In Ayurvedic medicine, herbs are considered on the basis of their energetics. Ayurveda considers all of the aspects of the herb including its taste, elements, heating or cooling effects, post digestive effects and other potencies. Western herbology does not have a concept of dosha in their system, but this does not exclude western herbs from being used in Ayurvedic herbal treatment plans. In fact, there is great benefit from indigenous herbs, though there is no replacement for many of the Ayurvedic herbs that grow in India and have not equivalent.
Ayurveda also considers herbs on the basis of therapeutics. The classification for therapeutic herbs is:
1. Alterative = herbs that are cleansing and purifying to the blood.
2. Antiparasitical and Anthelmintic = herbs that help destroy and dispel worms.
3. Astringent = herbs that stop excessive discharges and secretions as well as exerting a firming, condensing, and compacting action on the tissues and organs of the body.
4. Bitter Tonic and Antipyretic = herbs that stimulate digestion when taken in small amounts, primarily used for treating high Pitta conditions such as fever or heat conditions.
5. Carminative = herbs that relieve intestinal gas, pain, and distention.
6. Diuretic = herbs that increase urination and promote the activity of the kidneys and bladder.
7. Emmenagogues = herbs that help promote and regulate menstruation and treat disorders of the female reproductive system.
8. Expectorant and Demulcent = herbs that promote discharge of phlegm and mucus from the body.
9. Laxative and Purgative = herbs that promote bowel movements, dispel constipation, and help eliminate food accumulations and toxins in the intestines.
10. Nervine and Antispasmodic = herbs that strengthen the functional activity of the nervous system.
11. Stimulant and Digestive = herbs that increase or promote all organ functions by stimulating and improving digestion.
12. Tonics (Nutritive, Rejuvenative, Aphrodisiacs) = tonic herbs nurture the tissues of the body, rejuvenative herbs renews the body and mind, aphrodisiacs are herbs to improve sexual function and sexual energy.
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