There are thousands of power packed herbs, roots and spices that have been used in Ayurveda medicinal systems over 5000 years in the past. In this blog we are mentioning some qualities and benefits of 35 powerful Ayurveda herbs and roots which we have used in our “Ayurveda herbal tea” blends; keeping in mind the three body types Vata, Pitta and Kapha, as much as possible. The power of herbal teas without caffeine cannot be underestimated, especially in the Covid-19 era or post-era. Immunity is the number ONE issue globally and individually in reality and public perception.
The millennials are thronging and looking for hot, cold, pre-brewed teas, be it from the Camellia Sienesis plant or Ayurveda, herbs, roots and spices. Floral and Fruit teas are also emerging in full force whether it is berries, and apples or it is roobois or chamomile, and hibiscus. Research is frantically being done globally of hundreds of tisanes, their value, benefits and side effects.
1. Aloe Vera
There is some evidence to suggest that topical aloe vera gel can slow the aging of the skin. In a 2009 study of 30 females over the age of 45, taking oral aloe vera gel increased collagen production and improved skin elasticity over a 90-day period. Reviews also suggest that aloe vera could help the skin retain moisture and improve skin health, which could benefit dry skin conditions. Aloe vera may help in getting rid of acne, psoriasis, infections, and eczema.
2. Blue Pea Butterfly Flowers/ Amar Ujjala
Blue pea butterfly flowers, the ingredient is full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and peptides. The flowers are also a natural remedy for a number of skin health issues. Flavonoids, anthocyanin, and phenolic compounds in these flowers promote antioxidant activity, that helps in decreasing oxidative stress - a result of free radicals (see Blog on C60 for more details).
The flowers are known as mood enhancers. This ingredient has been used in Ayurveda medicines since centuries. The Hindi translation (for Amar Ujala) Blue pea butterfly flowers means "forever radiant.
Ashwagandha (Within somnifera) you active, youthful and assists in managing blood sugar levels.This root may help you with stress and anxiety issues besides improved sleep, especially if you are suffering from insomnia or lack of quality sleep.
Ashwagandha reduces inflammation, stress and calms nerves; besides being beneficial in thyroid conditions.
Menopausal Support -ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system by encouraging hormone balance. A study involving 51 menopausal women taking supplements of ashwagandha, found a significant reduction in symptoms like hot flushes, anxiety, and mood swings.
Ashwagandha is a double edged adaptogen, in that it promotes energy and vitality on one hand and is a relaxant and may be a cure for insomnia,on the other. Ashwagandha is capable of adjusting to our body needs by tackling many imbalances.
Asafoetida is traditionally used for the treatment of different diseases, such as whooping cough, asthma, ulcer, epilepsy, stomach-ache, flatulence, bronchitis, intestinal parasites, anti-spasmodic, weak digestion and influenza.
Asafoetida /Hing is known to be a diuretic in Ayurveda and traditional medicine. It is an antioxidant, and prevents kidney damage and promotes kidney function. Asafoetida is commonly used in Indian cuisine.
Side effects of Asafoetida
It may cause swollen lips, gas in your intestines,burping, headache, diahorrea and convulsions. It is best to take your physicians advice if you consume it more than recommended amounts.
5. Bengal Velvet Beans
The young leaves, pods and seeds are edible and used in several food specialties including "tempeh", a fermented paste made of boiled seeds, originally from Indonesia.
The plant's leaf extracts and seeds are used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,fertility and some nuero disorders.
Velvet beans are loaded with antioxidants that have free radical scavenging effects. Parts of these plant may also serve as aphrodisiacs.
6. Black Pepper
Black pepper is a good antioxidant and a great source of manganese too. Manganese boosts your metabolism,bone health and can heal wounds.
In fact, one teaspoon of black pepper offers 13 percent of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of manganese and 3 percent of your DRI of vitamin K.
Health Benefits of Black Pepper:
- May prevent cancer: Black pepper may be an anti-cancer dote when it is mixed with turmeric.
- Good for digestion.
- Prevents constipation.
- Treats skin problems.
- Good for your Hair.
- Aids in weight Loss.
- Treats depression.
- Helps in treating respiratory diseases.
Brahmi in (Sanskrit), or Bacopa tea as in bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic medicinal staple. Besides containing powerful antioxidants, studies show it's a popular neurotrophic which, can improve information retention and spatial learning. Studies have shown, that It helps in the reduction of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, impulsivity, self-control, and focus. Drinking Brahmi tea may also help in the prevention of stress and anxiety. This is because brahmi, is an adaptogenic herb that helps increase your resistance to stress.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of trees from the Cinnamon flavour family. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and is known for its aromatic, sweet and warm flavor. Cinnamon has various uses and benefits, some of which include:
- Improving blood sugar control: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity, making it helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Cinnamon contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation and protect against disease.
- Supporting brain function: Cinnamon may improve brain function and cognitive processing by increasing blood flow to the brain and activating certain brain proteins.
- Fighting bacterial and fungal infections: Cinnamon has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help fight infections and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Promoting heart health: Cinnamon can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve blood flow, all of which are important for heart health.
Note: Overall, cinnamon is a versatile spice that can be used in many ways and has numerous health benefits. However, like any food or supplement, it should be consumed in moderation as excessive intake may lead to adverse effects.
Cinnamon aids weight management and digestion. One of the most important active ingredients in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde. It’s used in flavourings and fragrances. Some research shows cinnamon may be good for people with diabetes.
Some 18 studies suggest that cinnamon might lower blood sugar. It may also lower cholesterol in people with diabetes. Many studies do not indicate as to the type of cinnamon used or have other problems that make their findings uncertain. One review suggests that cinnamon might help with obesity and weight loss.
Cinnamon is sometimes used for irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach or intestinal problems. But it isn’t clear how exactly it works.
It’s been suggested that cinnamon also might help with:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hear Disease
- Tooth decay
Many of the studies done have been done in cells or animals.
Although cinnamon does have antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties, but for now, there aren’t enough studies to prove it works that well in human beings.
Side Effects of Too Much Cinnamon:
- May cause liver damage.
- May increase the risk of cancer.
- May cause mouth sores.
- May cause low blood sugar.
- May cause breathing problems.
- May interact with certain medications.
Chamomile contains an antioxidant known as apigenin, which can induce muscle relaxation and sleep. Chamomile tea can relieve you from period cramps, pain and bloating. If added to green tea, chamomile flowers can become more effective and treat painful menstrual cramps ( PMC), reduce inflammation , and give you comfort to a large extent.
The active ingredients in chamomile are chamazulene, apigenin, and bisabolol. Lavender and chamomile tea work well together to create a unique blend. Chamomile contains terpenoids, flavonoids, and lactones, including matricin and apigenin.
Chamomile may have sedative effects because apigenin binds to benzodiazepine receptors and helps the activity at GABA A receptors (Viola et al., 1995).
It has been found to act as an anti-depressant and helps provide calmness, and better quality sleep. Scientific research has shown, its immense benefits in helping "everyday ills".
Cloves are full of antioxidants. These compounds help your body to fight free radicals, which damage your cells and can lead to disease. By removing free radicals from your system, the antioxidants found in cloves may help decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
Cloves have several health benefits: maintaining blood sugar levels, oral care, and deterring the growth of bacteria. Cloves are highly effective when included as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable daily dosage of clove oil per day is 2.5 mg per 1kg of body weight.
The vitamins and mineral content in fennel is useful in building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Vitamin K present in fennel is also important, as it modifies bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce excretion of calcium in urine
Some health benefits of fennel:
- May support and maintain a healthy heart. It is a good source of fibre as well as heart-friendly nutrients like potassium and folate.
- May support healthy skin.
- May be used as anti-inflammatory.
- May assist in weight management.
- May improve the symptoms of anaemia.
This herb is anti-inflammatory and good for digestion and as a result assists in relieving joint pains, arthritis or muscle cramps.
The Ginger (Zingiber officinale) herb is a great for digestion, nausea, and pain relief for sore throat. This common herb assists in colds. Ginger tea is considered to be a good adaptogen.
13. Green Cardimom
According to Ayurveda, cardimom is tri-doshic, that is to say its great for balancing the three doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It is excellent for balancing Kapha, particularly for the stomach and the lungs. It is also useful for pacifying Vata.
Green cardimom is considered an excellent digestive, especially beneficial in reducing bloating and intestinal gas. Green cardimom is a good breath freshener and aids in killing bacteria.
A recent study found that cardimom seeds and fruit could help improve oral health due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Cardimom is known to regulate high blood pressure with daily intake due to its diuretic effect. The antioxidants, help detoxify your blood and expel water collected around important organs by promoting frequent urination
14. Matcha Green Tea
The history of green tea in China goes back to 8th century and the method of making powdered tea from steam-prepared, and dried tea leaves. Matcha green tea became popular in 12th century. A Buddhist monk, Myoan Eisai, discovered matcha and brought it to Japan.
Match Green tea has been available in Japan since centuries. Recently matcha has been authenticated and proven for its health benefits, that are said to be 10 times more than green tea. The secret lies in the plants being covered to get maximum amount of chlorophyl. Camilla Sinesis plant is covered under complete shade from 4-6 weeks before plucking, drying and grinding the green leaves into fine powder in a floor-mill. The longer they are covered and under shade, the more chlorophyl they collect.
Not only is matcha amazingly photogenic, but matcha also has tremendous nutritional value for the human body. Matcha green tea:
- Promotes brain health and mental well being ( specially memory boosting and cognitive thinking).
- Supports heart health.
- Reduces your body’s “bad Cholesterol” LDL and alleviates your ‘good ‘HDL'.
- Is abundant in useful antioxidants 'Catechins', including EGCG and L-theanine (an amino acid) that work as a neurotransmitter and helps in warding off cancerous cells.
- Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
- Drinks promote a gradual increase in energy and a tranquil or calm focus and not a jittery vitality like an espresso. It is this relaxed alertness that draws Buddhist monks to matcha and supports concentration during meditation.
- Promotes weight-loss and the EGCG component has been studied several times over that last 2 decades and the results were pretty conflicting. The latest cutting edge research has found: "The brew-able green teas were found to have between 25 to 86 milligrams of EGCG per serving while the most potent matcha products provided anywhere from 17 milligrams to 109 milligrams". That is to say, matcha tea contains 2-3 times more EGCG components [Guerra. J. “How is Matcha Energy different from Coffee?”. eatthis.com 13 June 2019.]
Gotu Kola is popular for improving blood circulation, wound healing, and for enhancing mental functioning. Gotu Kola has a cantering effect instead of giving a quick serge or jerk of energy without over-stimulating side effects, something like matcha green tea. A study from 2016 states that Gotu Kola, taken with folic acid, helped boost cognitive function in stroke patients. Gotu Kola may help you to get a healthier skin.
16. Herbal Ignite
Though herbal ignite is mostly sold as a supplement in conjunction with other herbal ingredients, “Ignite” is known as a herb by itself. This herb assists in testosterone, endurance and building stamina. It is used for correcting erectile dysfunction.
Ignite enhances libido in women and supports a healthy sex life even as women age.
Hibiscus flowers are a popular superfood, rich in Vitamin C.
Hibiscus flowers' tea, in hot or cold water looks like red wine. Enjoy a hibiscus tea (hot or cold), a fruit punch or powder them and maybe used to season salads and ice-creams.
Hibiscus contains many beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants, including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids.
Historically hibiscus tea has been used in African countries to reduce body temperature, treat heart disease, and sooth a sore throat. Earlier In Iran and Egypt and now in many countries, hibiscus and saffron tea are commonly used individually to treat high blood pressure.
Hibiscus flower tea is effective in controlling menstrual camps, pain and anxiety during your periods. It relaxes and rejuvenates your body during your period cycle.
Hibiscus preparations, including teas, powders, and extracts, have been shown to decrease blood pressure, reduce body fat, improve metabolic syndrome, protect the liver, and fight cancer cells. However, more human research is needed.
Hibiscus tea is generally safe to consume in moderation. Having said that, the long-term effects of other preparations are not well known.
18. Juniper Berries
Juniper berries or extract of the plant has traditionally been used in relieving joint pains ( arthritis), antiseptic, auto-immune disorders, and treating gastro-intestinal problems.
Juniper berries are also used to treat urine, edema, and hypertension conditions.
Benefits of juniper berries:
- Powerful plant based nutrients.
- Supports anti-inflammation due to it’s antioxidant effects.
- May aid in reducing diabetes.
- May assist in promoting heart health.
- Have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Chinese and Indian Ayurveda medicine systems have been using Kudzu for centuries to treat alcoholism, heart disease, menopausal symptoms, diabetes, fever, the common cold, and certain pains. It may be used by itself or combined with other herbs. Kudzu has anti-inflammatory and nuero-protective properties according to some studies.
Like many physicians or medical practitioners require patients to discontinue the use of certain medicines, or herbs before going into surgery, Kudzu is one such herb. It is believed that Kudzu may affect blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.
CAUTION: People with liver disease or a history of liver disease should avoid kudzu all-together.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an all time favourite with most people even though there is little research on this tea and what all is there, mainly focuses on lavender extract. Lavender tea is made by steeping the purple buds of lavender (anguvstifolia plant) in hot water.
Lavender and its oil preparations have shown to aid or calm nerves, and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. Some research suggests that the calming fragrance of lavender extract promotes better sleep.
Breathing lavender essential oil may also help with menstrual cramps.
21. Liquorice/ Mulethi (Yashtimadhu)
For thousands of years, the sweet, stick-like root of the liquorice plant has been used in Ayurveda systems in soothing acidity, and digestive discomfort. Yashtimadhu is useful in treating respiratory disorders. It is considered to be a "Rasayana" in Ayurveda medicinal systems. Mulethi ( in Sanskrit) uses specifically include treatment of chronic acidity, ulcers and chronic bronchial conditions. Some studies suggest that liquorice activates ulcer healing.
Liquorice is packed with soothing qualities that act as a balm to hot, dry and irritated tissues in the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.
22. Lemon Grass
Lemongrass has antioxidant properties. Lemongrass contains substances that may relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in your blood. It may stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow. It may also prevent growth of some bacteria and yeast.
Lemongrass should be used in moderation.
Note: Consuming in excess may cause side effects like dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, frequent urination, increased appetite, and allergic reactions like rash and itching.
Lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis) herb is used for flavouring food and making medicines. This herb comes from the mint family and has a lemon like aroma.
Lemon balm has a calming and sedation effect due to its chemical components. The components help in reducing growth of some viruses and bacteria.
There is scientific evidence of lemon balm being useful for treating anxiety, cold sores, digestion and dementia conditions.
Moringa oleifera is rich in various antioxidants, including quercetin and chlorogenic acid. Moringa leaf powder can increase blood antioxidant levels. Moringa contains proteins, minerals, and Vitamins C and B6.
Moringa is known to help diabetes 2, (that may be as a result of stress) arthritis (joint pains), and rheumatoid.
Moringa may reduce Inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. It’s an essential protective mechanism but may become a major health issue if it continues over a long period of time.
Animal studies suggest that Moringa oleifera may protect against arsenic toxicity. However, this has not yet been studied in humans.
It is said that Moringa helps in hormonal balance, but there is no conclusive evidence so far despite much research.
Organic Moringa Leaves are loaded with nutrient-dense plants. It contains every essential amino acid making it a complete plant protein. If you are vegetarian or vegan looking for a better source of Bio-available vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6, C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E, and Trace Minerals, add moringa leaves to your diet.
In Ayurveda systems, Neem leaves are used in treating nuero-muscular pain and Vata disorders.
Other benefits include blood purification, flushing out toxins, fighting ulcers, and insect bites. Neem has anti-bacterial properties and, hence it accelerates curing burns, infections, and skin problems.
Neem is bitter in taste, and possesses powerful cooling energy (virya). The cooling energy, combined with its capacity to support healthy blood, helps balance Pitta—particularly when there is heat in rakta dhatu.
Caution & Warnings
Neem may have side effects like vomiting,diahorea,seizures,blood, and brain disorders
Note: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Neem oil and neem bark CAN BE UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy.
Nutmeg is useful to manage the symptoms of stress or anxiety. According to Ayurveda, Vata governs the nervous system and all the movements and actions of the body. Anxiety or stress is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Nutmeg helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety by balancing Vata dosha. It contains powerful antioxidants. Though small in size, the seeds from which nutmeg is derived are rich in plant compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. Nutmeg:
- Has anti-inflammatory properties.
- May boost libido.
- Has antibacterial properties.
- Is versatile and delicious.
- Boosts metabolism and helps vitality.
It has a calming and numbing effect. Peppermint can be used at all ages for settling stomach related issues like nausea, diarrhoea, and menstrual cramps. It is also used in chest rubs that are used for common colds.
28. Prickly Pear: (Nagfani in Ayurveda)
Cooling foods like Prickly Pear are wonderful for balancing Pitta dosha.
Prickly pear is a type of cactus that is native to the Americas, but can now be found growing in many parts of the world. It is also known by its scientific name, (Opuntia), and is a member of the Cactaceae family.
The prickly pear cactus grows in arid and semi-arid regions and has flat, oval-shaped pads that are covered in spines. The pads can be eaten as a vegetable and are often used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, where they are known as nopales. The fruit of the prickly pear cactus is also edible and is commonly used to make jams, jellies, and juices. It is known for its sweet, juicy flavor and bright magenta or orange colour.
In addition to its culinary uses, prickly pear has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It is rich in antioxidants and has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and digestive problems. It is also used in skincare products for its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. Prickly Pear can:
- Help to lower your cholesterol - Prickly pear fruits are high in fibre. They can reduce cholesterol levels in blood. According to research, the intake of cactus fruits reduces body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol levels significantly.
- Are an excellent source of micro nutrients - Prickly pears are a very rich source of iron, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and vitamin B6. Red and purple fruits have the highest antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Are a secret to weight control: Compared to most fruits, the prickly pear fruit are low in carbs, as per 100 gms. It contains 9.9 grams of carbs, which also includes 3.7 grams of fibre. It is low in calories (only 42 calories).
- Cure gastric ulcers: The prickly pear fruit contains a compound known as betaine. For people with ulcers, consuming the prickly pear fruit has a positive effect on gastric mucosa, which leads to its regulation and the reduction of pro-inflammatory chemicals.
- Increase Haemoglobin.
- Lower blood sugar levels.
- The pectin and fibre in the prickly pear fruits can easily lower blood sugar levels. It doesn’t mean that it can cure diabetes. The idea is adding it to your normal diet helps in normalising sugar levels.
- Boost your immune system.
29. Safed Musli
In Ayurveda, Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum) is a herb that is highly regarded for its medicinal properties. It is commonly referred to as "Indian Ginseng" due to its similar adaptogenic properties.
Safed musli is native to India and is primarily known for its aphrodisiac and rejuvenating qualities. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to enhance sexual vitality, boost libido, and improve overall sexual performance. It is also believed to have a positive effect on fertility and reproductive health.
In Ayurveda, Safed musli is classified as a "Rasayana," which means it is considered a rejuvenating herb that promotes longevity and overall well-being. It is believed to nourish all the tissues of the body, strengthen your immune system, and improve physical and mental stamina.
Safed musli contains active compounds such as saponins, alkaloids, and flavonoids that contribute to its medicinal properties. It is commonly consumed in powdered form or as a supplement, and it is also sometimes used in combination with other herbs in Ayurvedic formulations.
Note: It’s important to note that while Safed Musli is generally considered safe for consumption. It is advisable to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before using it, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications. They can provide personalised guidance and dosage recommendations based on your specific needs.
A study states that Safed musli can also be used to prevent premature ejaculation as well as to improve the sperm count. Another study states that it enhances strength and stamina.
Safed musli offers strong aphrodisiac effects which help in reducing mental stress, anxiety and stimulates the hormones for increasing libido.
Kashmir Saffron tea is an all-natural mood booster. When you consume saffron, it changes the levels of nuero-transmitters such as dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Kashmir Saffron tea with a hint of cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, rose, or ginger, along with white tea is a refreshing and mood boosting beverage. Hot or cold, this amazingly delicious tea is sure to soothe you.
Research studies have found some benefits of drinking Kashmir Saffron tea.
Saffron has been found to exert its neuroprotecttive effects via anti-neuroinflammation and anti-apoptosis. Clinical trials confirm that saffron could reduce depressive and anxiety-related symptoms.
Clinical studies have found that saffron tea may treat depression symptoms as effectively as antidepressants. It's believed to increase the brain’s serotonin levels. Researchers are studying this effect to determine its potential as a substitute for medication used to treat depressive disorders.
Saffron tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease by strengthening the circulatory system. Its antioxidants have been shown to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure, which may reduce your risk of developing heart problems. It’s also a source of minerals important to heart health like magnesium and potassium.
Crocin and crocetin are antioxidants called carotenoidsa, plant pigments that give saffron its rich red colour. Studies have shown that they may have anti-cancer and anti-tumour effects in the body, but more research is needed to study this effect in humans.
Risks of taking Saffron
You need to talk to your doctor if you plan to take saffron in the form of tea or any other form regularly.
People with an allergy, to olives may also be allergic to Saffron.
Some research has shown that saffron can stimulate uterine contractions and should be avoided by pregnant women.
Saffron consumption may affect your heartbeat. While research is inconclusive, it may worsen symptoms in people with heart conditions.
Low Blood Pressure
Because saffron can lower your blood pressure, it’s better to avoid saffron tea if you already have low blood pressure.
Note: You should not take saffron tea if you are taking medication for high blood pressure, as it might cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Saffron may also trigger a manic state in people who take medication for bipolar disorder. Saffron should never be taken by mouth.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a herb with a long history of culinary and medicinal uses. It is native to the Mediterranean region and is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). Common uses of sage:
- Culinary uses: Sage is widely used as a culinary herb and has a strong, aromatic flavour. It is commonly used in dishes like stuffing, sausages, soups, lamb, pork and stews to add a savoury and earthy taste.
- Medicinal uses: Sage has been used in traditional medicines for a number of health issues. It contains compounds with antioxidants, antiinflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Some traditional uses include:
(a) Digestive support: Sage is believed to aid digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes and reducing bloating and flatulence.
(b) Sore throat and cough relief: Sage tea or gargles are often used to soothe sore throats, alleviate coughs, and provide relief for mouth and throat inflammations.
(c) Memory and cognitive health: Sage has been traditionally associated with memory enhancement and cognitive function. It is believed to have beneficial effects on brain health and may help improve concentration and focus.
(d) Menopausal symptoms: Sage has been used to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. It is thought to have estrogenic effects that help balance hormone levels.
(e) Aromatherapy and smudging: Sage leaves, particularly white sage (Salvia apiana), are commonly used in smudging ceremonies to cleanse and purify spaces. The smoke generated by burning sage is believed to clear negative energy, promote spiritual purification, and create a calming environment.
Note: It’s worth noting that while sage is generally considered safe when used in moderation as a culinary herb, higher doses or concentrated forms (such as essential oil) may have stronger effects and should be used with caution. If you're considering using sage for medicinal purposes, it's advisable to consult a qualified healthcare professional or herbalist for guidance and appropriate dosages.
Shilajit is a sticky resin-like substance that is found primarily in the Himalayan region, particularly in the mountains of India, Nepal, China and Tibet. It is formed over centuries from the decomposition of plant and organic matter mixed with minerals and is harvested from rock crevices.
In Ayurveda, Shilajit is highly valued for its medicinal properties and is considered a powerful rejuvenating substance. It is often referred to as "the destroyer of weakness" due to its potential health benefits. Here are a few properties and uses of Shilajit:
- Nutritional and mineral content: Shilajit is rich in various minerals (approximately over 80 minerals) including fulvic acid, humic acid, trace elements, and amino acids. It contains minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are essential for maintaining overall health and vitality.
- Adaptogenic properties: Shilajit is classified as an adaptogen, which means it may help the body adapt to physical, mental, and environmental stressors. It is believed to support the body's resilience, enhance energy levels, and improve stamina.
- Energy and vitality: Shilajit is traditionally used to increase energy and vitality. It is believed to enhance physical strength, promote stamina, and combat fatigue. It may help improve athletic performance and aid in post-work out recovery.
- Cognitive health: Shilajit is also known for its potential cognitive benefits. It is believed to support mental clarity, memory, and focus. Some studies suggest that Shilajit may have nuero-protective properties and could potentially be beneficial for cognitive disorders. Research has proven that Shilajit can help Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects: Shilajit has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in some studies. It may help reduce oxidative stress, protect cells from damage, and support overall immune health.
Shilajit is available in various forms, including resin, capsules, powders, and liquid extracts.
Note: As with any supplement or herbal remedy, it is recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or Ayurvedic practitioner before using Shilajit. They can provide personalised guidance, dosage recommendations, and ensure it is safe for your specific needs and any existing health conditions.
Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is native to Southeast Asia and is cultivated in many tropical regions around the world.
The main component of turmeric that gives it, its distinct yellow colour and many of its health benefits is a compound called curcumin. Curcumin is a polyphenol with potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It is responsible for many of the therapeutic effects associated with turmeric.
In addition to curcumin, turmeric contains other active compounds such as turmerones, atlantone, and zingiberene, which contribute to its overall medicinal properties.
Turmeric has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. It is commonly used as a culinary spice, adding flavor and colour to various dishes, and especially in Indian, Thai, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
In recent years, turmeric and its active compound, curcumin, have gained significant attention in scientific research due to their potential health benefits. Some of the outcomes include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Curcumin has been shown to inhibit inflammatory pathways in your body and may help alleviate chronic inflammation, which is associated with various diseases.
- Antioxidant effects: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that contribute to aging and various diseases.
- Potential anti-cancer properties: Studies suggest that curcumin may have anti-cancer effects, including inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, reducing angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels to support tumour growth), and inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
- Digestive health: Turmeric is known to support digestive health by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, promoting bile secretion, and reducing symptoms of indigestion and bloating.
- Joint and bone health: Curcumin has been studied for its potential benefits in managing joint inflammation and pain associated with conditions like arthritis. It may also support bone health and help prevent bone loss.
- May Improve your Skin: Turmeric makes a great anti-acne and face wash,being (anti-inflammatory). This effect is currently under research and not proven as yet. It is believed to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair. With their anti-microbial and antioxidant properties, turmeric and green tea are known for their efficacy in treating a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, photo-aging, and psoriasis.
- Turmeric and curcumin: offer promising health benefits, their absorption and bioavailability in the body can be limited. Combining turmeric with black pepper or consuming it with a source of fat may enhance its absorption.
Note: As with any supplement or medicinal herb, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified practitioner before using turmeric or curcumin supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications. They can provide personalised advice and recommendations based on your specific needs.
34. Tulsi/ Holy Basil
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a highly revered herb in Ayurveda. It is botanically known as Ocimum sanctum or Ocimum tenuiflorum. Tulsi is considered sacred in Hinduism and is often found growing near temples in India.
Tulsi is known for its strong aroma, distinct flavor, and numerous medicinal properties. Some common uses and benefits of Tulsi:
- Adaptogenic properties: Tulsi is an adaptogen, which helps the body adapt to stress and promotes overall well-being. It is believed to have a balancing effect on the mind, body, and spirit, and can support resilience and vitality.
- Immune support: Tulsi is known to have immunomodulatory properties, that help regulate and strengthen the immune system. It supports the body's natural defence mechanisms and may help reduce the risk of infections and illnesses.
- Respiratory health: Tulsi has been traditionally used to support respiratory health. It is believed to have expectorant and antitussive properties, making it helpful in relieving coughs, colds, congestion, and respiratory infections. Tulsi tea is a popular remedy for respiratory issues.
- Stress relief and mood enhancement: Tulsi is often used as a natural remedy to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and uplift mood. It is believed to have calming effects on the nervous system and can help alleviate anxiety and promote mental clarity.
- Digestive support: Tulsi has been used to support digestive health. It is believed to help reduce digestive discomfort, bloating, and indigestion. Tulsi tea or extracts can be used to promote healthy digestion.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: Tulsi is rich in antioxidants, which help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It contains anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body and support overall health.
Tulsi is commonly consumed as a herbal tea, taken as a supplement, or used as an ingredient in various Ayurvedic formulations. It is available in different forms, such as dried leaves, powdered form, or as a liquid extract.
Note: While Tulsi is generally considered safe for consumption, it is advisable to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for personalised guidance, especially if you have specific health concerns or are taking other medications. They can provide recommendations on dosage, preparations, and potential interactions.
35. Valerian Root
Valerian root tea is a herbal infusion made from the roots of the Valeriana officinalis plant. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote relaxation and support sleep. While individual experiences may vary, here are some potential benefits associated with Valerian tea:
- Sleep aid: Valerian root tea is commonly used as a natural sleep aid. It is believed to help promote relaxation and relieve insomnia by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which has a calming effect. Many people find that consuming Valerian tea before bedtime can help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
- Anxiety and stress relief: Valerian has traditionally been used for its anxiolytic properties, meaning it may help reduce anxiety and stress. It is believed to interact with certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as GABA and serotonin, which are involved in mood regulation. Drinking Valerian tea can potentially promote a sense of calmness and relaxation.
- Muscle relaxation: Valerian tea may have muscle relaxant properties. It is believed to help relax tense muscles and reduce muscle pain. Some individuals use Valerian tea as a natural remedy for conditions such as muscle spasms or tension headaches.
- Menstrual cramp relief: Valerian root has been used by some women to help alleviate menstrual cramps. Its muscle-relaxing properties may help reduce the intensity and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps
- Digestive support: Valerian tea has also been used to support digestive health. It is believed to have mild antispasmodic properties that can help relieve digestive cramps and discomfort.
Note: While Valerian tea is generally considered safe for short-term use, it may not be suitable for everyone. It's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using Valerian tea, especially if you have any underlying health condition or are taking medications, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Individual responses to Valerian tea can vary, and some individuals may experience drowsiness or grogginess after consuming it. It's advisable to start with a low dosage and observe how your body responds before increasing the amount consumed. Additionally, it's best to avoid combining Valerian tea with other sedatives or sleep aids without medical guidance.
Disclaimer: As with all Ayurveda products, we recommend you consult your health care specialist or Ayurveda Physician and pregnant women should strictly avoid herbs.