Asparagus Racemosus (Satavari) | Kurilo (कुरिलो)

In short:

Part used – Root

Uses – The root of Satavari (Kurilo)is used in the form of juice, paste, decoction and powder to treat intrinsic haemorrhage, diarrhoea, piles, hoarseness of voice, cough, arthritis, poisoning, diseases of female genital tract, erysipelas, fever, as aphrodisiac and as rejuvinative.

Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a subtropical plant found in Asia that has, for thousands of years, been revered as one of the most diverse medicinal plants for women. Shatavari is Sanskrit for, “she who posses one hundred husbands” and in ayurvedic medicine of ancient India it is considered the most important rejuvenative plant for women.

It is said that this wild asparagus is especially effective in preserving the beauty and vitality (ojas) of whoever consumes it, and thus has healing qualities for both men and women. However, Shatavari is mainly used due to its rejuvenative effect on the female genitalia. The plant contains saponins, which harmonize and stimulate the body’s hormone balance, which can be a vital support during menopause.

Consumption of Shatavari stimulates milk production and nurtures the ovaries. This wonderful root is prescribed to promote milk secretion during and after pregnancy, while fostering healthy development of the breasts, and having a beneficial and strong effect on the embryo. It also helps to prepare the female genitalia for birth.

Shatavari’s adaptogenic effect also bestows the strength to deal with times of extreme stress in one’s life.

By balancing pitta and vata, shatavari nurtures interpersonal love and awakens commitment, so having a calming effect on both body and mind. This also enables one to overcome fiery emotions such as anger, jealousy and hate, and thus Shatavari is recommended for those in romantic relationships and those suffering from uneasiness.

Shatavari is known as a potent aphrodisiac for both genders, and is said to increase fertility. Additionally, this plant is known to support digestion and is often used to treat internal and external ulcers because of its anti-bacterial properties.


As rejuvinative/ Rasayana

Ghee cooked with paste and decoction of satavari and added

with sugar is used as a rejuvinative (AH.U.39.157)

As galactagogue / increases breast milk

Satavari pounded and taken with milk increases the flow of

breast-milk (10-20 gms) (YR.P.427)


Traditionally, juice pressed from the fresh root, or a tea brewed from dried roots is prescribed. For external use the powder is mixed with ghee and applied to the skin. The oil is also known to posses healing properties free of side effects when applied both internally and externally.

In preparation for birth, women in the ninth month are recommended to insert a cotton cloth soaked in the oil of asparagus racemosus. The oil functions as a lubricant, and strengthens the muscles of the genitalia as well as increasing their flexibility.

Andrographis paniculata (Bhunimba)| Ayurvedic herb Kalmegh

Andrographis paniculata  has extremely bitter taste. In Ayurveda herb it is known as Kalmegh or Kalamegha, meaning “dark cloud”. It is also known as Bhui-neem, meaning “neem of the ground”, since the plant, though being a small annual herb, has a similar strong bitter taste as that of the large Neem tree (Azadirachta indica).

In short-

Parts used – Whole plant

Uses – The whole plant of Kiratatikta is used in the form of powder and decoction to treat fever, sprue, oedema, for purifying breastmilk, intrinsic haemorrhage, vomiting.

The therapeutic value of Kalmegh is due to its mechanism of action which is perhaps by enzyme induction. The plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities. Kalmegh is also reported to possess antihepatotoxic, antibiotic, antimalarial, antihepatitic, antithrombogenic, antiinflammatory, anti-snake venom, and antipyretic properties to mention a few, besides its general use as an immunostimulant agent.

In fever

Hot infusion of kiratatikta mixed with dhanyaka(Coriandrum sativum) leaves alleviates fever immediately (40-60ml) (SB.4.32)

In Oedema

Paste of kiratatikta and sunthi (zingiber officinale) destroys chronic oedema (10-15 gms) (CS.Ci.12.42)

So Lets identify and preserve herbs as it is the beauty of Ayurveda.


Aloe Vera best medicinal herb in Ayurveda

“A leaf of Ayurveda is just like a pancreas.”

After studying a lot about Ayurveda here I found a very informative pdf file on Ayurvedic herb Aloe Vera. Please download the pdf file from the link below and find the actual importance of Aloe vera.

Scientific Papers describing the uses and powers of the Aloe Vera Plant: Especially the Cold Processed Whole Leaf Aloe Vera is truly amazing!

These Articles From Doctors, Scientists And Health Practitioners show a remarkable pattern for Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis):

Whole-Leaf Aloe Vera, Almost A Panacea

By Bruce Eric Hedendal, D.C., Ph.D.

Aloe Vera, The Whole Leaf Advantage

By Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D.

Aloe Vera Leaf Handling and Constituent Variability

By Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D.

Digestion and The Immune System and Aloe Vera MPS

By John C. Pittman, M.D.

Immune Enhancing Effects Of Aloe Vera

By John C. Pittman, M.D.

Aloe Vera In Dentistry

By James Harrison, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.

The Rediscovery Of Aloe Vera

By Alfred Garbutt, D.C.

Aloe Vera Psoriasis Treatment Protocol

By Donovan J. Anderson, M.D.

Aloe Vera Wound Care Protocol

By Donovan J. Anderson, M.D.

Fundamentals Of Aloe Vera Mucopolysaccharides

By Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D.

Internal Uses Of Aloe Vera

By Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D.

Aloe Vera and The Heart, Actions And Activities Polysaccharide, The Magic Bullet

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D.

The Conductor – Orchestra Concept Of Aloe Vera

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D.

Biological Activity Of Aloe Vera

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D.

Aloe Vera – The Cancer Solution

By Robert E. Willner, M.D., Ph.D.

Aloe Vera – A Natural Solution To Drug-Resistant Bacteria, Viruses & Fungi

By David E. Williams, M.D.

A Holistic Protocol For The Immune System

By Scott J. Gregory

Aloe Vera: Its Potential Use In Wound Healing and Disease  Control In Oral Conditions

By Timothy E. Moore, D.D.S./M.S.,P.C.

Aloe Vera Produces Anti-Inflammatory, Immune Strengthening Effects On Skin

By Steven R. Schechter, N.D.

Effect Of Orally Consumed Aloe Vera Juice On Gastrointestinal Function In Normal Humans

By Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D.

Aloe Vera Medicinal Substances, Present & Future Potentials

By Wendell D. Winters

Aloe Vera and The Human Immune System

By Lawrence Plaskett, B.A., Ph.D., C.Chem., F.R.I.C.

Aloe Vera and The Human Digestive System

By Lawrence Plaskett, B.A., Ph.D., C.Chem., F.R.I.C.

The Healing Properties Of Aloe Vera

By Lawrence Plaskett, B.A., Ph.D., C.Chem., F.R.I.C.

Aloe Vera in Alternative Medicine Practice

By Lawrence Plaskett, B.A., Ph.D., C.Chem., F.R.I.C.

Aloe Vera: Ancient Herb In New Form Delivers Proven Effects

By Keisuke Fujita, M.D., Ph.D.; Hidehiko Beppu, Ph.D.; Kaoru Kawai, Ph.D. & Kan Shinpo, Ph.D.

The External Use Of Aloes

By J. E. Crewe, M.D.


Aloe Vera In The Treatment Of Burns and Scalds

By J. E. Crewe, M.D.

Aloe Vera’s Effectiveness As An Anti-Inflammatory Agent

By Hiroko Saito

Antiarthritic Activity Of Anthraquinones Found In Aloe Vera For Podiatric Medicine

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D.; Patrick S. Agnew, B.S. & Eugene Shapiro, B.S.

Aloe Vera and Gibberellin, Anti-Inflammatory Activity In Diabetes

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D. & Nicholas P. Maro

Aloe Vera Gel In Peptic Ulcer Therapy: Preliminary Report

By Julian J. Blitz, D.O.; James W. Smith, D.O. & Jack R. Gerard, D.O.

Aloe Vera and Other Topical Antibacterial Agents In Wound Healing

By John P. Heggers, Ph.D. & Wendell Winters, Ph.D.

Wound Healing, Oral and Topical Activity Of Aloe Vera

By Robert H. Davis, Ph.D.; Mark G. Leitner, R.Ph., D.P.M.; Joseph M. Russo, D.P.M. & Megan E. Byrne, B.S.

Aloctin A, An Active Substance Of Aloe Arborescens Miller As An Immunomodulator

By Ken’ichi Imanishi

Tumor Inhibitors 114 Aloe Emodin: Antileukemic Principle Isolated From Rhamnus frangula L

By S. Morris Kupchan & Aziz Karim

Prevention Of Atheromatous Heart Disease

By O.P. Agarwal, M.D., F.I.C.A.

Download link :

Aloe vera is one of the greatest gift of nature and one of the best herbs in Ayurveda.


Ayurvedic Herb Aloe Vera (Kumari )

Aloe vera is a stem less or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam. Some of the medicinal values are described below.

n short:

Parts used – Leaf and root

Uses – The leaf and root of Kumari is used in the form of juice to treat spleen enlargement, epilepsy, penile wart, difficult micturition, inflammation in penis, abscess, jaundice, abdominal distensions, mastitis, headache and amenorrhoea.


Ghee cooked with kumari juice and decoction of madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and added with sugar is useful in epilepsy and palpitation of heart (10-15 ml) (SB.4.453)


Kumari decocted with tila (gingly oil) and sour gruel or alone ripens the abscess (10-20 gms)(VD.16.101)

Abdominal distention/One suffering from gulma should swallow the pulp of kumara (aloe vera) 5gm mixed with cow-ghee and added with fine powder of trikatu,(piper longum, piper nigrum, zingiber officinale) haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and saindhava (rock salt) (10-15 gms) (BP.Ci.32.44)


Kumari root mixed with haridra (curcuma longa) is applied as paste on breast to relieve pain (10-15 gms) (GN.6.8.23)

Ayurvedic Herb Aegle marmelos (Bilva)

Different common names  of Bilva are बेल (bel), sirphal, stone apple etc . This plant is a mid-sized, slender, aromatic, armed, gum-bearing tree growing up to 18 meters tall.

In short:

Parts used – Fruit, leaves and root

Uses – The fruit, leaves and root of Bilva is used in the form of powder, juice and decoction to treat diarrhoea, sprue, piles, oedema, jaundice, vomiting, obesity, deafness, eye diseases, paediatric diseases, fever and as a rejuvinative.

It has a great Anti diabetic value. It the study it was found to reduce blood sugar in alloxan diabetic rats.

This plant is used in different other disease as following:


1. To treat diarrhoea by taking tender fruits of bilva with honey or butter milk (10-20 gms) (CS.Ci.19.113)

2. In case of diarrhoea with blood, tender fruits of bilva mixed with liquid jaggery, honey and oil should be taken. (10-20 gms) (SS.U.40.119)

3. Decoction of bilva and amra (Mangifera indica) (seed) mixed with honey and sugar checks vomiting and diarrhoea (10-15 gms)(VM.3.30)


Intake of bilva leaves (juice) mixed with trikatu (piper longum, piper nigrum, zingiber officinale) alleviates jaundice, (20 ml)(CS.Ci.16.59)


1. Cooled decoction of bilva or guduci (Tinospora cordifolia)added with honey should be taken in case of vomiting (40-60 ml) (VM.15.15; BP.Ci.17.25)

2. Perched paddy mixed with sugar and dissolved in decoction of bilva root (bark) should administer to the child. It checks vomiting and diarrhea (40 –60ml) (BS balaroga.49)

Not only medicinal , this plant is also has great cultural  importance in marriage of some races who follow Bel Viwaha(बेल विवाह).
It is also said by the religious person that this plant(tree) symbolize the presence of lord Shiva in it.


Ayurvedic herb Adhatoda beddomei (Vasa)

In short:

Adhatoda beddomei is one of the best herbs. This herb is used to cure a lot of disease.

Family – Acanthaceae

Parts used – Root, leaves and flower

Different names – sanskrit (अडुसा adusa, aruha, अरुष arusha), Adhatoda vasica ,Nees

Uses – The root, leaves and flowers of Vasa is used in the form of juice and decoction to treat fever, intrinsic haemorrhage, cough, asthma, consumption, skin diseases, obesity, oedema, skin diseases, leucorrhoea, difficult labour, vomiting, piles, pox, retention of urine, diseases of mouth and as rejuvinative.

This shrub has a number of tradicinal medicinal uses. It has been used as an antispasmodic, bronchodilator, and mucolytic agent in asthma and other respiratory conditions. It has oxytocic properties and can be abortifacient. Some other uses are given below:

In Fever and cough- Decoction of vasa. Kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum) and guduci (tinospora cordifolia )mixed with honey alleviates fever and cough. (40-60 ml) (S.G 2.2.82)

Decoction of vasa, draksa (Vitis vinifera) and haritaki (Terminalia chebula)mixed with sugar and honey checks cough, asthma and intrinsic haemorrhage (40-60 ml) (VM.9.13; also SG2.2.80)

Dry cough-Powder of haridra (curcuma longa) cooked with vasa juice and taken with fatty layer of milk checks dry cough (10-15 ms) (SB.4.333)

Jaundice (kamala)-Juice of vasa mixed with honey should be taken. It alleviates fever, cough, wasting, jaundice, kapha and pitta (10-20 ml) (SG.2.1.8,34)

Sciatica – One should take decoction of vasa, sunthi (zingiber officinale) and aragvadha (cassia fistula) mixed with castor oil. It is useful in sciatica (40-60 ml) (BS. 587; BP.Ci.24.140)


Src:      Primary health management through Ayurveda and wikipedia

Ayurvedic Herb Acorus calamus (Vacha)

In short

Other Names – Bhutanashini, Jatil, Bajai, Gora-bach, Vasa Bach;

Family – Araceae

Part used – Rhizomes

Uses – The rhizomes of Vaca is use in the form of powder, paste

and decoction to treat diarrhoea, epilepsy, oedema, scrotal enlargement, skin diseases, headache, alopecia, wound, eye diseases, colic, piles, indigestion, acid gastritis, heart-diseases, ratpoisoning, diseases of mouth and as rejuvinative.


The uses of Acorus calamus (Vacha) in different disease are as follows:

In Diarrhoea; One suffering from diarrhoea should take water boiled with vaca and prativisa (aconitum)(60-120 ml)(CS.Ci.19.22)

In Epilepsy; a) Old ghee processed with brahmi juice (Bacopa monnieri),

vaca, kustha (sassurea lappa)and snakhapuspi (convolvulus

microphyllus) alleviates insanity, and epilepsy (10-20

ml)(CS.Ci 10.25)

b) By using vaca powder (10-15gms) with honey keeping on diet

of milk and rice overcomes epilepsy, VM.21.9)

In Headache; In suryavartta and hemicrania pressed snuff of vaca and pippali (2-5 gms) and honey is useful (SS.U 26.33; also VM 62.38)

In Acid gastritis; One should take vacha (5-10 gms) mixed with honey and jiggery (GN 2.38.25)


Please post a comment if any further use are known.

Ayurvedic herb Achyranthes aspera (Apamarga )

Apamarga is very useful herb in Ayurveda. Common names are Prickly Chaff Flower, Devil’s Horsewhip. This plant belongs to family Amaranthaceae. This plant is especially found in tropical region.

In short:

Parts used – Root, seed and leaf

Uses – The root, seed and leaf of Apamarga is used in the form of juice and powder to treat excessive hunger, piles, , calculi, wound, difficult labor, sinus, wound due to accident, eye diseases, ear diseases, diseases pertaining to head, dog-bite, , abdominal pain, jaundice, insomnia, pain in vagina.

In Piles, Apamarga, nagakesara (Mesua ferrea) , satavari (asparagusracemosus) and vasa (adhatoda vasica) decoction cures bleeding piles (40-60ml) (VD.5.8)

In Dysuria, Apamarga root powder (10-15 gms) taken with milk overcomes dysuria (VD.7.4)

In Accidental wounds, Oil cooked with Apamarga root along with water is applied locally to relieve pain caused by accidental injuries (10-15gms) (RM.26.7)

In Abdominal pain, Ghee cooked with decoction of Apamarga and paste of pippali

(Piper longum) relieves abdominal pain (10 ml) (SY.ghrta.5)

It is also used as Tooth Powder

Make powder of 100 gm Prickly flower seeds and sieve. Add 10 gm salt powder and store in a bottle. If one brushes his teeth with this powder, teeth will strengthen and also whiten. Worms in the teeth will die and decayed teeth get set right.

Aloe Vera for Cancer,AIDS in Ayurveda

Aloe Vera which is a cactus-like plant whose name means “shining bitter substance,”  is widely regarded as a master healing plant. The plant which can even be grown in vase has a lot of Ayurvedic herbal power.  In recent decades medical research has confirmed that Aloe Vera is a truly amazing plant with an incredible array of medicinal healing properties.

Aloe Vera has different uses. It is applied to wounds; aloe gel is a mild anesthetic, relieving itching, swelling, and pain. It is also antibacterial and anti fungal, increases blood flow to wounded areas and stimulates fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for wound healing. It also helps relieve burns and psoriasis. It is effective for treating inflammatory bowel disease, detoxifying the bowel, neutralizing stomach acidity, relieving constipation and healing gastric ulcers. It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar in diabetics.

Aloe can help prevent arthritis and reduce the inflammation in joints already affected by arthritis. It can also inhibit the autoimmune reaction associated with certain forms of arthritis, in which the body attacks its own tissues.

Aloe could also provide nutritional support for HIV patients as it has properties which reduce occurrences of opportunistic infections, thrush, fatigue and diarrhea. Research indicates that aloe helps stimulates the body’s immune system, particularly the T4 helper cells – white blood cells that activate the immune response to infection. An extract of mannose, one of the sugars in aloe, has been shown to inhibit HIV-1 (the virus associated with AIDS).

Aloe has been found to significantly suppress the growth of cancer cells. It has been shown to help turn on the immune system by activating macrophages (white blood cells which “swallow” antigens), causing the release of immune-activating (and anticancer) substances such as interferon, interleukins, and tumor necrosis factor. In addition, aloe seems to also promote the growth of normal (non-cancerous) cells.

It is obvious that most Ayurvedic medicines have the Aloe Vera included in ingredient, not only that beauty products also use Aloe Vera as a major portion of ingredients. So Aloe Vera is really one of the best Herbs in Ayurveda.

Types of Herbs in Ayurveda

The classification of Herbs in Ayurveda is according to their taste (rasa), their energetic effect (virya), their post-digestive effect (vipaka) and their post-digestive effect (prabhava). The initial taste (rasa) indicates the properties it possesses and the therapeutic effects it will have. Thus, a bitter, astringent taste will have a very different action on the body than a sweet, sour taste or a spicy, pungent taste.

Sweet taste is composed of earth and water and is represented in sugars and starches. It balances vata and pitta, increases ojas and promotes growth in the body. It nourishes and revitalises the body and creates contentment in the mind. It is found in almonds, dates, raisins, honey, fennel, licorice, sesame seeds, marshmallow and slippery elm.

Sour taste is composed of earth and fire and is present in fermented or acidic substances. It is heating and increases digestive power by enkindling agni, the digestive fire. It balances vata, enlivens the mind, increases strength, reduces bloating and gas and promotes salivation. Typically sour substances are lemon, lime, raspberry and alcohol.

Salty taste is composed of water and fire and is present in salty substances and alkalis. It balances vata, increases agni, acts as a sedative and laxative and promotes salivation. Salt is found in kelp, seaweed, celery, Irish moss, sea salt and rock salt.

Pungent taste is composed of fire and air and is present in most spicy, acrid or aromatic substances. It stimulates the digestion, increases appetite, acts as an expectorant, increases circulation, promotes clarity of mind, kills worms, alleviates kapha, reduces weight, clears obstructions, opens vessels and relieves blood stagnation. Pungent herbs and spices include; asafoetida, basil, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, eucalyptus, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mustard, onions, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Bitter taste is composed of air and ether and balances pitta and kapha. It is detoxifying, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It also cleanses the blood and liver, stimulates the digestive fire and scrapes away fat. It is present in bitter herbs and foods such as aloe, dandelion, echinacea, rhubarb, yarrow and yellow dock.

Astringent taste is composed of earth and air and is present in food and herbs of a constricting nature. It balances pitta and kapha, stops diarrhoea, stops bleeding, heals wounds, stops sweating and is anti-inflammatory. Astringent substances include black tea, beans, mullein, pomegranate, raspberry leaves and witch hazel.

Virya is the energy or potency of a herb or spice and can be heating or cooling. It indicates the effect the substance will have on pitta dosha. Sweet, astringent and bitter tastes are cooling whilst salt, sour and pungent are heating. Heating herbs increase pitta but reduce vata and kapha. They create sweating and increase the digestive fire. Cooling herbs reduce Pitta but increase vata and kapha. For pitta they are refreshing and help cleanse the blood as well as calm the mind.

Vipaka is the post-digestive effect the herb or spice will have on the body. Sweet and salty tastes have a sweet or moistening post-digestive effect; sour has a sour or heating post-digestive effect and pungent, astringent and bitter have a pungent or drying post-digestive effect. Sweet tastes are digested during the first (kapha) stage of digestion; in the mouth and stomach. Sour or acidic tastes are digested during the second (pitta) phase of digestion; in the stomach and small intestine. Pungent tastes are digested during the third (vata) phase of digestion; in the colon. Thus, we can determine the long-term effect a herb will have on the body. Sweet vipaka will increase kapha and reduce vata and pitta; pungent will increase vata and pitta and reduce kapha; sour will increase pitta and kapha and reduce vata

Prabhava is a term used to describe herbs and spices that have a ‘special’ potency or effect that is unique to it and does not always correspond to the rasa, virya or vipaka. Thus, a plant may be classified as ‘heating’ according to virya but is generally known to be very effective during high fever. In the west herbalists have classified herbs according to their action on the body:

Alterative: These purify the blood and balance pitta and are mostly cooling and bitter. Typical cooling alterative herbs include: aloe vera, burdock, dandelion, echinacea, manjishta, neem, red clover, sandalwood and yellow dock. Hot, pungent alteratives may also be used if there is an ama condition present. Typical herbs include: black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic and myrrh.

Anti-parasitical: These destroy worms, bacteria, fungi, yeast infections and ama and are mainly bitter or pungent. Typical herbs include: ajwan, asafoetida, cayenne, black pepper, cloves, garlic, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, thyme and wormwood.

Aphrodisiacs: These are strengthening, invigorating and rejuvenating to the reproductive system and help nourish all bodily tissues. They also increase the mental energy and improve nerve function. They include; angelica, asafoetida, ashwagandha, asparagus, cloves, fenugreek, garlic, ginseng, gokshura, hibiscus, pippali, rose, saffron, shatavari and wild yam.

Astringent: These are drying and moisture preserving and have a contracting, condensing and compacting effect on the tissues. Astringent herbs can be classified as haemostatic (stop bleeding), anti-diarrhoea and vulnerary (heal wounds). Common haemostatic herbs include: hibiscus, manjishta, marshmallow, nettle, plantain, raspberry, saffron, self-heal, turmeric and yarrow. Common anti-diarrhoea herbs include: blackberry, comfrey, plantain, raspberry and yellow dock. Others, of a more warming nature and more balancing to vata and the digestive system include: black pepper, ginger, haritaki and nutmeg and poppy seeds. Buttermilk and yoghurt may also be used. Vulnerary herbs include: aloe vera, chickweed, comfrey, honey, marshmallow, plantain, self-heal, slippery elm and turmeric. Comfrey, marshmallow, plantain, self-heal and yarrow are haemostatic, anti-diarrhoea and vulnerary.

Bitter tonic: These are cold, dry, catabolic herbs that stimulate the digestion, reduce heat and clear ama and toxins from the body; especially the blood and liver – they are usually given in relatively small quantities to people suffering from pitta related problems. Many are anti-tumorus, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitical. They include aloe vera, goldenseal, gentian, kutki and neem.

Carminative: These herbs reduce bloating and gas, promote peristalsis and settle the digestion. They work mainly on vata in the digestive tract and help to increase the digestive fire or agni. Typical herbs include: ajwan, asafoetida, basil, bay leaves, calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, thyme and turmeric. Carminative herbs with a cooling nature are less likely to produce aggravate pitta and include: chamomile, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, lime, musta, peppermint and wintergreen.

Diaphoretic: These are mostly heating herbs that increase circulation and perspiration. They are good for the initial stages of colds, fevers and flu as they eliminate toxins from the periphery of the body. They help cleanse the subtle channels and capillaries of the body including the lymphatic system, lungs, respiratory system, sinuses and plasma. Cooling diaphoretics also help cleanse the liver and blood. Heating diaphoretics include: angelica, basil, camphor, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, ginger, sage and thyme. Cooling diaphoretics include: burdock, chamomile, coriander, horsetail, peppermint and yarrow.

Diuretic: These promote urination and reduce water and toxicity in the body through increasing the action of the kidneys and urinary bladder. They are kapha or pitta reducing herbs and are bitter, astringent or pungent in taste. In regard to pitta they dispel damp heat, cool and purify the blood, reduce acidity, control diarrhoea and dysentery and help in conditions related to the liver and gall bladder. Cooling diuretic include: asparagus, barley, burdock, coriander, dandelion, fennel, gokshura, horsetail, marshmallow, plantain, punarnava and parsley. Heating diuretics include: ajwan, cinnamon, garlic, mustard and parsley.

Emmenagogues: These are pitta balancing herbs that promote the flow of blood and are indicated for problems related to the female reproductive system, especially the menstrual cycle. Cooling emmenagogues include: chamomile, hibiscus, manjishta, musta, raspberry, rose and yarrow. Heating emmenagogues are indicated when causes are more of a vata nature and include: angelica, asafoetida, cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, parsley and turmeric.

Expectorants: These promote the flow of phlegm and mucus from the lungs, nasal passages and stomach and are therefore indicated for colds, flu, cough, asthma, bronchitis and digestive complaints relating to mucus. They mainly help reduce kapha through their drying, warming nature and include herbs such as: calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, ginger, pippali and thyme.

Demulcent: These herbs are mucilaginous and alleviate dryness. They are softening, strengthening, nutritive and anti-inflammatory and help feed the mucus membranes and connective tissue to heal wounds, sores and ulcers. They can also act as moistening expectorants in cases of dry cough. Herbs include: bamboo, chickweed, comfrey root, flaxseed, licorice, marshmallow and slippery elm.

Laxative: These are used in cases of constipation and toxins in the colon as they promote bowel movement and peristalsis. Purgatives have a stronger action and are generally cold and bitter; they may cause diarrhoea and gripping and include: aloe vera powder, castor oil, rhubarb and senna. Milder laxatives are used in more general vata conditions and include: bran, flaxseed, ghee, licorice, prunes, psyllium seeds, raisins, shatavari, warm milk and yellow dock.

Nervines: These act upon the nervous system. They either stimulate or sedate the mind and have an anti-spasmodic effect on muscle tissue. They can help with menstrual cramps, headaches, muscle tremors, nerve pain, lumbago and sciatica. Heating nervines pacify vata and kapha dosha and include: asafoetida, basil, calamus, camphor, eucalyptus, garlic, guggul, myrrh, nutmeg, poppy seeds, sage and valerian. Cooling nervines help pacify pitta dosha and include: bhringaraj, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, jatamamsi, mullein, peppermint, sandalwood, St.John’s Wort and wild yam.

Stimulants: These are herbs that promote digestion by stimulating agni, the digestive fire. They are mainly heating and pungent and are the best herbs to increase appetite and digest ama or toxins. They increase energy, stimulate the senses and generally increase pitta and decrease kapha. In excess they can disturb vata. Stimulating herbs include: ajwan, asafoetida, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mustard and pippali.

Rejuvenative tonics:


Nutritive tonics

These are the types of herbs in Ayurveda.