Below are a few of the often used herbs and spices.
Ginger (known as 'Ardraka' in sanskrit). Ginger root when used externally in a paste can be beneficial for boils or useful when applied to an aching back. . Can also be used n powder form and mixed into a paste with a little salt to help toothache. Ginger is a popular ingredient in herbal teas. Its soothing taste and qualities are very beneficial for balancing all three doshas. Those with a pitta constitution need to consume less during pitta season (beginning of May until the end of September). Ginger is often used to assist nausea and motion sickness. Quite often pregnant ladies are recommended to sip ginger tea or nibble ginger biscuits.
Ginger is widely used in Ayurveda and to eat a piece of ginger before lunch and dinner stokes the digestive fire, whets the appetite and improves assimilation. It also helps nutrients reach the tissues more easily.
Ginger is an excellent spice to add to cooking and baking. Try making a simple ginger tea yourself and start reaping the benefits. You can do this by peeling and chopping a couple of inches of ginger and adding 3 cups of water and bringing to the boil for 30 minutes. Sieve and enjoy. You can play around with quantities to make a tea that suits your taste. Kapha tea contains ginger and is a wonderful tea to try.
In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means 'smell of a horse'. A short shrub traditionally cultivated in many of the drier regions of India, northern Africa and the Middle East. It has the botanical name of Withania Somnifera and commonly known as aswagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry. It is related to the tomato family.
Ashwagandha is considered vital in Ayurveda and is a rasayana (rejuvenation). It is very useful for assisting those with sleeping difficulties without having a sedative effect. It is also used to enhance sexual potency in both men and women. It supports a healthy immune system and helping to sustain energy levels, strength and vitality. Ashwagandha is used in many herbal supplements and often in conjunction with other potent herbs.
Products containing Ashwagandha include:-
Liquorice/Ashwagandha/Madder formula 90125
Ashwagandha/Caper formula 90209
Ashwagandha/Chaste tree formula 90151
- Liquorice - Yastimadhu
Liquorice - Yastimadhu
Known as 'Yastimadhu' in sanskrit. Yasti means 'woody root' and madhu means sweet. Liquorice is a sweet tasting extract harvested from the root of the low growing shrub called Glycyrrhiza glabra. Its flavour is about 50 times as sweet as cane sugar. It's commonly thought that liquorice is only available as a sweet. Liquorice 'sweets' are often flavoured with anise and contain no actual liquorice from the plant at all.
The compound glycyrrhizin (glycyrrizic acid), found in liquorice has been used since ancient times in Ayurveda to treat a whole range of problems and imbalances. Liquorice is considered to be an expectorant, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and soothing to mucous membranes.
Used regularly in Ayurveda to treat respiratory and throat problems, it acts to calm excess phlegm production and cleanse impurities. It can be beneficial easing coughs. There are numerous pharmacological and clinical reports to support the effects of glycyrrhizic acid as an expectorant and cough suppressant.
Liquorice is also useful for helping to lower stomach acid levels, relieve heartburn, reduce indigestion and act as a mild laxative. Liquorice also seems to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon (proteins made and released in response to the presence of bacteria or viruses). It is high in anti-oxidants as well as phytoestrogens, making liquorice very beneficial during menopause and potentially helpful at easing PMS symptoms.
Yastimadhu (liquorice) is considered to be one of the best herbal medicines to help the male reproductive system, it is used in the Ayurvedic treatment of male sexual disfunction, were the root of glycyrrhiza glabra is used to improve sperm count and semen quality.
Rose - Sanskrit name, Satapatrika/Satapatri
With over 100 species and many different colours,roses are associated with romance and beauty.The earliest cultivation of roses was from at least 500 BC in Mediterranean countries. Many roses are grown for their ornamental value as well as their beautiful scent and given traditionally as a romantic gesture. According to Ayurvedic texts rose balances Sadhaka Pitta,the subdosha that governs emotions and their effect on the heart.It enhances the coordination between Sadhaka Pitta and Prana Vata.
There are many uses for rose - the petals can be used to make a fragrance or a water to use on the skin or to drink.Rose is very beneficial when used as an aromatherapy oil.Frequently rose is added to herbal preparations and this in combination with other ingredients contributes to creating a valuable supplement.Useful when applied to the skin in the form of creams or a poultice to assist in creating radiance.
Rose is cooling yet enhances agni,the digestive fire,making it excellent in helping to balance all three doshas.
Below are some of the products available to purchase from Living Ayurveda that contain rose;
Sanskrit - amalika Commonly known as Indian gooseberry This fruit bearing plant has been used for thousands of years and is considered to be one of the most potent herbs.The fruit ripens in Autumn and are small and sour tasting.The whole plant (root,stem,flower,fruit) are used in Ayurveda.
The Charaka Samhita describes amalika as 'the best amongst the rejuvenating herbs'. Amlaberry is unique in the fact that it contains five out of the six tastes (sour,astringent,sweet,bitter, pungent,salty) recognised by Ayurveda,therefore making it excellent at balancing all three doshas (vata,pitta,kapha).
*Amalika is supportive of liver function by helping elimination of toxins.More efficient liver function and less toxins leaves skin healthier and naturally more radiant.
*Containing high levels of vitamin C helping to enhance immunity and offer protection from free radicals.The content of vitamin C also helps with iron absorption.Can be taken without fear of causing excess stomach acid.
*Taken regularly amlaberry helps strengthen the hair follicles helping to create stronger,thicker hair,reduces premature greying and thinning. *The properties of amlaberry enhance protein synthesis making it extremely beneficial to those trying to strengthen muscles and increase lean muscle mass.Amlaberry is a useful supplement for athletes wanting to assist themselves in a natural way,as well as gaining other health benefits.
*Very supportive of the health of the urinary system. Amlaberry does not overstimulate,but supports natural diuretic action,making it beneficial for those who may be prone to urinary tract infections.
*The reproductive tissues can get great regenerative support,especially nurturing for women by strengthening the uterus.
The herb is also nurturing for the ovaries and sperm and has a property called 'garbhasthapana',meaning it enhances fertility and the possibility of conception. Amlaberry is considered a 'vrishya' herb, which means it enhances all the seven tissues (dhatus) of the body. Overall amlaberry is a wonderfully beneficial herb that can enhance so many aspects of oneself. Considered a 'rasayana' in Ayurveda.
- Country Mallow
Country mallow - Sida cordifolia
Country mallow is a perennial plant with heart shaped leaves.Native to India and sometimes called 'flannel weed' due to a layer soft hair that covers the plant. With a Sanskrit name of Bala,meaning giving strength. Used in Ayurveda to support the nervous,circulatory,urinary and reproductive systems.Very beneficial for menopause support.Helpful for headache,aching joints and bones.Balancing for all three doshas.
The entire plant including the leaves,stems,roots and seeds are used and are of good medicinal value.
The seeds of the plants are thought to be a good aphrodisiac and are useful for a variety of diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.The roots of the herb are used to treat urinary disorders and disorders of the blood and bile.Juice from the root of country mallow is often combined with other plants for assisting the healing of wounds. Dhanwantri Tailam is an Ayurvedic herbal oil that uses country mallow in conjunction with other herbs to treat general weakness,reproductive diseases,neuralgia and diseases pertaining to vata dosha.
The leaves are useful as a cooling medicine when suffering a fever. Overall country mallow is useful,effective and available as an ingredient in many products available to purchase via Living Ayurveda.
Products containing Sida cordifolia (country mallow);
Peace of mind tea 30036
Amla/Indian Asparagus complex 91832
Cowage/Indian Asparagus complex 91759
Vata massage oil 11841
Organic vata massage oil 11913
Sports massage oil 91201
Vata body lotion 11175
Vital man tablets 90924
Ayurvedic balm 90728
MAK Nectar paste 10004
Nectar suger free tablets 10007
Joint soothe tablets 93572
- Coconut Oil
This pure organic virgin coconut oil is ideal for cooking, sports nutrition, health and beauty.
Apart from Coconut oil and ghee, most other oils oxidise when heated and are not ideal for cooking. Cooking with coconut oil adds a delicious flavour to meals. The diet in many south pacific islands is high in coconut and the people there have a reputation for excellent cardiovascular health. Arterial health is also supported by coconut oil. For Pitta constitutions coconut oil is good for massaging. It is also good for preventing dandruff by nourishing damaged hair. This also makes it a good conditioner and aids sound sleep. When massaged onto body and face, coconut oil delays wrinkles and sagging skin.
Coconut oil has many uses including:
- It is heat stable unlike many olive oil, so good for cooking
- Baking, frying, roasting
- As a natural health and beauty product
- A teaspoon in tea or in porridge is a great cleaner of the system.
- Oil Pulling - read more
Here are some of the many benefits of coconut oil.
- Based on medium chain fatty acids that are easy to digest which is easy for the liver, compared to long chain fatty acids found in meat and cheese.
- High in anti-oxidants - help reduce stress in our bodies
- High in fibre - good for bowl movements
- High in natural enzymes that break down our food
- Contains saturated fats that raise the good cholesterol called HDL, while changing the not good, LDL cholesterol to a benign type
- Promotes the absorption of other nutrients
- Contains Lauric Acid that is Anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal