Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda focuses on achieving optimal health and wellness through a balance of the mind, body, and spirit, preventing disease rather than treating it (1).

Ayurvedic treatments may include dietary changes, herbal remedies, massage, meditation, and yoga, among other therapies. The goal of Ayurveda is to promote holistic health and prevent illness by restoring balance to the body and mind.

Adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha and holy basil, are commonly used in Ayurveda medicine to help the body adapt to stress and promote vitality. These herbs have gained popularity in recent years as natural remedies for anxiety and stress. The Ayurveda diet, which emphasizes whole foods, seasonal eating, and mindful eating practices, has gained popularity in recent years as a way to promote overall health and balance. Some popular Ayurveda foods include ghee, turmeric, and mung beans.

There are also Ayurveda skincare products, which are formulated with natural ingredients like turmeric, neem, and aloe vera, have gained popularity in recent years. These products are believed to promote healthy skin by balancing the doshas and nourishing the skin from within (2).

It is also believed that Ayurveda medicine promotes digestion, reduces stress, and supports immune function. As mentioned before, Ayurveda herbs and spices are also an important component of this approach. They’re thought to protect your body from disease and offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and mental health (1).

There are a large number of plants used in the Ayurveda medicine, such as coriander, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, garlic, cloves, nutmeg, dill, cinnamon, rosemary, anise, etc (3). The following are the top 3 trending:

  1. Ashwagandha – A woody plant native to North Africa and India. It is known as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help with stress management in the body. It may reduce the stress hormone cortisol, as well as improving anxiety levels and sleep for those with anxiety disorders (5). Although more research needs to be done, some studies show the impact of ashwagandha on enhancing muscle growth, lowering blood sugar and supporting immune system (6) (7).
  2. Ginger – has an active effect on the digestive system, increases the secretion of gastric juice and activates the intestines.  Ginger can also increase the anti-inflammatory, tonic and analgesic effects in the body and can help to detoxify and cleanse body fluids of toxins (3).
  3. Turmeric – The main active compound is called Curcumin, which has strong anti-inflmmatory and antioxidant properties (8). It is an excellent natural antibiotic that both improves digestion and helps to normalise the intestinal microflora. Keep in mind that most studies use large doses of curcumin to test outcomes, but turmic insself contains around 3% curcumin. Therefore, larger doses may be needed, but with this can lead to unpleasant side effects (9).Turmeric is an antibacterial agentfor exhausted and chronically ill patients, regulates metabolism and promotes the absorption of proteins. It also can enhances reproductive function (3).
  4. Cinnamon – some researchers suggest that cinnamon has lots of beneficial properties. It is believed that cinnamon may be anti-inflammatory, has an antioxidant activity (10), cinnamon may have possible antitumor and anti-microbial properties (11), and it also may aid in lowering cholesterol levels (4).

Ayruvedic spices and herbs have been researched, with some scientific evidence showing benefits in different areas. Therefore, adding these ingredients to meals may provide the possible health benefits and also flavour our meals. However, large doses may not be suitable for everyone. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health and should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatment. We strongly recommend consulting with your GP and a qualified Ayurveda practitioner before starting any Ayurveda treatments or remedies.

By Danielle Colombari, dietetic student, revised by Reema Patel, Registered Dietitian at Dietitian Fit & Co.

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