The use of medicinal herbs is as old as humankind. In Ayurveda an estimated 80,000 species of plants are utilized as medicine. The extensive knowledge about plants and plant products is called Dravya Guna Shashtra. Ancient Vedic texts list many of the healing herbal remedies that are still used today in Ayurvedic Medicine.

Medicinal properties of plants are categorized according to their qualities. The natural intelligence of plants is preserved in Ayurvedic herbology by using them in their whole form. In contrast, drugs are created by extracting the active constituencies of plant material, which can create side effects.

Among the many effective, powerful healing herbs and compounds unique to Ayurveda are:

  • Guggulu- Punarnava Guggulu lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure, Kaishore Guggulu reduces inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Triphala- cleanses the Gi tract, supports digestion and regularity
  • Neem- purifies the blood and heals skin conditions

Rejuvenating Herbs (Rasayanas)

Rasayanas are tonics that nourish the tissues (dhatus) of the body. Rasayanas alleviate disease and and slow down the aging process. Some examples of these rejuvenating herbs and compounds are:

  • Ashwagandha; a rejuvenating tonic for the nervous system, balances male reproductive organs, increases strength and vitality
  • Shatavari; rejuvenating hormonal balancer especially nourishing for women
  • Chyawanprash; immune system and energy booster

Formulating Herbal Remedies

The following are considered when treating with Ayurvedic herbs:

  • Effect on Dosha (Constitution)- Vata, Pitta, Kapha
  • Rasa (Taste)- the six flavors; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent
  • Virya (energetic quality)- Shita (cold), Ushna (hot)
  • Trigunas- Satva, Rajas and Tamas, the qualities of the mind, and their effect on consciousness
  • 7 Dhatus (Tissues)- Affinity of herbs towards: plasma (Rasa), red blood cells (Rakta), muscle tissue (Mamsa), adipose tissue, (Meda), bone tissue (Ashti), bone marrow and nerves (Majja), male reproductive tissue (Shukra), female reproductive tissue (Artava)
  • Pharmacological Action- tonic, laxative, refrigerant, diuretic, expectorant, anti inflammatory, aphrodisiac, hemostatic, antibacterial, and antiviral, etc.
  • Prabhava- unexplained Action
  • Vipak- Post-Digestive Action
  • Anupan- a caring agent that delivers the herbs deeply into the tissues (such as honey, ghee, aloe vera etc.)

Methods of Herbal Preparation

  • Fresh herbs- can be used as food, culinary herbs and spices.
  • Kvatha- hot infusion such as tea and milk decoction.
  • Churna- dry herbs in concentrated powder form.
  • Vati- herbal pills.
  • Gritham- herbal ghee.
  • Aristham- medicinal wine, fast acting and easily absorbed.
  • Prash- pastes and jams are potent concentrated nutrition.
  • Lepa- medicinal pastes, plasters and salves applied externally.
  • Bhasma- powerful compounds containing purified metals and minerals such as pearl, gold and silver. More controversial are alchemical purified metals such as mercury and lead. These potentized substances act like homeopathic remedies and are only used in India.
  • Siddha Tailam- herbal oil; herbs are water and oil extracted to produce potent medicinal oils, applied as massage oil, in enemas, vaginal douches and nasal treatment (nasya).



Offerings from the Plant Kingdom


Ayurvedic herbs are blended into synergistic formulas that treat imbalances with the opposite qualities. For example a Pitta condition such as a skin rash (hot) is treated with cooling herbs such as Neem. Individual Prakruti (constitution) and Vikruti (current imbalance) as well as season are always taken into consideration. This complex knowledge about plants and their interactions is at the heart of Ayurvedic herbal medicine. Much of this knowledge has been lost in the west due to persecution and repression.

Ayurvedic healing remedies have withstood the test of time and still act effectively as preventive medicines and as treatments for health imbalances. Many herbs are also scientifically validated by subjecting them to double blind studies. Over twenty thousand trials on Ayurvedic products conducted in India and the West are listed in a British medicinal herbal medicine database.

In Ayurveda, herbs are part of the overall approach to health and wellness. Diet, lifestyle including yoga, meditation, Panchakarma (detoxification) and rejuvenating therapies all play an important role in a personalized treatment plan.

Elke Savala utilizes the highest quality organic Ayurvedic and Western herbs in her practice. Elke will assist you with expert herbal support and customized formulas in your personalized health program.



Please call Elke at Shakti Healing to make an appointment