Amla is the name given to the fruit of a small leafy tree (Amlica Embillicus) which grows throughout India and bears an edible fruit. This fruit is highly prized both for its high vitamin C content and for the precious oil which is extracted from its seeds and pulp and used as a treatment for hair and scalp problems. During colonial times the British referred to the amla fruit as the “Indian Gooseberry”.
It is edible, very tart and rich in pectin. Because of this, it is commonly used to make jams, jellys, chutneys and other condiments. Another common use of this fruit is in medicines and tonics since it is extremely rich in vitamin C. In fact, it is documented that the amla fruit, on a per pound basis, is the world’s richest source of vitamin C. “Amla oil” is prepared from dried amla berries which have been soaked in coconut oil for several days in order to extract the oil soluble vitamins from the fruit. The filtered and purified oil is commonly called “amla oil”. This oil has a long history of use as an aid for improving the health of hair and scalp. In fact, it is one of the world’s oldest, natural hair conditioners. Customarily, a small amount of amla oil is applied to the hair after washing. This not only brings forth a rich, natural shine and soft texture, but also helps rejuvenate hair that is dull and damaged. Amla Oil is used for no other purpose than treating hair. It is a natural hair conditioner with a long history of use. Because of its beneficial properties, ShiKai uses Amla Oil as the principle conditioning agent in ShiKai Amla Conditioner.
MEDICINAL: Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic, and is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The oil breathed in will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves. When mixed with water or vegetable oils, it makes a good insect repellant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea.
RELIGIOUS: Healing energies come from the leaves. A branch or wreath over the bed of a sick person will help spread the healing energies. The oil is added to healing baths, and for purifications.
GROWING: Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is adaptable to several soil conditions.
MEDICINAL: Jasmine tea is drunk for its calming affect, especially after dinner, as well as for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Jasmine oil used in massage is soothing to the skin, and reported to be an aphrodisiac. It is used in aromatherapy to treat depression and nerve conditions, and as a massage oil for menstrual cramps.
RELIGIOUS: Jasmine is used in love sachets and incenses. It is used to attract spiritual love. A drop of the essential oil in almond oil, massaged into the skin, is said to overcome frigidity. Carrying, burning, or wearing the flowers attracts wealth and money. If burned in the bedroom, Jasmine will bring prophetic dreams.
GROWING: Jasmine is best grown indoors in pots. It is an evergreen vine. It likes bright light, but no direct sun, some support such as a trellis, lots of water, and occasional fertilizing.
MEDICINAL: This plant, known as “the village pharmacy” in India, has been used for at least 4000 years for its medicinal qualities.All parts of the plant are used. Neem has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including wounds, burns, sprains, bruises, earache, headache, fever, sore throat, food poisoning, shingles, colds, flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, fungal infections, yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases, acne, skin diseases, heart diseases, blood disorders, kidney problems, digestive problems, ulcers, periodontal diseases, nerve disorders, malaria, fatigue, and a host of others. It is being closely studied for use in battling AIDS, cancer, diabetes, allergies, and as birth control for both men and women. Neem should not be used for more than two weeks at a time. For chronic ailments, it should be used on a schedule of two weeks on, one week off, or as directed under the guidance of a health practitioner. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, and strengthens the body’s overall immune reponses.
RELIGIOUS: Neem leaves were traditionally strewn on the floor of temples at weddings, to purify and bless the area and the couple, and the air was fanned with neem branches during the ceremony. The bark was burned to make a red ash for religious decoration of the body in adulthood. Neem branches were used to cover the body at death, and the wood used to burn the funeral pyre. Neem is considered to be the Goddess Neemari Devi.
GROWING: Neem is a tropical evergreen, native to India and Burma, and growing in southeast Asia and western Africa. It can grow to reach 50 feet tall in a desirable climate, and tolerates drought and poor soils. It can live up to 200 years. Neem bears fruit at 3 to 5 years of age. It cannot take freezing temperatures, so those in northern climates can grow it as a houseplant. Summer it outdoors, and place near a bright or sunny window in the winter. It needs organic fertilizers, well drained soil, and as large a pot as possible. Ten gallon sized pots are recommended as the minimum. Be careful not to overwater.
MEDICINAL: Rose hips are very nourishing to the skin, as well as containing vitamin C. It is used as a blood purifier, and for treatment of infections, colds, and flus.
RELIGIOUS: Rose water is used in gourmet dishes and in love potions. Petals are used in healing incense and sachets, and burned to provide a restful night’s sleep. The essential oil is used in ritual baths to provide peace, love, and harmony within the self. The hips are strung like beads and worn to attract love. Rose petals sprinkled around the home will calm personal stress and upheavals in the home.
GROWING: Roses of all varieties are adaptable to most soils as long as they have adequate water, and are occasionally fed through the growing season. There are varieties that will grow throughout North America. Plant them where you can enjoy their beauty and fragrance.
MEDICINAL: Sandalwood oil is used to cool the body during fevers and heat stroke. It is also used to aid in the passing of kidney and gall stones, and for infections in the urinary tract.
RELIGIOUS: Sandalwood oil is massaged on the forehead and between the eyes to help center and calm the mind. It is used in healing oils and sachets. It is burned as a purifiying agent in every room of the home, and as a protective agent.
Brahmi (what gives knowledge of Brahman or Supreme Reality), Manduka parni (what has the leaf of a frog)
PART USED—-root, TISSUES——– nerve, blood SYSTEMS——- nervous, muscular, circulatory ACTIONS——– brain tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, alterative, diuretic, astringent
Brahmi is perhaps the most important nervine herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It revitalizes the brain cells, removing toxins and blockages within the nervous system, while at the same time have a nurturing effect upon the mind. It improves memory and aids in concentration. Himalayan Brahmi is an important food for Yogis and improves meditation. A small amount of the fresh leaves is eaten daily for its rejuvenating effect upon the mind. Brahmi helps awaken the crown chakra and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It calms the heart and helps guard against heart attack.
Brahmi helps us give up bad habits and addictions of all types. It aids in recovery from alcholism or drug abuse, and also helps us kick the sugar habit. For this reason it is added to many Ayurvedic formulas as a nervine and antispasmodic agent. It is cleansing to the blood, improves the immune, allays excess sexual desire, and is excellent for venereal diseases, including Aids. It cleanses the kidneys, while calming and soothing the liver. BRAHMI IS ONE OF THE BEST HERBS FOR BALANCING AND REJUVENATING PITTA, while at the same time reducing Kapha strongly. It can reduce Vata if taken in the proper dose or with other anti-Vata herbs.
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): FALSE DAISY
Juices of the leaves is hepatic tonic and deobstruent, root is tonic and alterative, alcoholic extract antiviral against Ranikhet disease virusbronchodilatationIndications
USES: hair loss, hi BP, anemia, insomnia, asthma, hypertension, delusion, illusion, confusion, hair loss, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, anemia, edema, alopecia, dandruff, dandritis, CFS, sexual devility, sinsomnia,Alzheimer’s, hypertension, glaucoma, kidney stones GB stones, fibrocystic breasts, GM & PM epilepsy, liver toxicity.
SANSKRIT NAME: JAPA
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): HIBISCUS
Reduces menorrhagia or menorrhea; hemostatic, awakens kundalini shakti at the muladhara chakra
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION Nadkarni = refrigerant, emollient, demulcent, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue, dark red petals are demulcent; leaves emollient, anodyne, aperient or laxative; promotes hair growth Indications (Uses): menorrhagia, ardor-urinae, strangury, systitis, irritable conditions of GUT, fever, cough, gonorrhea, seminal weakness; diabetes, hair loss,
PLANT PART USED root, flower, seeds, leaves
SANSKRIT NAME: CHANDANA
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): SANDALWOOD
The wood is bitter, cooling, sedative, astringent. Oil is astringent, disinfectant to mm of the genitourinary and bronchial traacts. diuretic, expectorant, and stimulant.
USES: fevers, burning sensation, sunstsroke, eye diseases, dermatitis, urethritis, hyperacidity, insomnia, stress, restlessness, anxiety K = dmulsion or paste of the wood is a cooling dressing in inflammatory and eruptive skin diseases such as erysipelas, prurigo, prickly heat. Is diaphoretic, aphrodisiac. In morbid thirst wood powder is taken in coconut water, with sugar, honey, rice water to check gastric irritability and dysentery to relieve thirst and heat of body.
PLANT PART USED: wood, bark. vol oil
SANSKRIT NAME: JATAMAMSI
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): INDIAN SPIKENARD
Pharmacological Action: aromatic, vaso dilator, diuretic,anti-convulsant, anti-hypertensive, antispasmodic.
USES: kidney stones, extra systole, epilepsy, rrenal colic, burning eczema, hi BP, palpitations, depression, cervical, urethral, bladder, ureter spasms.
PLANT PART USED: root, rhizomes, oil
SANSKRIT NAME: BIBHITAKI
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): BELERIC MYROBALAN
SPECIAL POTENCY: Longevity of cellularlife
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION: Tonic, laxative, astringent, digestive/appetizer, lekhana, tridosha hara, sothahara, rakta stamvana, dipana, anulomana, krmighana, kapha nasaka, vajikarana, dhatu bardhaka, cekacusya (good for eyes), astringent, tonic, expectorant, laxative.
PLANT PART USED: fruit
SANSKRIT NAME: VACHA
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): SWEET FLAG
aromatic, stimulant, bitter, tonic, carminative, antispasmodic, emetic, expectorant, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac, laxative, diuretic. Alcoholic extract is sedative, analgesic, hypotensive, hyporespirative, intestinal relaxant (frog) negative inotropic (frog’s heart), insecticidal to houseflies.
PLANT PART USED: root
SANSKRIT NAME: BILVA
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): BAEL FRUIT (RIPE)
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION: more astringent than bark, grahi (regulates peristalsis), dipana (digestive), panchana (cooks ama), atisaraghana ( antidiarrhial), hemostatic.
USES: diarrhea, dysentary, worms, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, chronic fevr, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, enteritis, bleeding disorders
PLANT PART USED: fruit
SANSKRIT NAME: MUSTA
COMMON NAME (ENGLISH): NUT GRASS
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION: stimulates thyroid, increases metabolism, reduces cholesterol, reduces stomach pain, antihelmintic, stomachic, carminative, antipyretic, analgesic, astringent, nervine tonic, stimulant, demulcent.
PLANT PART USED: tuber