Ayurveda Herb List :: Body Types :: Ayurvedic Resources

Ayurvedic Herb List will follow this format:

Herb name


Amalaki  (Emblica officinalis)

strengthens blood, bones, liver and heart. Highest source of vit C


bitter tonic, choleretic, immunostimulant,
anti-inflammatory, abortifacient Acute & chronic infections, weakened immunity, worm infestation (very effective for this), toxic liver damage, liver infections, poor liver function, cardiovascular disease. Note: Andrographis shows a stronger hepatoprotective action than silymarin for chemicals and toxins.
Pregnancy (andrographis is abortifacient and has been proven to be 100% effective in preventing pregnancy in female mice, also has an anti-fertility effect in male rats – so I would definitely not give this herb to breeding birds within months of the breeding season).

Ashwaganda  (Withania somnifera)

stress / anit-tumor
strengthens nervous system, sexual energy, muscles, marrow and semen

Bala  (Sida cordifolia)

alkaloids similar to ephedra
Heart and nerve tonic, weak stimulant
similar in action to ephedra but weaker

Guggul  (Commiphora mukul)

lowers cholesterol and triglycerindes
pregnant avoid

Neem  (azadirachta indica)

blood purifier and detoxifier
skin disorders, arthritis,

Pomegranate skin


Withania (Withania somnifera)

tonic, adaptogen, nervine sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour (in high doses).
Tonic (but is relaxing rather than stimulating – therefore is an excellent herb for stress), nervous exhaustion, convalescence after illness or extreme stress, chronic inflammatory diseases, inhibiting growth of tumours. Recommended as a general tonic for athletes, elderly and during pregnancy.

The above information taken from “Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs – Monographs for the Western Herbal Practitioner” by Kerry Bone BSc (Hons), Dip Phyto, MNIMH, FNHAA, MCPP. Kerry is the founder of Mediherb (Australia’s largest manufacturer of herbal medicines for practitioner use).

Carole Bryant

Body Types

Re ayurveda, I’m no expert–have written on it a couple of times for lay magazines, but I have seen it work many, many times in India. The interesting thing about ayurveda is that it is based on body types, so a food or herb which is good for one type may be harmful to another. I’ve decided (based on personality and intuition) that Crackers, my cockatiel, is vata.

Vata is air, so I wonder if a lot of birds might have a lot of vata. Anyway, for vata types, the best foods are warm and heavy such as grains. Legumes are not good, since they have lots of air. Interestingly, warm grains are Cracker’s favorite foods. Considering the bad rap seed has gotten, I think we are doing a disservice to the vata bird types. Although Ayurveda is highly complex and specific, one general rule that I always use is not to give anything cold. Cold food decreases the digestive fire at a time when it should be its strongest.

Ayurveda, as with most things from India, is complex, but well worth the time needed to understand it. I know very little about it, really, but in answer to your questions: There are 3 main doshas, or subtle forces governing bodily function. Each individual carries her own unique mixture of the doshas. Usually one predominates, with a lesser amount of the others included in the mix.

Vata is ocomposed of air and ether and is cold, dry, light, mobile. Personality of vatas is like air-quick, changeable, fearful, nervous.

Pitta is fire and water and is hot, moist, light, movable, oily. Personaity types are fiery, leaders, prone to anger.

Kapha is coild, moist, heavy, stable, soft. Kaphas are often slow learners (as compared to vata), but once they learn they hardly forget, easygoing, steady, strong. Ayurveda says foods also have characteristics, and balancing foods for doshas are opposite of dosha characteristics–i.e., good vata foods are heavy and warm because vata is light and cold.To determine your type, you must get a pulse reading, plus answer lots of questions regarding physical and emotional characteristics. I think Crackers is vata because he is often fearful, cold, and highly changeable–but again I know so little about all this that Iam only guessing. The other thing is that Crackers, if left alone, prefers vata foods. There are many books about ayurveda now. The one that inspired me to learn more about it was Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health.

Cheryl Bentley

Ayurvedic Resources

From: Patrick Thrush

There are two different publications of Boericke’s Materia Medica. The most common one is published by Boericke and Tafel. The most prolific publisher of homeopathic/ayurvedic literature in the world however, is B. Jain Publishers. Their issue of Boericke’s MM contains a section on the use of many traditional Indian/Ayurvedic drugs in tincture and low potency (<6X) homeopathic prescribing situations. My HPI (Homeopathic Pharmacopoea of India) also lists preparation technique for these. Because this publication is extremely difficult to find and quite expensive, if anyone wants to know how to prepare an ayurvedic (or anything else to tincture), please write me personally. Jain’s publication catalog lists 65 ayurvedic publications in english, including several different ayurvedic materia medica’s, and a couple encyclopedias of traditional Indian drugs. They also offer pubs on Bach, accupuncture, and magnetotherapy. To get a Jain catalog call or write:

B. Jain Publishers 1920, Street No. 10th Chuna Mandi, Paharganj Post Box: 5775 New Delhi 110 055 India

Phone numbers: 91-11-7770430 and 91-11-7770572 Fax: 91-11-7510471 Patrick Thrush

Here is an article that you may find interesting. It mentions using pomegranate skin for diarrhea. http://www.ayurvedic.org/diarrhea.html Linda