Ayurvedic Herbs: Part 2

Posted by: on Dec 21, 2013 | No Comments
Ayurvedic Herbs: Part 2
image (c) PhotoSGH

Today I wanted to expand on last week’s columns about Ayurvedic herbs.  Herbal tonics are such a great simple way to address specific conditions. (Please note that if you are pregnant, you should definitely check with your doctor before taking any of these formulas!) According to Dr. Vasant Lad, none of these herbs are contraindicated for anyone on an allopathic medical regimen (i.e., western medication), but if you have any questions, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist before sipping these elixirs.

Requisite warnings and disclaimers aside, let’s start mixing up some tonics! Here are my recipes for the following ailments:

1. For a sluggish thyroid (hypothyroid), try Kutki, chitrak and triphala guggulu, 1/2 tsp. of each in warm water, twice a day.

2. For a too speedy thyroid or hyperthyroid, try kaisher guggulu, 1/2 tsp. in warm water, twice a day.

3. For insomnia, simmer 1/4 ounce of poppy seeds in a pint (two cups) of water with one tsp. each nutmeg and ginger powder, and drink before bed.

4. For general rejuvenation, hormone balancing, and healing, Ashwaganda is one of the most revered herbs in Ayurveda. It’s name means “smell of the horse!” No worries, though, it won’t give you that particular blessing. (Although if your sweat has been a bit pungent lately, no fear, it’s a Pitta imbalance, just dab some sandalwood powder around your body after your shower.) Ashwaganda can be taken as a tonic, or put a half tsp. in some ghee and make a soft pill.

5. For indigestion, abdominal distention and/or gas, add a pinch of Asafoetida, or hing, to your food while it’s cooking – especially if you are cooking beans! It strengthens agni and subdues Vata. Be warned, though, it has a VERY strong smell. I have grown to like it, but it’s intense. Get the powder and keep it in a ziploc if it’s too much. You only need to add a pinch.


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