Important Herbs in Ayurveda for Women

Ayurvedic herbs are key elements of Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal system with history of more than 5000 years. There are many Ayurvedic herbs for women which benefit their health in many ways. Women’s body rhythm is closely linked to the nature. Ayurveda helps them to set it right. These Ayurvedic herbs not only cure specific medical conditions but also help women to maintain the right balance of hormones and doshas in the body.

Here are some important herbs in Ayurveda for women’s health.

Shatavari –

Family- Liliaceae

Latin name- Asparagus racemosus

Vatapittashamak, so useful  in many diseases.

External use:
Because of its shamak and balya actions, leaves boiled in oil are used for massage in head (brain) disease, vata disorders and weakness. Leaves are used in measles and smallpox.

Internal use:
Shatavari is a brain tonic and pain reliever, gives energy to brain and nerves. It is used in epilepsy and syncope and vata disorders.

Digestive system:
Enhances digestion, laxative, astringent. Because of its bitter rasa it is stomachic. Useful in loss of appetite, colic, gulma, chronic colitis and hemorrhoids. Lubricates internal skin and makes it soft. It increases appetite. In peptic and duodenal ulcer, shatavari kalp is used.

Circulatory system:
Shatavari acts on rakta dhatu. It alleviates bleeding disorders.  It is also cardiotonic.  It is useful in cardiac disorders, bleeding disorders and in inflammatory conditions.  Ghee boiled with shatavari can be useful in these conditions.  It is used as a galactagogue in humans as well as in animals.

Reproductive system:
It is a foetal tonic, galactagogue and aphrodisiac. Shatavari kalp works as rasayan in threatened abortion, menorrhagia, suppressed lactation and low sperm count.

Excretory system:
It also acts on meda dhatu and is tonic to it. Being diuretic, it is used in dysuria. It gives strength to urinary bladder.

Eyes:
It is an eye tonic, hence useful in impaired eye sight and in many of the eye diseases.

Satmikaran:
Useful in general debility and as a mansa-medogami and muscle strengthener. It is also used in tuberculosis.

Formulations:
Siddhaghrita, Phalghrita, Narayan taila.

Kumari-

Family- Liliaceae

Latin name:  Aloe vera

Useful in diseases caused by all the three doshas.

External use:
Poultice-anti -inflammatory, can be applied on inflamed parts. Kala bol powder can be applied on small wounds. A warm paste of kumari juice with turmeric churna can be applied over swollen, painful and enlarged spleen. Juice can be used in the eyes for conjunctivitis.  In headaches and eye problems, the pulp can be applied locally.  The juice is refrigerant.

Internal use:

Digestive system:
In small doses, kumari has deepen, pachan, bhedan, uttejak properties. In large doses, it is virechaka and krumighna. It increases the secretions of small intestine and promotes the peristalsis of large intestine.  Since its action is slow, the laxative effect is observed after 10-12 hours. If taken in excess quantity, rational action is not observed but ill effects in the form of gripping, constipation and sometimes bleeding is observed.  In moderate quantity, stools are observed to be soft and solid and dark coloured. There is increased congestion in the anal region due to consumption of kumari. Very often it may result in formation of piles. Juice of kumari is useful in loss of appetite, ascites, tumour, liver and spleen enlargement and abdominal colic. It is laxative, antiflatulent and anthelmintic.

Cardiovascular system:
It is yakritgami, raktavahasrotogami and is useful in purification of blood and affections of liver. It is used in splenomegaly in combination with haridra.

Urogenital system:
It is a known diuretic.  By being snigdha and pichchil, it promotes the secretion of semen and acts as an aphrodisiac. Being ushna, it increases the flow of blood to the uterus and promotes contraction as a result of which it leads to uterine bleeding.  Hence kala bol is used locally for treatment of amennorhoea.

Skin:
Useful in common conditions of skin, it promotes hair growth.

Temperature:
It is useful in chronic fevers.

Satmikaran:
Kumari juice or kala bol can be used as a restorative in generalized weakness. It is a tonic. The juice is anabolic and increases strength.

Formulations:
Kumari asava, Kumaripak etc.

Amruta/Guduchi-

Family:  Menispermaceae

Latin name:  Tinospora cardifolia

Tridoshashamak and pittasarak

External uses:
Antiseptic and analgesic. Guduchyadi oil is used in common skin conditions and gout.

Internal uses:

Digestive system:
Controls emesis and thirst, appetizer, digestive, peristaltic, anthelmintic and antacid. Useful in thirst, vomiting, loss appetite, abdominal pain, liver disorders, jaundice, acid-peptic disorder, dysentery, sprue and worms.

Circulatory system:
Cardiotonic, haemopoetic and acts specifically on vata-rakta. Raktavahasrotogami. Guduchi satva is effective in cardiac debility, blood disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, splenomegaly, gout and anaemia.

Respiratory system:
Anti-inflammatory and anti-secretory action is observed. Useful in cough.

Reproductive system:
Aphrodisiac being shukragami, snigdha and madhur vipak.

Urinary system:
Anti-diabetic, promotive. Effective in prameha, mainly in diabetes and disorders of urinary bladder.

Skin:
Useful in number of common skin infections (should be used along guggulu, haridra, neem, khadir and amla). It is used in skin disorders like dermatoses and erysipelas etc. It is also useful in syphilitic ulcer.

Temperature:
Antipyretic, especially effective in chronic fevers. Juice of guduchi is used in chronic fever and typhoid fever. It reduces burning, normalizes temperature, improves appetite and increases the strength.

Satmikaran:
It is known to be a good restorative-tikta, balya, rasayani. Useful in weakness and pthisis and good rasayan for all seven dhatus.

Formulations:
Guduchyadi churna, Guduchyadi kwath, Amrutarishta, Guduchi taila, Guduchi loha.

Sariva-

Family:  Asclepiadaceae

Latin name:  Hemidesumos indicus

Tridoshashamak, vatashaman by madhur and snigdha, pittashamak by sheeta veerya and kaphashamak by tikta rasa.

External uses:
Anti-inflammatory, soothing, so used in burning sensation and inflammation. Juice is used in conjunctivitis.

Internal uses:

Digestive system:
Being appetizer, digestive and laxative, it is used in the treatment of loss of appetite, diarrhea, dysentery and mainly in malena.

Circulatory system:
It is a blood purifier and anti-inflammatory. Sariva is the best medicine for blood disorders, gout, soft chancre, secondary stage of syphilis, chronic rheumatoid arthritis, filariasis and cervical lymphadenitis.

Respiratory system:
Being kaphaghna it is used in cough and asthma.

Reproductive system:
Purifies breast milk, helps in conception. Decoction of sariva roots taken in pregnancy improves the complexion of the new born. It is useful in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea and abortion. It improves mobililty of sperm. It cures lactating disorders.

Urinary system:
It is diuretic, increases urination by 2 to 4 times without affecting kidneys. So used in dysuria and pittaj prameha.

Skin:
Used in skin diseases, erysipelas, impetigo etc. and is used in blood and skin related disorders.

Temperature:
Antipyretic and refrigerant (used in pittaj jwar and burning sensation). Hot infusion is given in raktajjwar.

Satmikaran:
Sariva is the best rejuvenator for skin. Useful in weakness, anaemia and tuberculosis. It also acts as an antidote.

Formulations:
Sarivadi phant, Sarivadi vati, Sarivadyavaleha, Sarivadyasav.

Manjishtha-

Family: Rubiaceae

Latin name: Rubia cordifolia

Kaphapittashamak, therefore useful in many kaphapittaj disorders.

External uses:
It is anti-inflammatory. It heals wounds and helps in skin disorders. Its lepa (paste) is applied on inflammation, ulcers and skin disorders.

Internal uses:

Nervous system:
It gives relief to brain and nerves. Thus, it is useful in nervous system disorders (but if given in excessive doses, it creates mania hallucinations).

Digestive system:
It is good appetizer(deepan) and has good digestive capacity(pachan). It has astringent property that reduces motility and is anthelmintic. Therefore, it is used in loss of appetite, amadosha, diarrhoea, dysentery associated with bleeding and different helminths.

Circulatory system:
Being haemostatic, used in many blood disorders, raktapitta and skin disorders, ulcers, erysipelas etc.

Reproductive system:
It stimulates uterus. It increases menstrual flow and it purifies breast milk. Therefore, used in dysmenorrhoea, secondary amenorrhoea. It is used to purify uterus and breast milk after delivery. It also reduces fever.

Urinary system:
It is antidiabetic, especially in manjishthameha, a type of pittaj prameha. In renal calculi, 1 gm manjishtha powder given three times a day for 1 week. This removes the renal stone. If not, surgical opinion is advised.

Skin:
It is used in skin diseases like leprosy, erysipelas, vitiligo and hypopigmentation. In these conditions manjishtha is given in honey.

Temperature:
It is used in fever, especially chronic pyrexia and fever after delivery.

Satmikaran:
It is used in different skin disorders related with pigmentation, weakness, general debility and poisoning. Manjishtha improves voice.

Formulations:
Manjishthadi kadha, Mahamanjishthadi

Ashwagandha-

Family: Solanaceae

Latin name: Withania somnifera

Kapha vata shamak.

External uses:

It reduces oedema and pain, that is why leaves or root paste is applied on enlarged cervical glands or swelling of other glands. In vata diseases and weakness, oil massage is done. The juice of leaves is used as eardrops in ear discharge.

Internal uses:

Nervous system:
As it is a sedative and nervine tonic, it helps in atonic nerves, fainting, giddiness and insomnia.

Digestive system:
The bark powder is appetizer, carminative and anthelmintic and hence is used in abdominal pain, constipation and worms.

Circulatory system:
It has an effect on the heart, purifies the blood and reduces oedema. So it is used for the weakness of heart, blood disorders and oedema. Its decoction is used in rheumatoid arthritis.

Respiratory system:
It is an expectorant and has antiasthamatic property, due to which it is useful in cough. Ashwagandha ash along with ghee and honey is effective in asthma. If phlegm is thin, it is used in the form of ash or its alkaline extract is used. Decoction of bark should be given in low dose for cough and asthma. It is also used as a tonic in the above conditions.

Reproductive system:
Ashwagandha is well known for its aphrodisiac property. It is used in semen disorders and leucorrhoea caused due to endometritis. A mixture of 5 gm powder + 10gm of ghee+250ml of milk+sugar is a good tonic, nutritious and also aphrodisiac. It completely cures puerperal backache.

Urinary system:
It is a diuretic and so used in oliguria or anurea. It is used to strengthen meda dathu.

Skin:
It is used in vitiligo and other skin diseases, blisters heal when black ashes of the roots are applied on them.

Satmikaran:
It increases weight, improves immunity and is an aphrodisiac. Used in debilitating diseases and marasmus in children.

Formulation:
Ashwagandhadi churna, Ashwagandha rasayana, Ashwagandhaghrut, Ashwagandharishta, Maharasanadi.

Ashok-

Family : Leguminoceae

Latin name: Saraca indica

Kaphapittashamak

External uses:
The bark has analgesic and antidotal properties. Hence its paste is used in pains and poisoning for local application.

Internal uses:

Nervous system:
It has a tranquilizing effect on the nerves and therefore is used in painful vata disorders.

Digestive system:
Due to it astringent, anthelmintic and antisdyspeptic properties, it is useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, helminthiasis and dipsia.

Circulatory system:
It has haemostatic, blood purifying and antioedematous effects. Hence it is used in diseases of the blood and oedema. Its flowers are used in haemoptysis and internal bleeding.

Reproductive system:
It strengthens the muscles of the uterus and reduces uterine discharge and pain in the uterus and so it is useful in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, and dysmenorrhoea. Since the decoction of the bark acts as a tonic for the endometrium, it is useful in many diseases of the uterus.

Urinary system:
By virtue of its diuretic property, it is useful in dysuria and calculi. It prevents the formation of a calculus.

Temperature:
It reduces the burning sensation frequently associated with pyrexia.

Formulations:
Ashokarishta, Ashokaghrita, Ashokakshirpak.

Latakaranj:

Family:  Leguminoceae

Latin name: Caesalpinia bondue

Kaphavatashamak. It is a cholagogue.

External uses:
Local application of the leaves reduces inflammation and pain. Seed oil is applied in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Internal uses:

Digestive system:
As it is deepan, anuloman, liver stimulant, pitta rechan and vermicidal, it is used in loss of appetite, pain in abdomen, ascites, hemorrhoids, liver and splenomegaly and worms. Fried seed powder is used in pain due to antravriddhi. In indigestion, fried pulp powder is given along with hot butter milk and asafoetida.

Circulatory system:
Purifies blood, anti-inflammatory and useful in blood diseases like syphilis.

Respiratory system:
Juice of tender leaves is used in cough and asthma as it reduces kapha and acts as antiasthmatic.

Reproductive system:
Uterine stimulant, given after delivery, it involutes the uterus. Helps in fever, pain and inflammation.

Nervous system:
The leaf oil is tonic for nerves. It is useful in convulsions.

Urinary system:
Diuretic, so used in dysuria. In orchitis, tender leaves fried in castor oil are applied on testis.

Skin:
As it is antidermatoses, it is used in dermatoses. Seed oil is applied on pimples.

Temperature:
Antipyretic, especially if used regularly. Seeds containing tikta satva work as quinine. In malaria, seed powder + black pepper is given.

Satmikaran:
As it is a pungent tonic, it is given in post pyrexia weakness. In jwara, bitter is the most important rasa.

Formulation:
Shakravati.

Gokshur:

Family:  Zygophyllaceae

Latin name:  Tribulus terrestris

Vatapittakaphashamak

External uses:
Leaves are tied on wounds.

Internal uses:

Nervous system:
Analgesic and vatashamak, therefore, used in neural debility, painful conditions and vata disorders.

Digestive system:
Stomachic, astringent, anthelmintic, but laxative in large dose. Therefore, it is used in low appetite, piles and helminthiasis.

Circulatory system:
It is a cardio tonic, anti-inflammatory and helps in hemorrhagic disorders. It is used in heart diseases. Fruit juice is useful in amoebiasis and splenomegaly.

Respiratory system:
Expectorant, therefore, used in cough and asthma.

Reproductive system:
It is an aphrodisiac and helps in conception, useful in preventing abortion, vaginal disorders, impotency and postnatal discharges.

Urinary system:
Diuretic dissolves calculi and amorphous calculi. Therefore, useful in urinary calculi, dysuria and cystitis. Fresh leaves dipped in water make it slimy, this water is used for medicinal purposes.

Satmikaran:
Useful in debility.

Formulations:
Gokshuradi guggul, Dashmoolarishta, Gokshuradi avaleha.

Maka-

Family:  Compositae

Latin name:  Eclipta alba

Kaphavatashaman. Kaphashaman by ruksha, laghu, katu, tikta and ushna and vatashaman by ushna property. It is useful in disorders induced by kapha and vata.

External uses:
The herb alleviates swelling and pain, cleans and heals wounds, enhances complexion. But its main action is to promote hair growth and hair dye. Its paste reduces swelling and pain when applied over filariasis, gland, wounds and chronic ulcers. It helps in healing wounds and gives natural complexion to the skin. Drops of its juice are put in eyes and ears. It relieves conjunctivitis if applied in eyes and earache, if applied in ear. The juice is applied over head to relieve headache. In migraine, bhrungaraj juice and goat milk are used as nasal drops. Grey hair turns to black if juice is applied over scalp.

Internal uses:

Central nervous system:
Alleviates vata and acts as an analgesic. It is used in diseases like headache, vertigo etc. Bhrungaraj is effective in various vata disorders.

Eyes:
It improves vision. It is used in night blindness and myopia.

Digestive system:
Bhrungaraj is an excellent appetizer, digestant and liver stimulant. Its main action is on liver and spleen. It improves the bilious flow. It is ama digestant, anthelmintic and analgesic. It cures loss of appetite, indigestion, liver and spleen enlargements and ama disorders. A mixture of maka juice and castor oil is a good vermicide. It reduces mucous in the stool and fetid smell. Overall, maka can be described as a best medicine for digestive system.

Circulatory system:
As it purifies blood, increases blood, reduces blood pressure and edema, it is useful in blood disorders, anemia, oedema and hypertension.

Respiratory system:
Being an expectorant and raktagami, it is used in cough and asthma.

Urinary system:
Kaphamedagami-It acts as a diuretic by alleviating kapha and meda. It reduces burning micturition. Mixture of roots and leaves + ajamoda is useful in all urinary disorders.

Reproductive system:
Its seeds are shukragami and spermatogenic. Hence it is used for virilisation.

Satmikaran:
Maka promotes immunity and has rejuvenating action in anemia and lipid disorders. But blue bhrungaraj should be used for rejuvenation.

Skin:
It has diaphoretic action because it is rasa, rakta, mansagami. Useful in skin disorders, kilas urticaria, kshudrarogas. Also enhances complexion.

Temperature:
Diaphoretic. Being ama digestant and being febrifuge, it is effective in many fevers like typhoid and malarial fever.

Formulations:
Bhrungaraj taila, Shadbindu taila, Bhrungarajghrit, Bhrungarajasava. If Maka is taken every day, it acts as an anti aging agent. Paste of maka + marva + henna applied over scars produced by burns prevents depigmentation of the skin and gives normal color to the skin.

Brahmi-

Family:  Scrophulariaceae

Latin name:  Herpestis moniera

External uses:
In rheumatoid arthritis, the fresh juice of Brahmi is applied to the inflamed joints, which helps in relieving pain.

Internal uses:

Nervous system:
Brahmi is a valuable plant for brain and entire nervous system. Mania and epilepsy are two conditions which require brahmi. It also helps in depression and mental retardation by enhancing intelligence.

Digestive system:
Brahmi is slightly astringent and hence useful in diarrhea due to vitiated vata. Brahmi may suppress appetite; hence deepan medicines should be given along with it.

Respiratory system:
Especially in children, for cold and cough, 1 teaspoonful of Brahmi juice is given to induce vomiting and gives relief. When hoarseness of voice results from excessive talking, pills made from the leaves of Brahmi, vasa, pippali, haritaki and vacha are chewed which gives relief.

Cardiovascular system:
In small doses, it has cardio tonic property. It leads to an increase in blood  pressure.

Urinary system:
Diuretic.

Satmikaran:
Brahmi is a brain tonic. It enhances memory, intelligence and longevity.

Formulations:
Brahmi prash, Saraswatarishta, Brahmighruta, Brahmi taila.

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