The breeze blowing through the Nepal Himalayas has stimulated the growth of thousands of medicinal herbs, with their roots deep in the Himalayan soil. Over 2100 medicinal herbs are indigenous to Nepal. The Himalayan soil, sun, rain and wind all play a part in developing the healing qualities of Nepal’s herbs.
Ayurvedic medicine utilizes many commonly available herbs and spices, as well as rare herbs indigenous to India and Nepal. Some of the more commonly available herbs and spices used in Ayurveda include ginger, coriander (cilantro), cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, garlic, turmeric and basil. These are used in a variety of ways in the production of herbal remedies which are used for many different conditions.
Many herbs are unique to Ayurvedic medicine, and may not be as familiar. They include:
Amala (Indian Gooseberry): The fruit of the amala tree is considered to be the highest known natural source of vitamin C. Amala is highly nourishing and 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 that 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(Margosa): 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): This black, sticky mineral is called the "sweat of the rocks". It oozes 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 commonly used herbal compounds:
Triphala: Triphala is a combination of three fruits (haritaki, bibhitaki, amala) that is internally cleansing. It is a mild laxative, nutritional supplement and is also used for cleansing the eyes.
Trikatu: - Trikatu is 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: Chywanprash is a supplement made from around fifty different herbs and is used for rejuvenation, energy and strength. The base is an amala jam, and the original formula is thousands of years old.