There’s an idea in Ayurveda that, “What heals, also prevents.” Herbs effective in treating specific conditions can also serve as a “food,” providing targeted nourishment to specific physiological systems and processes. For example, Turmeric popularized for its anti-inflammatory properties, can also be eaten as a culinary spice by people looking to proactively prevent disease and maintain good health. That’s not the case with allopathic pharmaceuticals! Almost all the Ayurvedic herbs behave the similar way. here is a list of some important Ayurvedic herbs you should know:
Brahmi grows well in pots provided it receives a small amount of sun. Brahmi has a lot of uses some of which are- A few brahmi leaves may be soaked overnight in water and made into a paste the next day with some almonds, milk and sugar candy. The liquid so obtained is considered good for improving memory and also helps eliminate intestinal worms. Brahmi can also be used as a hair mask for hairfall and dandruff!
Holy basil or Tulsi is highly revered among practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine and is considered to live up to its name holy within Hinduism. This herb has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s prized for both its culinary and medicinal qualities. Tulsi is generally safe for use; it can be mildly Pitta aggravating in high doses for those with a high fire content and temperature. Its main effect is on Kapha, which is why it’s so effective against colds, flus, and respiratory tract issues.
Hibiscus is another plant that you can easily grow in a pot although you will need to transplant it into the soil after some time. The leaves and flowers of the hibiscus plant can be made into a paste and combined with amla and coconut oil to prevent premature greying of hair. Hibiscus can also be effectively used to treat lifestyle diseases like diabetes.
Shikakai is shrub that looks like a small tree. The fruit looks like a pod and resembles the Tamarind fruit pod. The fruits of this plant are rich in Saponins that act as foaming agents to create lather when used to shampoo hair. The fruit pod, bark and leaves are dried and ground together to make a ‘Shikakai Powder’. The powder is used to make shampoo. It is slightly acidic and helps to cleanse scalp without stripping it of the natural oils. Removes dandruff, dead cell build-up and dirt stuck at the root of hair.
Reetha also known as Sapindus trifoliatus or Soap nut tree of south India is well known as a hair cleanser. It contains saponins just like Shikakai but in larger amounts. As it possesses Lekhana Guna it can be employed as anti obesity Ayurveda supplement but special care should be taken as it might induce abortion so it should be avoided by a female if she is pregnant or planning for that.
These are the most extensively used Ayurveda plants/herbs. Ayurveda deals with many other plants/herbs too with amazing properties which can be found in specific and selective stores.