ayurvedic medicine

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Ayurvedic Medicine

81. Sariva
Indian sarsaparilla (E), Sugandhi (H):

Sariva smells sweet and is also known as sugandhi 'the fragrant one' in Hindi. Its red colour relates to its affinity for the blood and it treats all conditions with heat or toxins in the blood; dermatological, musculoskeletal, urogenital, gynaecological.

Skin Its cooling, sweet and bitter flavours and affinity for rakta dhatu clears inflammation from the skin; used in eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, acne rosacea and acne from aggravated bhran˜jaka pitta. It 'cleans' the blood, reduces lymphatic swellings, stops itching and reduces suppuration. The root powder is used to treat STDs that are damp and hot. It is a specific for acne. Also of great benefit in burning sensations (daha) anywhere around the body. It is used as an external paste or as a cream to benefit the above skin problems. Urinary Urinary infections with dark red, cloudy, painful urination; cystitis, urethritis, kidney infections, prostatitis. It stimulates the mutravahasrotas to clear excess water without straining the kidneys. Digestion Useful herb for stimulating the appetite in pitta prakrti without aggravating any acidity. It rectifies mandagni and sluggish digestion. Used in inflammation of the mucous membranes throughout the body. Also used in hot, smelly and watery diarrhoea with excess vata drawing pitta downwards. Arthritis Its specific anti-inflammatory action is indicated when the joints are hot, red and inflamed. Also useful in acute and chronic gout. Nerves Its sweet and cooling quality nourishes sadhaka pitta and the mind. Hence its use in disturbed, angry or irritated emotions from high pitta aggravating the equilibrium of the mind. Gynaecology Traditional use for maintaining pregnancy and preventing habitual miscarriages. Also may be of benefit for menorrhagia caused by pitta overflowing from its channel in artavahasrotas (uterine system). Its nourishing effect on rasa dhatu helps to increase the quantity and quality of breast milk. Male fertility Classified as ´sukrala, a sperm-increasing herb, it is of value in fertility problems and low libido. Its saponin content is considered to have a steroidal effect that enhances the production of testosterone.
82. Sarpagandha
Rauwolfia (E), Indian snake root (E):

Sarpagandha is a strong remedy for reducing blood pressure, sedating the nervous system and inducing sleep. Sarpagandha means 'smell of the snake' and it is renowned as an antidote for poisonous snake bites.

Nerves Sarpagandha's sedative properties are legendary. It nourishes majja dhatu and reduces vata to benefit insomnia and agitation. It is also used in manic psychological disturbance as a sedating tranquilliser. It is a wonderful brain tonic going directly to manovahasrotas. Heart Its affinity for the blood takes it directly to the heart. It swiftly dilates the blood vessels, causing high blood pressure to drop and the heart rate to reduce. Use drop-by-drop doses until the blood pressure has reduced. If the dose is wrong it can cause hypotension and lead to giddiness and sleepiness. It is a symptomatic remedy that treats the high blood pressure via the nervous system and so benefits high blood pressure caused by high vata and arteriosclerosis. It should be used with a diuretic to prevent fluid retention and to support its antihypertensive effect (WHO 1999, Tillotson 2001). Pain Its analgesic properties are useful in dysmenorrhoea with a spasmodic uterus and also in colic from intestinal inflammation and spasm.
83. Senna
Senna (E):

The leaf and pod of senna are powerful laxatives. It thrives in the dry and hot conditions of Gujarat and is especially good at purging dampness and heat. Ra- ja-vr. ks.a literally means 'snake smell'.

Digestion Acute constipation from heat. It clears pitta from the small intestine. Its affinity for purisavahasrotas treats lower bowel rectal problems such as piles, anal fissure and fistula where soft stool is required (Bartram 1995, Bhavaprakas´a). Liver It can clear heat from ran˜jaka pitta and benefits skin diseases via its action on the liver.
84. Shankhapushpi
Shankhapushpi (H), Shankhahuli (H):

Shankhapushpi means 'the plant with flowers shaped like a conch'. The conch or shankha is one of Lord Shiva's sacred instruments often used in ritual worship. This is an auspicious plant. It effectively calms the nervous system.

Nerves It goes directly to majja dhatu and treats disorders of the nervous system; pain, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and convulsions. It enters the manovahasrotas and alleviates stress and promotes the integrity of the nervous system. Its descending nature draws the rising vata downwards and helps to clean all the dhatu. Digestion Slow digestion, water retention, borborygmus and constipation. It is specifically beneficial where digestion is upset by nervousness and anxiety. Its sweet and sara quality encourages the bowel to flow freely. Bleeding Its astringency is useful for stopping bleeding in the intestines, urinary and reproductive system. Reproduction Its affinity for the deeper tissues and s´ukra dhatu is used to promote fertility in men and women . Skin It has a useful alterative function on the rakta dhatu and benefits skin diseases with a nervous component.
85. Shatavari
Wild asparagus (E), Shatavar (H):

Shatavari can mean 'one hundred roots' (literally 'one hundred below') but is commonly referred to as 'the woman who has a hundred husbands'. As this name suggests it is a renowned tonic for the female reproductive system. It is also a superb anti-inflammatory.

Gynaecology Shatavari is the foremost uterine tonic. Primarily used as a menstrual regulator in dysmenorrhoea, menorrhagia and menstrual irregularity. As pitta dosa moves in both the blood and the artavasrotas, the cycle is often disturbed by excess heat. This heat can condense the blood (due to dehydration), cause it to move too quickly (due to its catalytic activity), cause it to overflow (due to its 'rebellious' nature) and cause inflammations (due to its irritating tendency). Its affinity for s´ukra dhatu tonifies female fertility; the unctuous properties increase the reproductive fluids, enhancing both conception and uterine strength. It can be used to help prevent miscarriage. Shatavari is very useful in menopausal symptoms with hot flushes, irritability, irregular memory and dryness. Lactation Its nourishing effect on rasa dhatu makes it a specific for increasing milk flow and quantity. Digestion Its unctuous, bitter and sweet qualities soothe inflammation of the mucous membranes with high pitta; colitis, Crohn's disease, dysentery with bleeding, inflammation and pain. It is specifically active against Entamoeba histolytica. For conditions of gastric hyperacidity (amlapitta) with sour reflux and burning in the stomach it is a cooling anti-inflammatory. Its demulcent properties are specifically useful for healing bleeding ulcers and gastritis . Lungs Where there is inflammation from dryness and heat shatavari increases moisture. Used in dry cough, sore throat and haemoptysis. Male fertility Whenever there is low sperm count and irregularity consider using shatavari. Urine Very useful in dysuria with hot and smelly urine with haematuria. Anabolic Shatavari's rasayana properties increase mamsa dhatu building body mass, muscle tissue and nourishing the blood. It nourishes ojas and can enhance immunity in the treatment of cancer. Nerves It nourishes majja dhatu and calms the nerves. It specifically nourishes the brain and reduces vata disorders; spasms, pain and insomnia.
86. Shilajit
Mineral pitch, vegetable asphalt, bitumen (E):

Shilajit literally means 'rock overpowering' and is a natural exudate from the rocks of the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of the world. Its high mineral content oozes out in the heat of the summer. It is a superb mineral supplement that benefits the kidneys, urinary and reproductive systems.

Urinary It goes straight to mutravahasrotas and treats disorders of the urinary system with painful urination, cystitis, stones, incontinence and glycosuria. In prostatitis shilajit can help to clear stagnation of kapha and vata. It tonifies vata and can help to redirect the flow of apana vayu through the pelvic region. Diabetes Shilajit's affinity for the fat tissue (medas-dhatu) and the water channel (ambuvahasrotas) can help balance hyperglycaemia and regulate the blood sugar levels. Its scraping effect on the fat tissues can help to balance overweight conditions where there may be a tendency to acquire type 2 diabetes. Reproduction Use in male reproductive problems with premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, impotence and spermaturia. It strengthens the whole reproductive system and is a tonic to the sex organs. It also benefits the female reproductive system where there is weakness, infertility, dysmenorrhoea and PMS arising in someone who is deficient and weak with high vata. Blood It has a specific affinity for the blood; anaemia, high sugar levels, high cholesterol levels are all treated. Bones As it builds both rakta and asthi dhatu it is used as part of a treatment strategy to heal broken bones. Its high mineral content indicates it for the treatment of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
87. Tagarah
Indian valerian (E), Tagar (H):

Tagarah is a very heavy herb containing lots of the Earth element (pr. thiv?- tattva). It sedates the nervous system and va-ta. Too much can dull the mind and be excessively sedating.

Nerves The heaviness and warmth ground the agitation caused by excessive tension, anxiety and restlessness from high vata. It is used in insomnia, panic attacks and lack of concentration. It specifically cleans the channels of toxins and tension. It can also be used in the treatment of mild depression when there are signs of mania. It is useful in helping to reduce withdrawal symptoms from addictions to cigarettes, amphetamines and benzodiazepines. Good for diseases of the head from aggravated vata; dull headaches at the back of the head with dizziness. It has a renowned traditional usage in the treatment of epilepsy and possession. Heart Its relaxing qualities treat palpitations, tightness in the chest and high blood pressure. It clears excessive vata from the thoracic region by regulating vyana and prana vayu. Digestion As a warming carminative it is useful in a formula for vis.amagni with erratic digestion, bloating and constipation. It soothes all spasms in the intestines and prevents the movement of stress from the mind to the intestines. It balances samana vayu and can help to regulate the movement of apana vayu; tagarah has a mild laxative effect in vata prakrti. It prevents intestinal fermentation that is so common in vata types. Its hot and penetrating qualities can increase digestive metabolism in kapha types. Gynaecology Its heavy and antispasmodic qualities can ease menstrual pain and cramps. Its sedative properties can calm menopausal irritability and prevent insomnia. Lungs Its warm and unctuous energetics benefit the wheezing and spasmodic coughing of asthma and bronchitis. The pungency dries and moves the kapha and the demulcent properties oppose the dryness of vata.
88. Tila
Sesame seed (E), Til (H):

Sesame is an annual plant with beautiful flowers. It grows in dry soil and it treats dry conditions; it is an antidote to the climate in which it thrives. It is excellent for high va - ta with dry mucous membranes, weak muscles, bones and reproductive system.

Digestion Its unctuous property treats dry constipation in the elderly and vata individuals. The seeds are hard to digest and can easily aggravate pitta due to their heating nature, and kapha due to their unctuous nature. Used in haemorrhoids and ulcerated surfaces of the intestines it heals rakta dhatu and purisavahasrotas to lubricate the bowel and soften the stool. Lungs As a superb demulcent (snehana) the seeds can soothe a dry, hacking cough from aggravated udana and prana vata. It helps to strengthen weak lungs by tonifying pranavahasrotas. Bones Sesame nourishes asthi dhatu and is a useful source of calcium for bones, teeth and hair. It is used to prevent osteoporosis from asthigatavata, when vata enters the bone tissue. Skin Used internally and externally for dry skin it reduces high vata. Externally it can benefit dry eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis when there is not suppuration or broken skin. The oil is also used as a gargle for swollen and bleeding gums. Rejuvenation The seeds and oil are considered to be an excellent tonic to mamsa, majja and s´ukra dhatu. They help to assist recovery after illness and for increasing strength, memory and fertility. Gynaecology The nutritive tonic action may benefit amenorrhoea and scanty periods from rasa and rakta deficiency.
89. Trivrut
Trivrut (H), Nishoth (H):

Trivrut literally means 'having three parts' possibly referring to its twisted vine. It is a useful laxative that effectively treats constipation, colic and haemorrhoids.

Digestion Its penetrating property enters purisavahasrotas and purges the bowel of all stagnant accumulations. It should be used in individuals with a mrdu kostha, a soft bowel that has become constipated. It is used in conditions with deep-seated toxins that cause inflammation and swelling such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and inflammatory bowel disease. It purges pitta and kapha from the bowel. It is very useful for haemorrhoids. Skin Trivrut drains inflammatory watery accumulations from rakta and medas-dhatu and this helps to alleviate chronic skin conditions. It is pitta s´odhana and clears pitta from the system. Obesity Its affinity for the fat tissue enkindles medas-dhatau-agni and clears cholesterol.
90. Tulsi
Holy basil (E), Tulsi (H):

As its Latin name implies it is considered a very sacred plant. It is high in sattva imparting the quality of lightness and spiritual clarity. An excellent herb for lifting the heaviness of fevers, coughs and colds.

Lungs Tulsi clears kapha and mucus from the lungs and upper respiratory tract. Its action on rasa dhatu helps treat fevers and flu by encouraging sweating and therefore bringing the temperature down. Its action on pranavahasrotas is used in asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis and other respiratory allergies. Human clinical trials have shown that tulsi can increase vital lung capacity and reduce laboured breathing. Tulsi specifically increases prana and the vital life force. Its pungency and penetrating nature clears the dampness and toxic ama that can cause chest infections and fevers. Its prabhava or special power is to be used in all fevers regardless of their cause. Digestion Its aromatic pungency helps to move vata through the intestines and calms a fermentive digestive tract. It moves apana vayu downwards. It also increases the appetite and is a good warming stimulant to the digestion. It acts on medas-dhatu-agni and can help to reduce weight as well as be used to reduce blood sugar and total cholesterol levels. Nerves Used as a mild nervine for heightening awareness and mental clarity. A tea of the leaves is also used for tension headaches from high vata and from congestion headaches from excess kapha. Heart Its affinity for rasa dhatu helps to increase circulation through the heart where there is congestion from high vata and kapha.

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