Ayurveda Day 61: Herbalism pt. 5 – Digestion & Elimination

Today we wrap up our foray into herbalism. I would like to end by giving you all some tips and advice and what herbs will work best for two of the most commonly afflicted pathways in the body: our digestive and elimination systems.

Digestive System

Symptoms: irregular agni (digestive fire) and digestion with gas
Herbs to stabilize agni: ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ajwain, fenugreek, chitrak
Herbs for gas: ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin

Symptoms: burning indigestion, possible gas with odour
Herbs for burning indigestion: fennel, coriander, peppermint, chamomile
Herbs for gas with odour: fennel, coriander, peppermint, chamomile

Symptoms: sluggish digestion
Herbs for sluggish digestion (increase agni): any hot spicy herbs, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves

Symptoms: dry constipation
Moist laxative herbs: psyllium, flax, licorice, shatavari, haritaki
Moistening Herbs: licorice, shatavari, marshmallow root, irish moss
Herbs to build strength of colon: triphala, dashmoola

Symptoms: burning diarrhea, bleeding ulcers
Herbs to decrease diarrhea: amalaki, bibhitaki, red raspberry, sage, bilva (esp. good)
Herbs to aid healing: comfrey, aloe vera, slippery elm, turmeric
Herbs decrease bleeding: majishta, ashoka, praval pishti, red raspberry

Symptoms: Mucous in stools or strong constipation
Herbs to reduce mucous: ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ajwain, fenugreek, chitrak
Herbs for strong constipation (note to use in extreme moderation! Can induce diarrhea): castor oil, aloe vera, high doses of triphala

As you can see, luckily many herbs have multiple actions. They can help in both digestion and elimination and in multiple doshas! This is especially helpful if you have multiple doshic imbalances. but how to take these treatments is another thing altogether. Incorporating these items into your food is possible or into teas will probably be the easiest place for you to start. But if you actually truly want to benefit from more potent and deep healing, you will need to consult a CAS. The remedies we make as referenced last week is a complicated process and we have many different delivery mechanisms to choose from.

It’s also easy to get carried away and assume that you are exactly X dosha because of some quiz you took online. Then you look up some symptoms that dosha typically has, look at this list, and start picking herbs. This can be dangerous as you may aggravate your condition through lack of understanding and knowledge.

Starting small here is a great step into a larger world of Ayurveda. But if you start to experiment with some of these herbs in your diet and are seeing results or have questions, the next step you should take is book an appointment with a CAS.

Tomorrow we will discuss sensory therapies! We are in the home stretch of my first year in the program. Finals soon! Wish me luck 🙂

With gratitude,



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