pediatrics), graha (astrological), urdwanga (above
neck), shalya (surgery), dhamshtra (toxicology), jara (longevity) and
vrusha (infertility). The physician who is well versed in all these
eight branched is called an Ashtavaidyan...Ayurveda emphasises on
prevention and not on management of diseases...It is important to
recall that even environmental protection is recognised as an
important aspect of health. In today's world, cleaning of pollutants
accumulated in the body due to the modern life style is even more
important. Ayurveda suggests this through Panchakarma."
[comprehensive article]

"An article on November 27 in The Hindu, India's national newspaper,
charted the growth of alternative medicine in the world's second most
populous country, referring to "alternatives [CAM] as a panacea."
"Alternative systems of medicine," according to the article, "are
slowly gaining ground. No longer are there suspicious looks when you
talk of Ayurveda or Homoeopathy, instead you are in with the trend."

"The Ayurveda medical system (traditional Indian medical system) is
practised in many parts of India. This medical system has its own
separate and dedicated medical schools for training of its
practitioners...It was also interesting to note that this form of
health system was considered one of the oldest in the world and may
even have influenced the development of the Chinese health system."

"The Medical Centre of Vaida Sala in Kotakkal is one of the medical
centres that form part of the Indian Traditional medical system
(Ayurvedic System). It is also participating in the IKS National
Programme by making available samples of herbal medicines to the
national programme."

Major Herbs of Ayurveda by Elizabeth M Williamson
[book for purchase]

"Vaidya Mishra?s tips for a strong, healthy heart: 
**Sleep on time. Good sleep sets the tone for a fresh, stress-free day. 
**Emotional trauma aggravates sadhak pitta. A symptom of this is
waking up at night feeling restless and depressed. To soothe your
sadhak pitta, drink a cool glass of milk with Rose-petal Jam, and go
back to sleep.
**Do not skip meals. 
**Start your morning with a stewed apple. 
**If you are upset or unhappy for some reason, chew on a juicy pear
and feel your heart lift.
**Supplement your dietary discipline with regular doses of Yoga and
Pranayam. However, Ayurveda believes that there is such a thing as too
much exercise. Follow the Ayurvedic concept of ?balaardh? or using up
half your energy and conserving the other 50%, and you?ll never go


Should you require clarification of any of the links or information I
have provided, please request it before rating and closing this
question and I will be happy to respond.  Also, after examining the
information I have provided, if you need addiitional research on any
of the examples I presented, I'll be happy to perform additional
searches tp pinpoint additional links that may be of interest to you.

Best regards,


roles herbs play ayurveda
Ayurvedic herbs
tridosha herbs
tridoshic herbs
"india health system" ayurveda
india "health system" ayurveda
"Ayurveda medical system"
Ayurveda tridosha
Subject: Re: Use of Herbs in Ayurveda
From: smandya-ga on 29 Apr 2004 20:44 PDT
The answer is very enlightening and the links are absolutely
wonderful. the primary question yet remains is the efficacy of the
entire system. ( something akin to an FDA approval / regulation ). The
potencies and ability to mask/adulterate/ mix with similiar compounds
are enormous. In my personal study over the past 4 years potencies
have dropped considerably and every second day there seems to be a me
too product jumping the bandwagon. The bootomline in the few
established companies also seem to be profit at the expense of user
We have to quickly regulate the manufacturing , input output norms,
formulations, source, not to hinder the practice but to weed out fly
by night operators....rgds...Dr. Shishir.V.Mandya
P.S. I would be happy to recieve comment which are also adverse to my thinking

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy