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Ayurvedic Herbology


Discussions on "Ayurvedic Herbology" in "Alternative Medicines" forum.


  1. #1
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    Ayurvedic Herbology

    Ayurvedic Herbology


    The science of Ayurveda is a unique holistic system, based on the interaction of body, mind and spirit. The treatment of Ayurveda is based on Indian herbs, which have a healing energy. Herbs have a unique flavor and intoxicating aroma, which contribute to their medicinal quality. The science of life - Ayurveda - has focused on the use of herbs as to lead a healthy life, free of diseases. Specific emphasis is given on the preparation and storage of herbs, followed since the ancient period, when Indian sages used herbs for curing a number of diseases.

    The herbs used in Ayurvedic are different from each other, in terms of a number of factors. A number of herbs vary according to their taste, while others are categorized according to their medicinal value. There are mainly three different categories of herbs: mild, strong and toxic. Herbalists mainly use mild herbs, because they have nutritive, energetic and therapeutic values without causing reactions or toxic effects. Use of herbs is regarded as the friendly way of treatment, because very less or no side effects are associated with them.

    Today, Ayurveda and its herbal treatment flourishes side by side with Homeopathic, Unani Tibb and Western conventional medicine and is actively encouraged as an inexpensive alternative to drugs. Ayurvedic herbal treatment is one of the most natural ways of curing a disease, as it has no side effects and after-treatment complications. That's why it is regarded as the most safest and inexpensive healing. In this section, we have given detailed description of the medicinal and herbal properties of Ayurvedic herbs.


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    Re: Ayurvedic Herbology

    Effects of Ayurvedic Herbs



    A number of herbs are used as medicines in Ayurveda - the science of life. Since ages, herbs have been known to help relieve aches and inflammation. The Ayurvedic rishis in the ancient times used herbs and mixed them with other herbs to create medicines that could treat many deadly diseases. Some of them proved to be elixirs. The herbs used in Ayurveda have diverse chemical formation. They are effective in combating diseases, when taken according to the recommended doses. They produce very few or no side effects. Some herbs are used as general tonic to clean, nourish and rebuild on a cellular level, while others have affinity for a specific system or organ of the body. Know the effects of herbs in Ayurveda and their usage, in the following lines.

    Benefits of Ayurvedic Herbs

    • Herbs in Ayurveda help a great deal in proper absorption and digestion of food. They also help as an appetizer.
    • Herbs can be used as preventive medicines as well. Sometimes, they are also used to strengthen the immune system.
    • Apart from strengthening the immune system, the herbs can also give a boost to the system.
    • In case a person is attacked by flu, viruses or suffering from any kind of bacterial infection, then the Ayurvedic practitioners usually prescribe herbs that are mixed with other herbs or consumed individually, to cure such conditions.
    • Studies in medicinal science suggest that Ayurvedic herbs can also treat deadly diseases like cancer, AIDS and autoimmune disorders. It is also found that herbal treatment is an effective alternative to allopathic medicines.
    • When a person is undergoing treatment for some chronic diseases, Ayurvedic herbs can provide nourishment and support to the body.

    How To Use Herbs

    Internal Usage

    • Some of the most common internal forms of herbal medications include encapsulated herbs, fresh herbs, flower essences and essential oil dilutions.
    • The effects of herbs can differ, depending upon the media of ingestion. For instance, certain herbs are more desirable to be ingested, if their medicinal properties are intended to affect the important internal organs of the body, such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidney etc.
    • The herbs used to cure internal organs of the body are ingested using different media, which may include water, honey, oil, ghee and milk. Different media have their own unique effects on the body of the person consuming them.

    External Application

    • The external applications of herbs are intended to treat symptoms on or near the surface of the body, such as the skin.
    • Herbs taken externally are often in the form of essential oil blends, liniments, ointments, lotions, massage oils, pastes or body wraps.
    • Joint problems, dizziness, muscular problems, wounds, cuts and other skin diseases can be effectively cured by the external herbal treatment. Application of the herbs on the skin is the common way to treat such problems.




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    Re: Ayurvedic Herbology

    Types Of Ayurvedic Herbs



    Ayurveda is the ancient science of life, which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle, free of diseases. The Ayurvedic rishis in the ancient times have discovered the medicinal use of many herbs, which are effective in curing a number of diseases that are otherwise difficult to get rid of. The herbs have been in use since the ancient times, when people were not familiar with allopath and other forms of treatment and resorted to the herbs and Ayurvedic medicines that were available. The Ayurvedic herbs can be classified into five types: according to origin, according to habitat, according to various actions, according to action on doshas and according to their use. In this article, we have discusses about the different kinds of Ayurvedic herbs.

    Different Kinds Of Herbs In Ayurveda

    Classifications As Per Origin
    Dravyas are constituted by panchamahabhootas (five elements). A dravya is said to be of a particular mahabhoota if it forms a major constituent of the dravya. There are five types of dravyas:

    • Parthiv
    • Apaya
    • Taijas
    • Vayaveeya
    • Akasheeya

    Classification As Per Habitat, Family, Morphology and Life Span Of Herbs (Dravya)

    • Sthalaj - Plant and trees that grow on land, e.g. Haritaki, Amalki etc
    • Jalaj (Aquatic) - Plants that grow in water, e.g. Lotus, Spyrogyra.
    • Vruksharuha (Epiphytic, living on the surface of trees) - Plants that grow on other trees but do not depend on that tree for their nutrition, e.g. Rasana.
    • Vrukshadan (Parasitic) - Plant that dwells on another tree and obtains its nutrition from its host.

    Classification As Per The Action On Doshas

    • Shaman - Dravyas, which equate the vitiated dosha without purifying the doshas or disturbing the equilibrium
    • Kopan - Dravyas, which vitiate the doshas in equilibrium
    • Swasthahita - Dravyas which have a tendency to increase or decrease vatadi doshas but do not produce vitiation of these doshas in a healthy person.

    Classification As Per The Use Of Herbs

    • Aushadh dravya (drugs)
    • Ahar dravya (diet)




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    Re: Ayurvedic Herbology

    Significance of Ayurvedic Herbs



    Ayurveda is the traditional medicinal form, prevalent in India since 2000 B.C. The Ayurvedic treatment is entirely based on herbs, which have certain medicinal value or property. In the ancient times, the Indian sages believed that Ayurvedic herbs are one-stop solutions to cure a number of health related problems and diseases. They conducted thorough study about the same, experimented with herbs to arrive at accurate conclusions about the efficacy of different plants and herbs that have medical value.

    Most of the Ayurvedic herbs, thus formulated, are free of side effects or reactions. This is the reason why Ayurveda is growing in popularity across the globe. The Ayurvedic herbs that have medicinal quality provide rational means for the treatment of many internal diseases, which are otherwise considered incurable in other systems of medicine. Go through the following lines to learn all about the importance of herbs in order to lead a healthy, peaceful and disease-free life.

    Importance Of Herbs in Ayurveda

    • Many herbs are used to alter or change a long-standing condition by eliminating the metabolic toxins. Also known as 'blood cleansers', certain herbs improve the immunity of the person, thereby reducing conditions such as fever. Herbs such as ginseng, aloe, sandalwood, red clover, burdock, bayberry, black pepper, cinnamon, myrrh, and safflower are known for their alterative property, which are used to heal wounds, sores and boils as well.
    • In order to neutralize the acid produced by the stomach, herbs such as marshmallow root and leaf are used. They serve as antacids. The healthy gastric acid needed for proper digestion is retained by such herbs.
    • Antibiotic herbs like turmeric are useful in inhibiting the growth of germs, harmful microbes and bacteria. Turmeric is widely used as a home remedy to heal wounds and cut.
    • To reduce fever and the production of heat caused by the condition, certain antipyretic herbs such as black pepper, sandalwood, safflower and brihati are recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners.
    • An important medical property of herbs is to serve as antiseptic. Aloe, sandalwood, turmeric, chitrak and gokshura are commonly used antiseptic herbs that are high in their medicinal value.
    • Since ages, Indian sages have been using antivenomous herbs, which act against poisonous matter from animals such as snake.
    • Certain aromatic herbs like cardamom and coriander are renowned for their appetizing qualities. Other aromatic herbs such as cloves, peppermint and turmeric add a pleasant aroma to the food, thereby increasing the taste of the meal. They serve as digestives and condiments for the food as well.
    • Apart from being aromatic, sandalwood and cinnamon are also great astringents. Sandalwood is especially used in arresting the discharge of blood, mucus etc.
    • Certain aromatic plants such as aloe, barberry, golden seal and chirayat are used as mild tonic. The bitter taste of such plants reduces toxins in blood. They are helpful in destroying infection as well.
    • Ayurvedic practitioners recommend calmative herbs, which provide a soothing effect to the body. They are often used as sedatives.
    • Herbs such as Chamomile, chrysanthemum, coriander, fennel, peppermint, and spearmint, ajwan, basil, calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are helpful in promoting good blood circulation. Therefore, they are used as cardiac stimulants.
    • Certain herbs have disinfectant property, which destroys disease causing germs. They also inhibit the growth of pathogenic microbes that cause communicable diseases. Arka, gudachi and katuka are the examples of disinfectant herbs.
    • Certain cough syrup ingredients like ginger and cloves are known for their expectorant property, which promotes the thinning and ejection of mucus from the lungs, trachea and bronchi. Cardamom, eucalyptus, wild cherry and cloves are also expectorants.
    • In order to increase the activity of a system or an organ, certain herbs like camphor, cayenne, myrrh, guggul and gotu kola are used as stimulants.
    • Herbs serve as tonic. A wide variety of herbs including guduchi, katuka, golden seal, aloe, barberry and bala are used as tonics or chief ingredients of a tonic. They can also be nutritive and rejuvenative.
    • Honey, turmeric, marshmallow and licorice can effectively treat a fresh cut and wound. They are termed as vulnerary herbs.




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    Re: Ayurvedic Herbology

    Properties of Ayurvedic Herbs

    Ayurbveda is a vast and ancient medicine science. The basic principle of Ayurvedic treatment is to cure the causative element of the disease from its root instead of suppressing its symptoms. The Ayurvedic treatment is largely based on the natural elements and herbs. All the Ayurvedic medicines are prepared by using these herbs in prescribed quantities. The properties of herbs and effects of the doshas are taken into account in designing the Ayurvedic herb formulas. So it is important to know the details of the herbal properties so that it can apply for a specific treatment area. Ayurvedic herbs are categorized according to their herbal properties and functions. Each herb has its own property and thus used for specific disease and its treatment. Some of these herbs are very rare and thus very expensive.

    It is important for the Ayurvedic practitioner to know, which herb is to be used for a particular disease so that by analyzing the symptoms and constitution of the patient, one can determine the prevalence of each of the physical manifestations of the doshas (and the degree of influence exerted by the non-material aspects of each of the doshas), and selects herbs or prepared herbal formulas to harmonize the influences and correct the physical imbalances, based on the characteristics of the herbal materials. A single herb may have multiple properties and one specific property may be present in many herbs.

    Classification of Herbs
    Based on their characters they are classified into three main groups. The three of them are used for different kind of ailments specified below:

    • Vaisheik Gunas –Herbs related to the sensory organ
    • Samanya Gunas – Herbs related to general ailments
    • Atma Gunas - Herbs related to the soul

    Properties of Herbs in Ayurveda
    It would be amazing for you know that the taste of the herb says much about the properties of the herb.

    Given here are the effects of each of the taste groups:

    Sweet:
    It improves the complexion, strengthens the body, heals wounds and ulcers, and purifies the rasa and the blood.

    Sour:
    Carminative, digestive and accumulates secretive impurities (waste material that is secreted) in the tissues to aid elimination.

    Salty :
    Purifies tissues, digestive, relaxing, separates impurities, accumulates excretions in the system, causes the body to lose tone (relaxes it), clears the outlets of the system, produces softness of all the structures of the body

    Pungent:
    Increases digestive power, purifies the body, prevents obesity, causes relaxation of the ligaments and of the system in general; diminishes formation of milk, semen, and fat

    Bitter :
    Separates the doshas, appetizing, digestive, and purifying, improves secretion of breast milk, and reduces the quantity of feces, urine, perspiration, fat, marrow, and pus

    Astringent:
    Heals ulce


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    Re: Ayurvedic Herbology

    Amazing information about this alternative path of medicine, thanks for sharing


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