While there are diverse definitions of Ayurveda, it is best defined as one of the world’s oldest, but most effective systems of medicine and healthy living. Unlike modern medicine, Ayurveda focuses on promoting good health, rather than treating disease. Hence, it focuses on ‘prevention’ a lot more than the ‘cure’.
However, when diseases happen, diet and very effective herbal treatments are used. The science is based upon the principle that one’s health depends upon the balance between their mind, body and spirit.
Today, we are going to discuss three Ayurvedic herbs that work like magic in the treatment of many common diseases and conditions.
1. Arjuna/ Arjun: Scientifically Terminalia arjuna, Vagbhata, perhaps the most influential classical writers of Ayurveda, introduced this tree for treating heart disease. Having been used since centuries (Vagbhata is believed to have lived in 6th-7th century. You do the math!) for heart failure, atherosclerosis (Arteries become narrow as cholesterol and fats build up in their walls.) and arrhythmia (Irregular heartbeat), it has earned the nickname of being the “Guardian of The Heart”. It also helps in angina, i.e. chest pain caused by a reduced blood flow to heart. It is commonly consumed by high blood cholesterol and hypertension patients.
2. Shatavari/ Satavar/ Shatamull: Also known by a variety of names in regional languages, this is actually a species of asparagus. (Hence also called ‘Wild Asparagus’.) Scientifically Asparagus racemosus, it is recommended by Ayurvedic texts for the treatment of stomach/ gastric ulcers and dyspepsia. (Dyspepsia is the medical term for indigestion.) It is also described as a ‘galactogogue’, i.e. a food/ herb that boosts breast milk production in lactating mothers. The herb provides relief from irritability associated with PMS and is often used as a reproductive tonic by women. That said, it also has reproductive benefits for men and improves sperm count.
3. Gokshura/ Gokhru: Tribulus terrestris, commonly known as Gokshura or Gokhru, has been used for its innumerable benefits for approx. 5,000 years now! The chief contributor to Ayurveda, Charaka, considered this herb as ‘diuretic’, i.e. a substance that increases urine production, and hence, treats conditions such as hypertension. (Since excess salt and salt would be flushed out of the body.) For this property, it is also an effective treatment of kidney and bladder problems,such as kidney stones and painful urination. That’s not all – Gokhru increases sex drive in men and women of all ages. It reduces erectile dysfunction and increases sperm count. It is hence also nicknamed as “Nature’s Viagra”.