Ayurveda medicine is one of the oldest treatments in the world that covers the whole body. This treatment was developed in India 3000 years ago. According to Ayurvedic teachings, health depends on a delicate balance between mind, body and soul. The main purpose of this medicine is to strengthen health, not to fight disease. In the following, you will get acquainted with different types of Ayurvedic herbs and their effects on health. Do not miss the rest of the article.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the ancient Indian sciences that improves and strengthens health by using the balance of mind, body and soul. Ayurvedic herbs have many uses, for example:
- Body cleansing;
- Disease resistance;
- Maintain the balance of mind, body and soul.
The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to prevent disease by balancing rather than fighting disease. You should know that people who use this medicine do not only use Ayurvedic herbs. These herbs are just part of this traditional treatment, and the following are commonly associated with Ayurveda:
- Ayurveda diet;
- Aromatherapy or aromatherapy;
- Therapeutic oils and spices.
Ayurvedic medicinal plants
There are more than 600 herbal compounds and 250 herbal remedies in Ayurvedic treatments. These treatments are categorized based on their effect on health, such as painkillers or energy drugs. In the following, we will introduce the most important medicinal plants of Ayurveda to you.
1. Indian ginseng or Ashwagandha
Indian ginseng is a small woody plant that grows in India and North Africa. The roots and fruits of this plant are used to make one of Ayurveda’s most popular herbal medicines. This medicine will help your body cope better with stress. According to research, Indian ginseng lowers the hormone cortisol, which is secreted by the adrenal glands due to severe and long-term stress.
This herbal medicine is also used to treat stress and anxiety disorders. Research shows that Indian ginseng can increase muscle growth, memory and fertility in men, and lower blood sugar. Of course, more research is needed to prove these benefits. Some also believe that this drug can reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Frankincense, which is made from frankincense gum, can reduce inflammation. According to animal research, this plant can be as effective as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, but has fewer side effects.
This herb can reduce pain, strengthen movement and increase range of motion in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatism. It also fights gingivitis and can prevent oral infections.
Other properties of frankincense include:
- Improves digestion in people with colon ulcers and Crohn’s disease (which causes inflammation of the intestines);
- Improving the breathing of people with chronic asthma.
Atrifel is an Ayurvedic plant that contains 3 small medicinal fruits:
- Amla or Indian grapefruit;
Animal experiments have shown that trifala reduces inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, as well as preventing and reducing the growth of some cancers.
It is also a natural laxative and can reduce constipation, abdominal pain and bloating, and improve bowel function. In addition, Trifala can prevent the accumulation of dental plaque and the growth of bacteria in the mouth and reduce gingivitis.
Research has shown that Brahmi can be as effective in reducing severe inflammation as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This herb can increase learning, attention, memory and information perception, as well as reduce the symptoms of ADHD, such as:
- Sudden decision making;
- Little authority over actions;
Some research shows that brahmi can have a positive effect on adaptation, that is, it improves the body’s response to stress and anxiety.
Cumin, which is a medicinal spice of the Mediterranean and southwest Asia, is obtained from the seeds of the cumin plant. This spice can boost digestive enzymes and increase bile secretion from the liver, which makes fat breakdown easier. Cumin has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as abdominal pain and bloating.
In addition, cumin can prevent type 2 diabetes. This spice lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. It can also prevent heart disease by raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. Cumin can reduce the risk of foodborne infections and prevent the growth of some bacteria.
Turmeric spice, which gives a unique color and smell to Iranian food, is a popular medicine due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This spice can be more effective than many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and has no side effects.
Turmeric can also help prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow. This effect is somewhat equivalent to exercising and using certain medications. Turmeric can also boost brain function and help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.
7. Roots of licorice
Research shows that licorice root can reduce inflammation and fight viruses and bacteria. This herb plays an important role in improving sore throat and oral health as well as reducing tooth decay. Licorice can prevent heartburn, bloating, nausea and stomach ulcers. If licorice is applied to the skin, it reduces the symptoms of skin irritation such as redness, itching and swelling.
8. Gotu kola
Spoon water is another popular herb of Ayurvedic medicine. This medicinal plant is made from a tasteless and odorless plant with fanatical green leaves that grows in and around water. Research shows that after a stroke, a spoonful of water can boost memory.
In addition, this herb can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Spoon water can also prevent skin cracks, reduce varicose veins, improve wound healing speed and eliminate eczema.
9. Bitter cucumber (Bitter melon)
Bitter cucumber belongs to the family of zucchini, pumpkin, squash and cucumber. This plant is used in Asian cuisine and is rich in nutrients and powerful antioxidants. Bitter cucumber can lower blood sugar and boost the secretion of the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.
If you use insulin to regulate your blood sugar, consult your doctor before adding bitter cucumber to your diet. This will prevent your blood sugar from dropping too much.
Cardamom, also called the queen of spices, has always been an important part of ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Cardamom powder can lower blood pressure. Inhaling cardamom oil can also increase the flow of oxygen to the lungs during exercise.
Cardamom can protect against Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcers. It also has a significant effect on reducing gastrointestinal ulcers and even their destruction.
Precautions for using Ayurvedic medicine
- The use of herbs and spices in Ayurvedic medicine is usually safe in small quantities for greed and cooking. However, most research on their properties has been done on larger quantities.
- The use of large amounts of these herbs is not suitable for children, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. Also, people who have underlying diseases or are taking certain medications should consult their doctor.
- You should note that there is little control over the production and distribution of spices and herbs. This causes them to combine with hazardous materials such as heavy metals. So be sure to get the plants from reputable places.
Ayurvedic herbs and spices have always been an important part of traditional Indian medicine throughout history. There is ample scientific evidence that this medicine can have a significant impact on the prevention of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Using the mentioned herbs to flavor food and tea has a positive effect on your health. However, excessive use of Ayurvedic herbs is not suitable for everyone and should be done in consultation with a physician.