8 Things You Should Know To Get The Most Out of Herbs
Ayurveda and Siddha remedies are prepared using many indigenously available herbs, climbers, medicinal plants and minerals. For the remedy to be effective, all the ingredients should be potent enough to manifest the desired outcome. As herbs are the major ingredients of a Siddha or Ayurveda remedy, it would be wise to consider what Ayurveda and Siddha texts say on gathering herbs. I think this stands good even for herbs of any part of the world.
- It is best
to collect the herbs early in the morning, ideally before sunrise. For best results use the herbs as soon as
possible. Herbs lose their vitality over time.
- Gather the herbs or leaves that look fresh and luscious. Throw away ripe or worm infested leaves.
- Wrap the leaves or herbs using a wet cloth if they are to be stored for further usage. The roots of the herbs can be kept immersed in water, but limit this to a few hours at the most, not more than six hours.
- Most of the time, taking the herbal preparation on empty stomach in the mornings is considered ideal. Allow a time gap of half an hour to an hour before you have your breakfast.
- Do not gulp down the herbal preparation in a hurry. The leaves should be thoroughly chewed for an easier assimilation by the body.
- If you need to increase the quantity of herbal intake, do so in a phased manner. For instance, if the suggested quantity is 100 ml, start with 25 ml the first day, then 50 the next day etc.
- Herbs can be consumed raw, or cooked. Certain herbs can be dried and powdered and used for consumption. The powdered herb is called ‘choornam’ in Ayurveda and Siddha terminology. Though taking herbs raw is the best form of intake, in some cases ‘choornam’ or powder has been effective in delivering the same effect as the raw ones. For example, dry neem leaf powder is as effective as the fresh leaf in treating certain diseases.
- Herbal preparations and herbal smoothies etc should be consumed within two hours of preparation. The powder or ‘choornam’ has a shelf life of 3 months. Syrup, lehyam etc prepared from herbs have a shelf life of six months.
Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
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