Praveen Yadav | May 30, 2021 | 0
BEST NATURAL HERBS WITH MEDICINAL BENEFITS
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of medicine. It aims to preserve health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance and preventing disease rather than treating it.
With the growing popularity of Ayurveda, an increasing number of Americans are discovering the health benefits of the herbs that play essential roles in this millennia-old system of healing.
As we in the Western world develop our own “science of longevity” based in the undeniable strengths of modern research methodology, it makes sense to take a serious scientific look at botanical medicines already known to be efficacious through thousands of years of practice. 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.
The following six herbs have long histories of traditional use in Ayurveda, and they are increasingly popular with American consumers:
ASHWAGANDHA (Withania Somnifera)
The name of this shrub roughly translates as “Strength of horse.” Its roots have been used medicinally used for thousands of years. In classical Ayurveda, the described properties of Ashwagandha include: Medhya (promotes intellect and cognitive development), Balya (increases strength and recovery), Rasayana (rejuvenator or life-extending substance) and Nidrajanana (promoter of sleep).
Today, Ashwagandha is best known for it’s ability to promote energy and stamina without stimulating the heart. As a body-balancing herb, it also addresses insomnia.
Preliminary research suggests Ashwagandha may suppress stress-induced changes of dopamine receptors in the corpus striatum, which may play a role in the development of chronic anxious behaviors.
HOLY BASIL (Ocimum Sanctum)
Also known as Tulsi, this plant is actually considered sacred by many people in India. As such, it can be found growing in temple gardens, where the rich fragrance opens respiratory passages and some say, help the spirit soar.
Holy Basil’s key compounds, including eugenol and caryophyllene, are similar to those found in oreganoHoly_Basil (Origanum vulgare) and it shares the anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic actions typical of the oregano family. This plant is also native to West Africa. In Sierra Leone, it is called ‘Fever Plant.’ The various fixed oil compounds found in the plant have shown extensive antimicrobial and antifungal activity against a variety of pathogens including Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. In classical Ayurveda, Holy Basil was used as an anti-tussive, to clear “excess dampness in the lungs.” Recent human trials have validated this, the data showing that this herb can increase lung capacity as well as reduce laboured breathing. It has also been shown to significantly reduce several measures of stress in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients.
A common element in many Ayurvedic protocols, Triphala is not one plant, but three. The Sanskrit word actually means “three fruits,” (tri = three, phala = fruit), and it represents the combination of Emblica officinalis, Belleric myrobalan and Chebulic myrobalan. This standardized combination has existed in Ayurveda for thousands of years, and as such, it is considered as a single entity.
Triphala provides detoxification and digestive correction by promoting peristalsis and providing organ specific anti-inflammatory action in the lower GI tract. Today, Triphala is most commonly used for those with GI complaints such as bloating, sluggish digestion, food sensitivities, fatigue after meals, or chronic constipation.
Aloe vera is gel from the leaves of aloe plants. People have used it for thousands of years for healing and softening the skin. Aloe has also long been a folk treatment for many maladies, including constipation and skin disorders.
Research backs up the ancient use of topical aloe vera as a skin treatment, at least for specific conditions. Studies have shown that aloe gel might be effective in treating skin conditions including:
- Minor burns
- Skin abrasions
- Skin injured by radiation
- Herpes sores
- Anal fissures
There’s also strong evidence that aloe juice, which contains latex, taken by mouth is a powerful laxative. In fact, aloe juice was once sold in over-the-counter constipation drugs. But because aloe’s safety was not well-established, the FDA ordered in 2002 that over-the-counter laxatives containing aloe vera either be reformulated or removed from store shelves.
Aloe vera gel taken orally (by mouth) seems to help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It may also help to lower cholesterol. The results of aloe vera studies for other medical conditions have been less clear.
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