Written by Marisa Larsen:
Tonight brought an amazing presentation by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa: Natural Healing Specialist, president of the American Herbalist Guild, respected teacher, writer and lecturer. Personally trained by Ayurveda master Yogi Bhajan.
His fascinating topic was “Ten Essential Ayurvedic Herbs”
Says KP Khalsa: “There is no food that isn’t healing when properly applied. There’s no difference between food and herbs – both are medicine.”
So what are the favorite Ayurvedic herbs of one of the world’s leading experts in herbal medicine?
1.Turmeric: KP Khalsa’s absolute favorite. Currently the most studied herb in the world! Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, aids dementia and Alzheimer’s. A digestive, good for the joints, immunity, liver, skin, cholesterol, and much more!
2.Triphala: Benefits all tissues of the body, detoxifies, mild laxative.
3.Ginger: Broad spectrum health benefits. Digestion, circulation, joints. A universal medicine.
4.Ashwagandha: The main male tonic used in Ayurveda. Aids stamina, improves immunity, regulates sleep, excellent for anxiety.
5.Shatavari: Main female herb; has a nutritive, rejuvenative effect on the female reproductive system. Balances hormones, strengthens the immune system.
6.Gotu Kola: Benefits the nervous system, great for yogis as it aids in concentration and meditation, heals connective tissue, good for skin disease.
7.Guduchi: Immune support, long term rejuvenative, anti-aging, clears toxins from the brain and mind
8.Gokshura: Great brain herb, gives stamina, mental clarity. Main herb for the kidneys and bladder. Helps with depression.
9.Aloe Vera (gel): The gel is the gooey part of the plant, and has different properties than the skin (which is a laxative, while the gel is not). A great cell proliferant, aids with heartburn, important remedy for female infertility, anti-aging for women. Externally applied it heals injuries.
10.Neem: Very purifying, antimicrobial, cools fevers, destroys toxins, good for the skin.
In India, it is commonly believed that since you’re going to eat anyway, why not make it also medicinal? Thus the most healing/nourishing foods and herbs are often eaten, and cooked right into the cookie or candy or vegetable or whatever! Makes sense, right?