Ayurvedic Herbs with Science Backed Benefits

Ayurvedic Herbs with Science Backed Benefits 3

The ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda is based on ancient Indian writings that rely on nature’s goodness and holistic approaches to mental and physical health. One of the oldest medical systems in the world, Ayurveda remains relevant to date and its teachings are now being embraced across the world, not just in India.

Ayurveda makes use of substances readily available in nature such as plants, minerals, herbs, and spices. It promotes the wellness of living beings through the use of natural remedies, polyherbal formulations, and lifestyle practices that reinforce our connection and balance with the rhythms of the natural world. The article will unfold before you some of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs and their therapeutic benefits. Read below to immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge

Amazing Benefits of Ayurvedic Herbs

1. Ashwagandha [1] [15]

Ashwagandha, the King of Ayurvedic herbs has the scientific name Withania somnifera. It is also popularly recognized as Winter Cherry and Indian Ginseng. The herb has a horsey smell and can offer one the strength and virility of a horse. It is called Rasayana in Ayurveda. The many health benefits of this herb are:

  • The use of this herb can help deal with stress. This is a renowned adaptogen in the realm of Ayurveda. This herb may reduce cortisol levels and help manage stress better.
  • This herb can improve testosterone levels and add to the quality and volume of sperm cells. Therefore, it may be used to treat male infertility and poor sexual functions.
  • This herb can reverse the insulin resistance of the body cells and improve insulin sensitivity. Also, the herb can stimulate the production of the insulin hormone. All these factors make it a natural cure for diabetes.
  • The problem of high blood pressure may be managed by using Ashwagandha. This herb works effectively in controlling stress-induced hypertension, to be more specific.
  • This herb can protect and prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. The extracts of this herb can control the damage to the nerve cells and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

2. Gotu Kola [1] [14]

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a renowned herb in the parsley family. It has a long history of use in the traditional Chinese as well as Ayurvedic medicine systems. This herb is more popular by the name of ‘Brahmi’. The scientific name of this herb is Bacopa monnieri. Ayurveda considers this herb to be a Sattvic herb. According to Ayurveda, this heart has the power to balance all the Doshas. The various gotu kola Ayurveda benefits are:

  • This herb can treat all types of venous insufficiency. Studies show its effectiveness against varicose veins, venous hypertension, and inflammation.
  • The use of this herb on wounds has shown positive results. This herb can heal wounds and burns speedily.
  • This herb can support the treatment of cognitive impairment following a stroke or due to aging. It can have a positive impact on the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. It can enhance memory and alertness.
  • Intake of this herb can calm your mind and relieve you of the symptoms of anxiety. This herb shows a strong anti-anxiety effect.
  • This herb can effectively treat insomnia and sleep deprivation as it comes with a strong sedative effect.

3. Tulasi [1] [3]

Of all the herbs used in Ayurveda, Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum Linn), known as Holy Basil in English is prominent. There is mounting scientific evidence that the Tulasi herb can address various physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress symptoms through a remarkable combination of pharmacological properties and actions. Tulsi, the magical herb, has been found to protect your organs and body tissues against chemical stress coming from hazardous industrial pollutants and toxic heavy metals and physical stress from prolonged periods of physical exertion. The chief health benefits of Tulasi are:

  • Tulasi has a calming effect on the mind and helps in mental relaxation. Tulasi tea can act as a great stress-busting beverage. This herb is also an amazing memory and cognitive power enhancer.
  • This herb can keep your bronchial airways free from phlegm and mucous. Therefore, this is a great natural remedy for asthma, allergic bronchitis, and other issues involving the respiratory system.
  • Tulasi supports wound healing. Due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, this herb can speed up the healing of wounds and prevent infection in the wounds.
  • The herb manifests anti-ulcer activity. It is a great remedy for stress-induced ulceration. The use of this herb can strengthen the gastric defensive factor and minimize issues like acid pepsin secretion and lipid peroxidation.
  • Tulasi supports oral health. This herb can stop the bacteria from thriving in your mouth. Therefore, this herb is great for managing oral issues like mouth ulcers, bad breath, and gum diseases.

4. Amalaki [1], [2]

This Ayurvedic herb is called Emblic Myrobalan and Indian Gooseberry in English. In the various ancient texts, we find a special mention of this wonder fruit, loaded with several therapeutic properties. In Ayurveda, it is given the status of ‘Amrit Phal, ‘ meaning ‘life-giving fruit. ‘ Amalaki is considered a Rasayana and Ajara ingredient in Ayurveda. Therefore, the use of this herb can provide you with adaptogenic and anti-aging benefits, respectively. Amalaki is rich in Vitamin C and other vital nutrients like Gallic Acid, Tannin, and Anti-oxidants. The various health benefits of this herb are:

  • This herb helps in tissue regeneration and prolongs the life of the body cells. Therefore, it can give you youthfulness and support overall health rejuvenation.
  • The fruit comes with hypoglycemic properties and can help in the regulation and management of high blood sugar levels.
  • Amalaki is loaded with vitamin A, which helps in improving your eye health. Vitamin A not only gives you an improved vision, but it also may prevent age-related macular degeneration. The properties in the fruit can activate the pachak Agni or digestive fire and help in managing issues related to poor digestion such as Amla Pitta or acidity, gastric ulcer, constipation, etc.
  • Amalaki’s potent nutrients can activate and support digestion, helping the body to digest, absorb, and assimilate nutrients easily.
  • Amalaki fruit comes with remarkable anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of Amalaki can help in the management of cancer cell proliferation in the case of various types of cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian carcinoma in women, colon cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and many more types. Tannins present in the fruit may help in managing cancer cell proliferation.

5. Arjuna [1], [4], [5], [6]

Terminalia arjuna is the scientific name for Arjuna. Arjuna is a deciduous tree belonging to the family of Combretaceae. The decoction made from the bark of the arjuna tree comes with immense therapeutic properties and is considered highly important in the healing system of Ayurveda. The most important benefits of this amazing herb are:

  • This excellent herb comes with cardioprotective power. This herb has yielded proven results in the management of cardiovascular diseases. The beneficial phytoconstituents in this herb can protect you from heart diseases. This herb comes with remarkable anti-ischemic, anti-atherogenic, hyperlipidemic, and antioxidant properties. Arjuna bark is highly effective in the management of angina and hypertension too.
  • Apart from protecting your heart, this herb can also protect your bones. This is a great natural remedy for osteoporosis. Intake of the bark extracts can support bone remineralization.
  • Arjuna shows wound debridement activity. Topical application of the Arjuna herb can treat issues related to the wound such as edema, discharge, and slough.
  • The Arjuna herb has also shown proven results against high blood pressure. Consuming this herb can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • This herb can manage venereal diseases. Applying the paste of the Arjuna bark can be a remedy for venereal diseases

6. Gokshura [1] [12] [13]

The holistic healing science of Ayurveda attaches a lot of importance to Gokshura, a renowned herb well known for its aphrodisiac and Vrishya properties. The scientific name of this herb is Tribulus Terrestris. The herb belongs to the Caltrop family. The fruits borne by this plant resemble the hooves of a cow. That explains why this herb is called ‘Gokshura’, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Cow’s hoof’. The key benefits of this herb are:

  • The first and foremost benefit of this herb is that it can treat male sexual issues effectively. Issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low sperm volume and quality, low sperm count, and abnormal sperm shape. The herb can improve sexual stamina and performance in men.
  • The diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can treat a wide range of urinary disorders such as painful urination, burning sensation during urination, and urinary incontinence. 
  • The powerful antioxidative properties of this herb can strengthen your heart muscles and prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries. That reduces the risk of heart attack, cardiac arrest, formation of blood clots, and heart blockages.
  • This herb can help deal with PCOS effectively. Due to its diuretic properties, it can reduce the size of the cysts in the female ovaries by drawing out water from the cysts. That helps in managing the various PCOS symptoms like irregular menstruation, infertility, obesity, mood swings, etc.
  • This herb helps in controlling and preventing gout. The diuretic attributes of this herb can push your kidneys to remove excess uric acid from your body. This reduces the risk of gout.

7. Bhringraj [1] [11]

Bhringraj is also referred to as Kesharaj meaning ‘ruler of hairs’.  This herb is used mainly for treating all types of hair woes. The various pharmacological constituents in this herb can support healthy and strong hair. This herb is called False Daisy in English and it comes with white flowers, yellow flowers, and blue flowers. The scientific name of this herb is Eclipta prostrata. The main benefits of Bhringraj are:

  • The specific gravity of the oil made from Bhringraj is pretty high. Therefore, it can penetrate deep into the hair follicles and treat the issues of dry hair and dry scalp.
  • The use of the herb can also treat dandruff due to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
  • This herb is very effective against stress-induced hair fall. It can bring down stress levels, improve blood circulation in the scalp area, and nourish the hair follicles. That reduces the rate of hair fall.
  • This herb can detoxify your liver and help in the regeneration of liver cells.
  • This herb has potent anti-ulcer properties and can effectively treat various types of ulcers such as gastric ulcers, mouth ulcers, canker sores, and ulcerative colitis. Its tissue regeneration power helps in healing ulcers speedily.

8. Punarnava [1] [10]

Punarnava is a well-known Ayurvedic herb packed with essential nutrients. According to Ayurveda, this herb has cooling, astringent, and bitter properties. This herb is called hogweed in English. It is a member of the Nyctaginaceae family. Due to its many bioactive components, this herb is considered highly beneficial for a wide range of human ailments. The main benefits of Punarnava are:

  • Punarnava supports the health of your urinary system. The use of this herb can keep urinary tract infections at bay. It can also treat problems like kidney stones, urinary distension, and painful urination.
  • This herb comes with hypoglycemic properties and, therefore, can treat diabetes. Consumption of this herb can stimulate the production of insulin hormone and can reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose. This helps to regulate your blood sugar levels.
  • Punarnava comes with anti-inflammatory properties and can treat digestive issues like inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. It stimulates the production of digestive enzymes and improves your digestion power.
  • Punarnava reduces reproductive issues in both men and women. The use of this herb can treat the problem of low libido in men and also improve semen quality. Therefore, this herb can treat male infertility.
  • Punarnava has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Therefore, this herb may be used to treat muscle and joint pain. The use of this herb may help in treating inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Nimba [1] [7] [8]

Nimba (Azadirechta indica) has been extensively used in Ayurveda since antiquity. All five parts of Nimba (bark, leaf, root, fruit, flower) have been used in various ailments. All parts of Nimba are predominantly bitter. The various benefits of Nimba are:

  • The herb has strong antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Therefore, it can be used to treat various chronic skin conditions such as acne, eczema, ringworm, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, itching, rosacea, herpes, cold sores, skin ulcers, and several other skin issues.
  • Nimba has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. The use of this herb can treat pain, sprains, and rheumatism.
  • Nimba is Tikta and Kashaya, which implies that the herb can remove toxins from your blood and purify your blood.
  • The limonoids and polysaccharides in the herb can reduce the size of cancerous tumors. This herb has shown promising results in tackling skin cancer.
  • Use of Nimba can keep your gums healthy. This heart may be added to mouthwashes and may show results in managing gum issues like bleeding gums, sore gums, gum degeneration, tooth decay, and other periodontal issues.
  • Nimba comes with cardioprotective properties. The use of this herb can reduce blood pressure. Also, it can treat palpitations, erratic heartbeats, and high levels of bad cholesterol. Furthermore, this herb acts as a blood thinner and manages elevated heart rate.

10. Shatavari [1] [9]

Shatavari is a species of asparagus plant used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. The dried roots of this herb are used to treat a wide range of human ailments. This herb is regarded as a Rasayana herb, which implies that it can help improve general well-being by reviving and strengthening cellular vitality. The benefits of this herb are:

  • This herb shows excellent diuretic properties. Therefore, it can treat issues of the urinary tract and infections effectively. It improves urinary bladder health and also helps flush out kidney stones.
  • This herb is a powerful antidepressant and adaptogen. The antioxidants present in this herb can make you feel happy. The extracts of this herb can also regulate mood swings.
  • Satavari can boost and regulate breast milk production. Therefore, the support it offers to lactating mothers can help in the nourishment of the newborn.
  • The herb can treat male genital as well as sexual dysfunctions, such as oligospermia, spermatogenic issues, and many more.
  • The herb can also address a wide range of gynecological issues such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

Potential Side Effects of Ayurvedic Herbs

Most of these Ayurvedic herbs are safe if taken in the recommended dosage. However, some of these herbs may not be suitable for pregnant women, lactating mothers, individuals with chronic health conditions such as cancer, and individuals who are taking medication for some specific health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, cardiac problems, etc. Therefore, you are advised to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before taking any of these herbs.


1. What is Triphala?

Triphala is the combination of the three most important Ayurvedic herbs, namely Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhataki. This herbal mix is used to treat digestive issues, poor gut health, constipation, oxidative stress, and weak metabolism.

2. Is Turmeric an Ayurvedic herb?

Yes, turmeric is an Ayurvedic herb. It is called Haridra in Ayurveda. This heart is administered to treat health issues like smallpox, chicken pox, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, rheumatoid arthritis, wounds, liver problems, and several other health issues.

3. Is ginger an Ayurvedic herb?

Yes, ginger or Adraka is an Ayurvedic herb. This herb has been in use to treat various human ailments such as migraine, nausea, cough and cold, arthritis, hypertension, and many others.

4. Which are the best herbs for hair care in Ayurveda?

The best herbs for hair care in Ayurveda are Brahmi, Bhringaraj, Methi, Hibiscus, Amla, Aloe Vera and Neem.

5. Is Kumkumadi a herb?

Kumkumadi is not a herb but a herbal formulation. It is a kind of oil infused with the goodness of many herbs, the most important being golden saffron. The invigorating oil helps treat a wide range of skin issues. The use of this herbal oil is said to enhance one’s beauty and radiance.


The healing science of Ayurveda talks about an extensive range of powerful herbs. There are hundreds of benefits of Ayurvedic herbs, and each of these herbs is safe. However, you may become confused while selecting any particular herb for a particular health concern. Therefore, before selecting any herb, it is best to consult an expert. This article has aptly discussed some of the best Ayurvedic herbs recognized and appreciated globally.


This article has been written purely from a health and wellness perspective and intends to enhance your knowledge. It should not be mistaken for medical advice.


  1. Ayurveda Offering Herbal Healing
  2. Amalaki: A review on functional and pharmacological properties
  3. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons
  4. Terminalia arjuna Wt. and Arn.
  5. Wound healing activity of Arjuna bark powder in Dushta vrana (Non healing venous ulcers) – A Case Report
  7. Nimba neera -The gift of nature
  10. Traditional Indian Herbs Punarnava and Its Medicinal Importance
  11. Bhringraj: A Pharmaceutical Treasure Trove
  12. A Systematic Medico Historical Review of Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris L.): A Traditional Indian Medicine
  13. Effect of Tribulus terrestris L. on sperm parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: A systematic review
  14. Centella asiatica: A traditional herbal medicine 
  15. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda

Dr Sunanda Ranade

Sunanda Ranade is Vice-Chairman of the International Academy of Ayurved, Pune, India, and an expert Ayurvedic gynecologist and nutritionist. She has been working in this field for the last 47 years. Dr. Sunanda Ranade holds a Doctorate in Ayurveda. She is also the author of several books on Ayurveda and Yoga, which have been published in Marathi, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here