Botanicals

Featured Herb for Kapha- Punarnava

As we move closer to the change of season it is a good idea to support our system by reducing the Kapha build up during the winter. Expelling Kapha from our system will get us in shape for the change of season, supporting our immune system to avoid the flu, allergies, mucus and other Kapha -related conditions.  

The featured Ayurvedic herb for this month is Punarnava Boerhaavia diffusa. This water-loving, creeping perennial flowers during the monsoon and grows all over India and Sri Lanka. The whole plant is used for its high medicinal value. Punarnava literally means ‘the plant that makes one new again’. Its rejuvenative action works through its opening and cleansing activity allowing effective nourishment to reach the tissues, making it perfect for spring cleansing.

Punarnava is a unique herb that helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions, alleviates coughs, nourishes the heart, alleviates colic, it is diuretic, and rejuvenative. An extract from the root is used as a kidney and liver tonic. It works as a blood purifier, gives immunity to the body, and improves functioning of lungs. Because of these qualities and it’s ability to improve kidney function, it can be helpful in diabetes.

Being a diuretic and mild laxative, it helps in detoxification and prevents fluid retention such a as excess fluids, swelling, oedema, and congestion from excess Kapha is specifically useful in congestive heart conditions, fluid retention and arthritic swellings with pitting and coldness sensations. It can also effectively be used in swollen joints with fluid retention caused by moving toxic accumulations out of the joints and tissues and expelling them through the kidneys and urine. Therefore is beneficial in gout and arthritis.

Punarnava increases the digestive fire and is useful in a sluggish digestive system. It absorbs fluids from the digestive system and can be constipating, so it should not be taken in excess. It prevents intestinal spasms and pain helping to treat flatulence, bloating and worms. It also can be combined with other herbs and spices for specific conditions. For example, used with arjuna, guggulu and tumeric in heart deficiency from high Vata and Kapha. And combined with coriander, gokshura, kalamegha in urinary tract infections.


Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Taste: bitter, sweet and pungent
  • Energy: cooling
  • Quality: dry and light
  • Doshas: Vata and Kapha reducing (in excess it increases vata)
  • Tissues: plasma, blood, fat, nerve and reproductive
  • Channels: digestive, urinary and plasma

Buy Punarnava

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Nettles, an Ayurvedic Perspective

Nettle Urtica Urens grows in many climates sprouting in the spring and spreading widely in the summer. Its called stinging nettles because the leaves sting at the lightest touch, but if you can bear the tickling pain, it is great to increase circulation; traditional Mexican medicine uses nettle in a handful and pounds the body with it to promote healthy circulation.

Nettle is considered a superfood, because it's a great source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur. Its has sedative and nervine properties, aiming in the good functioning and strengthening of the nervous system.  Use a compress of nettles to relieve arthritis and muscular pain, as well as sciatica.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, nettles are an excellent nourishing tonic and rejuvenative/rasayana particularly for the kidneys & adrenals. They increases ojas, and are particularly good when run down from stress or illness or needing extra nourishment as in convalescence, old age, pregnancy & breastfeeding. Nettle tops have been used throughout history in food and drinks as a nourishing and detoxifying spring tonic. They stimulate the action of the liver and the kidneys, thereby helping to clear toxins/ama and wastes from the body via the bowels and the urinary tract/ mutravahasrotas.

Nettle's mild astringency and general nourishing action tightens and strengthens blood vessels, helps maintain arterial elasticity and improves venous resilience. They are used to clear inflammatory skin problems and restore vitality to the whole system while cooling skin conditions due to high pitta like eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc. by clearing excess pitta & kapha from rasa & rakta dhatus. Its carminative qualities relieve intestinal gas and promotes peristalsis, in which case is good to alleviate some of the common vata intestinal problems; but it can increase vata when taken in excess. It is also used to stop diarrhea.

Energetics

  • Taste: astringent  
  • Energy: cooling
  • Post Digestive Effect: pungent
  • Dosha: Pitta and Kapha - Vata +

Nettle Infusion

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 ounce of dried herb (2 ounces fresh)
  • Pour nettles into a 1 liter glass jar. Boil the water and pour into the jar, cover and let steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drink the herbal infusion during the next 36 hours. You can use any left overs to pour over your hair after washing it, it’s a great hair tonic!

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

15 Reasons Why You Should Take Triphala Daily

Triphala is known as one of Ayurveda’s most used herbal formulation. Triphala powder is a composed blend of three dried fruits., Haritaki, Bibhitaki and Amalaki. The blend is distributed into equal parts to ensure maximum efficiency. The principle of Ayurveda suggests that healthy stomach leads to a healthier life. Thus, to remain fit and healthy, it is very necessary for a person to keep his or hers stomach fit and healthy. This herbal formula is popular among Ayurvedic practitioner and its users as it is an effective bowl cleanser. The herbal formulation offers great support to the digestive system that helps insure that the process of digestion is completed at its best, ensuring optimal working of the digestive tract. 

According to various general theories, Triphala is an effective laxative that helps in keeping the digestive system fit and working, However, in experts’ opinions. Triphala powder is not just a laxative but also as a nutritional food supplement as it has great nutritional values. Unlike other laxatives, Triphala dose not put direct effect on the liver and gall bladder to force them to secrete digestive juices to digest food. Instead, it works like a sponge that swells by absorbing fluid. Thus, it helps in cleaning not only the intestinal tract but also the liver and blood. 

Top 15 Benefits of Triphala

  1. Improves and normalizes the digestive functions.
  2. Alleviates and corrects constipation.
  3. Tones the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Cleanses bowel.
  5. Purifies the blood.
  6. Removes excess fats out of the body.
  7. Liver and Blood Cleansing. 
  8. Builds body immunity and contains high amounts of Vitamin C
  9. Maintains good male and female reproductive health. 
  10. Nourishes and strengthens the respiratory tract and lungs. 
  11. Improves eye sight.
  12. Nurtures the voice quality. 
  13. Enhances hair color and strengthens hair roots.
  14. Rich in powerful antioxidants, polyphenols which reduces oxidative stress on the body.
  15. Contains anthraquinone that help stimulate peristalsis.


In order to get the optimum results, it is recommended that a person should take no more then 1 1/2 tea spoons at in the evening, 45 minutes after having dinner or just before bed. It is best to boil for 5 mins in 1 cup of water, but it also can be taken with a spoonful of honey or in milk. Boiling the herbs allows for the molecules to break down further for better absorption. Tablet forms are also available. For best results see an Ayurvedic Practioner for additonal health management suggestions.