Yoga, Physiotherapy, Health, Sankhya, Metaphysics, Sanatana Dharma, Perennialists & Hinduism

Remedials, Healing & the Yoga of Herbs

on February 16, 2012

This is a short post to consider herbs with the practice of Yoga & mantras.  It will  be further elaborated upon and updated in the future.

A useful guide for more information on herbs is the work and books by Dr David Frawley & Vasant Lad; eg. the Yoga of Herbs – an Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. For more information, refer to this resource guide:-


5 general modalities are presented with an example of some herbs to take before the practice of Yoga.

Passive Modalities

i) Gems, ii) Yantras, iii) Herbs

Active Modalities

iv) Mantras & v) Yoga (Surya Namaskar)

i) GEMS – &

Gems are often the most common and passive means of remedial used, by which planetary influences are harmonised.

Gems, in there crystalised form, carry a high ether and light content, and through the ether of consciousness and the elctro-magnetic resonance and nadis of the body, help the individual imbibe more of the planetary influence. Through the 7 rays of light, within the infrared (kethu) and ultra-violet (Rahu) spectrum, gems act through light and colour to add rays into the psyche of the recipient. Note that gems, metals and herbs can, in vedic and chinese medicine, all be correlated metaphysically to their corresponding planets.

Sun – Ruby; Moon – Pearl; Mars – Red Coral; Mercury – Green Emerald; Jupiter – Yellow Sapphire/Topaz; Venus – Diamond; Saturn – Blue Sapphire; Rahu or North Node of Moon – Gomed or Hessonite; Kethu or South Node of Moon – Tiger’s or Cat’s Eye.

In Siddha medicine (, gems and metals are ground into a paste and prepared for ingestion  (used for an already purified consciousness – ie. very potent).


However, there are other yogic and practical methods that are important. Similar “passive” complimentary methods exist; such as the use of Yantras (geometric designs), Mandalas and the application of Vastu (Indian geomancy – sacred space) or even, talismans (charged yantras) and clothing (colour). The most powerful Yantra is the Shri Yantra, which is the King of the Yantras, the great yantra of the goddess that represents and contains within itself the entire universe. & &

iii) HERBS – The main focus of this post is on the use of herbs. For more on herbs, here are some wiki links:- & &

For general purposes, I have categorised herbs into 4 groups:-

a) Nutritive b)  Rujuventative c) Nervine d) Balancing

Whilst nutritive herbs nurture and nourish the tissues & dhatus, rejuventative herbs are rasayanas that rebuild the the soma and ojas of the body.  The ojas sthana is the heart and devotion is the means, but in the process the regenerative organ plays an important power station and foundation for self-regeneration.

This is why, depending on the 3 doshas, rasayanas are often Vajikarana or aphrodiasiacs as well.

The nervine herds strengthen the brain and nerves to channel, contain and discipline the regeneration and expansion of this renewed  life force via the higher centres of the crown chakra and third eye chakras.

Thus, all three types of herbs can be co-ordinated depending on the dosha type.

a) Some general nutritive herbs are:-

Almonds, jaggary, honey, ghee, amalaki & milk.

Note that many of these are used in the panchamrit ( during the  abishekam ( ritual over a Siva Lingam. (Siva, being the ultimate rejuvenator).

b) Some typical  rasayanas  for the 3 types are:-

VATA – Ashwaghandha, Haritaki, Ginseng, Bala, Shankha Pushpi

PITTA – Aloe Vera, Amalaki, Licorice, Guduchi, Shatavari

KAPHA –  Bibhitaki, Ballatak, Elecamane, Guggul, Shilajit & Pippali (long pepper), Garlic

Specific Combinations with Ashwaghanda => with Gotu Kola (or Brahmi) for brain & nerves; with Arjuna for heart; with Vidari Kanda for bones & joints; with Gokshura for kidneys and bladder; with Bala for lungs and muscles; with Kapikacchu for aphrodisiac

Specific Combinations with Aloe => with Tumeric for liver, blood & wound healing; with Ginger for digestion and protecting mucous membranes; with Golden seal as an anti-biotic; with Saffron as female reproductive tonic

c) Brain & Nervine herbs  – structure to hold life force

VATA – Calamus & Valerian & Chamomile

PITTA – Brahmi Gotu Kola & Skullcap

KAPHA – Tulsi Basil

ALL DOSHAS – Jatamamsi &  Sankha Pushpi (Saraswata churna powder)

Some other helpful nervines – Akarakarabha (very powerful nervine), Atmagupta, Bala, Neurostess (from Rising Pharmaceuticals company) & Mentat (from Himalaya Company)

Other nutritional adjuncts for the nervous system are:-

Omega 3’s, vitamin B complex (B6 – wheat germ), vitamin K (Brocolli), thiamine, choline (eggs),  zinc (pumpkin seeds), tryosine for dopamine & noradrenaline (yogurt),  nasunin (egg plant), almonds and walnuts, blueberries (cells of hipocampus and short term memory), tryptophan to serotonin (sun flower seeds),  a moderation of dark chocolate (precursor to serotonin)!.. etc…

Food that reduce brain aging .. anti-oxidants … spinach, tomatoes,  red cabbage, green teas (polyphenol) etc…

Magnesium in neurological disorder (esp. with B6 & Zinc) &

Some possible  Homeopathic Remedies for Nervous System:- (Anacardium 30) (Lac Caninum30) (Nux Moschata 30) (Sulphur 30)

d) Balancing herbs are often heart chakra herbs that allow love and devotion to swell up and naturally control life-force and prana – Cardamom, Lotus Seeds, Rose, Saffron


Herbs through their chemistry and life force target specific internal organs.

BRAIN –  Basil, Calamus, Gotu Kola (Brahmi) & Skullcap

EYES – Triphala, Licorice, Shatavari

NOSE – Nasya of Anu Tail

SKIN – Tuvarak, Catechu, Bakuchi

NEURO-MUSCULAR SYSTEM – Bala, Nagbala, Garlic, Guggul

THYROID – Irish Moses, Kelp, Trikatu

LUNGS – Comfrey, Elecampane, Ginger, Pippali

HEART – Hawthorn, Lotus Seeds, Saffron, Guggul. Elecampane, Gold Bashma

BREASTS – Dandelion, Fennel, Fenugreek, Shatavari

LYMPHATICS – Bayberry, Echinacea, Yarrow, Yellow Dock

STOMACH – Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cumin, Fennel

LARGE INTESTINES – Psyllium, Rhubarb, Triphala

SMALL INTESTINES – Aloe Vera, Cumin, Gentian

LIVER – Aloe vera, Barberry, Gentian, Manjisha,Guduchi

SPLEEN – Golden Seal, Neem, Tumeric

PANCREAS – Dandelion, Tumeric, Pomengranate

KIDNEYS – Coriander, Goshura, Marshmallow, Uva Urshi

MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM – Ashwagandha, Bala, Garlic, Saw Palmetto

FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM – Aloe Vera, Myrrh, Raspberry, Shatavari

Rasayanas for the Tissues (Dhatus)

1. Plasma (Rasa) – Draksha, Shatavari, dates

2. Blood (Rakta) – Amalaki, Lauhadi rasayana, bhringaraj, suvarna makshika

3. Muscle (Mamsa) – Masha, Ashwaghandha, Bala, Nux Vomica, Silver Bhashma

4. Fat (Meda) – Guggul, Shilajit, Haritaki, Guduchi, Garlic

5. Bone (Ashti) – Shukti (mother of Pearl) bhasma, prawal (coral) bhasma, Kukkutanda bhasma, mrigashringa bhasma, vamsharochan, prishnaparni

6. Nerve (Majja) – Calamus, Gotu Kola, Shankhapushpi, loha bhasma, gold bashma, makaradhwaja

7. Reproductive (Shukra) – Kapikacchu, Vidarikanda, Shatavari, Ashwaghandha, Ghee, Milk

Rasayanas for Bodily Systems

1. Respiratory – Chyavan prash, Vardhaman, Pippali (long pepper), Vardhaman Marich (Black Pepper)

2. Digestive – Long Pepper, Bhallataka, Haritaki, Suvarna Parpati

3. Water metabolism – Fresh ginger, cyperus, Cardamon

4. Urinary systems – Punarnava, Gokshura

5. Excretory systems –  Kutaj, Vidanga, Triphala, Flaxseed

6. Sweating systems – Basil, Nux Vomica, Dhatura

50 Groups of Herbs for Specific therapeutic Effects (according to Charak) &

In Ayurveda, each of these 50 groups has 10 herbs. According to Frawley & Ranade (in their book Ayurveda – Nature’s Medicine), each group is called a Mahakashaya. Their book (on page 153) gives a very good list of the 50 groups with their 10 herbs and overall therapeutic action such as weight loss or gain, heart tonics etc.. As an example, I will list a few here;

Groups Agents Name => Therapeutic Effect => List of herbs/foods

Vitalizing Agents (Jivaiya) => Helps protects one’s life and promote longevity => Licorice, sesame seeds or mung beans

Healing Agents (Sandhaniya) => Promote the healing of wound or cuts => Guggul, Manjishta, Tumeric, Aloe gel, Bayberry, Neem

Tonics (Balya) => Strength giving Agents => Bala, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Ginseng

Promote Longevity (Vaya Sthapana) – Rejuvenative, counter the aging process => Guduchi Sattva, Haritaki, Gotu Kola, Shatavari, Amalaki

Complexion Improving Agents => Improve Skin Lustre => Sandalwood, Tumeric, Lotus Root, Manjishtha, (Neem & Aloe Vera)

Hair Growth => Amla, Bhrinjraj, Jatamansi, wheat germ etc… (many products available with Himalayan Comapny)


COMPANIES FOR PURCHASING HERBS (Ayurvedic) & & & & & & & & & & &


On a more dynamic, inter-active level, methods that employ (mental and physical) participation of the individual are often more effective; especially for deeper psychological or psychic imbalances. These include Mantras (words of power), Pujas & Homas (sacred rituals), Ayurvedic & Holistic Medicines (eg. nutritionals, diet, herbs, aromas as well as colour) and Hatha Yogas (notably, asana postures, pranayama deep breathing and mudras or physiological/psychic “locks”).

Example of Steps to  Herbal Healing using a Mantra

Step 1. Start with some simple pranayama to balance and open both the lunar (ida) and solar (pingala) nadis into sushumna nadi before starting one’s practice.

This involves  alternative nostril breathing. 3 deep breathes are taken  in through one nostril (closing the other nostril with one’s finger) and out through the other. Then, exchanging the nostril in and out, another 3 deep breathes are taken in using the other nostril in and the opposite out. This can be repeated a few cycles until both nostrils are found to be open on breathing in and out.

Note that deep breathing increases prana to the brain, and, with practice over time,  enlargens the ventricles of the brain  and the nervous systems’ prana capacity.

Step 2. Prepare the herbs that you want to take before you begin your surya namskar. These herbs can be placed on the a  SRI YANTRA or Durga Yantra. In addition, the herbs can be left in the Moon over night to absorb more “soma”. The specific energies can be co-ordinated with Jyotish or Vedic Astrology Constellations. This timing is called  Muhurtam ( Also you can refer to the later part of this link post for a simple introduction. …

Step 3. With your chosen herbs on the Yantra, you can now begin charging them with the Tantric mantra

For example, if you are a Pitta-Vata type, you might have Ashwaghandha, Aloe Vera,  Amalaki,  Calamus & Brahmi herbs on the i) Sri Yantra or ii) Durga Yantra. Now you can repeat this mantra 108 times out-loud or silently, focusing the mind on the vibration and the yantra. The relevant mantra (to the Goddess/3 aspects of nature) is:-

Saraswati (Raja guna) = “Aim”; Laxsami (Satwa guna) = “Srim”; Kali Durga (Tama guna) = “Kreem”


(especially used  for rejuvenating mind and nervous system and facilitating flow of Soma down from the crown chakra)

Aim Klim Sauh(a) (shortest version)

(pronounced AYM KLEEM SAUHA)


Hrim Srim Klim Aim Sauh(a) (short version)


Ka E I La Hrim, Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim (full version)


(fiery mantra for causing ascent of prana and kundalini fire)

Krim Hum Hrim

(pronounced KREEM HOOM HREEM)


combined with Sundari mantra

Aum Krim Hum Hrim Srim Aim Klim Sauh

(balances fiery ascending and watery descending energies of Shakti)


Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaya Vicche


Complete the chanting with “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” and ingest the herbs with milk and honey.


Note that in an earlier post mantras were connected to the 12 postures of the Surya Namaskar t

By researching and considering the correspondence between herbs to chakras, specific herbs can also be used with the Surya Namaskar and the 12 mantras to direct the life force and healing properties of the herb to the appropriate internal organ and chakra. Alternatively, you can take a relevant herb before focussing on a chakra and asana.

Chakra to Herbs

CROWN Chakra Herbs – Calamus, Gotu Kola (Brahmi), Nutmeg, Valerian

THIRD EYE Herbs – Basil (Tulsi), Elecampane, Sandalwood, Skullcap

THROAT chakra herbs – Ajwan, Bayberry, Cloves, Licorice

HEART Chakra herbs – Cardamom, Lotus Seeds, Rose, Saffron

SOLAR PLEXUS herbs – Black Pepper, Cayenne, Cumin, Golden Seal

SACRAL Chakra herbs – Coriander, Gokshura, Marshmellowm Uva Urshi

ROOT Chakra herbs – Ashwagandha, Haritaki, Lotus Root, Shatvari

3 Steps for a general herbal Chakra Rehabilitation

From the above, a possible herbal rejuvenation program could be the following steps:-

1. Strengthen the crown (7th) & third eye (6th) chakra with their relevant herbs (ie. nervines to prepare the system for containing more life force). Along with this take the complimentary nutritionals and practice daily periods of meditation/concentration. Combine these with nutritious foods such as nuts, fruits and nutritive herbs.

Once the mental strength, concentration and discipline has developed as a result;

2. Strengthen the base (1st) and sacral (2nd) chakra to ground the down pour of energies from crown chakra, cerebrospinal fluid and ojas (nutritive foods) transmuted into tejas (fire of the mind). Build up (feed) the “kundalini” storage in the body’s regenerative system.

3. Strengthen the 3rd, 4th & 5th chakras through devotion (4th chakra) and singing mantras (3rd & 5th chakras) to balance and bring under natural control the downpour of crown chakra energies and natural regeneration from the base chakra up (ie. to bring enlightenment into the body).

HOLISTIC INTEGRATED APPROACH (see earlier post on “the Yoga of Vegetarianism” for a table on mainstream and alternative model of healing based on the 5 levels & 5 elements)

Most significantly, the best approach is an integrated, complimentary approach that harmonises the above methods into one’s lifestyle. This includes devotion to, and an understanding of, the life-force in one’s life, as well as a re-evaluation and application of life style changes. A spiritual, yet practical approach to life is best, encompassing the holistic principles of philosophical works such as the Bhagavad Gita within the modern, contemporary context.

According to one’s Vedic astrological chart, constitution and temperament this includes understanding oneself, and the need for happiness through union (yoga) and balance with one’s Being and Becoming through a life of Karma (work), Bhakti (worship), Jnana (wisdom) Raja (will) and the Zen/Tao (natural/dharmic way).

Traditionally, in India, this has included devotion to the forces of nature, life-force or deity; often through devotional singing via the healing combination on the head (ie. knowing the meaning of mantric words sung), heart (ie. gradually feeling the powerful vibration of the mantric words) and hands (ie. clapping to the rhythm to percolate the vibration through the nadis of the hand to the heart/body/mind; and in unison with others to create a heightened, communal vibrational “frequency or resonance” on the bodies, minds and spirits of all the participants). Sound, music and ether, the latter being the most subtle of elements, effects a vibrational change within one’s own etheric space, consciousness and brain. They thereby, increase one’s sensitivity to absorb more of the satwic guna and life force (prana) of nature (prakriti)into one’s consciousness and awaken the hidden, dormant potential energies of the body and brain to rise up and receive the descent of universal, cosmic healing energies through the crown chakra.

In summary, all remedials can be used and qualified for each individual to either strengthen deficiencies in, or “unlock”, one’s specific “DNA” through vibrational resonances to one’s unique prakriti or nature. For this, jyotish and the timing of remedial according to the cycles of nature are important, as well as a holistic approach that balances common sense and experience with reason and intuition.

In fact, I believe an integrated paradigm for health and happiness is still the call of the day; where a synthesis between eastern (mysticism) and western (scientific) models, tropical & sidereal astrology, as well as alternative and traditional approaches, are still evolving towards a true holism. As a physiotherapist interested in holistic medicine, I have tried to put forth such a proposal based on categorising 5 levels of health; bio-mechanical (Earth), bio-chemical (Water), bio-vibrational-pranic (Fire), bio-environmental (Air) & bio-spiritual (Ether).  As one’s vibration or “evolution” goes deeper (towards the etheric attribute of space and consciousness), so too does the conditions and limits of healing increase, and the metaphysical level and paradigms for so called “siddhis”, subtler powers, or “miracles” to take place within one’s own consciousness. ie. what applies at the level of mechanics may not apply at the level of chemistry. In the same way, what applies at developed levels of “prana” and mind and consciousness may supersede its foundational levels.

Finally, the ultimate purpose of jyotish and healing is to lead one through Self-knowledge and Self-inquiry to the ultimate medicine of Advaita Vedanta, wholeness and transcendence as espoused by realised sages such as Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharishi.

Note that Advaita Vedanta is the philosophical essence of Hinduism or the “Vedas” (Sanskrit word for knowledge). Vedan-ta means the “end of knowledge” and Advaita means Non-dualism or Oneness. Advaita Vedanta teaches the identity of the real “I”, as Consciousness, with the Absolute (ie. Oneness with God, Siva, Allah, Jehovah, Tao, Nirvana etc.).

Similar teachings can be found at the essence of the mystical, inner doctrines of the world religions, such as in Sufism (Islam), Kabbala (Judaism), Tao(ism) , Zen (Budddism) and Gnosticism (Christianity).

Divine Love & Healing –

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Herbs & Spices



One response to “Remedials, Healing & the Yoga of Herbs

  1. Nice post! Keep up the excellent work!

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