Jewels from a rare herbal garden in India

Recently, I got the opportuntity to visit a large and ancient herbal garden in the himalayas and it was amazing to see lot of plants that I always wanted to see but could not, because they were not available anywhere around. One such herb was Bahera or Terminalia bellirica which is also known as Vibhitak, Aksh , Karshfal or Kalidrumu in Sanskrit. This is very useful herbal plant for many disease conditions. It helps to cure hair fall, increase eye sight and improve eye pain, reduce fever due to kapha, reduce hridya vaat etc.
Bahera, as it is popularly called, acts more beneficially id it is mixed with some other material. Like if it is taken after mixing with sugar (shakkar), the laar issue form mouth goes away completely. Likewise, it can altogether remove cough (be it dry or otherwise) if taken as mixed with goat's milk with black salt.
It is found in all of India (though I could not see it earlier so closely) and it's tree is 60 to 80 feet in height , straight and dark brown in colour. The flowers are white or yellowish 3 - 6 inches long and are in groups. The fruit is half inch in diameter and looks like a pentogon after it dries up.
It is also known as tridosh-har but it is mostly used in kaph related problems. It is also very useful ingredient of most famous formulation ‘Triphala' which is useful in acidity and constipation. It removes excessive ‘kapha' which is main cause of loss of appetite. It removes the coating of ‘kapha' from the intestines and aids in the proper excretion of juices. Other than the problems stated above, it is also seen to help in curing potency issues in men, diarrohhea and high fever.
In the next posts, I will discuss on more rare herbs and their uses as medicines.

Arthritis or Joint Pains - A common disease

Joint pains or Arthritis is a common problem these days. Whenever winter comes, it increases. According to Ayurveda mostly pains are caused by the aggravation of vata (air), dosha. Arthritis is a condition which is caused by accumulation of Ama and aggravation of vata. Ama is a toxic by-product of improper digestion. When the food we eat is not digested completely by the digestive fire, it produces a toxic substance called Ama. This Ama circulates in the whole body and deposits or gets collected at the sites which are weaker.

It causes many diseases in the body depending on the location of deposition. For example, dangerous asthama is one which is caused by deposits in the lungs. If it deposits in the intestines it causes dysentery. When it deposits in the joints and at the same time there is aggravation of vata, that means if biological humor air is also disturbed, it results in a disease called Ama vata. This Ama vata is arthritis. Thus the patient generally has a weak digestion. A history of wind and constipation is usually found in these cases. People who overeat or eat too much fried foods, sweets, meats etc. and have no or very little physical activity can develop this problem.

The main symptom of this disease is severe pain in the affected joints. The muscles, ligaments, synovial membrane and cartilage get inflamed and the movement of the joint becomes extremely painful, specially in cold, windy and damp weather. If the condition is not treated properly, the joint becomes immobile and this may ultimately lead to deformity of the joint. Sometimes it is associated with fever. Infact, these days fever has become a regular part of arthritis symptoms and it raises the infection levels in the body shown by allopathic pathological test ESR.
Cure: Ayurvedic herbs are quite successful in curing the arthritic joint pains and there are a lot of herbs that can be used here. Some of them are:
  • Ashwagandha - Also called as winter cherry in the west. This is one of the wonder herbs as stated by Ayurveda and curing joint pains is just one of the uses of this one.
  • Alflafa - The tea of alfalfa reduces the joint pains considerably specially in the early stages
  • Dandelion - Magnesium is something which is required for proper mineralization of the bones and dandelion is rich in magnesium. It's use make the bones stronger and joint pains can be prevented
  • Vishwagarbha taila - If the joint pains are due to trauma, then Vishwagarbha taila is prescribed for external application over the region where the joint pain is felt. For internal administration, the patient can take rasnadi guggulu.

Above are few curing herbs for joint pains but as they say prevention is better than cure and it is more than 100% right in case of joint pains. Certain good living habits can make sure that arthritis can be delayed by at least 10 years and hence 10 more years of comfort

Which is your most preferred way to keep your body fit and away from diseases?