In Ayurvedic philosophy, plants are the soul of the earth. According to Ayurveda, our body, we are made of the same elements as of our environment.
Our body works accordingly to the same principles as the rest of the universe works. There are several hundred plants mentioned in Ayurveda, that are used traditionally and are supposed to rebalance the doshas when necessary.
All these plants can impact on the doshas, they can be effective to power the digestive systems, in the regulation of weight, intellectual abilities, and in the prevention of degenerative diseases, joint pain or the fight against free radicals responsible for aging. Bellow here is some of the lists of plants that are most commonly uses to balance the three doshas.
I. List of ayurvedic plants to balance Doshas
Ayurveda has been in use for centuries, it is a science that involves the use of naturally occurring substances. These natural substances can be in various form of the plant, minerals, flowers, leaves, vitamins, fruits, minerals, etc. to combat diseases.
According to Ayurveda a state of well-being and satisfactory health depend on the harmonious balance of the 3 doshas. Below is the list that is effective to balance the doshas.
1. Aloe Vera (Ghritkumari)
Ayurveda gives it the name as “vitality of youth” it is because this plant is famous for improving digestion. It has the exceptional richness of its juice that provides the body with the means to react to external aggressions.
Thanks to the presence of digestive enzymes that promote the assimilation and digestion of nutrients in food. Aloe Vera balances the three doshas.
2. Indian Gooseberry(Amalaki)
A powerful antioxidant fruit, it provides the body with a significant amount of polyphenols that preserve the cells of aging. The Amalaki is helpful to smokers and alcohol consumers, as they need more polyphenols and vitamin C.
Amalaki is a fruit that has this property more than any other fruits. Amalaki is suitable for all three doshas and especially when there is an imbalance of Pitta.
3. Ginger (Adaraka)
In Ayurveda ginger is widely used, a small piece of ginger is an entire medicine in itself. There is a famous ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.
The Adaraka, so-called ginger is used in Ayurvedic medicine for an aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, activator digestion and stimulating blood circulation. Its qualities make it beneficial for Vata and Kapha disorders.
4. Andrographis (Kalmegh)
It is a true natural shield, the Andrographis is renowned for stimulating natural defenses and contributing to better respiratory comfort, especially anticipatory, as the cold season’s approach.
It has a drying and anti-mucous effect in case of stuffy or runny nose, its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory action also allows it to eradicate sore throats. Andrographis soothes Pitta and Kapha but may increase Vata.
5. Aegle marmelos (Bilva)
Bael is also known as Bilva in the Sanskrit language, this herb has its own importance as medicinal, spiritual and religious significance. The fruits and leaves are used as offerings to the Hindu Gods like Lord Shiva.
Bilva helps relieve gastric disturbances such as the frequent need for bowel movements, stomach pain, and intestinal tightness. It rebalances the 3 doshas, especially Kapha and Vata.
6. Boswellia serrata (Sallaki)
It is a famous herb of Ayurveda which is used mainly for joint pain, Boswellia soothes Pitta considerably and can also reduce Kapha. It by blocking Pitta’s fire, acts as a regulator of inflammation, thus decreasing the intensity of joint pain. In high doses, it can slightly increase Vata.
7. Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)
The Brahmi is known to be a brain tonic that increases memory capacity. At the time when Ayurveda was transmitted orally, this plant has properties that stimulate the memorization of an impressive amount according to the verse of the written text of Ayurveda.
Indians also call this herb as “plant of wisdom” and consider it a valuable ally for practicing yoga and meditation. This herb Brahmi rebalances the three doshas, it is particularly effective in calming the excitement of the Pitta nervous system.
8. Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)
It stimulates intellectual alertness and improves concentration. This plant is particularly useful in times of stress or intense reflection (extra work, decisions to be made).
Indeed, its soothing action makes it possible to preserve all its faculties in the face of complicated situations, even to increase the concentration when it is necessary.
The Centella Asiatica balances the three doshas and is particularly effective in calming the excitement of the nervous system of Pitta.
9. Coleus forskohlii (Makandi)
It is also an important herb of Ayurveda, it has a property called “Forskolin” a chemical found in the roots of the plant. In ancient time this plant has been used to treat heart disorders such as high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), as well as respiratory disorders such as asthma.
It helps to prevent the fixing of fat and eliminate accumulated fat and small undesirable curves. The Coleus soothes Pitta and Kapha and Vata balance.
10. Garcinia Indica (Kokum)
Garcinia indica is Mangosteen which is commonly known as “kokum” in hindi and Vrikshamla in Ayurveda. It is fruit that looks like a small plum and have significant health benefit, it includes reducing allergic reactions, healing wounds, optimizes digestion etc.
Beside this it also helps to reduce appetite, snacking cravings, processed fat and fat storage. Garcinia balances Kapha and Vata and is particularly beneficial for Pitta.
11. Commiphora wightii (Guggul)
Guggual is another tree that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, it recommend for treating atherosclerosis. Besides this Guggul promotes weight loss, helps to purify the body, and helps to fight against cholesterol.
It is also recommended it to eliminate “fats in the blood”, Guggul is today used to significantly reduce the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Guggul is particularly effective in stabilizing the imbalances of Vata and Kapha without irritating Pitta.
12. Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar)
It activates the metabolism of glucose and decreases the craving for sugar which helps in treatment of diabetes. Thus, when chewing Gymnema Sylvestre leaves, the tongue is unable to feel the mild flavor for about an hour.
Gurmar have have anti-inflammatory properties that helps to protect your body from harmful organisms in cases of infection or injury. Gymnema Sylvestris soothes Kapha and is neutral for Pitta and Vata.
13. Turmeric (Haridra)
The Haridra is known as Curcuma Longa or Saffron of India in Europe, is of a formidable wealth in Curcumin, its active substance. According to ayurveda it is katu and tikta in taste and cleanses and detoxifies Rasa the Digestive juice and circulatory nutrition.
Which thus enables free circulation of nutrients to every cell of the body and helps in restoring the normal body functions. The powerful antioxidant in it naturally protects the cells of the body from aging. Warming up for the three doshas, the Haridra rebalances Kapha.
14. Velvet bean (Kaunch)
Mucuna pruriens is one of the popular medicinal plant of ayurveda. It have a natural source of L-dopa, the precursor of dopamine, a neurotransmitter essential to the balance of each. Rebalancing nervous, Mucuna or so called kaunch in hindi awakens the joy of life, reduces the effects of stress and releases the energies positively.
Beside this Mucuna seeds powder have an aphrodisiac effect which play an important role in improving the sexual stamina and strength in men. The Mucuna balances the three doshas. In too large doses, it strengthens Kapha and Pitta. It is a precious tonic that balances Vata.
15. Azadirachta Indica (Neem)
Neem leaf is traditionally eaten for its powerful hypoglycemic effect. The uses of neem or its products have been used in India for centuries for its medicinal properties.
It is used in Ayurvedic medicine in as antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-stress, detoxifying and for slimming. Neem can serve Kapha and Pitta people for rebalancing but can exacerbate the problems of Vata people.
16. Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari)
It is the ally of the woman at the different stages of her life. The Shatavari is used in case of premenstrual symptoms and menopause (alleviates pain, hot flashes and regulates moods).
This plant promotes lubrication and flexibility of the genital tract. Shatavari also means “one who has 100 husbands” in Sanskrit. The Shatavari helps in balancing for Pitta and Vata, if taken in excess, it can slightly increase Kapha.
17. Tamarin (Imli)
Tamarin is also known as imli in hindi, it is a herb that is used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. There are many used of Tamarin mentioned in ayurveda, it have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation.
Beside this it also helps people who have difficulty with bowel movement thanks to its laxative action. The juice of Tamarin rebalances the 3 doshas.
18. Tribulus (Gokharu)
Tribulus terrestris is also known as gokharu in hindi, it is a well known plant that is used in unani medicine as well as ayurveda. In ayurveda it is believed to contribute to overall physical, such as strength building, sexual, and boost tissues, especially shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue).
Tribulus stimulates sexual abilities and desire in men and women. It also increases the production of testosterone, useful to the sportsman for his action on muscular development. It stimulates and balances the 3 doshas.
19. Holy Basil (Tulsi)
It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to cleanse the body and the mind, Tulsi is a precious plant in India, hence its name of “holy basil”. It is a plant that is often found grown in Hindu homes for its medical and spiritual benefits.
It is rich in camphor, this remarkable support of natural defenses indeed influences the freedom of the respiratory tracts (especially bronchi), the health of our organs (kidneys, heart, liver, gallbladder, stomach, intestines) and our nervous system. The Tulsi soothes the three doshas.
II. List of Spices & Garam Masala Used in Food
According to Ayurveda, diet is our best medicine and spices have three major advantages in this respect, they enhance the flavor of cooked dishes, help to balance the 3 doshas and are excellent for health.
Some spices are the basis of mixtures known as Kari, the Tandoori or Garam Masala.
1. Cardamom (Elaichi)
Cardamom is another spice that have its importance in ayurveda,this spice have an intense smell with slightly sweet flavor that can be compare to mint.
Cardamom have antioxidant properties that can help to protect cells from damage, it slows down and prevent inflammation in your body. Beside this it is also known to stimulate digestion and helps avoids bloating and stimulate transit.
2. Clove (Laung)
Its full-bodied taste accompanies infusions, gingerbreads or vegetables, and its beneficial effects make it almost indispensable in spice compositions. Clove is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and very effective in soothing stomach upset.
3. Coriander (Dhania)
The basic ingredient for Kari (Curry) blends, coriander has a refreshing flavor. Particularly appreciated for its digestive action, it would also have aphrodisiac properties.
4. Cumin (Jeera)
This Spice is strong enough in taste, the Cumin is used to raise the flavors of the dishes, as much as to open the appetite. The cumin so-called jeera if taken with hot water is helpful in strengthening our digestive as well as the circulatory system. it balances our tri-doshas, vata, pita and Kapha.
5. Turmeric (Haridra)
The orange-yellow color of Curcuma is easily identifiable, for its flavor and taste, it is quite close to that of the ginger family. In addition, this spice have antioxidant properties, turmeric has a calming effect on the digestive system and protects the stomach.
6. Ginger (Adraka)
A King of spices, Ginger is as well known for its tangy flavor and for its warming action properties on the body. It helps in the digestion and also contributes to relax the muscles and to facilitate the breathing.
7. Muscade (Nutmeg)
This is a spice that can be accommodated in different dishes, sweet as well as salty. It helps to better digest and has antiseptic effects. It is found for example in the mixture of Kari powder.
8. Black pepper (Kali Mirch)
Black pepper is a spice that helps in cleaning the digestive system, black pepper facilitates the assimilation of nutrients by the body. It is also known to increase the effects of turmeric, which is why they are usually found in Kari (Curry).
9. Fenugreek (Methi)
Fenugreek activates metabolism, promotes digestion and helps to control blood sugar levels. It revitalizes the body by stimulating the activity of energy exchanges that take place uninterruptedly in the body.
It is also known to open the appetite while actively controlling blood sugar levels to a lesser extent cholesterol. Fenugreek or so called methi in hindi calms Vata and Kapha but may increase Pitta if taken at high doses.
III. List of Ayurvedic Herbal Mixtures
The 3 spices of Trikatu Churna are (Ginger, Black Pepper, Long Pepper) they activate the digestion and maintain to activate Agni (digestive fire) so that the food is transformed into a maximum of energy. Trikatu is particularly recommended for Kapha type people.
The Trimada Churna helps in slimming, weight loss, besides this, it helps to regulate metabolism. This complex helps to reap the full benefits of ingested foods by promoting their absorption and proper transformation into energy and nutrients needed by the body. The Trimada is favorable for the three doshas.
It activates and regulates intestinal transit. This is a complex of three fruits ( Amalaki, Bibhitaki, Haritaki) cleanses the intestine gently without damaging the intestinal lining.
Its action helps to lose weight through better elimination of toxins. Each of the three fruits present in the Triphala regulates the energy of one of the three doshas, eg Amalaki for Pitta, Haritaki for Vata and Bibhitaki for Kapha.