The Ayurvedic Medicine practitioners of India have long used medicinal herbs to heal their patients. While originally the only medicine available in historic times, many of these Indian medicinal herbs are still used today. Those that use them prefer natural over pharmaceutical medications because they tend to have fewer side effects.
Licorice root is often used for respiratory problems. It is an expectorant and helps with coughs and fever, making it a good choice for use in chest congestion and colds. It can also be used to relieve urinary disorders. Care should be taken with licorice, however, as it can affect blood pressure. Those with heart problems or high blood pressure should use it only under the supervision of a qualified doctor.
Ashwagandha, sometimes referred to as winter cherry or Indian ginseng, has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. It invigorates the body and has been used as a treatment for arthritis, rheumatism and leprosy. It is also considered to have aphrodisiac effects.
Valerian is a calming herb. It works well in those with hysteria, stress, and nervous conditions. It is sometimes given as a treatment for insomnia. As an antispasmodic, it is useful in the treatment of nausea and vomiting.
The root of the calamus plant has many medicinal uses. It is used for Anandi Gopal Joshi digestive difficulties such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. With its sedative effects, it can be helpful in treating mental disorders and epilepsy.
Ginger, a staple of Indian cuisine, also offers medical benefits. It is soothing to the digestive system, relieving nausea and vomiting. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, making it a good choice for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Most people, even those without experience with Ayurvedic medicine, are familiar with chamomile. It has a wide variety of uses. It calms the stomach and digestive tract. Used on the skin, it can help to treat acne and other disorders. Chamomile tea can help ease stress and relieve insomnia.
Basil, while better known as a culinary herb, also has medicinal uses. It is commonly used for respiratory disorders as it relieves congestion and eases coughs. It is also used in digestive problems as it calms the stomach and breaks up gas pockets that can lead to abdominal distention and discomfort. It is sometimes used by diabetics as it can lower blood sugar.
Most of us are familiar with aloe vera’s use on sunburns. However, it has many other uses. The gel can be used to treat skin problems, wounds and cuts. The juice of the plant is sometimes given for use internally to treat jaundice, hemorrhoids and menstrual irregularities.
Lemongrass is an excellent herb to include in your garden not only for its medical benefits, but also its culinary uses. It is a natural carminative, helping to relieve flatulence. It also helps repel insects.
With these Indian medicinal herbs in your garden, you will be able to treat a wide variety of illnesses from digestive upsets to coughs and colds. Many of these can also be used in your cooking, bringing exotic flavor to even the most basic of culinary dishes.