Ayurvedic herbs or Ayurvedic medicine (commonly known as Ayurveda) is one of the oldest systems of Ayurvedic treatment in the world. Ayurveda is a type of complementary and alternative medicine, the origin of which is linked to ancient Indian medicines or herbs 5000 years ago. (source).

According to The National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), Ayurveda is a natural whole-body approach to physical and mental health.

There are plenty of benefits of these herbs, including treatment of the digestive system, erectile dysfunction or sexual problems, diabetes, mental health, and many others. The best part is that most of these are commonly available at your home in your kitchen pantry or cabinets.

These can be in the form of spices or other ingredients that you use in cooking. And, it becomes a win-win situation when you find these herbal remedies straight in your kitchen cabinets at the time of need. 

Here are the top 7 ayurvedic treatment herbs:

  1. Turmeric

  2. Ashwagandha

  3. Cinnamon

  4. Cardamom

  5. Holy Basil

  6. Neem

  7. Saffron

 

1. Turmeric as Ayurvedic Treatment

Turmeric (Haldi in Urdu/Hindi language) is the main spice that has been widely used in Asian countries in different cuisines for color and taste, apart from being one of the widely used Ayurvedic medicine.

Here are the benefits of Turmeric in ayurvedic medicine: 

  • Liver tonic

  • Osteoarthritis and associated pain

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)

  • Wound healing

  • Antiseptic

  • Antibacterial

  • Acne & other skin problems

  • Alzheimer disease

  • Piles or hemorrhoids

It is used in liver tonic which stimulates metabolism and improves liver function.

Because of its anti-inflammatory support and anti-oxidant properties, it is used in rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis and helps relieve the associated pain.

Turmeric helps in reducing the chance of developing type 2 diabetes in patients with pre-diabetes. (source)

Turmeric has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Because of this it heals wounds and prevents further infection.

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It is also effective in skin problems and has been used for the treatment and prevention of acne. Turmeric also prevents hyperpigmentation because it contains curcumin hence can treat dark spots. It is used with several other ingredients for skin health and flawless beauty.

Turmeric is the natural nerve tonic. This means it may help patients with Alzheimer’s disease and improve the memory issues associated with this disease.

Turmeric is the medicine for piles in Ayurveda because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In hemorrhoids or piles, usually, veins around the anus get inflamed.  Turmeric can be used with petroleum jelly or Aloe Vera and applied to the affected area, which helps treat the condition of piles.  

 

2. Ashwagandha as Ayurvedic Treatment

Ashwagandha is one of the oldest known Ayurvedic herbs in the world. Its history is even far beyond the Ayurveda, which dates back to 6000 years.

It is also known as an Indian ginseng and winter cherry, apart from Ashwagandha which is an Ayurvedic name or herbal name.

Its root is the main component, which possesses many health benefits. Other parts are also used such as leaves and fruits for many other health problems.

The roots of Ashwagandha are known to have powerful benefits for the human body.

Here are some of the benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • Nerve tonic

  • Depression & anxiety

  • Immunity booster

  • Increases libido

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Premature ejaculation

  • Male Infertility (increase sperm count)

  • Sleep tonic

  • Calcium deficiency

It has been used for thousands of years ago as a nerve tonic. This means it boosts the functioning of the brain and improves your memory, reduces your stress level and anxiety, and improves your concentration.

It strengthens the immune system because of its immunomodulatory effects. It may be very helpful in gaining immunity after chemotherapy.

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Ashwagandha is famous for its use in sexual health and considered as the best ayurvedic medicine for erectile dysfunction. It is an aphrodisiac in nature, so it helps patients with low libido. Ashwagandha can medicine for premature ejaculation in Ayurveda if used along with other herbs such as Bala and Vidari and mix them in cow milk.

Fertility is another growing issue, specifically in men. In one study, Ashwagandha has shown dramatic results with a 167% increase in sperm counts of patients with less than <20 million/mL semen.

Ashwagandha sleep tonic is another remedy for people with insomnia (inability to sleep). People at times use Ashwagandha in “Moon Milk” to gain more benefits from this luscious recipe.

Ashwagandha may be a medicine for calcium deficiency in Ayurveda. Some studies in animals suggest the formation of healthy bones; however, there is a need for more scientific testing for human benefits.

 

3. Cinnamon or Dalchini as Ayurvedic Treatment

Cinnamon is one of the Ayurvedic herbs, which you can easily find in your kitchen pantry. It is also known as Dalchini (Urdu/Hindi language). The scientific name of cinnamon is Cinnamomum Verum.

It is widely used worldwide as an aromatic condiment and flavoring agent in many recipes.

From a health point of view, here are the benefits of cinnamon powder:

  • Regulate blood sugar levels

  • Fights free radicles

  • Treats acne

  • Glowing skin

  • Good for hair growth

  • Sexual health (aphrodisiac)

  • Opens clogged arteries

  • Period pains

  • Menstrual bleeding

It helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Using a small quantity of cinnamon powder daily can significantly improve your diabetic condition.

Because it contains antioxidants, it helps fight your body from any kind of internal damage from free radicles.

It improves your overall skin and can treat acne. Are you losing glow on your skin? Cinnamon powder can be used as a face mask when mixed with rose water. This gives your skin a beautiful glow.

It improves blood circulation, so it is used to increase the growth of your hair. As it has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, it prevents your scalp from developing dandruff. It can be used with any hair oil for its benefits to the scalp.

Cinnamon is a natural aphrodisiac and enhances sexual health. This is because it contains manganese. A small amount of cinnamon oil is enough for sexual stimulation (source).

High cholesterol is a leading cause of clogged arteries. Using cinnamon in recommended quantities or doses can prevent your arteries from depositing bad cholesterol. This way it is very helpful in keeping your heart healthy.

Cinnamon or Dalchini powder is known to prevent from bleeding disorders during periods. Cinnamon tea may help regulate your periods and reduces cramps and associated pain.

Related: Heart Health – Top 5 Habits that are Bad for Your Heart

 

4. Cardamom (Elaichi in Urdu/Hindi) as Ayurvedic Treatment

Cardamom is known as the “the queen of all spices” because of its wide use in cooking and its extraordinary taste with a distinctly strong aroma.

People use it in different curries, flavored drinks, tea, and bakery items. Pakistan, India, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are the countries where people mostly use Ayurvedic herbs, most importantly Cardamom. 

Here are the benefits of cardamom as an ayurvedic herbal remedy:

  • Supports digestion

  • Flatulence (gas problem)

  • Prevents aging process

  • Antihypertensive

  • Diuretic (promotes urination)

  • Reduces stress

  • Treats cold & flu

  • Asthma

  • Breathing problems

It supports digestion because it can induce specific digestive enzymes that help in indigestion and flatulence (gas). It is also a very useful remedy for nausea and morning sickness.

Cardamom has antioxidant activity, which means it prevents the development of free radicles in the body; as a result, it may protect you from the aging process.

Because of the presence of antioxidants, cardamom may be helpful in high blood pressure and has shown effective results as antihypertensive Ayurvedic medicine, study suggests. Cardamom promotes urination, which also indicates its effectiveness in managing blood pressure.

The presence of vitamin C and thiamine suggests that cardamom reduces stress. Due to the antioxidant properties, it prevents brain cell damage by free radicles. It is a good mood stabilizer as well.

Cardamom is effective in patients with asthma, cold & flu, or certain respiratory conditions in which one can develop breathing problems.

Because of its warm nature, cardamom relieves these conditions by increasing the blood supply to the lungs. As a result, it aids in patients with breathing difficulty.

 

5. Holy Basil (Tulsi) as Ayurvedic Treatment

With thousands of years of history, Holy Basil or Tulsi is one of the incredible Ayurvedic herbs, as well as the powerful adaptogen. Because of its adaptogenic activity, it restores the immune system and body’s response to stress by modulation of stress hormones.

Tulsi’s adaptogenic nature brings it on the first line of Ayurvedic treatment, which enables it to help in curing many underlying hormonal problems and other illnesses in the human body.  Because of this holistic lifestyle approach, Tulsi has many health benefits.

 

Here are the benefits of Holy Basil or Tulsi, as one of the ayurvedic herbal remedies:

  • Relieves the stress of all types

  • Lowers blood sugar

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antifungal

  • Antibacterial

  • Treats acne

  • Hair growth

  • Cold & Flu

  • Arthritis

  • Migraine headaches

  • Sinus headaches

Stress is the most common form of the condition that everyone in the world encounters in their life at least once. Holy basil or Tulsi manages almost all kinds of stress with its adaptogenic properties.

One study shows that whether it is mental, physical, chemical, or metabolic stress, Tulsi shows promising results to manage all types of stress and anxiety.

It may be effective in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus. According to one study on leaves of Holy basil, which was conducted on albino rats, there was a 17.6% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels. Whereas there was a 7.3% reduction in random or postprandial (after meal) blood glucose level.

Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties of Holy basil make it a perfect treatment for skin problems, such as acne and other skin related infections.

The presence of antioxidants and vitamin K in Tulsi shows its effectiveness in maintaining good hair health as it prevents hair loss.

It supports the respiratory system and protects and treats cold & flu, expels phlegm out, eases breathing, and removes bad breath. Tulsi may treat allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Holy basil is effective in arthritis. Eugenol in leaves of Holy basil reduces the inflammatory condition and joint pains associated with arthritis.

Tulsi is also very helpful in relieving headaches or migraine-associated headaches. Taking steam of Holy basil leaves or pouring a few drops of Tulsi essential oil helps in relieving headaches.

The same applies to the tea that you can make by adding Holy basil leaves and honey. This is very effective in treating headaches related to sinus problems.

 

6. Neem (Azadirachta indica) as Ayurvedic Treatment

Neem, also known as Indian Neem, Persian Lilac, is one of the historical trees. For centuries people are using Neem in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of several health conditions, particularly for skin conditions.

Particularly people used Neem for the treatment of chickenpox and also as antiseptic. It has several uses as ayurvedic herbal remedies.

Here are the top benefits of Neem:

  • Acne

  • Eczema

  • Urticaria

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antibacterial

  • Blood purifier

  • Mouth ulcers

  • Stomach ulcers

  • Wormicidal

  • Insect repellent

  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

  • Wound healing

  • Antidandruff

  • Promotes hair growth

  • Antifungal

It supports the skin by treating acne, eczema, urticaria, and other skin conditions or diseases. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of Neem make it a favorable choice for the treatment of skin problems, internally and externally.

Neem fruit syrup (also known as Nimboli syrup) is effective in treating underlying skin conditions and is helpful in the purification of blood.

As a result, it removes toxic substances from the blood which leads to glowing and spotless skin. So we can say that Neem is the blood purifier in Ayurveda.

Neem is quite effective in maintaining oral hygiene and treatment of gastrointestinal problems (problems related to the digestive tract or stomach).

It is effective against oral and stomach ulcers. Treat boils in the mouth. It is also a great dewormer (kills worms in the intestine).

It is an effective insect repellent, particularly its leaves are burnt to repel mosquitos through the smoke. 

Neem is also effective in lowering blood sugar levels.

A study using Neem bark extract suggests that Neem is effective against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections.

Its antiseptic properties heal the wound and damaged tissues quickly. In the past eras, people have used Neem paste and applied over wounds for quick recovery.

For almost all types of hair problems, Neem is very effective. Antifungal and antibacterial properties of Neem keep your hair free from dandruff, itchy scalp, split ends, and grey hair.

Hair growth is another issue among all females and Neem formulations in different forms such as oil and pastes are as effective as other expensive preparations in the market.

 

7. Saffron (Zafran/Kesar) – Crocus sativus L as Ayurvedic Treatment

Saffron is one of the most luxurious and expensive Ayurvedic herbal remedies and spice because of its delicate structure and complex harvesting, which requires more labor.

Well, we know Saffron is very popular in culinary as a spice as well as coloring and flavoring agents.

On the other hand, Saffron has many health benefits because of which it is considered as one of the best when it comes to ayurvedic treatment.

Here are the health benefits of Saffron:

  • Anti-cancer

  • Anti-tumor

  • Promotes brain health

  • Mood stabilizer

  • Immunity booster

  • Weight loss

  • Good for skin health

  • Male infertility

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • PMS (Premenstrual syndrome)

Saffron possesses anti-cancer & anti-tumor activities because of the presence of crocin, crocetin, and safranal, which are the most important components to prevent cancer and tumors, study suggests.

Brain health is very important when it comes to depression and anxiety and Saffron deals this well. Saffron contains several chemicals that increase the production of serotonin (a chemical that is responsible for the happy mood), particularly B vitamins and carotenoids.

It boosts your immunity because of the presence of several potent antioxidants, such as xanthin, alpha- and beta-carotenes. These improve the immune system and enable a person to fight against cell-damaging diseases, such as cancer.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Sugar is Bad for You – May lead to cancer

Surprisingly, weight loss is one of the key benefits of Saffron and is popular among females as they are more concerned about losing weight. In this case, we have a piece of good news that different studies (study 1, study 2) suggest chemicals in Saffron lead to reduce the hunger or appetite, which leads to effective weight loss management.

Skin health improves with the use of Saffron as it has antioxidant and antifungal properties. It helps you gain a lightening skin tone and improves skin texture. Whereas, drinking Saffron milk can help you achieve your desired beauty and eliminates all your skin related problems.

Saffron in Male & Female Infertility Issues

Saffron plays a great role in improving several sexual health issues. It is one of the best ayurvedic medicine for erectile dysfunction. Especially it is very helpful in Prozac-induced sexual dysfunction.

Male infertility is the major issue among men around the globe and one of the reasons which contribute to this is stress or oxidative stress.

A study on semen analysis of infertile males showed that because Saffron contains antioxidants, it has improved the morphology of sperms. However, it does not contribute to the sperm counts.

On the other hand, another review & meta-analysis study conducted and found that Saffron is effective in sexual dysfunctions, such as erectile dysfunction. 

PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome may be treated with Saffron as stated in the study which showed efficacy in cycles 3 and 4. Drinking saffron tea can also help you with menstrual issues.

In Conclusion

Well, ayurvedic herbs have a long history of use in medicine and healthcare for the cure of minor to major illnesses. Most of the Ayurvedic herbal medicines have their origins in India – with a wide range of health benefits – including skin, hair, brain, immune system, sexual dysfunctions, fertility issues, and many others. Science proves these benefits at many points and time with evidence. Several studies also have shown the efficacy of these herbs, some of which we have mentioned above. However, at many points studies need more evidence to prove the efficacy of many herbs for the application in human populations.

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