Treatments in Ayurveda

Who hasn’t heard about Ayurveda?
Have you tried its wonders?
Do you know about the different treatments of Ayurveda?

Well, today, we will tell you about some interesting.

That is treatments in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an age-old traditional method of medicine. It has been around for centuries.

Plus, it continues to be a popular one to date.

So what is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an effective and efficient method of medicine. It includes several ancient techniques.

Ayurveda focuses on restoring and continuing balance. This balance between bodily elements and nature takes place.
The aim is to maintain a balance between bodily humours.

They are called ‘Doshas’.

There are three main ‘Doshas’.

They are:

  • Vata (the nervous system)
  • Pitta (the enzymes)
  • Kapha (the mucous)

A balance among these is necessary for health. Hampering this balance causes body disorders.

The purpose of Ayurveda revolves around this. It identifies and corrects the imbalance.

They use natural products and herbal medicines. In addition, there are numerous unique treatments.

We will tell you …

What are the treatments in Ayurveda?
How does it work?
What do they cure?

So let us start!

Some treatments used in Ayurveda


Ayurveda is the art of using natural products for treating ailments. This method includes the benefits of herbal oils. When used in the right manner, these can treat diseases.

How does it work?

During this method, lukewarm herbal oils are used. They are poured all over the body.

This oil is then used for massaging—Ayurveda therapists massage with correct techniques.

A rhythmic pattern of pouring oils is used. It induces proper pressure as well as flow.

A proper stimulation and relaxation is brought into the body. It helps to eliminate the imbalance of Doshas.

A mixture of various herbal oils is used. This treatment is therapy. It goes on for sessions of around 7 to 21 days.

What does it cure?

This therapy aims at:

  • The detoxification of the body.
  • Curing diseases like Arthritis.
  • Correcting paralysis.
  • Treating nerve disorders.
  • Treating sexual weakness.
  • Improving skin and ageing issues.


Similar to Pizhichil, Dhara makes use of warm oils. They use this therapy to cure many health conditions.

This therapy is 100% pure. It provides instant and effective remedies.

How does it work?

Mild warm oils and liquids are poured and massaged on the body.
This is an ancient way of treatment. It is result-oriented as well.
This therapy goes on for two weeks.

The patients relax while the therapists provide treatment.

The liquids used include:

  • Herbal oils
  • Ghee
  • Coconut water
  • Milk, etc.

What does it cure?

Dhara aims at:

  • Certain nervous system disorders.
  • Reduces chronic headaches
  • Cures hallucinations, hypertension, insomnia, etc.


This is one of the most common Ayurveda treatments. It is an effective practice in Ayurveda.

How does it work?

Various herbal medicines and juices are used. They are applied through the nasal passage.

This is a week or two weeks long therapy. Experts perform the therapy to cure many health issues.

It aims at the sinus and related areas. This procedure helps to bring in a balance between the body’s enzymes.

It is safe, efficient, as well as curative.

Some products and medicines used are:

  • Herbal oils
  • Juices
  • medicinal powders
  • and potions, etc.

What does it cure?

This Ayurveda technique focuses on the nasal passage. This helps in impacting the head region and its functions.

It works on and cures:

  • Several kinds of headaches
  • Mental health issues and disorders
  • Paralysis
  • Skin and body issues
  • Congestion, cold, mucous
  • Improper cerebral circulation
  • Vocal cord discomforts
  • Etc.


This method is one of the most popular ones in Ayurveda. It aims at many specific health disorders.

Moreover, this treatment in Ayurveda is famous. It is beneficial for the whole body.

How does it work?

The method of Njavarakizhi is unique. It is based upon the principle of detoxifying through sweat.

Perspiration is a crucial way to conduct this treatment.

Either the entire body or just one part is made to sweat.

Medicines packed in muslin bags are used. The affected areas are treated.

This therapy lasts for some sessions. The cure depends on the cause.

It is a way to restore balance by the removal of toxins.

What does it cure?

It is a way to treat many types of ailments. This treatment aims at pains and aches.

It helps treat:

  • Many types of rheumatism
  • Joint aches
  • Skin disorders
  • High blood pressure issues
  • Cholesterol issues
  • Etc.


Massage is an essential part of Ayurveda. This treatment includes massage and its benefits on the body.

How does it work?

In this treatment, different herbal medicines are used. The massage is inclusive of herbal powders, potions, and medicines.

Daily massaging for some time brings in relaxation. Plus, it stimulates the body in the right manner.

It encourages the body to heal and strengthen.

This technique is therapeutic. The deep tissue stimulation enhances better function.

Besides, the balance in the bodily elements is restored. Through this, the essence and real effects of Ayurveda are achieved.

What does it cure?

  • Massaging induces a lot of health advantages. This treatment of Ayurveda focuses on a lot of health aspects.
  • They are as follows:
  • Curing Hemiplegia
  • Helping in weight loss
  • Losing cellulite
  • Correct nerve failures and paralysis
  • Reducing the risks of rheumatism
  • Etc.


The ancient medicinal ways have been prevalent for long. It is efficient and viable. This is what is needed in today’s day and age.

Ayurveda is growing. More and more people are adapting its ways.

There are several techniques in Ayurveda medicine. The treatments are endless. So are its benefits.

The effects of Ayurveda are long-lasting. They do not have any side effects.

You can access the treatments in various ways.

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What is Unani Herbal Medicine?

What is Unani Medicine?

Our traditions and ancient practices are precious. They contain various gems for mankind, especially when it comes to traditional therapies.

Unani Medicine is one such valuable medicinal practices.

Unani, or Yunani medicine, emerged from Greek backgrounds. This form of ancient Greek medicine was adopted by Perso-Arabs. It is since practised as a traditional Islamic branch of medicine.

It is also known as Unani Tibb, Greco-Arabic medicine, etc.
Unani systems are commonly practised in Middle-East and in Southern Asia. In places such as Pakistan, India, parts of China, Persia, South Africa, England, etc.

This art of healing the body and curing diseases uses herbal and natural methods.

History of Unani Medicine

The word ‘Unani’ itself stands for ‘Greek’ in Arabic. The term itself derives of its place of origin.

The emergence of Unani is traced from the teachings of Greek physicians – Galen and Hippocrates. Practices of Unani systems and treatments have also been noticed in ancient Egypt and Babylonia.

Greeks developed these Egyptian and Babylonian practices in 1200BCE. This form of Greek medicine was translated into Arabic. The existing doctrines were elaborately modified by figures as such – Al-Razi, Rabban Tabari, and Ibn Sina.

Ibn Sina, known commonly as Avicenna, was very influential. He was a philosopher-scientist and contributed significantly to medieval Islamic medicine.

The spread of Islam in the world also spread this form of medicine. The Delhi Sultans and Mughal emperors rooted Unani in India. It has been flourishing ever since.

With modern and minimalistic ways of living, Unani becomes a very judicious branch of medicine.

Principles of Unani Medicine

The principle of Unani revolves around the balancing of 4 elements of the body. These elements carry out the functioning of our organs, and ultimately the body.

Unlike Ayurveda that considers the three dosha system and Chinese medicine of five elements, Unani is different. Imbalance in the four bodily fluids/ humours (Akhlat) is believed to cause ailments.

The cure lies in restoring and maintaining a balance of the humours. Proper levels of humours lead to a managed temperament (Mizaj), which promotes a healthy lifestyle.

The Four Humours of the Unani system are:
–         Blood
–         Phlegm
–         Black Bile
–         Yellow Bile

These four humours relate to the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Natures – Hot, Cold, Dry, and wet, are also inter-linked to the elements.

The various practices of Unani encompass – herbal treatments, dietary changes, natural therapies, etc. Altered diet as per one’s body, routine therapies, naturally curated medicines, etc. prove to be advantageous.

The system functions based on a selective diet, hygiene, proper nutrition, psychological treatments, suitable surroundings, etc.

Unani believes that improper sanitation and pollution can result in bodily disorientations.

Approach and Treatment using Unani Medicines

The principles of Unani medicine revolve around the balancing of bodily elements. Any imbalance in the organs is a result of an imbalance of the body’s fluids.

For instance –
–         Any improper level of the phlegm makes one apathetic and bothers one’s temperament.
–         Unusual blood levels or circulation can cause a negative and pessimistic mindset. It also gives rise to many diseases related to the circulation and flow of blood.
–         Abnormalities of the yellow and black bile result in choleric and melancholic health, respectively.

The technique of diagnosing a disease or malfunctioning of the body via Unani medicine lies in observing the body fluids. The underlying fluid functioning brings changes in symptoms and temperament.

These distortions in the body’s temperament lead to numerous internal and external health issues. They give rise to changes in tissues in the organ affected. This results in a disease or discomfort.

Therefore, it is necessary to keep the body humours under control and balanced.

The Treatment focuses on regaining humour equilibrium. The diagnosis and effective treatment is made to identify the cause of humour misbalance.

The normalising of humours leads to the gradual healing of tissues. Ultimately, the symptom mitigates and cures due to the restoration of balance.

The Unani approach follows identification, promotion of good balance, prevention of imbalance, curing, as well as additional follow up with rehabilitation. It is being highly recommended as a holistic procedure.

Uses and Benefits of Unani Medicine

The Unani medicine is tested as well as proven for its effectiveness. Unani treatments are specific of several different immunity types and physical conditions.

The Unani branch of traditional medicine focuses on healing many chronic ailments:  
–         It derives cures and treatments for skin, heart, lungs, liver, musculoskeletal systems, reproductive health, etc.
–         Adapting to Unani systems of healing leads to a better lifestyle all in all. Unani takes into account one’s diet. Alterations in one’s dietary regimes are a crucial part of curing ailments through Unani.
–      Many therapies also include detoxifying the body. It focuses on flushing out the accumulated waste from the inside to heal and strengthen the organs.
–         Unani also assists in blood pressure management, homeostasis, metabolic stimulation, and regulating menstrual cycles.
–         It helps in the betterment of skin via releasing toxins. It controls rashes, scabies, boils, and so on. The toxin removal also keeps the liver healthy.
–      Conditions such as indigestion, constipation, genital inflammations, etc. can also be healed by Unani.
–         Some unique systematic manners also aim at reducing inflammation, tumours, pains, and allergic irritations.
–         The many treatment aimed therapies are also helpful in gaining or losing weight. Ideal body weight maintenance is very crucial for overall health and fitness.
–         Massage induced techniques improve blood circulation. Moreover, it also benefits in relaxing the body as well as the mind.
–         It is even effective in correcting Asthma. Unani also cures many mind-oriented ailments such as mania, melancholia, migraines, etc.
–         This system of healing includes many routinely practices and aims to correct insufficient lifestyles. A general alteration in such domains can lead to ultimate benefits to the entire body system.

Symptoms and illnesses traditionally used for

One of the best alternative medicinal practices is Unani. Along with treating current conditions, Unani also aims at prevention.

The following are some symptoms and illnesses that Unani has the cure for:

–          Cardiovascular problems
–         High blood pressures
–         Arthritis
–         Cataracts and vision disorders
–         Ageing-related brain issues
–         Autism
–         Migraines
–         Malaria
–         Spleen-related issues
–         Constipation and indigestion
–         Liver, lungs, and heart problems
–         Muscle and joint pains
–         Cancer
–         Reproductive and Menstrual issues
–         Skin eruptions, allergies, irritations, ringworms, etc.
–         Common cold and fever
–         Asthma
–         Tonsillitis

Herbs and Foods that are commonly used in Unani

By now, you are aware that the practices of Unani include herbal and natural ingredients. The medicines used for treatments, as well as several therapies, are all derived from nature.

The methods and components are unique and compelling. The locally available remedies are used to prepare cures. This is also safer for one’s body and has less side-effect.

The patient is keenly observed before prescription of Unani medicine. The type and dosage of drugs are according to a patient’s temperament.
The matching of bodily frequencies and immunity with the intensity of medicine helps in creating a perfect balance. It also reduces any risks of negative consequences.

Some commonly used herbs and foods in Unani medicine are as follows:


Tulsi, Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Miswak, Common Rue, Acacia, etc.

Foods and spices:

Saffron, Cardamom, Citrus fruits, Bay leaf, Cloves, Almonds, Garlic, Ginger, Isabghol, Apricot seeds, Gooseberry, Honey, etc.

Some important Unani therapies include:

–         Dieto-therapy (bringing changes in the quality and quantity of food one’s food)
–         Exercise (stimulating better functioning)
–         The Turkish bath (removal of toxins promoting better health)
–         Sweating (for cooling and waste removal)
–         Massage (improving circulation)
–         Pharmacotherapy (using natural drugs as medicine)
–         Cauterisation (preventing the spread of damage from one to many organs)

Famous Unani Practitioners

‘Hakims’ are the curators and practitioners of Unani. There have been numerous Hakims since the beginning of Unani medicine. They have contributed to the growth, development, spread, and treatments of Unani.

Some of the many Unani Hakims include:


Also famously called Avicenna was among the most outstanding Persian scholars. He was among the firsts to set the foundation for the development of Unani.
He is an ancient father of modern medicine. He was a prominent figure of the Islamic Golden age.

Hakim Ajmal Khan

Hakim Ajmal Khan came from a family of Unani practitioners. His family practised Unani medicine under the Mughals, during their rule in India.

Hakim Ajmal Khan pioneered Unani medicine into modern India. He also fought against the British for the growth of traditional medical systems. He promoted Unani and Ayurveda, during colonial Indian times.

Hakim Muhammad Saeed

He is among the renowned medical researchers from Pakistan. He wrote many medicines and health-related books. Till date his works are read and followed.

Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman

He was an Indian Unani scholar and teacher. His works were concerning medieval medicines of Islam. He also founded the Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences in India.

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What is Ayurveda medicine? The ultimate guide!

Ayurveda Herbal Medicine Ayurveda is one of the most ancient and traditional ways of Indian medicine. The emergence of Ayurveda dates back to centuries and has been mentioned in various ancient Hindu scriptures. The Sanskrit word ‘Ayurveda’ translates to – ‘science of life’.  Even though Ayurveda is a vast health system, it has some basic

Ayurveda Herbal Medicine

Ayurveda is one of the most ancient and traditional ways of Indian medicine. The emergence of Ayurveda dates back to centuries and has been mentioned in various ancient Hindu scriptures.

The Sanskrit word ‘Ayurveda’ translates to – ‘science of life’. 

Even though Ayurveda is a vast health system, it has some basic principals that it resides on:
Ayurveda aims at restoring the right balance in various domains of one’s lifestyle.
It follows a plan of good nutrition and diet to keep the body and mind healthy.
Ayurveda looks upon and treats the various physical, mental, as well as emotional elements of life. 

Ayurveda makes use of natural and herbal treatments and its techniques, theories, medicinal practices have been extensively adopted by modern medicine.

In modern times this has helped Ayurveda gain great popularity across the world.

When did Ayurveda begin?

The techniques of Ayurvedic treatment, diet, incantations, etc. were in existence during the early Indian civilisations. The Indian texts mentioning Ayurveda were translated into Chinese, Persian, Arabic, etc. to cater to other regions.

Historical evidence traces the emergence of Ayurveda at around 6,000BCE. The very first written records of this medicinal practice were found mentioned in the Vedas, which are the earliest sources of Indian religious scriptures.

Hindu traditions and tales attribute the origin of Ayurveda to mythology. It is believed that Dhanvantri, who was the physicians of the Gods, was given the knowledge of Ayurveda by Brahma. (According to Hinduism Brahma is the creator god.)

This form of medicine was considered as an eternal science and was taught orally and passed on.

During the colonial Indian age, Ayurveda faced constant competition from modern medicinal practices popularised by the British. Unfortunately, this led to Ayurveda being heavily neglected during this period.

However, with the Independence movement, the focus over Ayurveda was refounded. Many experts and traditionalist manage to revive its teachings.

It is now once again, an integral part of the traditional Indian healthcare system. With the many studies, analyses, and discussions over Ayurveda, it has spread all over the world.

Principles of Ayurveda

There are certain accepted principals of the Ayurveda system, to name a few:

Principle of health and wellness encompasses a balance of all bodily systems.
Ayurvedic theories revolve around the body and nature. 

According to the theories, there are seven major ‘dhatus’ in the body. Dhatus are considered as the fundamental building blocks of the human body.

They are associated with the body tissues and help in balancing one’s physical state.

They are:

and semen. 

There are also the five main elements that link nature with the being. It is believed that nature is an important part that links the human with its environment. Natural ways have an underlying effect on one’s temperament, which ultimately affects the body and mind.

They include –

and Ether. 

Furthermore, there exist three ‘doshas’ or bodily humours.
The doshas are known to bring balance in human physical health. These three essential components underlie and determine the physical and mental wellness of a being. These are energies that maintain the proper homeostasis, which is very crucial for the overall balance that Ayurveda aims at achieving.

The composition of the doshas in one’s nature decides one’s personality and physicality. Any imbalances among the doshas are responsible for changes in temperament, bodily discomforts, or ailments.

The doshas are observed to identify the disturbance in composition leading to disease. Accordingly, precautionary measures are taken through nutrition, behavioural changes, natural medicines, etc. 
The Three bodily humours or doshas are:
Vata (nervous system),
Pitta (enzymes),
and Kapha (mucous). 

Well-known Ayurvedic treatments

-The purpose of Ayurveda is to observe, suggest precautions, and assist in overall management that helps in prevention of improper health conditions –

It not only aims at curing the disease but at rooting away the cause to restore balance. 

Following are some important and famous Ayurvedic treatments: 

–        Panchakarma: cleansing of the body to decrease harmful symptoms and encourage balance leading to harmony.  Detoxification of the internal systems is also a very modern approach. It is a growing technique used to flush out the harmful toxins and clear the body.
–        Nasyam: Treats headaches and congestions. It makes use of oils and herbal medicines applied through the nasal passage.
–        Kizhi: Using leaves, herbs, and powders to mix with warm oil and massaging the body. It helps to treat spondylitis, swellings, injuries, etc.
–        Dhara: It is among the most popular Ayurvedic treatments. Warm oils are used to cure ailments such as Hysteria, Insomnia, Stress, etc.  
–        Marma Massage: This massage promotes correct stimulations in the body that balance the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This reduces accumulated pains from injuries and also makes the muscles and ligaments stronger. 
Modern-day massages also aim at the same goals to promote recovery through proper stimulation and relaxation.

Herbs used in Ayurveda

The traditional Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine makes use of natural ingredients only. It promotes the curing and prevention of various diseases and conditions. On the other hand, using natural and herbal-made products does not give rise to any negative side-effects. The treatment is mild, as well as useful. 

Here is a list of certain patent herbs, foods, and oils that are used in Ayurvedic treatments and medications: 

–        Herbs: Tulsi, Aloe vera, Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Boswellia, Liquorice roots, Centella Asiatica, Manjistha, Sage, Cilantro, Camphor, Neem, etc. 

–        Foods and Spices: Turmeric, Cumin, Ajwain, Cardamom, Bitter melon, Haritaki, Amla, dates, lemons, almonds, ginger, curd, Mung beans, milk, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, Fenugreek, cloves, etc. 

–        Oils: Coconut oil, mustard oil, safflower oil, castor oil, neem oil, Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, Sesame oil, Ghee, etc.

Benefits of Ayurveda

The advantages of Ayurvedic treatment and therapies are innumerable. It can cure not only a variety of diseases but also prevents further severity or occurrence of other bodily conditions.

Ayurvedic treatments can have various benefits, such as: 

–        Promotes Overall Wellness: The alterations suggested by Ayurveda in one’s lifestyle, diet, activities, rest schedules, etc. can improve the overall functioning of the bodily systems and organs and reduces the vulnerability of diseases. It also promotes preventive measures. 
–        Enriches the energy: The right kind of stimulations, medicines, diets, etc. can be essential in revitalising the lost energies. Constant work and routines can strip off balance in the body, and such accumulated conditions lead to improper health. Ayurveda helps in restoring balance and harmony.
–        Promotes Hormonal balance: The balance of hormones is very crucial for proper health. Hormones control the various cycles of the body. Ayurveda aims at balancing the secretion and improving the functioning of these hormones. 
–        Helps to cure various conditions: It relieves the body from injuries, joint pains, arthritis, diabetes, acidity, indigestion, chronic diseases, cardiac issues, blood circulation issues, coughs, kidney stones, menstrual disorders, deficiencies, paralysis, etc. 
–        Treats toxicity and inflammation: These conditions provoke the causes of many underlying chronic conditions. The clearing therapies that are carried out through Ayurveda assists in getting rid of toxins. Ayurveda is also recommended for inflammatory effects. 
–        Helps in controlling and losing weight: Maintaining healthy and normal body weight is essential to keep away diseases and live without any risks—the detoxification, purification, improved blood circulation, etc. via Ayurveda aids in weight management.
–        Makes the hair and skin healthy: The various herbs and oils used in Ayurveda are also well-known to purify and nourish the skin. Ayurvedic ingredients are used in hair oils to promote growth, control hair fall, and make the tresses shiny and smooth. 
–        Helps to control stress: Meditation, massages, and therapies, improves one’s mental being as well. The total balance of bodily fluids helps to encourage healthy temperament that maintains peace of the mind and soul. 
–        Improves Concentration: The proper functioning of the entire body aids to keep the mind focussed and devoid of stress. This promotes efficiency and overall wellness in one’s life.

Some Famous Ayurvedic Practitioners

In ancient times, the practitioners of Ayurveda were called ‘Vaidya’. There have been many famous practitioners and Ayurvedic doctors throughout time. Here are some important figures in Ayurveda: 

–        Charaka: Maharishi Charaka was among the greatest contributors of Ayurveda. He authored the essential Ayurvedic literature of ‘Charaka Samhita’ in Sanskrit. He was one of the classical Indian medical practitioners. His book is one of the three foundational books on Ayurveda.
–        Sushruta: Sushruta is a physician of ancient India. He authored the ‘Sushruta Samhita’. He mentioned about various surgical practices in Ayurveda.  He also wrote another book of Ayurveda that seems to have helped in the foundation of Ayurveda.
–        Vagbhata: Another gem in laying the foundation of Ayurveda was done by the classical test of Vagbhata. His works – ‘Ashthangasangraha’ and ‘Ashthangahridayasamhita’ have remarked Indian medicine. He was Charaka’s disciple. 

 –        Balkrishna: He is a relatively modern man of Indian Ayurveda. He has engaged in the studies of various herbs that are used in Ayurveda. Balkrishna is also a part of the Indian Ayurvedic medicine line – Patanjali. His fame in the field of Ayurveda and medicine is well-known all over. 

Famous books on Ayurveda

Here are some famous ancient books on Ayurveda: 

  • Charaka Samhita 
  • Sushruta Samhita
  • Ashtanga Hridayasamhita
  • Ashtanga Sangraha 
  • Bhava Prakasha
  • Madhava Nidanam

Ayurvedic Influence on Society

 The growing popularity of Ayurveda has led to the recognition of the ancient and traditional Indian medicines and its practicalities. It’s also evidently combined with western and other medicinal practices. Ayurveda is practised in institutions, taught in schools, spread among individuals and the larger society.

Herbal and natural approaches and treatments are deemed safer and efficient by many researchers. With the growing modernity and evolution, man has fallen into the trap of exhaustion. Our everyday lifestyles weigh down our physical, mental, and spiritual senses. 

Ayurveda deals with the many underlying causes of degrading health. It aims at removing the causes from the root to eliminate any further manifestations of the disease.

The growing importance of Ayurveda has ensured healthier alterations in life. These techniques assist in the overall transformation and betterment of an individual. The relevance and efficiency of Ayurveda have been proven since time immemorial and will continue to do so.

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The History and tradition of herbal medicine in Africa

African Herbal medicine Africa – also known as the motherland, is a land of great history, heritage and cultures. And just like all great civilisations, it has vast traditions and customs, especially knowledge of its own local herbs, foods and agriculture. In-fact you could say that it is crass ignorance to underplay the importance of

African Herbal medicine

Africa – also known as the motherland, is a land of great history, heritage and cultures.

And just like all great civilisations, it has vast traditions and customs, especially knowledge of its own local herbs, foods and agriculture.

In-fact you could say that it is crass ignorance to underplay the importance of herbs in both old and present-day Africa.

Herbal medicine in Africa intricately intertwines with the tradition and culture so much that it is usually a herculean task to convince Africans that conventional medicine is better.

The practice of herbal medicine in Africa is vast. Amongst its locals it is known to be able to provide cures from a wide range of illnesses and diseases like; high blood pressure, cholera, genitalia infections, epilepsy, asthma, hyperplasia, gout, venereal disease, and so on.

Moreover, people tend to underplay a whole lot of cures from herbal medicine in Africa; mostly because there are little regulations and poor documentation of the effects of these medicines.

A Brief History of African Traditional Medicine

Before the evolution of medicine into the form, we know them as, plants (herbs) were used as remedies to the different ailments and diseases people suffer.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint how the actual practice for herbs/roots/barks of trees as medicine began, parchments/documents trace the earliest practices to ancient Egypt (Africa).

The ancient Egyptians and the Sumerians were interested in the ‘strange’ abilities of different plants like garlic, Opium, Castor oil, laurel, etc.

They started to cultivate and experiment with the plants; to see which parts were useful.

Religion and culture in Africa are the most significant factors that lend ‘credibility’ to the use of herbal medicine. This is why most of the healing techniques or methods of diagnosis mostly have myths or rituals that guide them.

In Africa, traditional healers are in charge of administering herbal medicines to their callers (patients).

Example of the kind of ‘Native doctors’ in Africa are;
Herbalists: They deal in collecting the herbs, extracting the medicinal parts, preparing it (mixing, steaming, cooking, grinding, etc.), and prescribing the herb to the patients.

Traditional birth attenders: Birthing in many parts of Africa is more of a spiritual and psychological affair than physical, so they offer ‘metaphysical’ help during labour/childbirth.

Bone setters: They are natural ‘orthopaedics’ and help to mend bones, treat fractures, etc.

Traditional surgeons: in their crude way, they perform ‘minor’ openings in the body and treat their patients.

But in Africa, the bulk of these traditional practitioners also double as one of the following;

What are African Herbs (medicinal plants)?

The general definition for a medicinal plant is a shrub/grass/flower that contains compounds that can manage/cure diseases, medical conditions, and ailments. Any medicine you derive from plants, irrespective of the method, is a herb.

Some popular African herbs with significant therapeutic effects are;
Acacia Senegal (gum Arabic)

The use of this herb goes way back in time; people extract the juice from barks of the tree; to cure ailments like bleeding, bronchitis, diarrhoea, and other respiratory diseases.

Aloe Ferox (cape aloe)
This plant is peculiar to the Southern parts of Africa; healers mainly use it as a laxative. It also has other properties that aid in curing arthritis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, or treating burns.

This shrub is peculiar to Northern regions in Africa like; Morocco and Tunisia and can cure conditions like hypertension, bronchitis, diabetes.

It is one of the most versatile of all the herbs. Since pre-historic times, healers have used it to cure eye and skin diseases, fever, asthma, hypertension, syphilis, diarrhoea, and a lot more.

Madagascar Periwinkle
Traditional healers use this herb to brew bitter drinks to cure; rheumatism, skin disorders, and venereal disease. It has effects on the glucose and blood sugar levels in the body.

You can use this caffeine-free, aromatic herbal plant to prepare tea; it can cure chronic catarrh, pulmonary tuberculosis, and increase the appetite.

Devil’s Claw
In ancient times healers used this plant to cure ailments like analgesia, malaria, migraines, heartburn, indigestion. Nowadays, it is used for illnesses like; fever, oedema, appetite loss.

Bitter Melon
It is one of the most popular vegetables in the continent; healers extract the juice from its pulp, seed, and leaves to tackle ailments like diabetes.

Umckalaobo (South African geranium)

This plant is peculiar in the coastal areas of South Africa, and their herbalists use the herb to treat respiratory infections, bronchitis, and other common colds.

African Traditional medicine

Early traditional healers claim that most of their inspirations in choosing the perfect plant to concoct into medicines come from observing the nutritional patterns of herbivorous animals.

Science even corroborates this theory by claiming that species like chimpanzees, butterflies, elephants alter their diets/feeding patterns when they feel ill; they nimble on herbs they wouldn’t eat normally.

We can define traditional medicine as the combination of skills, knowledge, and practices with a hold in the culture and traditions of the people to diagnose, and cater to the health of the people. When foreign regions try to adopt Africa’s traditional healing, it becomes Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM).

Herbal practices In Africa

There are over 40,000 species of plant indigenous to Africa, and only about 5,000 of these species are used one way or the other for medicinal purposes. The tropical climate of Africa significantly affects the metabolites present in plants. The high exposure to UV rays and other harsh conditions make them develop more ‘chemo-preventive’ substances.

Herbal medicine in Southern Africa (SA)

It is a common belief that traditional healers are the doctors of herbal medicines in Africa. South Africa has over 200,000 traditional healers as opposed to the measly 25,000 ‘western-trained’ doctors in the country[1].

In South Africa, there are two main types of healers within their rural communities;

Inyangas (herbalist): These healers use medicines they extract from plants and animals, and are usually males. They do not claim to have supernatural powers; they spend a great deal of time learning the trade.
Sangomas (diviners): They depend mostly on divinations, revelations, and other mystical approaches in ‘muti’/treatments. They are ‘chosen’ by the ancestors or the gods, and they serve as a medium to the people. Divination always comes with interpretations of bones that the Sangoma throws to the ground.

Herbal medicine practices in Kenya

More than half of resident Kenyans depend on traditional healers and herbs as their common source of healthcare. Kenyans use herbal medicines for a wide range of conditions like; child birthing, ailments/disease, psychological and spiritual reasons. Further proof of the eminence of herbal medicine in Kenya is that; there are 950 Kenyans per traditional healers, compared to 8,000 people per medical doctor. [2]

In 1967, the government repealed the ban on herbal medicine, consequent of the advocacy from the WHO, which led to the growth of herbal medicine. [2]
Herbal medicine is still a common practice in modern-day Kenya. Still, the most significant obstacle it faces is the lack of integration plans by the government.

Conclusions: Limitations of Herbal medicines in Africa

The growth of traditional healing in Africa seems to be stagnating, more as a result of policies and the lackadaisical attitude of the government.

Currently, most African countries do not have regulatory bodies that control and administer the use of herbal medicines within the country. Unfortunately, this has lead to charlatans and shams taking over the herbal medicine business.

Also, the non-regulation of herbal medicines can lead to complications in the body system; the chemical/pharmacological interactions of the herbs could be dangerous to the body. It is leading people to have a great distrust of African traditional medicines in treating ailments.

References [1] [2]

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Herbs in Unani: What are they and how are they used?

Herbs in Unani medicine Unani is an Islamic traditional medicine system which is practised in India. It has become well known for its uses of natural medicines and treatments. It aims at holistic curing of the body. The basic principles of Unani are centred on the four primary body humors. Now according to Unani medicine,

Herbs in Unani medicine

Unani is an Islamic traditional medicine system which is practised in India. It has become well known for its uses of natural medicines and treatments. It aims at holistic curing of the body.

The basic principles of Unani are centred on the four primary body humors.

Now according to Unani medicine, bodily humors are fluids in the body that are linked with the body’s functioning and well-being. They are joining forces of the body with its environment.

The four humors in Unani are:

Black Bile
Yellow Bile

According to Unani practitioners, any imbalance caused in these humours can affect health.

This is why Unani treatments aim at balancing these four humours. Because they believe this leads to a healthier temperament and a better physical and mental lifestyle.

Like all great traditional treatments, Unani makes use of herbs and natural products. The procedures, treatments, and medicines are all naturally derived.

Using herbal techniques prevents negative side-effects. It is generally a safe and efficient approach.

Below we have listed some well-known herbs and foods that are used in Unani. We have also mentioned what conditions they are used for, the benefits they carry and how to add them to your daily routine.

What are some herbs used in Unani medicine?

There are many herbs used in Unani medicine. Below are just a few more well-known ones:


Tulsi is a common herb which has many medicinal properties. It is involved in various medicinal practices.

Medicinal benefits and cure:

It is used to cure respiratory and cold-related conditions. It combats – cold, influenza, cough, asthma, bronchitis, etc.

The anti-fungal qualities of Tulsi help to fight – typhoid, flu, malaria, fungal diseases, etc.

Also used cures common ailments – ulcers, mouth disorders, migraines, high blood pressure, and fevers.

The presence of essential phytochemicals in Tulsi has anti-cancer properties. The antioxidants fight the free-radicals and protect against chronic diseases.

Also soothes the skin, reduces stress, nourishes skin, and keeps away pimples. It is healthy and chemical-free skin medicine.

How is it used?

The leaves of Tulsi are the most medicinally beneficial.
A bunch of raw leaves must be consumed daily for the most benefit.

The leaves can be made into herbal tea mixed with honey, lemon, and ginger.

Tulsi leaves, and roots can be made into a paste for applying on skin.

ALOE VERA (common Unani term: Sibr)

Aloe Vera is a versatile medicinal plant. It is good for the skin, hair, and several health-related problems.
It is high in many vitamins and essential minerals.

Medicinal benefits:

According to Unani, it has many properties – Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Antioxidant, Detoxification, etc.

Unani therapies use it to cure – Jaundice, Gastritis, Ulcers, Haemorrhoids, arthritis, gastric issues, Hepatitis, and many more.

Aloe Vera is also efficient in wound-healing and is also prominently used on the skin as well as hair-care.

How is it used?

For treating stomach-related problems, raw Aloe pieces can be consumed with water. It has laxative benefits as well.

Aloe extracts are a part of Unani massages and therapy treatments.

Aloe vera gel is applied on skin and hair. It can be combined with other nutritious elements too.


Almonds (Badam) are considered amazing seeds rich in proteins and fats. It is packed with nutritional minerals.
Medicinal benefits:
As per Unani, badam is a popular fruit ( Yes its a fruit – the actual almond is from its seed!). It is said to be overall nutritious. It assists in well-maintenance of humours that ultimately leads to healthy and strong organs and their functions.

Unani uses Almonds for many bodily systems. For example:
The nervous system – headaches, autism, insomnia, memory loss, etc.
Respiratory system – pneumonia, cough, throat infections, etc.
Urogenital system – Renal stones, ulcers, inflammations, and sexual weakness.

Skin – indices glow, moisture, and wound healing.

And also for fo conditions to do with Gastro-intestinal tract – constipation, stomach ulcers, splenic issues, etc.

How is it used?

Daily consumption of almonds is a common way of gaining its benefits. Eating a handful raw or crushed and even added to other recipes or foods.

Almond oil is used for skin and head massage.

Powdered almonds mixed with water also work efficiently.


The ginger stem has been a part of several medicinal systems since long.
Medicinal benefits:
Unani makes use of the many purifying qualities of ginger. It is an antioxidant protecting against free radicals and infections.

It is also known for anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

In Unani ginger is used to cure many ailments. Some of them are – Arthritis, joint pains, muscular aches, sprains, etc. It increases strength and endurance power of the body.

Ginger also solves issues such as – indigestion, constipation, cramps, sore-throats, coughs, fever, nausea, etc.

How is it used?

Unani makes use of ginger in many ways. It can be used as a spice in foods, consumed raw, made into a paste, or even dried and powdered.

Ginger oil is used for massaging.

Ginger extract tea and syrups are used to cure sore-throat and coughs.

HONEY (Asl Khalis)

Honey is a famous natural medicine. It is a multi-functional all-rounder for the body.

Medicinal benefits:

The high glucose-content in honey is perfect for energy provision and immunity. It is also rich in minerals and several vitamins.

In Unani medicine, honey is notable for its following properties:

Nutrition (Mughazzi)
Antiseptic (Daf-e-Taffun)
Digestive (Hadim)
Anti-inflammatory (Muhallil-e-Waram)
Blood-purifier (Musaffi-e-Dam)
Wound-healer (Mundamil-e-Qurooh) Etc.

It has these medicinal uses:

Cough and sore throat
Heart diseases
Sexual debility

How is it used?

A daily spoonful of honey is a common remedy.

It is often mixed in warm water or teas.

Directly applied to the skin for cleansing and massaging.

CLOVES (Qaranfal)

This is a remedial spice with many health benefits.

Medicinal benefits:

Cloves have been approved as effective in treating skin-issues by Unani.

Cloves benefit many allergic and respiratory ailments too. They include – cough, throat-issues, blocked nose, sneezing, asthma, rhinorrhoea, pharyngeal itches, etc.

It also promotes digestion, healing of wounds, dental health, etc.

How is it used?

The Qaranfal can be chewed upon for throat and cough relief.

The oil or powder extracted from Cloves is used in dental and skin care.

Essential clove oil is also a part of Unani aromatherapy.

Gooseberry (Amla)

All parts of the Amla tree are medicinally beneficial. The fruit is the most efficiently used in Unani since ages.
Medicinal benefits:
Amla has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its richness in vitamin C.

Unani uses Amla for a variety of treatments including – blood-sugar, memory retention, ulcers, cholesterol control, etc. Amla has several curing effects on diabetic symptoms.

Amla has excellent hair and skin benefits as well. It is used in scalp massages, skin creams, shampoos, etc.

How is it used?

Most basic manner of including Amla is directly consuming the fruit.

The fruit can also be made into juices, powders, pickles, pastes, etc. and used accordingly.

Amla extracts are often added to shampoos, lotions, and oils.

Turmeric (Haldi)

Unani uses turmeric for a variety of treatments as it is believed to have great medicinal potential. One of its main features is that it has many immunity-benefits.

Medicinal benefits:

As medicine in Unani, turmeric is used to treat numerous disorders. They include – Rheumatism, Toxin-release, Leukoderma, intestinal worms, digestive disorders, hepatitis, insect bites, and wound healing.

The presence of Phytochemicals in Haldi is also very advantageous. They are used to combat – diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc.

Traditionally turmeric is also famous for its effects on the skin. It cures breakouts, adds glow, cleanses, and nourishes. It is also used in hair removal techniques.

How is it used?

Turmeric is used as a powdered spice, raw with honey, or as pastes.

It is often instilled in massaging creams, lotions, oils, etc.

Turmeric added in milk is a very nutritional everyday drink.

Final words:

The above-mentioned herbs, fruits, and spices are some among the many natural Unani medicines.

The herbal and natural qualities provide the ultimate benefit with minimum side-effects.

As Unani treatments use herbal products, one is intensely benefitted by the phytochemicals and plant nutrients.

They have innumerable qualities required to restore the balance between all the bodily elements. Ultimately the several benefits of Unani herbs bring physicals and mental harmony.

Using herbal remedy is easily accessible, home-made, versatile, and natural.

The approach of Unani treatment using herbs is very modern, sustainable, and is gaining immense attention overtime.

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African herbs and their usages

Herbal medicine in Africa transcends clinical wellness; it is an element of the African culture, history, and religions. It is home to the ancient practices in medicine in use today, from the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians over 3000 years ago, and people document it under the African Traditional medicine (ATM). African traditional medicine a common

Herbal medicine in Africa transcends clinical wellness; it is an element of the African culture, history, and religions. It is home to the ancient practices in medicine in use today, from the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians over 3000 years ago, and people document it under the African Traditional medicine (ATM).

African traditional medicine a common term for all forms of native and peculiar medicine practices in Africa, and it has roughly three categories intertwine with each another;


Traditional healers tackle illnesses strangely orthodoxly because rural Africa believes that ailments are multi-dimensional (extends beyond the physical realm). They treat and diagnose with both physical & spiritual means like; divinations, incantations, exorcism, African herbs, and spices.

Herbalism in Africa

A traditional herbalist can provide healthcare to the patient using African herbs/spices though they have different modes of diagnosis and administration. Natives expect healers to be knowledgeable, competent, experienced, and reliable.

Although cloaked in much secrecy, the practice of African Herbal medicines that colonials once tagged as ‘primitive’ has now become a source of intense research and potentials. Most western medicines are a partial or full product of phytochemicals (the art of using herbs in drugs).

Africa’s traditional medicine using herbs is extremely ingenious if you consider that;
Healers/herbalists are literarily sage in selecting the helpful herbs and spices.

Herbal medicines still provide healthcare that sustains millions of people in Africa.

Surprising discoveries are coming forth about the therapeutic effects of these African leaves.

Some Popular African herbs/leaves and spices

Different parts of a plant are useful for herbal medicines in Africa, depending on the method of application on the body like; oral ingestion, topical application, smoking/snuffing, vaping the steam, and edibles.

The parts can be the;

Leaves, stems, flowers, etc

Fruits and seeds

Gum, exudates, and nectars

Some of the herbs are;

Acacia Senegal

This medicine comes from the exudate from the bark of the Arabica plant, and it is helpful in the treatment of ailments like; bronchitis, bleeding, diarrhoea, and respiratory infections. It is also a natural emulsifier for mixing various pills, or you can add it to soft drinks as edibles. Treatment fungal, bacterial infections, burns, and leprosy are other ways this herb is helpful.

Aloe Ferox (Cape Aloe)

People mostly use this bitter herb for aiding muscle growth and development; it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can prevent muscles problem. It falls under the Aloe Vera plant family and is more peculiar to the Southern parts of Africa. This African herb also serves as a laxative during treatments.


Healers make use of this herb as; a therapy for weight loss, a cure for diabetes, and high sugar levels in the blood. The presence of this herb in the body helps to block sugar cravings (sugar cravings are the biggest contributor to the many weight battles people face). Its Hindi name (gurmur) translates to ‘destroyer of sugar. ‘

Irvingia Gabonensis

The extract from this plant fruit is becoming increasingly popular in stores; people mostly ingest it as a supplement together with proper dieting and good exercise. There are lots of credits to its efficiency for weight loss.

Centella Asiatica (Pennywort)

The efficiency of this herb has earned it a reputation bordering on legendary (mostly dismissed as folktales). It is an African spice useful in treating ailments like asthma, rheumatism, eye diseases, leprosy, and helpful in cognitive functions like memory boosting, curing epilepsy, and related conditions.


People ferment the shoots and flowers of this plant to make a tea that has medicinal benefits to the digestive and excretory system. The plant is surprisingly free from caffeine and is even useful in the cure of respiratory ailments like catarrh and pulmonary tuberculosis. In its modern-day use, pharmaceuticals prepare the tea by mixing with rooibos as well as other dried fruits and leaves.

Aframomum Melgueta

This perennial plant is common to the western regions of Africa, and it helps to reduce the stubborn brown adipose tissue that leads to weight loss. You’ll spend more calories consuming this African spice than you will get from eating it, and this can lead to weight loss. People also take this herb as a stimulant to aid cognitive functions.

Devil’s Claw

This plant can survive in aridest environments, which makes it rampant in the Kahalari region and the desert regions. This plant is useful for curing allergies, diabetes, blood diseases, and related disorders. It is also useful topically to cure heartburns, boils, gastrointestinal disorders, skin injuries, and ulcers.

Bitter Melon

This plant is common to all parts of Africa; people boil the plant leaves in water into a tea called ‘cerasse,’ and with the juice extracts from its pulp, seeds, leaves, and bark, healers use it to cure diabetes.

Liliaceae (Gloriosa Supcrba)/ Ewe aje

This plant is most popular in the western regions of Africa; healers use its tubers and leaves to create concoctions and ointments to cure external infections like gonorrhoea, head lice, and some bacterial infections.

Amaranthaceae (Amaranthus spiosus)

Popular to yet the western regions of Africa, the whole of this plant is useful in making edible medicines to cure ailments like abdominal pain, ulcers, and gonorrhoea. This herb is a popular medicine in the rural regions of Africa where healers do little of conventional diagnosis.

Hoodia Gordonni

There is enough scientific proof of the use of this plant as an effective weight loss therapy; it was initially used by hunters in the desert regions to cut down their appetites in drylands. This plant serves as an African herb for preventing excessive weight gain.

Wrapping up

Despite the many drawbacks to the use of herbs and spices as a medical remedy in Africa, it remains the most popular form of healthcare even amongst urban folks. Some of the many reasons why people prefer Africa traditional medicine are;

It provides a ‘holistic’ cure:

Africans don’t view ailments purely as physical disorders. African herbs provide total cures (body, spirit, and soul).

It is easily accessible.
In most African countries, the population outnumbers conventional doctors by a ratio of as much as 5 000/1, while traditional healers have a reasonable ratio of 250 people per healer.

Finally, Poor documentation of the potency of the medicines, primitive research of traditional healers, and insufficient regulations of the use of these herbs are the most significant limitations to the development of herbal medicine in Africa.

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Ayurvedic herbs, the ins and outs of the most common used Ayurveda herbs.

Ayurvedic herbs, the ins and outs of the most common used Ayurveda herbs. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian form of medicine. It is popular because of its natural and herbal medicines. These herbal components are derived from plants and nature. The components that are used in making herbal medicines aim at restoring balance in the

Ayurvedic herbs, the ins and outs of the most common used Ayurveda herbs.

Ayurveda is a traditional Indian form of medicine.

It is popular because of its natural and herbal medicines. These herbal components are derived from plants and nature.

The components that are used in making herbal medicines aim at restoring balance in the human body.

Ayurveda focuses on establishing a balance between internal factors that determine one’s health and temperament. It co-relates to one’s natural surroundings.

Today, it is included in many modern scientific medical uses as well.

Ayurvedic Healing Principals

Ayurvedic principles revolve around bringing balance among the following:

Dhatus (fundamental tissues):

and also:

Doshas (body humors):
Vata (nervous system)
Pitta (enzymes)
Kapha (mucous)

Natural elements:


According to Ayurveda traditions, all these internal and external components together form the body’s base and health. Any imbalance among these can result in several complications.

Usage of herbal medicines, natural therapies, and safe treatments makes the cure efficient and long-lasting.

It does not have any negative consequences. Such medical techniques prove to be efficient and safe.

Well, now you might be wondering so:
What are the herbs used in Ayurveda?
What ailments are they used for?
What are its advantages?
How are they used?

Ayurvedic Herbs and usages

Some herbs used in Ayurveda:


Tulsi, also named as the Indian holy basil is a real medicinal gem. All parts of this plant have medicinal values, especially the leaves. It is referred to as the queen of all herbs.

Medicinal benefits:

Tulsi is an excellent weight-loss promoting agent. It can have significant results over strengthening the metabolism, keeping the digestive system optimally functional, has zero calories, and also provides stomach detoxification.

In Ayurveda, it is beneficial in curing conditions such as – Asthma, fever, cold and cough, eye problems, heart issues, insect bites, headaches, kidney stones, etc.

Tulsi also has numerous benefits on the skin. It soothes, treats acne, prevents ageing, removes blackheads, etc.

How is it used?

This ancient healer can be used in numerous ways.
The most familiar technique is to chew 8-10 leaves daily. Tulsi tablets are also available and can be used similarly.

You can add Tulsi to your daily detox drinks, tea, food, etc.

Tulsi leaves can be blended to a paste and applied on the skin for best results.


The native Indian ginseng or more commonly known Ashwagandha has been in Ayurveda since time immemorial. It is a shrub known for its many health benefits.

Medicinal benefits:

Ashwagandha is most popular in Ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and Anti-cancer properties. It is very advantageous for patients with diabetes, cardiac issues, and cholesterol also.

Another very important quality of it is the effects it has on one’s mental being. Ashwagandha is often used to cure depression, anxiety, and stress.

It improves the overall nervous system functioning. Moreover, it is excellent for enhancing brain and memory performance.

It also strengthens the body’s overall immunity and adds to the right muscles. For men, Ashwagandha is also helpful in increasing fertility.

How is it used?

The easiest usage comes in forms of tablets. Daily Ashwagandha tablets and supplements can be great for well-being.

You can even mix a paste of the herb in water and have every morning.

Various Ayurvedic brands produce powders, pastes, tablets, teas, etc. for ease of usage.


The Brahmi herb is scientifically known as the Bacopa monnieri. It has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries.

It is famous for the following:

Medicinal benefits:

Among the many uses, the Brahmi is famous for its anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-cancer goodness.

It is also used for treating psychological disorders in Ayurveda. The use of Brahmi medication is applied to boosts neural and brain functions. It is said to be effective for treating ADHD, stress and anxiety issues, and increase brain efficiency.

Blood pressure and relative casualties can also be prevented with the inclusion of this herb. It can cure both systolic and diastolic pressures.

How is it used?

The herb itself can be cooked as a dish and included in the diet alongside rice.

It is often made into powders, capsules, etc. to increase accessibility.

The powder can be mixed into a solution with water, added to dishes, mixed with ghee (clarified butter), etc.


It is a primary Ayurvedic herb, and the tree is often worshipped. They are useful in several home remedies.

Medicinal benefits:

Neem is well-known for its infection-curing properties. It is useful in clearing wounds, skin breakouts, burns, ringworms, insect bites, etc.

Neem is excellent for diabetic patients, as well. It can be used to prevent severity for pre-diabetics.

They also cure various kinds of ulcers.

Its efficiency also helps to treat and improve skin and scalp-related problems.

How is it used?

Neem leaves are mostly crushed into a paste or made into a juice. They are easier to consume regularly this way.

Neem decoctions, tablets, juices, powders, etc. are often made readily available by Ayurvedic stores.

Neem creams and pastes are great for applying on the skin. Boiling the neem leaves in water can be used to bathe in for curing dandruff and scalp issues.


Turmeric is a common spice known and used for its medicinal properties. Right amounts of this can ensure a balance among Pitta, Vata, and Kapha.

Medicinal uses:

Turmeric is enriched with anti-oxidants that not only destroy germs but also prevent their further manifestations. It is also enriched with detoxification benefits.

It is a quintessential healer for ulcers, wounds, infections, etc. It is also useful for promoting good digestive health and blood sugar control.

Turmeric is also known to aid better brain functioning and encourage memory retention.

It is also a significant Ayurvedic beauty enhancer. It works to bring in radiance to the skin and also work against acne.

How is it used?

Usually, it can benefit as a spice included in foods. It’s often added to milk to cure colds.

Raw turmeric can be taken directly with honey. Moreover, pastes are useful.

Many Ayurvedic cosmetics make use to turmeric for products.


Oils are also a primary Ayurvedic ingredient. Among many, the mustard oil stands out. The mustard leaves and seeds are also used as veggies and spices.

Medicinal uses:

Mustard oil has various uses. Some of them include – treating leukoderma, leprosy, rheumatoid arthritis, Asthma, Sinusitis, earaches, cavities, acne, jaundice and rhinitis, cardiac issues, etc.

Ayurvedic massage also includes mustard oil.

Its warmth provides relaxation. It focuses on issues of the Vata and Kapha.

It even has antifungal, antibacterial, and other curing effects on the skin. It cures abrasions, ringworms, insect bites, cuts, etc.

How is it used?

This oil can be included in cooking, replacing your regular cooking oil.

Massages extensively make use of mustard oils. It is also for hair when massaged into the scalp.


Dates are dry fruits with various health-enhancing potentials. They are rich in fibre and used as a standard Ayurvedic remedy.

Medicinal benefits:

Dates are known for their capability to increase energy and strength.

Many Ayurvedic medicine formulas make use of dates. They help in rejuvenation and relieving tiredness, improve strength, awareness, and confidence, etc.

They are useful for reduction and treatment of stress, asthma, respiratory problems, indigestion, cough, haemorrhoids, weight loss, etc.

How is it used?

As dry fruits, dates can be consumed directly. Make sure to include no more than 10 to 12 dates at each meal to avoid any excess calories.

Date extracts are used in common Ayurvedic medicines such as – Ferberry syrup, Janodine Syrup, Balaprasha, etc.


Pure ghee obtained from desi cow milk is best. Ayurveda makes use of clarified butter as a diet and massage essential for many health advantages.

Medicinal benefits:

Ghee has many healing and anti-oxidant qualities. It adds the goodness of butter, excluding the impurities. It assists in strengthening immunity, enhancing digestion, improving flexibility, etc.

Aged ghee is stated to be better for Ayurvedic usages. It solves conditions such as epilepsy, alcohol addiction, fevers, etc.

Ghee is also combined with other herbs and oils to nourish the skin and cure inflammation, acne, wounds, etc.

How is it used?

Ghee can be included in your everyday diet as a fat oily ingredient.

For skin issues, ghee is directly applied to skin, lips, etc. It provides moisture and enriches the skin with goodness.

Ghee is also used in various massaging techniques and Ayurvedic therapies.


With so many commonly available herbs, oil, fruits, spices, etc. Ayurvedic remedies come in handy.

Many Ayurvedic medicines have been added to modern and western medicines. They are mostly recommended for their practical and minimal after-effects.

The primary aim of Ayurveda of balancing bodily elements with the earthy elements is what leads to its cures. The used herbs and medicines directly influence the body for restoration of balance.

This way of traditional medicine can be curative as well as preventive.

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Well known treatments in Unani

Treatments in Unani medicine As our lives become engulfed with yet more modernity, and we come across more illnesses and ailments, we seem to have a spiritual calling to turn back to older, better systems. Hence, our growing inclination towards Traditional Medicinal systems. Unani is one such ancient systems of medicine. It was popularised by

Treatments in Unani medicine

As our lives become engulfed with yet more modernity, and we come across more illnesses and ailments, we seem to have a spiritual calling to turn back to older, better systems.

Hence, our growing inclination towards Traditional Medicinal systems.

Unani is one such ancient systems of medicine. It was popularised by Indian Muslims and is utilised worldwide.

What is Unani?

Unani is a system of using naturally available herbs to treat ailments and keep healthy.

Unani works on a principle of the body’s balance. It starts with the four primary bodily fluids or humors (Akhlat).

They include:

Blood (Dam)
Phlegm (Balgham)
Yellow Bile (Safra)
Black Bile (Sauda)

According to Unani, these bodily humors contribute to the body’s major temperaments.

They further combine with environmental and other elements. The state of balance among all this decides the body’s physical and mental health.

Good health can only be attained when these elements are in balance. Unani focuses on establishing this balance to cure and prevent health issues.

Now; let us delve into specific unique Unani Treatments.

Some Treatments used in Unani

Leech Therapy (Hirudo)

This therapy is among the most common and effective ways of treatment using Unani.

It is also known as Bloodletting or Hirudo Therapy.

How does it work?

Leeches are used in medicinal ways to promote better blood circulation and detoxification. Blood is an important body humour.

Leeches are let on the affected area. This carnivore attaches to one’s skin using its teeth and is allowed to suck around 5-15ml of blood for around 20minutes.

This assists in the removal of contagious blood. Moreover, the leech’s saliva contains anticoagulants (hirudin) that are released into the blood.

It encourages better quality and quantity of blood, thereby balancing the homeostasis.

The arrangement of the leeches on the body is checked, from time to time. On completion of the process, the leeches are separated and disposed of.

What is it used for?

Research says the many enzymes found in the saliva of the leech assists in:

Improving the fluid form of blood, encouraging circulation.

Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-biotic benefits
Cures psoriasis, ringworms, ulcers, scabies, etc.

It can also treat:

Hypertension, Mania, migraines, arthritis, varicose veins, etc.
Overall, good blood-flow ensures better health and healing.


The aromatic herbs and natural products have an optimistic influence on our mind and body. Unani includes ancient Aromatherapy as a healing aid.

How does it work?

This therapy uses many aromatic herbs in massages, meditation, inhalation, application, etc.

Some of the familiar aromas include:

Oils: Eucalyptus, Almond, Lavender, Soya, Castor, etc.
Chamomile leaves

What is it used for?

Essential oils are used in reparation of various aromatic drugs that are used in Unani.

They have the following benefits:

Skin healing and care
Antiseptic and disinfecting
Relieves and soothes fever, migraines, stress, etc.
Cures coughs and colds

Cupping Therapy (Hijamah)

Cupping is now a famous technique for treating health conditions. Its existence in Unani dates back to centuries.

How does it work?

Cupping is a form of suction force applied to the body to release tension and increase blood flow.

A cup-like horn is attached to the affected skin area, and the vacuum created causes suction. This leads to removal of morbidity in the humors.

Cupping may or may not include using fire as a heating agent. The cups used, it’s positioning, duration, etc. are decided depending on the disease.

What is it used for?

It is mainly helpful in:

Cleansing the body of wastes
Treats spleen-issues, malaria, haemorrhoids, boils, and scabies.
Decreases inflammation in uterus and testes.
Reducing excessive menses

Massage (Dalak)

Massaging is considered as a way to relax and restore the body into better functioning. It provides rest and promotes health. Various massages are a part of Unani.

How does it work?

Massaging is done on the patient to relax and stimulate the body in the right ways. It has many overall advantages.

Massaging in Unani uses techniques to apply pressure on the skin’s underlying layers and nerves.

Rubbing, tapping, kneading, vibrating, etc. are carried out. Massaging may be accompanied by ointments, essential oils, medicines, aromatic herbs etc. to make the simulations more effective.

What is it used for?

The pressure applied on the body via massaging help with the principle of balance that Unani focuses on. It assists in the release of toxins in the humors and also encourages the better flow of these fluids.

It is useful to:

Increase better blood circulation
Relieve joint pains and stiffness
Relax and reduce stress
Improve skin and scalp health
Enhance metabolism
Improve organ functioning
Overall strengthening and immunity

Turkish Bath (Hammam)

Among the many ways Unani uses to detoxify the body, bathing is a very ancient and crucial one. Frequent bathing can be healing and is utilised to treat and cure many conditions.

How does it work?

To enhance the medicinal and therapeutic effects of bathing, rooms with customised bathing facilities are prepared.

The type of bath and therapy required depends on the condition an individual is diagnosed with.

Hot baths are used in the treatments of various diseases and in curing internal functions. On the other hand, colder baths are used for relaxation and overall immunity purposes.

The bath treatment also focuses on a setting particular to the individual’s needs to facilitate better bodily balance.

Baths are often paired before or after aromatherapies and massages.

What is it used for?

The Turkish bath aims at:
Maintenance of a correct body temperature and homeostasis.
Curing muscular wasting and sores
Weight loss and improved metabolism
Inducing heated stimulation in the body using hot baths
Increasing the viscosity of the humors
Excretion of harmful toxins through the skin

These are some among the many treatments and therapies that are used in Unani.

Final Words

The different kinds of diseases and ailments have different underlying reasons. The underlying causes are generally internal, and so are its solutions. Any hindrance in the body’s elemental balance can disrupt its functioning and lead to adverse health effects.

Unani makes use of various natural ways to encourage healthy living. It includes numerous techniques, treatments, therapies, etc. They aim at curing the affected state of health.

The effect of Unani medicine and its ways is not just focused on healing. It also promotes the preservation of health and prevention from follow-up conditions.

The many ancient techniques have proven to be efficient and without any after-effects. Due to many available treatments and proven cures, Unani is among the leading alternative medicinal systems of today.

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Famous African herbs, NO 1 – Bitter leaf

Bitter leaf as a potent herb in Africa Since pre-historic times, Africa is known to have a vast and successful practice of herbs in traditional health and medicine. Many of their early techniques in the treatment of diseases are currently studied in developed countries in the world. Medicine and treatments with herbs in Africa rest

Bitter leaf as a potent herb in Africa

Since pre-historic times, Africa is known to have a vast and successful practice of herbs in traditional health and medicine. Many of their early techniques in the treatment of diseases are currently studied in developed countries in the world.

Medicine and treatments with herbs in Africa rest with the prerogative of traditional healers (Shamans, Dibia, Babalawo, Sangomas, Inyangas, Boka) Africa, these healers claim to get inspiration from; predecessors, divination with gods, revelation or through the creative acts of observing animals.

The trust in herbal medicine is so great even up till now that more people trust in their efficacy rather than conventional drugs, plus there is a higher ratio of traditional healers to people compared to conventional doctors.

Africa is also home to lots of therapeutic plants due to the various soil conditions and the climate of the regions, and one of such staple plants is the Bitter-leaf plant (Vernonia amygdalina).

What is Bitter-Leaf?

It is a common plant in the Sub-Saharan parts of Africa and has varying local names. In Nigeria, the Yoruba tribes refer to it as (Ewuro), the Igbos (Onugbu), and the Hausas (Shiwaka) the Cameroon (Ndolo) D.R Congo (Congo Bololo).

It is a small leafy green shrub that grows to a height of about 2-5.5m and blooms well during the rainy seasons, and its 20cm length elliptical leaves hang from frail barks.

The leaves of the plants are so bitter that it will ‘throw-off’ anyone who tastes it with his tongue, especially a newbie. Before Africans use it in meals, they rumple and squeeze a lot of bitter juice from the leaves to prevent the excessive bitter tastes from ruining their soups or foods.

Cultivating Bitter-leaf

Bitter-leaf is natural to many West and East African countries like Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, etc. In many rural communities in Nigeria, it is cultivated in many households in their vegetable gardens.

Bitter-leaf is planted by replanting a cut stem from a previously growing plant (the parent plant develops another stem).

Bitter leaf, the African Ginseng?

There are many world-renowned herbs and plants that are used for many different types of illnesses and conditions. For example, in Arabia, you have the Blackseed, in Indian, there is Ashwagandha, and in China, you will find Ginseng.

Now Bitter-leaf might not be well known outside Africa, but it has varying uses and health benefits;

It is a distinct vegetable and ‘spice’ in cooking and comes with its bitter-sweet taste,
The juice can be extracted for health-related issues,
The leaves can be mashed/pound to get the paste
People also chew the raw leaves.

Health benefits of Bitter-leaf

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the reasons people in Africa use this amazing plant:

For relief from Stomach aches:

It is a common practice in the rural and semi-urban parts of Africa to chew the stem of the bitter-leaf as a reprieve from stomach pains and aches. Similarly, others might mash the fresh leaves in a mortar to extract the juice and add a little salt.

Medical Research shows a lot of anti-toxins present in bitter leaf plants that help them efficient in the cure of stomach aches.

Bitter-leaf and diabetes

Many Nigerians use the bitter leaf plant as a preventive and containment herb for Diabetes; Bitter leaf does not only reduce high sugar levels in the blood, it will also help to repair impaired pancreas in your body. Impaired pancreases are one of the leading causes of diabetes in Nigeria.

For people who smoke

Bitter-leaf also serves as a good anti-pollutant, and most smokers incorporate bitter leaf to their diet as a shield to prevent rising fumes from damaging body organs.

Regulates Blood cholesterol levels

Elevated cholesterol levels can be a high-risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, and other conditions. It is a common sight for the elderly population to take a ‘shot’ of bitter leaf juice regularly as a method of prevention.


There are lots of research that has proven the potency of bitter leaf in ridding the body of harmful toxins and oxidants. It is common to see people drink half glasses of the juice as a way to ‘flush out’ different toxins in the body.

Improve Kidney health

One of the researches carried out on the bitter leaf plant is its efficiency in renal health and functions. African traditional healers have long used Bitter leaf juice as a remedy to renal problems that may plague their patients.

Good source of fatty acids

Bitter leaf plants have a copious supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acids. While these two fatty compounds are essential to the body, the body is incapable of producing them. Many research and study also confirm their role in easy digestion.

Improves the health of the skin

In rural and domestic areas, skin diseases like; ringworm, eczema, warts, and boils are cured by rubbing the paste from the leaves of the bitter-leaf plant on the affected region. Not only does it cure skin disease, but it also leaves a clear and smooth skin.


When suffering from insomnia, people simply drink juice extracts of the bitter leaf. Bitter leaf juice can create a calming effect that results in calm and sleep.

Bitter-Leaf in use with other Herbs

In Africa traditional medicine, it is not uncommon to mix different herbs to treat a particular ailment. Bitter-leaf can be sometimes mixed with Basil leaves, or Moringa leaves in a boiling concoction to treat ailments like; severe stomach aches, pile, and diabetes.

Bitter-leaf used in foods.

Although Bitter-leaf is replete with lots of desirable nutrients and anti-toxins for the body, researchers fear that when used in cooking, some of the nutrients are lost when squeezing or washing of the bitter juice. Also, the excessive heat in the food might be enough to reduce the leaves to mere spices rather than a source of vitamins.

Final words on Bitter leaf

Not only is Bitter-leaf a common herb in Sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also a good vegetable for consumption and making of foods. It is also simple to cultivate the plant, and it can grow on almost most soil types. It is more like a ‘first-aid’ herbs in the rural parts of Africa.

There is no doubt that as the world learns more and more about Bitter leaf, it will soon become much more widely available and used across the globe.

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What is traditional Chinese medicine?

What is traditional Chinese medicine? An interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine or “TCM” derives from the fact that it is fundamentally a different way of looking at the disease and the body in comparison to Western medicine. It all began with ancient Chinese sages and doctors. Evolved over thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine includes

What is traditional Chinese medicine?

An interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine or “TCM” derives from the fact that it is fundamentally a different way of looking at the disease and the body in comparison to Western medicine.

It all began with ancient Chinese sages and doctors. Evolved over thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine includes various modalities for both the mind and the body.

These include practices like acupuncture, tai chi, and herbs ingested or applied over the body. A system developed to help the body and mind create a healthy balance where energy flows through freely.

Acupuncture is a technique in which fine needles are inserted through the skin to stimulate precise points on the body. Tai chi on the other hand is about the posture of the body. It is a combination of mental focus with breathing exercises and body movement.

The whole idea is to generate internal energy and cultivate it to flow throughout the body. And then we have the Chinese herbal medicine (TCM). 1 in 5 Americans uses Chinese herbal medicine.

History of Chinese medicine and timeline.

A brief look at what traditional Chinese medicine is cannot begin without going back to the mythological beginnings before written records through the countless dynasties and ending up in the 21st century China. With 2000 years of recorded continuity in practice, traditional Chinese medicine has a long and complex history.

History of traditional Chinese medicine is divided into 5 periods:

Han dynasty – 206 BCE – 220 C.E.
Tang dynasty and Song dynasty – 618-907 C.E. and 906-1279 C.E.
Jin- Yuan Period – 1115-1368 C.E.
Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty 1368-1644 C.E. and 1644 – 1911 C.E.
Republic of China and People’s Republic of China 1912 – 1949 C.E. and 1949- present

During the Han dynasty period, the world was introduced to a lot of developments. During this period one of the most significant medicinal books was released. Shennong Bencaojing is considered a classic of Herbal Medicine. Considered the earliest complete ‘Chinese pharmacopoeia’, the book records over 360 Chinese medicines from which over 200 were of plant origin.

Some were from animals and others from minerals. Known as the Golden Ages in Chinese history; during this period, you can find the growth of acupuncture practices.

It was a widely accepted and supported practice by the dynasty. Also during this period, a project to publish an official completed book called the “Materia Medica” was ordered. It contained over 800 different medicinal substances from minerals, plants, herbs, animals, fruits, etc.
TCM was valued during this period and learning of it was encouraged through the Imperial medical office establishment.

Jin-Yuan period shows a slight shift from previous dynasties during which several schools for different ailments and diseases were established. One of the physicians responsible for the establishment of these schools was Liu Wansu.

The centre of his theory was based on 5 movements and 6 influences. He used heat therapy alongside herbs which had cold properties to target and treat certain illnesses.

Of the major issues during the Ming period was the plague. It was widely believed that herbs could cure the plague.

Li Zhong-Zi was a prominent Chinese doctor in the Ming dynasty. He was one of the first non-sectarian doctor of China who claimed if to treat a patient, we should work together with all schools.

Although a herbalist, he used ice to reduce fever and also came up with a technique to prevent infection.

Today, worth over $60 billion, TCM is popular not only in China but around the world. WHO- World Health Organisation, has increased its support for Traditional Chinese medicine.

Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Said to provide a holistic approach to relieve pain, encourage physical and mental wellbeing, treat diseases and illnesses, traditional Chinese medicine has been around for over 5000 years.

Chinese herbalists claim there are 4 main benefits of traditional Chinese medicine:

Minimum side effects to Chinese Medicine

In general, herbal medicine has very little side effects. These medicines driver their efficacy from raw and organic substances and do not contain anything synthetic. That is one of the reasons why the body can process them better with minimum side effects.

Reduce inflammation

Seen as a root cause for so many diseases and illness, many traditional Chinese medicines have known properties for reducing inflammation. Herbs like turmeric, fennel, ginger, etc. have known properties to reduce inflammation. These are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Improving cognitive health

Alongside reducing inflammation, traditional Chinese medicine has properties which can reduce stress. Effectively regulating hormones which protect the brain, traditional Chinese medicine has served to strengthen the immune system.

Muscle strength and movement flexibility

Tai chi has proven to provide a significant workout. Practising it for just 3 months has shown amazing results such as improvement in balance, maintaining and enhancing flexibility, improving agility, and increasing the overall strength in muscles.

Pain management and relief

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to relieve pain in the joints and muscles. It has also been used on patients with frequent migraines and headaches. People have seen benefits in their digestion conditions from just a few sessions of acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Herb List

Following are some of the herbs commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine:


The root of Astragalus or Astragalus membranaceous, a plant that is native to Asia, is one of the most important herbs used in TCM.

The traditional Chinese name for this herb is Hunag Qi or “yellow leader” because of the yellow colour of its root and the significance it holds in traditional Chinese medicine.

Astragalus is used to remedy several different medical conditions. It boosts the immune system, especially of patients by increasing the number of white blood cells. This root is also used as a diuretic for patients suffering from heart condition or hypertension.

It does so by lowering the blood pressure and relaxing the blood vessels. Another common use of the yellow leader is to boost stamina and remove fatigue especially in patients suffering from chronic and/or terminal illness.

Panax ginseng:

One of the many types of ginseng roots, Panax ginseng is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbal medicines. TCM suggests that this particular ginseng is of a warm nature and functions through improving circulation of blood.

It is tested and proven to improve fasting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Another common function of Panax ginseng is to improve short term memory, especially cognition. This herb is also used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, but for that, it must be taken regularly as opposed to prescription medication that is taken on a need basis only.

Gotu kola:

Also known as Centella Asiatica, Gotu kola is a leafy plant used commonly in both traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) and Chinese medicines. This perennial plant is native to the wet tropical jungles of South East Asia and is commonly consumed as tea, juice or eaten whole in a salad.

Gotu kola has many health benefits. It is known for improving memory and mood. It has also shown to have reduced anxiety in patients by influencing how their gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters are absorbed without causing any sedation.

For centuries it has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties in ointments. It doesn’t just reduce the localized pain but also helps heal the wound faster.

Scientific evidence for Chinese herbal medicine

The way how any medicine is scientifically tested is through double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. In these trials patients with a similar medical condition or disease are split into two groups.

One of these groups is given the real medicine while the other group is given a placebo without disclosing any information to the participants.

This method of testing is not very effective for Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine primarily because it doesn’t treat all patients suffering from a particular ailment the same way.

For Chinese herbal medicine practitioners, each patient is a separate case and should be treated according to their profile. To further simplify, Chinese herbal medicine aims to “treat the patient instead of the disease”.

That said, certain treatments within Chinese herbal medicine have shown results in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Chronic Hepatitis is one of the more rampant diseases in Asia and Chinese herbal medicine is widely used for treating it. Shosaiko-to (Minor Bupleurum) is a herbal combination used to treat hepatitis and is approved by the ministry of health of Japan.

In a 24-week trial, this herbal concoction has been tested on 222 patients with chronic hepatitis using a test based on the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The result showed a significant improvement in patients given Shosaiko-to as opposed to those given placebo.

Herbs and treatments that standout

Some of the herbs used in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Kampo (the study of Chinese herbal medicine in Japan) and their corresponding benefits:

Clematis mandshurica, Trichosanthes kirilowii, and Prunella vulgaris are three herbs used in combination to treat patients with osteoarthritis. There are significant testing and research available to back this.

A combination of Peony root and Licorice root is used to treat muscle spasms. It has been tested on patients suffering from acute muscle spasms due to liver cirrhosis and reduced the frequency of these spasms significantly.

Zingiber officinale or more commonly known as Ginger is one of the most commonly used herbs in TCM. It is used to treat everyday form of nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness in pregnant women.

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