Ayurveda translates as ‘knowledge of life’, and it refers to a natural system of medicine that first evolved in Asia over 3,000 years ago. It takes a holistic approach to health, focusing on bodily wellness and also spiritual and mental harmony. This is achieved through a combination of herbal supplements, yoga, massage, and meditation.
Ayurvedic medicines are made from natural extracts of plants, roots, bark, fruits, and herbs, and are used as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle to promote inner wellbeing and prevent serious illness from developing. They are available in powder form, and still retain all of their useful nutritional components. Here is a guide to the uses of some ayurvedic powders.
- Ashwagandha powder
Ashwagandha is a small plant native to dry regions of India and north Africa. Its botanical name is Withania Somnifera, and it is also known as winter cherry. Its roots and berries have been traditionally used in ayurveda medicine to help the body’s immune system recover after an illness.
It may also be helpful to reduce stress and anxiety, by lowering cortisol levels and promoting a restful night’s sleep. This in turn can reduce the risk of prolonged episodes of inflammation, which is linked to the onset of several serious illnesses. In powder form, it can be added to juices, smoothies, and bedtime drinks.
- Triphala powder
Triphala is a traditional Ayurveda medicine made from the extracts of three Asian fruits: amla (also known as Indian gooseberry), bibhitaki, and haritaki. It is thought to relieve digestive troubles and may ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some small-scale studies have shown that it may reduce the inflammation that leads to arthritis.
There is also a possibility that triphala promotes good oral hygiene and may aid weight loss. It is recommended to take one teaspoon of the powder per day with juice or honey, or drunk as a herbal tea.
- Brahmi powder
Brahmi is also known as Bacopa and Waterhyssop, and is one of the most valued plants in Ayurveda medicine. It is thought to be nootropic, which means that it may help to improve memory and concentration and clarify the mind. Some people also find that it relieves the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Some small-scale studies have found it may be beneficial in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and reducing the related symptoms of restlessness and poor self control.
- Moringa Leaf Powder
Moringa leaf powder is an extract of the moringa tree, also known as drumstick tree. It is a powerful medicinal plant containing over 90 essential vitamins and minerals. There are a huge range of health benefits associated with these nutrients.
These include better iron absorption, immune system support, healthy gums, regulation of blood pressure, support of a healthy nervous system, hair, bones, nails, and skin strengthening properties, and normal muscle function to name a few.
It is a versatile powder with a fresh flavour, and can be used in soups and stews, and be used to sprinkle on salads or make smoothies.