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Common Herbs

Nepal's strong wind has caused thousands of medicinal herbs to grow their roots deep in its earth. Over 2100 medicinal herbs are indigenous to Nepal. The mountains and plants, sun, rain and wind contribute to a very high degree of healing energy that resides in plants.

Ayurvedic medicine utilizes commonly available herbs, as well as herbs indigenous to India and Nepal. Some of the more widely available herbs that are used include ginger, coriander (cilantro), cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, garlic, turmeric and basil. These are used in a variety of ways to produce herbal remedies for many different conditions.

Other herbs used are unique to Ayurvedic medicine, and may not be as familiar. This includes:

Amala (Indian Gooseberry) this fruit is considered to be the highest known natural source of vitamin C. This is retained even if the fruit is dried or cooked. It is considered calming and cooling.

Ashwaganda (Winter cherry) the root of this shrub is also known as Indian ginseng. It is beneficial for mental functions, strengthening of the body and increasing immunity.

Brahmi (Indian Pennywort) is a common plant which is considered an excellent tonic for memory, intelligence and longevity. It is also good for associated conditions such as senility, insanity, epilepsy.

Guggul (Indian Bedellium) the resin from this bush is made into a powder or compressed into pills. It is good for the circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory systems.

Neem - the roots, bark, fruit, leaves, juice, oil and flowers of this tree all have a medicinal use. It is used as a blood purifier, for detoxification, inflammation, fever and skin conditions.

Shilajit (mineral pitch, asphalt) - this black, sticky mineral is called the "sweat of the rocks". It ooozes from the Himalayan mountains, and is considered beneficial for the urinary and nervous systems. It also rejuvenates and is considered an aphrodisiac.

There are also herbal compounds:

Triphala - a combination of three fruits (haritaki, bibhitaki, amala) which is internally cleansing. It is a mild laxative, nutritional supplement and is also used for cleansing the eyes.

Trikatu - a combination of three pungent herbs (black pepper, long pepper and ginger). This is a classic formula used to enhance digestion, respiration and immunity.

Chywanprash - this is a supplement made from around fifty different herbs, used for rejuvenation, energy and strength. The base is an amala jam, and the original formula is thousands of years old.