Plant-based diet comes under the prime tenets of Ayurveda. For living, intake of green food means taking in more of life-force energy that enhances our sattvic quality. While leafy, bulbous, flowers, fruits, and stems plant naturally make way in to our ayurvedic diet, it remains incomplete without herbs. Concentrated with great health benefits, antioxidants and aroma, herbs can be brewed in tea or sprinkled over on top of your meal as garnish, fresh herbs can be made into salads, infused into essential oils, and some herbs can even be made into smooth pastes to apply on hair and skin to amplify your beauty quotient.

Here is our list, check out which ones to use for homespun cure and creating absolutely ‘herbi-licious’ meals!

Mint

Mint tea has a huge fan base from Europe to America, not only owing to its invigorating essence but also for the treasure of curative properties that mint holds for digestive disorders. Regular consumption of mint is known to boost immunity, improve digestion, and treat irritable bowel syndrome.

Besides tea, you can add mint leaves to your Greek Yogurt with Berries, Lime Fizzlers, or Watermelon-Basil-Mint Salad with Feta Cheese. Don’t hesitate to go innovative in your everyday recipes with dashes of mint freshness!

Thyme

A Mediterranean herb, Thyme is recognized in Ayurveda for the wide range of curative properties it has. Known to treat diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, and sore throat, sprig of thyme is brewed for delicious tea, and dry thyme used as garnish for continental recipes.

In addition to health benefits, thyme offers beauty solutions like treatment of stubborn acne outbursts. While common acne creams use benzoyl peroxide which leaves behind a burning sensation, homespun thyme tinctures will have fewer unwanted effects.

In cooking, thyme can be used to braise meat as in Lemon & Thyme Roasted Chicken, and when you fall completely in love with the thyme essence, deserts like Thyme-baked Apple Slices are going to work for you too.

Basil

The herb that’s loved to the bits in the word around, basil makes any simple preparation good to go. The distinctive Italian flare basil can add to dishes is unmistakable. Sprinkle it freshly chopped over vegan pizzas or your best loved stir fries and see how the flavors flourish.

This great herb is an excellent source of antioxidants, cooling for inflammation, and contains antibacterial properties. With basil you will be able to fight off long-existing infections and treat swollen areas with essential oil of basil. The herb is also a natural adaptogen. Adaptogenic herbs are potent for helping the body deal with stress.

Lavender

This beautiful blossoming herb is known for its sublime fragrance and holds importance in aromatherapy. Studies have indicated great mood-lifting properties of lavender oil infusion and lavender perfumes. When you are physiologically feeling down, spritzing some lavender perfume in the room can really get your happy hormones flowing.

Distilled lavender oil too is regarded for treating alopecia areata or hair loss. 

In culinary and brewery, lavender tea is regarded for helping in digestive functions, treating intestinal gas, vomiting and nauseous tendencies.

However, it is important to note that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve lavender in medicinal use, it is only sold as a supplement and not replace any prescribed medicine.

Saffron

The labor-intensive harvesting method of this herb causes the cost of saffron to get sky-high, making it the most expensive spice in the world. A number of beneficial health properties are attributed to saffron such as enhancement of libido, mood boosting, and memory. Saffron is also analyzed to be containing tones of antioxidants that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. 

Keeping a small amount of saffron in your pantry can come in handy to make the occasional fragrant rice. The elusive saffron flavor is best coaxed by low-flame toastling of the saffron threads in a skillet. After they turn soft, crumble the threads directly over the pot. If you like the flavor, you can use the infusion in your stocks and wines as well! From Swedish pastries to Iranian Kebabs and Indian Sweets, saffron can make a lot of dishes real classy!

Gooseberry

A source for high level of vitamin C content, the Indian gooseberry is renowned for boosting immune system, treating throat infections, reducing blood sugar, and improving heart health. In ayurveda, Indian gooseberry or amla is regarded as a diuretic agent useful for enhancing nutrient absorption, nourishing brain activity, mental functioning, and strengthening of the lungs, urinary system, skin, and healthy hair.

You can consume gooseberry in the dried form, to chew after each meal, thus aiding digestion. Health food enthusiasts also like this powerhouse of vitamin and antioxidants made into a jam, requiring a glut of gooseberries mixed with elderflower cordial. Be careful while using gooseberry in your recipes because the strong acidic taste is hard to blend with most flavors.

Boswellia or ‘Indian Frankincense’

Boswellia is known for its woody and spicy smell. It could be inhaled, absorbed through skin or brewed with tea for consumption. Used in ayurvedic medicine for many hundred years, Boswellia is marked for dispensing a range of health benefits, such as: aiding relief from arthritic pain, improving digestion, reducing asthma, and better oral health.

This ayurvedic herb has no culinary use.

Patchouli

Carrying a distinctively strong scent, Patchouli has been used for centuries in perfumes and incense as insect repellent and in alternative medicine. You can use Patchouli oil to cure athlete’s foot for its antifungal properties, remedy acne as well as eczema, inflammation, and cracked or chapped skin.

Essential oils, tablets, and incenses from these above mentioned botanicals will be available at your local medics.

Go build a strong foundation of health with ayurvedic herbs!

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