Ayurvedic herbs and dietetic recommendations are time-tested. We all know many who have cured their chronic or debilitating illness with herbs and superfoods. Apart from helping many with ailments, they’re generally recommended to improve overall health and quality of life.
While there are multiple ayurvedic herbs and superfoods you can incorporate into your diet, here are the four main herbs you can easily and naturally integrate into your lifestyle.
Curcumin, which is an active component found in turmeric is found to have immense health benefits. It is also one of the curcuminoids that impart the famous golden yellow color to turmeric.
Curcumin is a fat-soluble active ingredient and hence it gets absorbed well when it is tempered in oil as we do in Indian cooking . Piperine, an active ingredient found in pepper is also known to enhance the absorption of turmeric.
Turmeric contains numerous bioactive compounds with medicinal properties. It is a potent anti-septic and prevents infections. It also reduces allergic cough, nasal congestion, and allergy-induced sneezing.
It is an anti-inflammatory herb. Hence, it reduces inflammation in the body that is a major cause or symptom of various disorders including PCOS, hypothyroidism, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric is also known to reduce oxidative stress and has antioxidant properties.
Recent studies are also looking into curcumin as a possible treatment for cancer and cancer symptoms. There is a possibility it might mitigate the growth or totally kill cancer cells.
How to Use Turmeric
The recommended dosage of turmeric is 1 to 2 gms in powder form per day. Here are some ways to incorporate the powder into your everyday diet.
- Add it to your curries along with lentils and vegetables. It is a common ingredient in Indian recipes.
- Golden or turmeric milk can be taken every night to promote immunity. It is a combination of cow milk boiled with a pinch of turmeric and other spices like cardamom and nutmeg. Apart from building immunity, it helps with insomnia!
- A weight loss tea can be prepared with turmeric and can be taken twice daily. This tea is prepared by boiling water with a pinch of turmeric, cloves and grated ginger . It also improves metabolism and cures infections or allergies.
- A paste of turmeric and neem leaves can be applied over rashes, hives, or any other skin conditions. It is also useful in conditions such as mumps and chicken pox to reduce rashes and itching.
- A paste of turmeric with milk or curd is applied to the skin to brighten the complexion. It is also said to reduce unwanted hair growth in women.
Withania Somnifera(Ashwagandha) is Ayurveda’s gift to the world. It is a highly potent herb and can cure several medical conditions. In Ayurvedic literature, one can find references to this herb to treat conditions due to old age, to improve sexual vigor and fertility, and to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, tuberculosis, and immunity.
Do remember this is a medicinal herb and should not be included as a part of your daily diet like turmeric. Instead, it can be an alternative medicine for those suffering from fatigue, general debility, infertility, weight loss, depression, stress, and insomnia.
It is the best herb for senior citizens who suffer from muscle wasting and extreme fatigue.
How to Use Ashwagandha
The recommended dosage per day is 3 to 6g (depending upon the condition and body weight). Since it is a medicinal herb, it’s best to consult an ayurvedic doctor before ingesting the herb.
If you are taking it medicinally, then here are some ways to incorporate it into your diet.
- This powder can be boiled with a cup of cow milk, filtered, and administered to the patient.
- Ashwagandha powder can be mixed with honey or ghee and asked to be licked by the patient once or twice a day.
- A concoction made of Ashwagandha root can be given to diabetics once or twice a day.
- Ashwagandha with ghee and sugar is the best remedy to improve sperm count. It also increases the quality of sperm.
- Fermented preparations of Ashwagandha such asAshwagandharishtam and jam-like preparations such asAshwagandha Lehyam treats disorders pertaining to muscles and nerves. It cures the numbness of the limbs, muscular atrophy, paralysis, and neuropathy.
- Ashwagandha mixed with milk and drank at night before bedtime helps with insomnia
Cannabis Sativa also known as Bhanga or Cannabis is found all over Ayurvedic literature. References to Vijaya leaves to treat insomnia, psychosomatic disorders, and pain is described often in Ayurvedic texts. In many texts, it is often referred to as a ‘miracle plant.’
Ayurveda also explains the purification of the vijaya leaf by boiling it in milk for 3 hours and using it after frying it in ghee before consumption. This is said to increase its therapeutic properties and reduce the euphoric effects of cannabis.
These days, full-spectrum medical cannabis extracts are available in the market that contains a greater percentage of CBD and trace amounts of THC. The full-spectrum CBD oils combine the medicinal benefits of CBD and trace amounts of THC to enhance the effects.
To reiterate, CBD is the cannabidiol with purely medicinal benefits while THC is the compound that gives users the infamous ‘high’.
The cannabinoids are the active principles of the Vijaya plant and work on a system in the human body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS),which is responsible for promoting homeostasis and balance.
Your body is capable of producing naturally occurring endocannabinoids which help activate the functioning of these receptors. These oils have phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC present in it, which mimic the functioning of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids and help unlock the functioning of receptors present in your body.
Full-spectrum CBD oils are meant to work on a systemic level instead of just the symptoms.
How to Use Vijaya
- Vijaya leaf extract is an excellent pain killer It can be used as an alternative to modern painkiller medications and opioids.
- It sets your circadian rhythm right, so your body automatically will follow the sleep-wake cycle.
- It reduces REM sleep which will give a deep sleep at night. You will also wake up fresh having slept well.
- CBD increases the secretion of hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, relaxin, and endorphins in your body which will relieve your pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. It also makes you more productive and focused during the day.
- It also sets your BMR right and reduces inflammation in the body.
These properties of Vijaya extract make it useful in treating disorders such as insomnia, chronic pain (even due to cancer), and gut health issues like IBS, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and multiple sclerosis.
It can be regularly taken by those suffering from mood swings, irritability, anger issues, stress, sleep disturbances, PMS, depression, panic attacks, and anxiety disorder.
Vijaya leaf extract should not be given to children below 16 years of age and to pregnant and lactating women. Cardiac patients who are on blood thinners should also avoid this medication.
The recommended dosage is 0.5 to 1 ml once or twice a day as directed by your Ayurvedic doctor. Your perfect dosage will come with a bit of trial and error.
Ghee is known as an elixir according to Ayurveda, and hence a superfood in modern times. When texts refer to ghee, it is generally produced by melting butter made from cow’s milk.
Ayurvedic texts explain ghee as a coolant for the body, ideal to be taken during lunch, imparts complexion, and immunity, strengthens the joints, and improves digestion.
It is also a possible cure for fatigue, chronic respiratory disorders, and muscle debility. It is also said to improve eyesight and make the voice ‘sweeter’. While these are stated benefits of the superfood, there is not enough evidence to conclusively state that the same.
How to Use Ghee
The recommended usage is anywhere between 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. Excessive consumption of ghee is linked to weight gain and possible obesity. Like with any other food, it is necessary to consume ghee in moderation.
It’s best to use ghee in its molten form. When heated up, it runs like a liquid and is the best way to consume the superfood.
- Ghee can be taken internally for those having dry skin. And can be applied on the skin to combat dryness and improve complexion.
- Ghee can also be given to a newborn. About 2-5 drops of ghee are advised to be taken daily to improve immunity and proper growth.
- Ghee is washed 100 times with water which is known as Shatadhauta Ghritam in Ayurveda. It can heal chronic wounds and help in the repair of tissues.
- A tablespoon of ghee taken in the morning reduces acidity, burning sensation and gastritis
- Ghee can be taken with Triphala powder to cure anemia
- Ghee can be taken by pregnant women and for lactating women, it can be given with moringa leaf powder.
The intake of above mentioned Ayurvedic herbs and superfoods regularly has immense health benefits. One should always remember not to consume excessive amounts of these herbs and superfoods. They’re incredibly helpful in moderate amounts, but in larger quantities can have adverse effects.
There are several other herbs like Amla, Brahmi, and Tulsi that are rejuvenating and immune boosters. But, these four herbs are the most commonly known and used! It is always better to check with your Ayurvedic doctor before consuming any supplements.
Set up your appointment with us today for a free consultation!