Here is a list of Ancient Indian herbs that are powerful and effective for the treatment of many modern day ailments including diabetes, stress and weight gain.
Arjuna ~ For Cardiovascular Ailments
Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna) is used for treating cardiovascular ailments. It has a host of other therapeutic benefits including treating hypertension, kidney stones and asthama.
Functions of Arjuna:
Cardio-protective: The extract of Arjuna bark exerts a positive inotropic and hypotensive effect, increases the coronary artery flow and protects the myocardium against ischemic damage.
Antioxidant: Arjuna contains several substances that have a very strong antioxidant benefit.
Antihypertensive: Arjuna bark also has mild diuretic properties, reduces clot formation, enhances prostaglandin E(2) levels and lowers blood lipid levels which contribute towards the management of hypertension. (Source)
Ashwagandha ~ To Boost Immunity and Reduce Stress
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is used for relieving insomnia, stress induced depression, inducing memory, boosting immune system and overall wellness.
Functions of Ashwagandha:
Adaptogenic and antistress: Ashvagandha is an unique herb with antistress and adaptogenic action that improves physical and mental fitness and helps with daily stress management. It increases physiological endurance andinhibits chronic stress-related physiological abnormalities.
Antioxidant: It is a powerful antioxidant which scavenges free radicals in cells that are responsible for premature aging.
Anti-inflammatory: Ashvagandha has proven anti-inflammatory properties which help in the management of inflammatory joint disorders. (Source)
Shallaki ~ For All Your Pains
Shallaki (Boswellia/Indian Frankincense/Boswellia serrata) is mentioned as a pain remedy in ancient Sanskrit texts dating back thousands of years. The herb is recommended in treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, joint pain, skeletal muscle pain and back pain.
Functions of Shallaki
Arthritis: The extract of the gum resin in Shallaki is effective in reducing joint swelling, pain, stiffness and other symptoms of inflammatory joint disorders including rheumatoid arthiritis and osteoarthritis. Shallaki decreases knee pain and increases knee flexion.
Joint care: Shallaki improves the blood supply to the joints and restores the integrity of blood vessels destroyed by spasms. Degradation of glycosaminoglycans, which leads to articular damage and cartilage breakdown, is a common condition in patients on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Shallaki significantly reduces the degradation of glycosaminoglycans and protects the joints.
Respiratory disorders: Studies have demonstrated that Shallaki extract inhibits the pro-inflammatory mediators that cause bronchoconstriction and improves blood supply by increasing vascular permeability. Clinical studies with asthmatics have shown that Shallaki significantly reduces symptoms of asthma and improves objective measures of lung and immune function. (Source)
Meshashringi ~ Best Herb for a Diabetic
The key component of Meshashringi (Gymnema/Gymnema sylvestre) leaves is gymnemic acid, which decreases the effect of sucrose when chewed, thus reducing the craving for sweet foods. The name Meshashringi means ‘sugar destroyer’ in Hindi, and it has been used in India since the sixth century BC to support normal blood sugar levels in the body.
Functions of Meshashingri:
Diabetes: The principle constituent of Meshashringi is gymnemic acid, which has antidiabetic properties. It reduces excessive blood sugar. It also has a regenerative effect on pancreatic beta cells and is insulinotropic, which means that it stimulates the production and activity of insulin. Meshashringi helps decrease sugar cravings. It temporarily abolishes the taste for sugar and helps neutralize the excessive sugar present in the body in diabetes mellitus. Meshashringi increases the activity of enzymes responsible for glucose absorption and utilization.
Weight loss: Obesity is the result of a faulty metabolism, which leads to excess accumulation of fat. Gymnemic acid prevents the binding of carbohydrates to the intestine receptors so that the glucose absorption by the intestines is inhibited and ‘empty calories’ are not stored. (Source)
Trikatu ~ To Take care of Your Gastrointestinal Health
Trikatu (Indian Long Pepper, Black Pepper and Ginger/Piper longum, Piper nigrum and Zingiber officinale) is a polyherbal compound that provides a natural and safe support system for gaseous distension associated with impaired gastric function.
Functions of Trikatu
Gastrointestinal health: Trikatu contains three herbs that are beneficial for digestive ailments. The piperine in Long Pepper and Black Pepper helps digest fatty foods, and break down proteins. Black Pepper also reduces abdominal spasms and increases the absorption of nutrients. Ginger reduces the symptoms of functional dyspepsia such as abdominal pain and discomfort.
Hadjod ~ To Protect Your Bones
Hadjod (Winged Treebine/Cissus quadrangularis) is translated as ‘(the one) that unites broken bones’ in Hindi, while its Sanskrit name, asthisamharaka, literally means ‘protecting bones from destruction’.
Functions Of Hadjod:
Accelerates fracture healing: Hadjod ensures early ossification (bone formation) and fortifies bone tensile strength, which accelerate fracture healing.
Increases bone mineral density: Hadjod increases bone mineral density by stimulating bone metabolism and increasing the uptake of minerals calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, and strontium by osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). The action is also helpful in preventing osteoporosis-related fractures.
Relieves pain and inflammation: It relieves pain and inflammation associated with fractures. (Source)
Brahmi ~ For Memory Enhancement
Used in Ayurveda for centuries, Brahmi (Bacopa/Bacopa monnieri) supports normal mental function, intellect, consciousness and spirit.
Functions of Brahmi:
Anxiolytic: Brahmi relieves nervous irritation or agitation. It is used traditionally for treating psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety.
Memory enhancement: Brahmi has a significant positive effect on the retention of new information. It can elevate the level of cerebral glutamic acid and temporarily increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) level in the brain. It is believed that the endogenous increase in brain glutamine may be helpful in the learning process.
Cognitive improvement: Brahmi significantly improves the speed of visual information processing, learning rate and memory consolidation, thus enhancing learning ability. It increases superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels, catalase (CAT) levels, and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities in the brain, which improves cognitive performance. (Source)
Manjishtha ~ For Skin Disorders & UT Infection
Manjishtha (Indian Madder/Rubia cordifolia) is helpful in skin conditions like uneven pigmentation and eczema.
Functions of Manjishtha:
Gastrointestinal: Manjishtha is beneficial in gastrointestinal ailments like loss of appetite, dyspepsia and worm infestations.
Skin disorders: The herb is an effective blood detoxifier that helps in the management of skin disorders such as skin hyperpigmentation, eczema, acne, scabies and skin allergies. Studies have shown that Manjishtha extract reduces hyperproliferation of epidermal skin cells and modulates the aberrant keratinocyte-differentiating activity commonly seen in psoriasis.
Anti-inflammatory: Manjishtha extract reduces inflammation and has analgesic properties which help in treating joint inflammation.
Urinary tract infections: Recurrent urinary tract infections can be healed by the diuretic and antibacterial properties of Manjishtha. (Source)
Shatavari ~ For Complete Woman’s Health
In Sanskrit, Shatavari (Asparagus/Asparagus racemosus) means ‘she who possesses a hundred husbands,’ implying its ability to help support fertility and vitality. It regulates hormonal secretion and acts as a galactogogue in nursing women.
Functions of Shatavari:
Women’s health: Shatavari can restore hormonal balance in women who have fluctuating hormonal levels due to menstruation and menopause, thus alleviating pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms. It is also popular as a herb that enhances fertility and regulates the menstrual cycle. With an estrogenic effect on the female mammary glands and reproductive system, Shatavari boosts postpartum health and enhances the production of breast milk in lactating mothers.
Gastrointestinal health: The herb heals conditions such as heartburn and colitis. It has anti-ulcerogenic and gastroprotective properties. Shatavari is reported to have a significant effect in the management of gastrointestinal microbial infections caused by E.coli, Shigella and V. cholera.
Diuretic: Shatavari is a potent diuretic and is helpful in flushing out toxins through urine. (Source)
Vasaka ~ For TB, and Respiratory Issues
Vasaka (Malabar Nut Tree/Adhatoda zeylanica) is well known in Ayurveda for its beneficial effects in respiratory ailments, particularly as an expectorant in bronchitis. The leaves, flowers, fruits and roots are used extensively for treating cold, cough, whooping-cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
Respiratory care: Vasaka exhibits anti-inflammatory, antitussive and bronchodilatory action which eases congestion and coughing by helping loosen and thin mucus in airways. Vasaka relieves dyspnea by dilating the airways and improves overall lung functions. The herb is an excellent supportive therapy for symptomatic relief in tuberculosis and pulmonary infections. (Source)
Vrishamla ~ For that Perfect Weight
The rind of the Vrikshamla (Garcinia/Garcinia indica) fruit contains an active component called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which supports normal fat and carbohydrate metabolism, a healthy appetite level and optimum body weight.
Functions of Vrishamla:
Weight management: The herb known to slow down the body’s ability to store fat, potentially enabling more fat from foods to pass through the body without being stored. Additionally, HCA blocks the production and storage of fat and cholesterol when calorie consumption exceeds healthy levels. The herb is also known to reduce blood lipid levels and to naturally lower cholesterol.(Source)