In Ayurveda, use of herbs is one of the key methods of healing and building up the health. Ayurveda has at its disposal many unique herbal blends that efficiently heal and soothe present day ailments. It is worth to remember a few things when looking for herbs right for us.
Selection of right herbs will be more apt if we consult it with the specialist.
Every herb or herbal blend affects three doshas : Vata, Pitta and Kapha. I will explain it on a simple example. Ola suffers from flatulence and constipation. In her case, the nature of these afflictions is related to disturbed Vata. At consultation she receives herbs and prescriptions that help to restore her health. They work and Ola gladly tells others what helped her. Ola’s mom, that also suffers from flatulence and constipation, gets intrigued and starts to use the same herbs. In her case, the ailments are related to disturbed Vata, but she also suffers from Pitta disorders. The herbs that were supposed to help, throw disturbed Pitta off balance and in effect Ola’s mother feels worse. Worried, she quits taking the herbs convinced that Ayurveda prescriptions are not for her. It is essential that the herbs are well selected, the daily dosage and length of application specified. It all requires qualified counsel.
When buying the herbs lets pay attention to the weight of single tablet and number of pills per packing.
It often turns out that the cheaper herb packs contain 1/3 of prescribed healing dosage. It is mainly because they belong to the supplement groups, safe to be applied without consulting a doctor. However, if we wish to use those herbs as medicines, that would visibly improve our health condition, we need bigger doses.
Herbs come in various forms.
In Poland we have access to single herbs, in form of powder, compressed tablets or herbal blends. They differ in efficacy. Single herbs contain bigger dose of healing substance, but are not necessarily more efficient. It’s because proper blends of herbs enhance the qualities of herbs they consist of and increase their healing power. Triphala, a blend of three herbs mostly applied in bowel treatment, is a very good example. I will write more about triphala soon.
Powdered herbs that are temptingly cheap usually have worse quality than packed herbs in form of pressed tablets or capsules.
Such herbs should always be marked with production/packing date and expiry date. Powdered herbs, packed in transparent bags, lose their healing quality much quicker. It can also be decreased by improper way of storage. The quality of herbs sold in form of powder is difficult to identify and rises doubts.
Let‘s remember that herbs have best effect on cleansed body.
In practice it means that in ayurvedic approach taking herbs should be preceded by Panchakarma. The point is to remove toxins from the body with intense cleansing treatments, to build up metabolism and assimilation. Again, taking a simple example – using herbs when our body is overloaded with toxins is like throwing organic fruits and vegetables into a container that has never been cleaned. Soon I will elaborate on this topic, as very often I am asked if Panchakarma can be replaced with herbal treatment.
Herbs that fall into rasayana category, so herbs which rejuvenate our cells, require a well prepared body.
Using rasayana herbs makes much more sense if the body is cleansed and copes well with daily challenges. Usually, those herbs are most popular among clients, especially shatavari, ashwagandha, and triphala. I will describe them in detail in next posts.
Herbal treatments are effective if they are applied long enough.
When we take cleansing herbs, along with the right diet, we should use them at least for one month. Herbs that strengthen particular organs such as intestines or nervous system, should be applied at least for 3 months. Herbs that are to help us with complex and chronic balance disorders require at least 6 months. Herb effectiveness increases with time. Therefore, if we decide to use such herbs as brahmi or triphala get ready for at least 3-month curation. Simply, It is better spent money.
Right dosage is very important.
The dosage should be individually determined with a specialist depending on the state of our health, the form of herbs and their volume. If we compare two triphala tablets produced by different companies we can observe a difference up to 1:3 in weight ( one is 330g and other is 990g).