Cow Milk with Herbs
Milk with herbs: When we wish to use certain
herbs with pungent and hot properties in children,
or in person with less strength, those herbs are
processed with cow milk. This serves three purposes.
- The herbal remedy gets the extra nutritional quality of milk.
- The pungency and the strength of the herb is lowered. Thus
the herbal formula is made suitable for patient with less strength.
- Milk acts as a fat and water soluble media for the active
principles in the herb.
SANDALWOOD cools and calms the entire body and mind, with its influence spreading throughout the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. It relieves fever, thirst, burning sensation and stops sweating. A few drops of sandalwood oil applied to the third eye will relieve heat and thirst, and is good for fever or overexposure to the sun. Sandalwood helps the awakening of intelligence. Its prabhava is to help open the third eye, to increase devotion and promote meditation. It also aids in the transmutation of sexual energy. Sandalwood, a good addition to other formulas, reduces fever; it is good for almost any inflammatory conditions and for cleansing the blood. Externally, the oil or paste can be used for most infectious sores or ulcers. In short, sandalwood is a very good anti-Pitta medicine. A strong sandalwood oil can be made by steeping four ounces of sandalwood powder in one pint of cold water overnight, adding to one pint coconut oil and cooking over a low flame (not boiling), until all the water evaporates.
SAFFRON is a very potent revitalizer of the blood, circulation and female reproductive system, as well as of the metabolism generally. It is one of the best anti-Pitta herbs and spleen-liver regulators. It is considered to be the best stimulant and aphrodisiac, vajikarana, primarily for women. Though not actually a tonic itself, even in small amounts it catalyzes the tonic action of other herbs and promotes tissue growth in the reproductive organs and in the entire body. It can be added to milk or to other tonic herbs, like shatavari or angelica, to facilitate their function or used as a spice to promote assimilation of food into deeper tissues. Its quality is sattvic and gives energy to love, devotion and compassion, to Bhakti yoga. SAFFLOWER, sometimes misleadingly called saffron, can be used as a substitute for saffron and is much less expensive. It should be used in normal dosages.
AJWAN or wild celery seed is a strong digestive, respiratory and nerve stimulant. For those suffering from high Vata, poor appetite, intestinal gas and sinus congestion, it may be taken as a powder, one to three grams three times a day before meals. It also promotes kidney function and energizes the nerves. Its uses are similar to wild carrot seeds in western herbalism. Ajwan is a powerful decongestant for both the respiratory and digestive tracts. It clears out deep-seated Ama and revives obstructed and stagnant metabolic functioning. It relieves intestinal spasms and vitalizes Pratta, samana (the Vata governing digestion) and udana (the Vata governing speech, effort and enthusiasm). As such it helps improve aspiration and catalyze the ascending energies of the psyche.
PIPPALl, like its close relative black pepper, is a powerful stimulant for both the digestive and respiratory systems. It is strongly heating and removes cold, congestion and Ama, and revives weakened organic functions. Unlike black pepper it is also a rejuvenative, mainly for the lungs and for Kapha. Prepared as a milk decoction, it can help cure chronic, degenerative lung diseases like asthma. Pippali is also an aphrodisiac and strengthens reproductive functions, warming and energizing the reproductive organs. Three of the pods may be taken daily in the morning with a little honey to control excess secretions, mucus and Kapha. Alternatively, ten black peppercorns can be used. Together with black pepper and dry ginger, pippali forms the compound known as trikatu, or the three spices. This is the main stimulant compound used in Ayurveda. Trikatu rejuvenates Agni, burns away Ama and allows for the assimilation of other medicines and foods.
NEEM is one of the most powerful blood-purifiers and detoxifiers in Ayurvedic usage. It cools the fever and clears the toxins involved in most inflammatory skin diseases or those found in ulcerated mucous membranes. It is a powerful febrifuge, effective in malaria and other intermittent and periodic fevers (in which case it is usually used with black pepper and gentian). Neem can be taken whenever a purification or reduction program is indicated. It clears away all foreign and excess tissue, and possesses a supplementary astringent action that promotes healing. Yet it should be used with discretion where there is severe fatigue or emaciation. In a medicated oil, it is one of the best healing and disinfectant agents for skin diseases, and anti-inflammatory agent for joint and muscle pain.
GINSENG is one of the best tonic and rejuvenative herbs, promoting growth and revitalization of the body and mind. It works particularly well for Vata disorders of tissue-deficiency found in old age. Those who are not weak may find it a stimulant, like coffee. It is excellent for promoting weight and tissue-growth in the body (including nerve tissue). For rejuvenative purposes, it combines well with ashwagandha, an Indian herb of similar properties, when taken three grams twice a day. With ginger, it can be used to promote digestion and assimilation. It is a good general tonic cooked in milk. American ginseng has similar properties but is said to be cooler in energy. It is a better demulcent and tonic to the lungs; better for Pitta individuals, but more likely to aggravate Kafka. American ginseng from the northern part of the country, the Catskills, however, is hotter and more like the Korean. The American variety is not inferior to the Chinese and we should make better use of it.
BHRINGARAJ is a preventative to the aging process which maintains and helps rejuvenate bones, teeth, hair, sight, hearing, and memory. It is a rejuvenative for Pitta constitution and for the liver; it is the best medicine for cirrhosis. It is also the best Ayurvedic herbal medicine for the hair. Bhringaraj oil is famous for making the hair black and luxuriant; for removing greyness and reversing balding. It helps calm the mind from excessive activity and promotes sound sleep. In many respects it is similar to brahmi, or gotu kola, in its properties. It combines the properties of a bitter tonic like dandelion (for which it is a substitute) with a rejuvenative tonic. Applied externally, it helps draw out poisons and reduces inflammation and swollen glands. It is a good tonic for the mind. Bhringaraj also is good for the complexion. Bhringaraj grows wild in the southwestern United States.