Must-Know Ayurvedic Herbs

by Shinjini Guha January 01, 2021

Must-Know Ayurvedic Herbs

The core principle ofAyurvedais to prevent illnesses before they occur by incorporating herbs in our daily lives. These herbs are infused with medicinal properties in abundance. Some of them can be found in our kitchens, gardens, and backyards while others are hidden in dense jungles and pristine mountains and are accessible only by the sages who inhabit these regions. Apart from improving one’s physical health, it is suggested that these herbs also improve one’s mental health and help prevent stress and anxiety.


  • Ashwagandha Grown in India and a few African countries, this herb is called Indian ginseng in English and is one of the most significant herbs inAyurvedatreatments. This herb is treated as arasayana and is used to help people remain youthful physically and mentally. Some conditions that can be treated withashwagandhaare:
  • Memory loss
  • Diabetes
  • Constipation 
  • Stress and nervous breakdowns 
  • Skin-related issues
  • Benefits of usingashwagandha:

      • Can calm anxiety when taken as a sedate 
      • Helps to relieve pain during arthritis and has anti-inflammatory properties 
      • Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol 
  • Boosts immunity
  • This herb is available in powders, liquid extracts, and capsules and the recommended dosage is 450mgs. However, it is safer to consult anAyurvedapractitioner regarding the dosage. 

  • Triphala– This is not one herb but a trinity of small fruits that are rich in antioxidants and are linked to thedosha. The fruits are:
  • Amla(Indian gooseberry)
  • Bibhtikai(Beleric)
  • Haritikai(Chebulic Myrobalan)
  • These three fruits are used in combination and primarily benefit the digestive system as it helps prevent constipation and improves bowel movement. Apart from that, it is also used as a detoxifying agent and helps get rid of impurities from the entire body. 

    This combination of herbs is available as pills and in liquid form. However, the liquid form is mostly used for external applications and not suitable for consumption. The pills can be taken with a glass of warm water before bed, but it is advised to seek professional advice from a physician. 

  • GuggulFound in India and Central Asian countries, this is a type of resin produced by Myrrh tree. The Sanskrit name for this resin isgugguluwhich roughly translates to ‘protection against diseases.’ The resin is tapped from the tree and impurities are removed before making it into powders and medicinal extracts. The primary use of this resin is balancing thedosha in the body. 
  • Benefits of usingguggulu:

    • Can reduce unwanted cholesterol 
    • Aids weight loss by improving metabolism 
    • Help prevent sinus infections 
    • Prevent skin ulcers 
    • Helps avoid joint pain 

    Guggulusupplements are found in the form of tablets, powders, and ointments and can be consumed, applied on the skin, or gargled. There is no prescribed dose, but the minimum is about 450 mg and it is always safe to consult a doctor, preferably anAyurvedaphysician, before consuming it. 

  • Gotu Kola– Better known by its Sanskrit nameBrahmi, this herb is said to be given by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe (according to Hindu mythology), himself. This plant is found in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal and is characterised by white or purple flowers.Gotu Kola helps in promoting good sleep, boost memory and, aids in better concentration.  This herb works its magic while healing wounds and scars because of its ability to increase collagen production. 
  • Gotu Kolais available as powders and in liquid form. A maximum of 6 grams of powder can be used while 10 to 30 ml of the liquid extract is an ideal dose, However, it is safer to consult a doctor regarding the same.


  • Aloe Vera – This herb is a household name and can be found in most of our gardens. Most of us are familiar with aloe vera’s benefits in terms of providing soft and supple skin, softening hair, and healing scars but its medicinal benefits are unknown to many. 
  • Medicinal benefits of aloe vera:

    • Prevents constipation 
    • Helps treat respiratory diseases like asthma 
    • Can prevent nasal bleeding and excessive bleeding during menstruation
    • Stronger immunity 
    • Treats diseases ofvataandpittaorigin 

    The best way to use aloe vera is by extracting it directly from the plant, cleaning it before using the pulp. It can be consumed or applied on the body based on the treatment. Wash the leaf and the pulp after extraction thoroughly before usage. 

  • TulsiCalled as ‘Holy Basil’ in English, this plant lives up to its name. Many houses in India still have atulsiplant in their courtyards and treat it as a divine entity and this reflects the core idea ofAyurveda –a culmination of spirituality and science. This herb comes with numerous benefits. Some of them include:
    • Helps balancekapha dosha
    • Prevents microbial and viral infections 
    • Strengthens respiratory system and helps cure diseases like asthma 
    • Clears stones in bladders and kidney 
    • Cures common cold and coughs 
    • Prevents cholesterol from depositing in blood vessels 

    Tulsileaves can be eaten fresh from the plant or can be infused in teas and after powdering it. Eating atulsileaf every day will not only prevent diseases but also improve the immunity and digestive system. 

    These are some of the most prominent herbs inAyurveda. Incorporating these herbs into our lives is not a difficult task because some of them can be eaten in the natural form while the other with a hot beverage. Our ancestors had discovered the medicinal properties of countless herbs while western medicine was at a nascent stage. Going back to our traditions and ancient systems to medicine do not only immunize our bodies against various diseases but also give a sense of comfort.  

    Shinjini Guha
    Shinjini Guha

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