Some herb information
When you are in a healthy state, an attentive state, you can listen to the body and hear what you need but if not paying attention, unaware, imaginative and “intuitive”, or overwhelmed by life, there is not a good gauge. What the body requires. The body’s innate therapeutic property comes into effect early on. Manifestation state of disease is farther down the line. If you are attentive on the mental level, you are not confused. Even in the state of disease formation, the body is attempting to talk to you. Are you listening? People that tend to talk to doctors usually are so not in their bodies or even have any clue to what is really going on with them which reinforces not paying attention and being disconnected. our culture in the West does not really teach us to be nor does it give clues on what is healthy except for research studies which continues to change what it has stated previously year after year.
There is a saying….. “The art of medicine lies in amusing the patient while you wait for nature to cure the disease.” Nature can balance the imbalances but the human mind gets in the way. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and then following it goes a long way.
Life is conditional and dynamic. Not static. There are always imbalances around you, It is a human beings responsibility to know the nature of ourselves in the first place and then can go with the right choices. It is our state of awareness that makes the difference of health or not health. Healing comes from sensing, experience, and knowledge. If one want to be healthier, then one will find things still lacking in healing process and that will come to learning to be at a different mental awareness.
An example of the dynamism of health is seen in the simple example of nature and the seasons. Each season changes into another that births, grows and maintains, then destroys. It is an ongoing cycle that if we understand and have a time tested, not imaginary, template to understand it allows one to become perfectly engaged in this dynamic flow of nature and one’s health increases.
Someone once told me that the body has a natural intelligence to heal. I would agree and disagree to provoke the understanding that the human mind filled with its likes and dislikes is what is the cause of most disease. Making decisions based upon this is the bypassing of intelligence in choice. This is also known as Pragnaaparadha or crimes against wisdom. This damages the intellect and makes it all the simpler to not follow what is beneficial for the system after that first “a little bit won’t hurt”, the next and next and next “a little bit won’t hurt” until it is a habit and the next larger layer of “a little bit won’t hurt” finds a new “little bit”. After the 3rd stage of disease, where the symptoms are not even seen yet, the bodies natural intelligence is tainted and it’s natural intelligence to heal is now clouded. This is coincidentally comparable to the understanding of the cycle of nature. In one season, say “A” season, the dosha is at a baseline. In “B” season, the dosha accumulates as a natural progression of that birth, maintenance, and destruction cycle. In the “C” season the dosha aggravates, this is the second stage of disease, and then the natural flow of nature brings the dosha back down to the base line in “D” season. Our lack of awareness, comprehension, knowledge, lack of connection to nature…. whatever you want to label it as, and the strength of our desires continue us past that third stage of disease into deeper stages where the intelligence of the body natural healing is thwarted.
Genetic engineering in people is DNA changing due to lifestyle choices over generations – so if after 3 generations they were trained to eat everything as health, your children will do the same. If the child is generally healthy and you are generally healthy and you keep going with the wholesome rituals of daily lifestyle, you will correct the genetic lineage for the next generation. This works the other way as well. What you eat and how you feed your kids will be the way that they are programed to take care of their own children and their children’s children will be programmed the same.
The following herb list is not for you to now self diagnose what you think is going on with you and to start taking because you want this or that. Please do not use it that way. That is allopathic, symptom chasing and has more a result of causing further disease rather than any healing. If one was to cut the flower from a plant, it does not destroy the plant. It is just a symptom of the plant. In the same way, taking something for a symptom will mask the symptom and allow the disease to then find another route to come to head. This new route in now a complication normally which will be harder to treat. Caveat Emptor!!!!! If you are not educated fully, do not self diagnose and self medicate. From ignorance more ignorance is born.
Indian Gooseberry –
Ras(a): all tastes except Lavan, predominantly Amla – hence its name
Virya: Sheeta virya – builds up body
Guna: Ruksha and Laghu. Being laghu easily digestible especially for convalescence (recovering from disease state.- lowered agni needs laghu (a guna). Laghu guna + PanchaRasa, Ruksha (dryness)
Prabhav – overall balancing of all 3 doshas. Amla Rasa is taste you perceive, but Kshay Ras is equally important (very astringent) – very good for balancing Pitta. Which is why the amla doesn’t aggravate Pitta – the Kshay Rasa balances.
Best Rasayan(a) – nourishes all tissues, good for all doshas. Being laghu and Kshay doesn’t have tendency to particular manas (sattva, rajas, tamas – qualities of mind). So good for psychological functioning. Also good for intelligence especially memory.
Drug of choice for acid reflux – pitta dominant complaint. Kshay Ras dominance is good for acid reflux and other pitta conditions. Children rarely have acid reflux unless there is a hernia, probability of a child having peptic issues is very rare because of the prevalence of Kapha dosh. When diagnosing, pay attention to the dominance in physiology and pathology before making a determination of what is going on. If you make a child lie down after eating, the field of digestion is going to come up, but that isn’t acid reflux – just physiological.
Regular diatetic additive even though is aushadhi. Because of its 5 Rasa in one herb, its good as a supplement. Good amount of the rasas to add to general diet. Fresh is the best, then if more acid complaints – dipped in sugar, bloating after meals – dried with rock salt. Check out what is available and what your complaint is. 2-3 pieces daily as an eye tonic and general digestive.
Triphala = 3 fruits: Amalaki (aka Amala/Avala), Haritaki (aka Harada/Harde), Bibhitaki (aka Baheda) – always these three are the formula. Prophylactic for eye health, good for skin, health, digestion, immune system. Triphala is not good for everyone as is touted by Dr. Lad and his students. Proper usage of medicines with intelligence and respect for the human life in front of you, not ever shotgun one stop shop.
Buying Herbs – best grown by yourself, then from India. Not much in the states. Lots of BS. Prices are jacked way way up as well. Just as an example, I just got Shatavari Kalpa whole sale the other week from a dealer in the US. I was needing it for a client. It was $25 for me wholesale. In India, the exact same thing would cost $3. The more you purchase and support this the more you are feeding the monster. Dried herbs less strong than fresh, but more concentrated, so better.
Don’t cut up your fruit if possible – more powerful/better if eaten in its natural form, whether for amalaki or peaches or pears or whatever.
Try to grow your own – see if the plant wants to grow with you or not. Don’t worry about whether it’s the right location it will grow or not and then you’ll know if its right.
Rasa: Tikta(bitter) and Kshay(astringent) Rasa
Vipak: Sweet – normally tikta rasas are Katu vipak, but this one is an exception to the rule.
Virya: Ushna/Hot – normally sweet vipak would mean a sheeta/cold virya so this is also an exception to the rule.
Prabhav: Snigda Guna – being Snigda in its guna and Laghu in its guna, its prabhav is Tridosha Shamak/pacifier. Especially with milk or ghee. Stimulates sexuality: both performance and output of fluids and yet CALMS the mind. Virility – proper check on mind, but good drive. As opposed to onions which stimulate the mind/lust but don’t help organs. Good to use to channel this energy to other focuses. Good for an overall tonic and immunity builder/oja.
Ashwa – horse. Ghanda – smell. Think of it as a metaphor for the strength it imparts. Unleashes passion and creativity. This is about the channeling of the energy away from sexuality (if you can knowingly abstain without denying natural urges) and towards creativity etc. Can be utilized for better purposes. For Aam people/masses/general public. For higher consciousness people use it for Oja.
Anxiety and Stress burster/reliever. Mind calmer. Not about the act of sex, about the strength of the creative energy, so ok for all people. Can give to children but we should direct the metaphysical part of them as well. So herbs help the material,
Mild analgesic, but only if you are sensitive to it and haven’t been exposed to NSAIDS or other heavy painkillers.
Muscle strengthener. Notice the
Stimulate creativity and vigour.
Promotes good seed.
Oja building, but not against the laws of nature – a 70 year old won’t magically run a marathon after ingestion.
Stimulating regeneration of cells isn’t to be done against nature – no point trying to stop aging permanently.
To be done as treatment, not for long periods of time unless being monitored. Prolonged use ok with monitoring (appetite and digestion should be checked, as well as longterm lifestyle changes.) As a stress buster, if the patient isn’t changing any of their lifestyle which is causing stress – no exercise, hobbies, creativity, etc., – not a good idea to just treat with an herb. Under stress, immune system is depleted, so ashwagandha would be useful for both.
Slightly weight increasing depending on patient – if patient has low or manda agni. If someone is weak and has low agni, would wait until the agni has been fired up. Check how the affect is on each subject. That’s why monitoring is important. If adds weight, can work with diet.
ALL RASAYANAS SHOULD ONLY BE GIVEN IF GOOD AGNI/APPETITE. If given when low agni, will drown the fire. Get agni back up, then prescribe rasayana.
Dosha: Tridosha Shamak/pacifying/palliative
Prabhav: Psychological and Mental and Emotional balance – good for CNS, epilepsy. High Sattvic promoting. Intellect is dependent on good Sattva. Good for psychological disorders. Sattva good fro truth and positivity of life, so Brahmi is herb of choice for Yogis/Saddhus. People mastering control of mind/metaphysics/spirituality. Majja Dhatu building (physical element of the psychology/mental system).
Karma: Mildly laxative. Promotes hair growth. Nerve tonic (because of the majja dhatu effect). Good for PTSD in conjunction with proper counseling.
Should be applying topically on hair and taking orally. Good for children as well.
CNS – seat of intellect as well as the CNS. Good effect on speech, intellect, anything to do with nervous system. Parkinson’s disease responds well to Bramhi especially in ghee form. Brahmi Gritha. Vayu disturbance disease so the ghee form best. Gotu Kola/Manduk Pani sometimes a good substitute for Brahmi.
Bipolar disorder – bramhi good at blood brain barrier level – good osmotic effect provided there is no interference from other drugs. You would taper off the western drug and then be able to experience the effect of bramhi.
Agni – how to examine the digestive quality of the patient. How well is the meal digested is a good way to see how good the agni is. What is the quality of stool, what does his digestion do. Then you can choose whether a rasayana is to be given.
First try to gently treat before getting modern drugs – once treated with excess, very difficult to get off or have a good effect from the milder forms including lifestyle changes. So start off with Ayurveda to get good fantastic results before going on to medication.
Agnim Jaranam Shaktya Parikshet
The level of appetite is determined by level of digestion. Optimum level and showing good symptoms of digestion.
By the quality of digestion the person shows that lets you know whether he has good agni. How well the food is digested frequently/regularly, when he has meals with hunger, does he digest it well. How many times does he eliminate, what is the consistency of the fecal matter – sinks or floats?
When learning to read pulses, must practice Brahmacharya to reach subtler energetic awareness so can be able to read energy.
Can keep one awake if taken at night due to the tannis.
Manduk Parni – Gotu Kola
Vipak: Sweet (again unconventional)
Virya – Sheeta Virya – cool
Guna – light
Dosha – tridosha shamak
Prabhav – enhances intellect and brain function. Boost memory and intellect. Can be used with children as a regular tonic to enhance mental faculties. Introduce with good
If digestion is fair can be used.
Because sheeta virya, don’t add heat – teas not so good. Ideally not heated because its counter to virya. If taste is the issue, can mask with honey. Doesn’t kill the effects to heat, but not as good.
Nausea – implies low agni. Therefore the herb is not going to get the vipak of desired intensity and can’t help the body to the fullest.
Tender herbs need less processing. More rigid, more processing – roots, stems etc. would require more crushing heating etc.
“A person that doesn’t have a mother, for that person haritaki is like their mother.”
Attends to most of the bodily complaints – cleanses srotas, good for elimination
Rasa: Pancha Rasas all except for Lavan/Salty
Guna: laghu/light – easily digested, imparts healing quality
Dosha: Tridosha Shamak – addresses all, said to be more Vata/Pitta but good for all.
Cannot be taken daily for extended period of time. Taken only till doesn’t affect on bowel movement. Stop when it no longer has an effect on bowels. That would be the state of health. Stop when doesn’t affect consistency or frequency. Not good for regular use with good health. So not good to take triphala daily. Bowel movements should be regularized with lifestyle, regular foods, good diet. If all that is good, then maybe look to triphala. But can be habit forming.
Karma: Yogavahi Karma– assists action and enhances quality of accompanying herbs/dravya along with it. Also known as samayogavahi
Ex: given with amla and with bibhitaki as a facilitator for both of them.
Anuloman – downward movement of mala
Agni Deepan – appetizing affect, flares up agni therefore good for digesting aam, cleansing of srotas.
Apana Vayu disorders – Malava Stambha/Constipation
Can induce abortion in pregnant women because of Apana Vayu affect.
Prabhav: cleansing properties and pancharasayan
Rasa – Tikta 4 tastes
Vipak – Sweet/Madhur
Virya – Ushna: seeds are comparatively soothing/cooling
Dosha – Tridosha Shamak
Karma – Agni Vathak
Pachak – digestive – fair amount of regular use in the diet is advisable.
Primary Uses: skin conditions esp. allergy – rashes. Used as an additive not the main vegetable. Good for fevers esp. seeds – used for the cooling. UTI – coriander seeds soaked overnight and drunk. Inflammation of eyes. Agni boosting digestive daily use. Topically make a paste from pulverized seeds and ghee.
Sukshma Ela/Elachi: Small Cardamom
Rasa:Pungent Katu Madhur Rasa
Guna: Laghu and dry
Dosha: Tridosha Shamak
Karma: Nourishes. Digestive without aggravating agni. Intrinsic property of taking on aam by itself instead of flaring up agni. It actively digests aam without going through agni. Improves sexual tissue/shukra dhatu. Because of aromatic qualities, it conditions the genital organs. Like body spray for genitals but by eating. J Decongestant of nose, throat – can chew on it in restricted amount. 1-2x day. Black seeds is more potent, green is less strong/potent/pungent. Green is fresh, black is dried.
Digestive in chai.
Personal Uses: decongestant, mouth freshener
Camphor – keep in car to smell to keep you awake for long trips.
Bruhat Ela (Large/Black Cardamom):
Guna: Laghu and Dry
Dosha: being pungent P, V prakopa. Black in color and being light and dry its Vatakar (vata prakop)
Karma: digestive. Mild anuloman – if used only a dash. If you overdo it, will vitiate vata. But mild as in the quantity will have anuloman effect on vayu. Good for hiccups – just a pinch crushed or chew 2-3 seeds and breathe deep and see if hiccups stop. Carminitive – eases flatulence (anuloman) and bloated feeling. Primary use: Anorexia/loss of appetite. That’s why used in most of masalas/spice mixes. Deepan Pachan. Kapha Shamak – used in chronic kapha and muculitic kapha (wet kapha) – used in sitopladi.
Personal uses: add a dash for a change – pinch in cooking when you feel bloated or want a bit of appetizing effect in food. Use instead of black pepper or asafetida to change flavor. Variety is good
Vipaka:Sweet – unconventional
Dosha: Tridosha Shamak/Tridoshaghna
Karma: fever reducing/jwaraghna, immune boosting, blood purifying
For fever reducing ½ tsp. 3x days in warm water or alternatively with honey
Saptudhatubalya – nourishing for all 7 dhatus
Drug of choice for gout (hot painful joints)- grossly, can be used widely.
All liver issues – wherever regeneration of all tissues necessary.
Chemotherapy especially good for. Skin disorders, recurrent fever.
Not for long term frequent use. Use for special appearances J
Eranda (Castor, ie castor oil)
Rasa: Katu/Pungent, Kshay Astringent
Vipaka: Madhur – unconventional (all good herbs have unusual qualities)
Guna: Guru, Snigdha, Tikshna (burning effect on tongue like mustard oil)
Dosha: Kapha and Vata mitigator, if overdone Pitta aggravator (because hot and sharp)
Externally used no effect on pitta, mainly vata regulator
Karma: Vata Anuloman – downward directing of Vayu (induces labor – not for pregnant women unless late in 3rd trimester), Agni Deepan therefore herb of choice in rheumatoid arthritis. Also strong purgative. Spoonful of oil at a time only. Take with Haritaki for constipation.
Regular application of vata reducing oils externally can help in breast cancer
Gokshura (Rasayan): Locally known as puncture vine or goat’s head
Guna: Guru and Snigdha (heavy and oily)
Dosha: Tridosha Shamak
Karma: Urinary Tract Infections best for, Anuloman, Bhedhan – urinary stones, kidney stones, urethra issues and gallstones. Best natural diuretic – increases urinary output. Builds up tissues(that is the rasayana part). Being a diuretic, good for edema especially in legs and feet. If edema is related to urinary tract, rather than good for cardiac edema. All of the kidney apparatus. Useful in fibroids (hardening of the tissues at the wall of the uterus) – more prithvi in a fibroid than a cyst.
Good action on sperm genesis: quality and quantity of the physical material.
Kantakari – kanta=thorns –
Rasa: Tikta/bitter & Katu/Pungent
Guna: Laghue and dry
Dosha: Vata and Kapha Shamak, Aggravates Pitta because its hot and pungent
Prabhav: reduces heart swelling: cardio megali.
Karma: Agni Deepan (appetizer),
Drug of choice for respiratory tract, cough, asthma, bronchial infections/conditions. Alveolar level is deeper. Main bronchials are upper. Good for all upper respiratory tract conditions.
Good for common cough and cold – take at first sign
use pulp gotten with a sharp wooden knife Non metallic. Ideally an ivory knife. Metal causes interaction. Could use a ceramic or any non-metal cutting surface.
Rasa: Tikta, Madhur
Guna: picchila, guru, snigdha
Karma: soothing, moisturizing effect. Being sheeta in virya, has cooling effect on scars, sunburns, burns, inflammation of skin – external useage. If burning internally, inflamed piles – could be taken internally. Start with not more than 1 Tablespoon. 1tsp./day is a good dosage. Long term usage without purpose can be drying (has thorns so you can see how it could be sharp and drying over time.) Laxative as well. Regenerative quality so good for sunburns/burned skin. Can stick in ground and just grow. How does a plant grow, tells you what kind of effect it may have.
For cancer – Guduchi and Kumari both taken a lot.
Dried Kumari in powder form – Aloe Vera grows year round and is better for all doshas.
Hepatofriendly – good for liver. Good for uterus too. So good for post-labor to help uterus contract back to original size.
Haridra – Turmeric
Rasa: Tikta/bitter & Katu/pungent
Guna: Ruksha/dry and Laghu/light
Dosha: Kapha and Vata mitigator/Shamak
Prabhav: Pitta Shamak when cooked in ghee or milk
Karma: full blown efficacy is best achieved in dry root – this concentrates the active principle. Fresh is used mostly in diet or as a preservative. Dry used as herb.
Blood purifier, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective property not fighting the organism (ie not antibacterial or antiviral), but elevates the ambience of the basic tissue. Use water or ghee to make into a paste. Good combined with honey as a paste. Honey and Turmeric being ushna, would wait to use it until after bleeding stops. Then make into a 2nd paste.
Drug choice for skin disorders like acne, itching etc. Good for beauty aids, face packs.
With warm milk for sore throat and cough.
Jaundice, anemia in recuperative stages. Not for infants – too hot for babies.
Good for obese people with warm water has slimming effect. Good for slim people with warm milk to build up. When pregnant, warm milk and turmeric for baby skin and health.
Vachar – similar rhizome to haridra used in babies cradles
Narikela – Coconut
Vata Pitta Shamak, Kapha Vardak/Prakopa
Prabhav – good for hair. In coastal areas like Kerala they have everywhere in their diet.
Karma: Nourishing, diuretic/mutrala. Not for use in winter on hair because its cooling. Regenerative to hair both topically or internally, if hairloss is due to Pitta imbalance.
Good for UTI, burning of urination. Good for diarrhea and dysentery. Good for children
Personal uses: UTI’s, fluid losses
Lavanga – Cloves
Rasa: Katu & Tikta
Guna: tikshna, laghu, snigdha
Dosha: tridoshic shamak
Prabhav: good for digestion but cooling too. Anti-emetic, anti-nausea, good for motion sickness. Preventative for motion sickness and reduces once have it.
Agni Deepan – appetizing
Good for oral hygiene, gums and teeth pain. Anti-tussive (coughing). Anorexia (helps appetite).
Regular use as an adjunct to diet.
Marich – Black Pepper
Rasa: Katu Rasa
Guna: laghu and tikshna
Dosha: Kapha and Vata pacifying, Pitta aggravating
Prabhav: regulates prana in lungs. Good for respiration and digestion. Dissolves phlegm.
Agni Deepan – appetizer
Primary Use: pneumonia, respiratory problems, dental cavities,
Yashtimadhu – Licorice
Guna: guru and snigdha
Nourishes all dhatus
Good for dry cough because it has a mucilative action, virility. Use of bark and stem and root in a tea.
Adrakh (fresh ginger) and Shunthi (dry ginger)
Rasa: Katu Rasa
Guna: laghu, tikshna
Dosha: Kapha Vata mitigators, but dry will vitiate Pitta
Vishwa Bheshaj – universal doctor. Especially helpful for digestive problems, colds, good with jaggery for post-partum care.
Cough – mucolytic action like licorice for liquefying kapha wet coughs
Tulsi- Holy Basil
Vata Kapha Shamak, Pitta Prakop
Removes phlegm – so also good for wet coughs.
Herbs in general – smaller the leaf size the MORE potent.
2-3 leaves in the morning and evening to clear
Blood purifier, mildly antiseptic, mildly aam pachak, good for cough and colds, cholesterol/lipid management. Wormicide.
VACHA – Calamus
Laghu and tikshna and rukshna
Kapha Vata Shamak, Pitta Prakop in excess
Prabhava – brain tonic – enhances synaptic function, nourishes medhya dhatu
Agni Deepan –
Clears subtle channels of the brain
Karma: Medhya Rasayan
Primary use – promotes courage, self expression, memory retention, nerve tonic for kids, can be kept near cradle (don’t let baby touch cause its quite ushna) but its very anti-parasitic because of its prabhava. Looks like shunthi – a rhizome.
Ajwain – Bishop’s weed
Dosha: Kapha Vata Shamak, Pitta Prakopak
Digestive, Agni Deepan (appetizer)
Used as a digestive spice.
Use as a smudge when you have a cold and cough – good for decongestant as a smudge. – handful burning in a closed room. Can also burn with a spoonful of haldi. Breathe in and inhale.
Pippali – Rasayana for lungs especially the lower respiratory section
Rasa: Madhur if wet, Katu if dry
Vipaka: Madhur if wet, Katu if dry
Virya: Sheeta if wet, Anushna (if dry
Guna:tikshna, laghu, snigdha
Aam pachan. Good for spleen conditions: most hematological conditions (blood related) are spleen related.
Trikatu – Pippali (green long pepper), Shunthi (dry ginger) and Marich (black pepper) – a kapha treatment
Shatavari – Universal Rasayana
Rasa: Madhur Tikta
Balya strength and longevity promoting – nourishing. Increases sexual vigor and shukra dhatu in both men and women
Prabhav: tremendously augments breast milk both quantity and quality
Major correlative in fertility. Good herb for ailments of the uterus.
Drug of choice for maintaining eyesight/health
Kharjur – Dates
Kshay pungent and Madhur sweet
Guru & Snigdha
Kapha Prakopak, Vata Pitta Shamak
Balya/nourishing, anti-inflammatory. Adds bulk to body. Very useful in alcoholics to recover from alcohol withdrawal. Good for hangovers. Good for Chronic Fatigue. Good for building up muscle tissue (Mamsakara) when dried dates. Black dates are more potent than brown dates. Fresh dates build up Rakta dhatu and therefore eventually will build mamsa dhatu, but use dry for direct treatment.
Rasa: Kshay and Madhur
Guna: laghu and ruksha
Dosha: Kapha reducing/Kapha Shamak
Prabhav: mild laxative.