The ancient science of Ayurveda views herbs and spices as the spiritual essence—Kundalini—of plants. Plants and herbs carry in their cells the wisdom of cosmic intelligence and the healing vibrations of nature.
Since ancient times, humans and plants have had a very spiritual connection. Plants capture solar energy and convert it into nutrients that humans can digest.
Health Benefits of Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices
According to Ayurvedic herbology, herbs and spices have many benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. They can be used internally or externally (through the skin) or as aromatherapy. The health benefits of consuming Ayurvedic herbs and spices include
- Aiding weight loss
- Fighting cancer
- Detoxifying the body and purifying the blood
- Improving digestion and other bodily functions
- Helping retain glowing and youthful-looking skin
- Improving vitality
- Boosting mental health.
Here are ten herbs and spices to incorporate into your daily routine. Combine with other Ayurvedic approaches—modifying your diet, making good lifestyle choices, and maintaining activity levels—for better health and well-being.
Ajwain is a potent digestive and nerve stimulant. It functions as a weight loss herb by drawing out deep-seated toxins from the body. Ajwain also heals painful joints and addresses vata issues.
Ajwain tea may assist with weight loss. Boil one teaspoon of ajwain seeds in 16 ounces of water and consume instead of green tea.
Ashwagandha is one of the best anti-aging herbs. It enhances vitality and is crucial for people who are overworked or stressed.
Take 1/2 teaspoon cooked in milk (sweeten with one teaspoon of raw honey). Note Ayurvedic herbs can go deeper into the tissues and cells when taken with healthy fat (such as ghee, butter, or raw whole milk).
3. Brahmi—Brain Tonic
Brahmi is the best herb for the brain and nervous system. It balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain and decalcifies the pineal gland. It is tri-doshic (suitable for all three doshas) but is especially beneficial for balancing high pitta conditions.
Brahmi removes toxins and blockages from the nervous system. It helps with depression, enhances intelligence, and improves memory and concentration. It also happens to be great for hair growth!
Consume brahmi every morning to rejuvenate the body and mind. Boil brahmi leaves in water or milk and drink as tea, or make brahmi ghee. Use the ghee in cooking or as a medicated oil for hair; the nutrients will seep into the brain cells via the crown chakra.
Rich in phytonutrients, cardamom is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It neutralizes the acidity of coffee, caffeine, and mucus-forming properties in milk. Cardamom removes excess kapha from the stomach and lungs.
Cardamom oil has a positive effect on the nervous system. It can be a natural tranquilizer that helps combat stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other problems related to the nervous system.
For the best results, add some cardamom pods or powder to coffee as you are brewing it, or boil cardamom in warm milk and drink before bed.
Cumin enhances the digestive system and metabolism. In addition, it helps the body with nutrient absorption. It can also be especially beneficial for new moms as it cleanses the reproductive organs and improves milk secretion.
Use cumin while cooking to assist in the assimilation of micronutrients.
Licorice rejuvenates all systems of the body, soothes the throat, and reduces acidity. It calms the mind and nurtures the spirit.
Add licorice root to hot tea as a sweetener instead of honey or sugar. You could also boil powdered licorice root in a milk decoction and consume it before bed.
Manjistha is the best blood-purifying herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is anti-inflammatory, cleans the blood and liver, and helps clear acne. In addition, it cools and detoxifies the blood and cleanses and regulates liver and kidney functions.
Take this herb in capsule form (two capsules in the morning and two capsules at night) if you have any pitta-related skin disorders. Alternatively, you can take it with warm milk before bed. Manjistha can also be used as an external application for face packs or in case of skin diseases.
Neem is another powerful blood purifier and detoxifier. It is ideal for wound healing and curing skin diseases and damage, especially from the sun. Furthermore, neem is helpful for pitta disorders related to the skin and eyes. In addition, it works wonders for eczema and psoriasis skin flare-ups. It is also useful for joint and muscle pain.
Use neem on the skin in medicated oil.
9. Shatavari—Female Vitality
Shatavari is the best Ayurvedic root to rejuvenate women (as Ashwagandha is for men)—even translating to ‘she who possesses a thousand husbands!’
In other parlance, it refers to the hundreds of tubers collectively seen in its roots. It nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs.
Shatavari is readily available to consume in pill and powder form, or it can be taken in ghee or cooked in milk, which is the preferred form.
10. Turmeric—Blood Cleanser
Turmeric purifies the blood and the channels of the body. It improves the skin’s complexion, bringing circulation and nutrition to the skin. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and is a perfect remedy to treat acne-prone skin.
Turmeric balances all the doshas, but it balances pitta the most because of its blood-cleansing and liver-cleansing properties.
Ideally, consume one teaspoon of turmeric daily, whether in capsule form or applied on the skin or as a part of your diet. Boil some turmeric in goat milk with honey and consume before bed. You will notice your health improves in many areas if you consume turmeric regularly.