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An excerpt from “The Yoga of Herbs” An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine written by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad
Evolution is a manifestation of latent potentials. Within each thing is contained all things. In the seed is the tree; in the tree is the forest. Therefore, intelligence is contained implicitly in the many worlds of nature, not only in our human-centered world. Another way of saying this is that consciousness exists in all forms of life. It is the very basis of creation, the power of evolution. Life, creation, and evolution are the stages in the unfoldment of consciousness. There is nothing in existence that is unfeeling, nothing that is profane or unspiritual, nothing without a unique value in the cosmos. Life is relational, interdependent, interconnective, a system of mutual nourishment and care, not only physically, but also psychologically and spiritually.
Consciousness, therefore, is not merely a though, much less intellect or reason. It is the feeling of being alive and being related to all life. Consciousness as pure feeling exists already in the plant and is hidden in rock, even within atom itself. Elemental attraction and repulsion are similar to love and hate, like and dislike. For this reason, the ancient seers of India held that the Self alone exists, that unity is the basis of all existence – that the unity of life is the unity of consciousness.
By this they meant that every living thing was sentient, that everthing was, in the sense of consciousness, human. True humanity, which is humane feeling for all life, is at the heart of all life. Plants and animals sometimes show this sense of caring more than certain humans, who have hardened in their isolated sense of humanity. It is only when we come to look upon all things as human that we are capable of a truly human existence. Such a lesson is taught to us by plants and herbs whose existence is still grounded in the unity of nature, through which we may return to understand ourselves better.
Man as microcosm contains within himself all the elemental, mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. Within the plant is the potential of the human being. Conversely, within the human being is the underlying energy structure of the plant. Our nervouse system, it could be said, is a tree whose plant-essence is human. Therefore, plants may communicate directly to that essense of feeling which makes a true human being.
The Plant Kingdom existsto bring feeling into manifestation. On the plant level, feeling exists in a pure and passive form. The animal and human kingdoms manifest this more actively, more separately, but often with less beauty. Consciousness in plants is on a primal level of unity, therefore it is more psychic, telepathic.
Life forms are stations for the reception and transmission of foreces, through which all are nourished. Each thing exists to nourish all others, and, in return, to be nourished itself. In this manner each kingdom of nature serves to receive and transmit life. This life is implicit in light and in the transmission of stellar or astral forces.
The earth, like a gigantic receptor or radio-station, inhales and exhales stellar and cosmic forces, the absorbed essence of which grows and unfolds as life. These forces are not all material, but include subtle energies of an occult or spriritual nature. Plants transmit the vital-emotional impulses, the life-force that is hidden in light. That is the gift, the grace, the power of plants.
Plants bring us the love, the nourishing power of the sun, which is the same energy of all the stars, of all light. These cosmic energies emanated by plants thus nourish, sustain and make grow our own astral body. In this way the existence of plants is a great offering, a sacrifice. They offer us not only their own nutritive value but the very light and love from the stars, from the cosmos whose messengers they are. They bring to us the universal light so that we can enter the universal life. They exist for psychological, as well as physical nourishment. Our feelings, then, are our own inner plants, our own inner flowers. They grow in accordance with our perception of athe nature of all life.
Creation is light. In the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, the great god Agni, the principle of Fire, the Divine Seer- Will, builds up the worlds, and makes of all creation a series of self – transformations.
Plants exist to transmute light into life. Human beings exist to transmute life into consciousnesness, love. Thes three – light, life and love – are one, each an expression of the other, three dimensions of the same existence. Plants transmute light into life through photosynthesis. The human being tansmutes life into consciousness through perception. Through direct perception, the seer is the seen, the observer the observed.
To read more click here to purchase The Yoga of Herbs from Amazon.
As you may or may not now, the traditional Ayurvedic school of thought is that all disease and health ailments are rooted in some sort of inflammation. Luckily, there are many great Ayurvedic products that help our bodies deal with these issues.
Out of all the herbs, oils, products, etc. that make up this list, we have chosen what we believe to be the four most important/helpful.
Without further ado -
By Sara Bowes, L.Ac, MSOM
Digestion should not be taken for granted — really, it is the central pivot for all functioning in our body. Occupying the actual physical center of the organism, and being the interface between our own inner world and the external environment, as we bring the outside world into us in the form of food, the digestive system ought to be paid utmost attention and care. Nevertheless, modern Western culture has for the most part abandoned any traditions that promote optimally-functioning digestion. The repercussions are multifold. It is no shock that our culture is plagued by fatigue—why should we feel energized if the fire we use to burn our fuel has been essentially extinguished? Not to mention the fact that the fuel we now choose to burn is generally imitation and low-quality. When digestion is compromised, an endless array of disease can manifest—from chronic inflammation and associated presentations like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes, to mental and emotional afflictions like depression, ADHD, and mental fogginess. Traditional cultures and healing systems, like Ayurveda, for instance, have long recognized the centrality of digestion in terms of overall health, and only recently is modern research beginning to catching up.
The simplest and most profound things we can do to help our digestive center generally involve gently stoking its inherent fire. In Ayurveda, this fire is called agni. So long as agni is strong and functioning well, both food, and also experiences, emotions, and sensory impressions will be processed and assimilated in a healthful fashion. If agni is weak, an excess of poorly processed substance and experience accumulates, resulting in a range of problems on the physical and also emotional and psychological levels. As much as we can contribute to the building of this fire, and at the same time, avoid practices that put it out, digestion will thrive. Just like a campfire, digestion generally likes to be warm and dry. Of course the warmth and dryness must be moderated to a degree so that the fire doesn’t turn rampant. A variety of factors, including constitution, dietary choices, and climate all will contribute to the terrain of the digestive tract. Depending on these factors, your own unique digestion will require more or less assistance in achieving optimal balance.
Simple practices to encourage our own internal fire should be emphasized by every person whose aim is to enhance the absorption of the food he puts into his body. First, ice water should be avoided at all times—most crucially at mealtimes. Cold does to our bodies what it does in nature, which is to freeze and slow. Pouring ice water into the stomach literally puts a halt to digestion, and is especially detrimental to a system whose preference already is to be comfortably warm. A small quantity of warm water or tea around mealtimes is preferable to cold beverages. Abstaining from drinking large amounts of liquid altogether, however, for 30-60 minutes prior to and after a meal will best benefit digestive function since the acids and enzymes excreted in the digestive process are simply diluted by the addition of liquid. Traditionally, in Indian and Chinese cultures, for instance, small servings of hot tea and/or soup with warming and aromatic spices like ginger and cardamom are eaten at the start of a meal to warm up the digestive tract and prime it for the rest of the meal.
The sun’s presence in our eating ritual is a simple practice to assure that the food we put into our bodies is given the best chance to digest. The biggest meal of the day should really be eaten at midday when the sun is highest in the sky—our bodies absorb and respond to the sun’s power and energy, and so will our digestive center, which particularly thrives in its glow.
Similarly, putting fire into our food, quite literally—through the process of cooking—further takes a load off of the body’s own internal reserves. Cooking food benefits digestion. The process itself can be thought of as a pre-digestive process. Raw food, though full of heat-sensitive enzymes, are for the most part, rough on digestion. It is difficult to assimilate foods in their raw state, and this is often reflected by the tendency to suffer from gas, bloating, loose stools with undigested food, and diarrhea on a raw food diet. Furthermore is the tendency to lose weight and strength (and vitality) when eating strictly this way. Clearly, raw foods can be helpful in particular situations with particular constitutional types, especially in for limited periods of time, for detoxification purposes, for instance. If such a diet is adopted, then it is all the more important to “supplement with fire” from other sources rather than cooking, such as hotter seasons and climates, midday eating focus, and warming herbs and spices.
Quite obvious but nonetheless overlooked is the mouth’s participation in the digestive process. Chewing thoroughly and mixing food with saliva is a necessary first step in breaking down food. Chewing clearly initiates the breakdown of food mechanically, and also introduces energetic warmth to the process by the nature of movement and friction, in the same way that rubbing two sticks together can start a fire. Just as important in this act is the thorough mixing of food with salivary enzymes, which are important for breaking down carbohydrates and fats especially, and for the rest of the digestive process to go according to plan, the optimization of the functioning of these enzymes is necessary. The stomach itself does not release these particular enzymes, nor does it have teeth, so it is crucial that the initial process of digestion in chewing and mixing is done well and thoroughly so that the stomach is not bombarded with a job it is not outfitted to perform. Traditionally, it is recommended that each bite is chewed thoroughly an average of 30 chews, until food is thoroughly liquefied, before swallowed. This will naturally slow down the process of eating, allowing the body’s satiety sensors to register the food being introduced to the system, preventing overeating, which is a natural detriment to digestive functioning as it becomes overwhelmed with the sheer volume of food.
Implementing these simple practices—and learning to recognize habits that are working against your digestion and putting out precious agni (eating in a hurry, chugging ice water before meals, ice cream, living off of raw foods in the winter in a cool climate) will surely over time become preferences as you begin to notice the correlations in digestive comfort and energy levels with the adoption of simple eating habits.
Written by: Sara Bowes, LAc
With regards to medicine — especially holistic systems like Ayurveda and other traditional medical frameworks, there is rarely a cure-all, one-size-fits-all diagnosis or treatment. Within the parameters of a holistic mode of healing that considers the whole person as an integrated, orchestrated system rather than a patchwork of isolated symptoms and organ systems, every aspect of the patient must be considered, rather than simply the symptom alone. It follows that ten patients presenting with the same symptom (i.e. headache) will more often than not require ten entirely different remedies or treatments. This is because a truly holistic medicine rarely treats just the symptom itself, rather it addresses the underlying pattern and constitutional picture, which will always be the more effective and lasting, and ultimately healing treatment. After all, there is a plethora of reasons why a headache will manifest. In conventional Western medicine where the parts and symptoms are primary, and the whole is often overlooked, ten headache patients are often prescribed a similar “headache treatment,” for example.
Depending on how you look at it, this difference in approach renders holistic medicine somewhat complicated in that there are few things that can be said to be good for everyone, or every headache, in this case. That said, there is a small handful of principles that can be applied in a general sense to promote the health of all. One of these is that all pain—whether physical or emotional—arises from stagnation. Movement and variability are two constants that we can say are necessary for health.
These concepts are not unique to any esoteric or ancient system. The benefits of regular exercise dominate the headlines of modern medical literature; traffic is synonymous with discomfort; any human being can attest to the relief experienced when seeing one’s way out of a stuck emotional or thought pattern; even the human heart itself likes not only to be moving, but also some variability heart rate variability—the variation in the time interval between heart beats—has been shown to directly correlate to health, such that the less variability is correlated with greater incidence of disease. And because any holistic medical system views the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies as intimately connected, stagnation on any of these levels can in turn affect another, such that mental stuckness or rumination for instance is not only uncomfortable in its own right, but it is often the cause for physical disease as well.
While it is fair to say that stagnation is the culprit for all pain and much disease, it is necessary to recognize that a variety of reasons exists for the stagnation itself. As with most aspects of the human body, it is often helpful to turn to nature as a means of deeper understanding. Imagine a river—flowing, crisp, unobstructed, flexible, full, clear, adapting to the changing seasons. Rivers like to be moving, and even a little bit unpredictable. Various factors, however, can interrupt the river’s ability to flow healthily. Cold temperatures will turn the water to ice; hot weather will dry the river out completely; trash and pollution will muddy the river and slow it down; not enough precipitation during the winter leads to scanty flow in the spring; falling timber or a dam will cause obstruction. The same applies to the human body—stagnation can result from a wide variety of factors. Constitutional imbalance, toxicity, excess weight, poor diet, nutrient deficiency, environmental factors, emotional and mental inflexibility, injury, prior or existing illness comprise some of the possibilities. The implication here is that it is important to determine first what is the underlying cause of the stagnation before pursuing treatment. Though it is likely that both a kapha constitutional type and a vata constitution will suffer from stagnation and related manifestations, treating both persons the same would likely aggravate one of the situations. The kapha type, for instance, will benefit from aromatic and pungent spices and herbs, as these are generally dispersing and drying, which is helpful for the type of sluggish, overloaded type of stagnation that typically plagues kapha. Aromatics for the vata, however, will aggravate the tendency toward general dispersion that characterizes their mental and physical states. To restore healthy flow in a vata constitutional type, warming, calming, tonifying, and sometimes moistening remedies are indicated—many of which could potentially aggravate the kapha constitution. This example highlights the necessity of determining constitution and/or underlying pattern prior to opting for treatment. No matter the situation, however, thinking generally about restoring flow and introducing movement into a stuck system will always be helpful, however this may look for your own individual constitutional needs.
Maha Vishgarbha has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, and is considered to be one of the most powerful of all of the Ayurvedic formulas. This amazing oil combines 72 different herbs in it’s preparation according to ancient Ayurvedic recipes. It is effective for maintaining healthy joints and muscles, and a healthy recovery time.
The results of this oil can be shocking, and we strongly urge you to consider trying this oil if you have achey or stiff joints and muscles. The healing properties of this formula are vast and can provide nearly instant pain relief. Here are just a few of the key benefits of this powerful combination of herbs:
- Potent rejuvenating oil for maintaining healthy muscles and joints
- Helps lubricate muscles and joints
- One of the most powerful of all of the Ayurvedic formulas
- Promotes rapid and healthy healing
- Very effective for sore or stiff muscles
- Improves healthy joints, cartilage and ligaments
- Combines 72 herbs exactly in accordance with the original Ayurvedic text
- Supports healthy range of motion and movement
- Improves blood flow and circulation
- Combats pain, stiffness and inflammation
Click Here to read more about Maha Vishgarbha Oil or to purchase some today!
We could go on and on about numerous of products we recommend as part of your daily regime – the list is seemingly endless. However, for this post we have decided to focus on three products that you can easily use to replace things that you are most likely already using at home, which each boast amazing health benefits.
The first product is called Capomo (Maya Nut), and can and should be used in place of making coffee or tea. Capomo is caffeine free (great for the adrenal glands), gluten free, and is very rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and even protein. Capomo has amazing benefits for not only the end user, but the animals and environment where it is grown. Capomo empowers and employs more than 600 rural and indigenous men and women who have formed 25 different autonomous businesses to produce and market Maya Nut products. The best part about it is that it even tastes great! You can read all about it here.
The next product on our list is Coconut Oil. I’m sure that many of you are familiar with Coconut Oil to some extent, but may not be aware of all the health benefits compared to other oils traditionally used for cooking. Coconut Oil should be your go to oil when cooking and baking. Coconut Oil is ideal for high temperature cooking, loaded with health fats and Lauric Acid, and tastes great! On top of it’s cooking benefits, Coconut Oil is an excellent skin and hair moisturizer, and an easy way to implement a tropical feeling to any situation! You can read more about it here.
The final product on today’s list is Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash could easily replace any Vitamin C or any other traditional immunity boosters. Loaded with over 50 different herbs, Chyawnprash is packed with vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and more! This amazing jam tastes great, packs a punch and can be used by children and adults. Chyawanprash is great for virtually all the systems in our body including: immune, liver, stomach, heart, brain, liver, lung and more! Read all about it here.
While these products may appear unique and foreign, think of the everyday items that you could replace and add so many additional health benefits!
Please visit our site for additional information or send us an email at email@example.com with any questions.
Promote a healthy hypertension response naturally with Tattva’s Herbs CardioPure. A time-tested, all natural formula in the ayurvedic system, CardioPure has proven to be a natural therapeutic aid to promote, balance and maintain healthy blood pressure. It is a safe alternative to the many conventional drugs with harmful side effects being prescribed to millions of people.
Hypertension, (high blood pressure) is widespread, and commonly related to the stresses of modern day living. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tattva’s Herbs’ CardioPure, it is primarily comprised of pure standardized extracts of Arjuna and Rauwolfia Serpentina. These herbs work synergistically to control blood pressure naturally, and maintain all aspects of healthy cardiac function. This product also contains the reputable herbs Arjuna, Tribulus, Shankapushpi, Boehaarvia Diffusia, Ashwagandha, Rose Powder, Jatamansi, and Inula Racemous, which combine to create the most potent formula available for maintaining heart health.
According to Ayurveda the heart is the seat of life energy or “Prana”. The negative effect of stress, both physical and emotional, can put strain on the heart, and destroy balance in the most vital part of the body. Tattva’s Herbs is pleased to offer a natural therapeutic aid to promote that balance and maintain healthy blood pressure. CardioPure contains a unique blend of herbs that provide support and balance to cardiac function. The herbRauwolfiia Serpentina, in particular has powerful stress relief properties. Combined with time tested herbs Arjuna, Tribulus, Shankapushpi, Boehaarvia Diffusia, Rauwolfiia Serpentina, Ashwagandha, Rose Powder, Jatamansi, and Inula Racemous, this is a very potent and time tested formula. CardioPure can also be taken to maintain cardiac health.
In India the Neem Tree is known as the “Village Pharmacy” because of its many diverse uses. Neem comes in many forms and is beneficial in many ways. Tattva’s Herbs sells Neem in capsule form to take internally as well as in oil form and cream form for external use.
Neem is very diverse, however we have come up with a list of the top 5 benefits of Neem that everyone should know. Enjoy!
1) Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties – Neem is a very potent antifungal and bacterial, which helps kill “bugs” in your system internal and external. This is great for everything from infections to dandruff and everything in between.
2) Hair and Skin Health – Neem is excellent for the hair, skin and nails. The oil relieves dry skin and soothes itchiness, redness and irritation. It is helpful for acne, dandruff and used in many skin care products today.
3) Boosts Your Immune System - Neem has such a powerful boost to our immune system that consistent use helps fight against any foreign invasion making our body strong and disease free.
4) Vision Benefits – Neem has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to promote healthy vision by decreasing congestion and mucus in the eyeballs.
5) Natural Pesticide and Mosquito Repellent – Instead of putting harsh chemicals on your skin, Neem Oil is an excellent remedy for deterring misquitos and bugs. It also works in your garden as an excellent non-toxic pest control. Chemical Free!
Click Here to read about more of the excellent properties of Neem!
Mucuna pruriens, commonly known as velvet bean or cow itch, is a plant indigenous to India, and has been used in Ayurveda for many different conditions. The ayurvedic names are Kaunch, Atmagupta, or Kapikacchu. Scientists and doctors in the west are now beginning to take a serious look at the potential benefits of this potent herb in a number of medical and psychological conditions.
The herb contains L-DOPA which is a neurotransmitter, and a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. The L-DOPA content increases when used as an extract. L-DOPA, or levodopa converts into dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood, sexuality, and movement. As such, M. pruriens seeds have also been found to have antidepressant properties. It has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for diseases including management and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Recognized as an aphrodisiac in Ayurveda, mucuna pruriens has been shown to maintain and normalize testosterone levels, which may lead to deposition of protein in the muscles and help increase muscle mass and strength.
Here are what we believe to be the Top 7 Health benefits of this amazing product:
1) Provides L-Dopa – turns into dopamine which improves mood, sense of well-being, mental clarity, better sleep, brain function, etc.
2) Produces Testosterone* – increases libido in both men and women.
3) Increases Energy*
4) Improves mental capacity*
5) Promotes brain activity that combats such things such as Parkinson’s disease and depression*
Click Here for Tattva’s Herbs Mucuna
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.