The role that herbs play in the Ayurvedic health system have to do
with both preventative medicine (primary focus) and the treatment of
"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
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 http://www.geocities.com/sukhada_in/herbs.htm - 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
"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
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
"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
http://www.holistic-online.com/ayurveda/ayv_home.htm - there are many
links relating to the practice and one included "Effects of the Six
Tastes: Sweet" at http://www.holistic-online.com/ayurveda/ayv-taste-sweet.htm
. You may also access the other tastes (Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent,
and Astringent) from that page. This main link (
http://www.holistic-online.com/ayurveda/ayv_home.htm )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
http://www.dhanvantri.com/casestudyanartava.htm - the author shows the
diagnosis and treatment (including herbs and the formulas prescribed).
Ayurvedic Concept [herbs]
OTHER LINKS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST:
"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."
"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
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.
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