Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system that originated in India whose followers believe that when the different forces in our bodies are balanced, we are healthy. Imbalances, it is said, lead to disease.
While there are a number of Ayurvedic herbs for everything from acne to motion sickness, many have not been very well studied and it’s very difficult to find quality sources of these herbs.
Some elements like Bacopa monnieri have actually been very well studied and have been shown to improve memory and reduce anxiety.
While there is a big focus on herbs, nutrition is at the cornerstone of health in a system that was advanced enough to deal with the surgical removal of cataracts more than 4,000 years ago.
As with many alternative therapies, you can experiment with items that are readily available, inexpensive, and won’t interfere or cause side effects associated with other more Westernized treatment methods. If you’ve ever tried a ginger chew for an upset stomach than you understand the value of using simple, whole food based ingredients to restore health to the body and even improve performance.
Here are 15 home remedies taken from the Ayurvedic tradition that you can try the next time you have the opportunity. Of course if these don’t work for you, or your symptoms get worse, make sure to consult with your health practitioner of choice (whether that’s a medical doctor or a shaman).
And for the skeptics who think these types of treatments aren’t real I have to ask, why wouldn’t you try them when there’s no real downside?
1. Fever—Crush a handful of basil leaves and a 1 inch piece of ginger. Press the mixture into a sieve with the back of the spoon to squeeze out the liquid then add 1tsp of honey. Drink ever 4 to 6 hours.
2. Acid Reflux and Indigestion - Chew a few basil leaves after a meal. The simple act of extra chewing will help create additional saliva which can aid in digestion.
3. Hair Loss—Take one part cinnamon to two parts honey to 3 parts olive oil, mix it together and apply to areas of hair loss for about a half hour then wash away.
4. Hangover—Make yourself a cup of coffee and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. While drinking that eat two bananas and let the peels soak in a glass of water. Once you finish the cup of coffee wait a little bit to digest then drink the glass of water.
5. Menstrual Cramps—Eat two tbsps of flax seeds during your period because of their hormone balancing lignans and phytoestrogens.
6. Snoring—Take a cup of warm milk and mix in a tsp of Turmeric powder. Drink it before bed. This one I can personally attest to as a miracle cure. I actually find that having this once keeps me snore free for up to a week.
7. Whiter Teeth—Make a paste by crushing some basil leaves with the zest of an orange. Put it on your teeth for about twenty minutes then wash it off.
8. Improved Memory - Have a tsp of good quality raw honey with a pinch of cinnamon before bed to give your brain the glucose it needs to work all night long processing and repairing.
9. Allergies—Mix one part cucumber juice with one part beet root juice and three parts carrot juice. Drink it once per day.
10. Nasal Congestion - Put some black pepper in a pan and heat it on high for a couple of minutes the breathe in the fumes through your nose.
11. Headache—Take the rinds of a couple of lemons and squash it into a paste. Apply to the forehead for fast relief and follow up with a cup of green tea with half a lemon squeezed in.
12. Anxiety—Squeeze fresh orange juice into a glass then mix in one tbsp of honey and one tbsp of nutmeg for a daily tonic to help ease your stress.
13. Dry Skin - Mash together two bananas with two tbsp of honey and apply it to the skin for about fifteen minutes before washing the paste off.
14. Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar - Make a tea from hot water and licorice powder which you drink twice daily.
15. Common Cold - Ayurveda says to add a tsp of ground black pepper and a tsp of ground turmeric to a glass of warm milk but in this case I think I prefer the Less Doing remedy.