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Ayurveda

7 Ayurvedic Herbs Everyone Should Know About

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 09 March 2022, Updated on - 19 September 2022

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Ayurveda is the world’s oldest school of medicine, originated in India over 3,000 years ago. The healing system focuses on the prevention and treatment of diseases through certain lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, mind, spirit, and the environment. Ayurveda also uses commonly available herbs to prevent and treat a wide variety of health conditions. The article explores some of the Ayurvedic herbs that offer health benefits backed by modern science.

7 Powerful Ayurvedic Herbs

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as winter cherry, is an adaptogen that helps relieve stress. According to research, Ashwagandha alleviates stress by reducing the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the bloodstream. Other known benefits of Ashwagandha include:

2. Turmeric  

Turmeric, also known as Haldi, is a popular Indian spice that is believed to possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies reveal curcumin, the active component of turmeric, helps in reducing the risk of arthritis, improves blood circulation, protects against heart diseases, and certain types of cancer. Research shows curcumin increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a gene that takes care of existing nerve cells (neurons) and encourages the growth of new neurons. Scientists state by increasing the BDNF levels in the brain, the herb may also reduce the risk of neurological disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Brahmi

Brahmi is known to possess strong anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to be as effective as some of the commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Various studies have shown that Brahmi is linked to improvement in cognitive function such as enhanced memory, attention, remembering, and information processing. Brahmi helps manage the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which include inattention, impulsivity, poor self-control, restlessness, stress, and anxiety.

4. Giloy

Giloy contains various important plant compounds such as terpenoids, alkaloids, lignans, and steroids.

  • Lab studies show terpenoids possess certain antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties.
  • Similarly, alkaloids offer therapeutic benefits for blood pressure, pain relief, malaria, and intestinal spasms.
  • Lignan has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can prevent the growth of viruses, fungi, and other microbes. Research shows they can also inhibit the growth of some types of cancer cells in lab tests.
  • Steroid compounds in Giloy can also have potential benefits for skin health, wound healing, and heart health.

5. Tulsi

Tulsi, also known as Holy basil, is a medicinal herb that is believed to help prevent infections, lower blood glucose levels, reduce cholesterol, relieve joint pain, and provide relief from symptoms of bronchitis and malaria. Being an adaptogen, Tulsi is known to ease stress, improve mental balance, and promote longevity.

6. Neem

Neem is a unique medicinal plant that contains over 140 active compounds. Scientific evidence suggests that these compounds give Neem its antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and wound-healing properties. The herb is used to improve hair health, boost oral and dental health, treat acne, reduce blemishes, enhance skin elasticity, and promote ulcer and wound healing.

7. Triphala

Triphala is the combination of three different herbs - Amla, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. Research shows Triphala contains powerful antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can otherwise cause organ damage. Its anti-inflammatory compounds make it beneficial for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Due to its laxative properties, it is also beneficial for people suffering from constipation, flatulence, and abdominal pain. It is believed to maintain oral and dental health by inhibiting plaque buildup, limiting inflammation in the gums, and restricting bacterial growth in the mouth.

Takeaway

Ayurveda includes the use of certain herbs that help create a balance between mind, body, spirit, and the environment. While there is limited scientific evidence to prove their efficacy, those who wish to improve their health naturally can consider taking the aforementioned ayurvedic herbs. However, people taking medications for pre-existing conditions should consult their physician to avoid the risk of adverse interactions.

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