yoga of herbs

/ March 8, 2015/ Holistic Nutrition, Yoga/ 1 comments

Yoga practice let us achieve a sense of balance and union between the mind, body, and soul. The right combination of herbs can also let us achieve this sense of balance and union.

David Frawley says: "Plants exist to transmute light into life. Human beings exist to transmute life into consciousness, love. These three — light, life, and love — are one, each an expression of the other, three dimensions of the same existence."

In the western world, we look at herbs for their chemical actions but in the ayurvedic world, it looks deeper into the energetics of plants and relates herbs properties to their taste, heating or cooling effects, effects after digestion, and other potencies.

So I wrote about some of my favorite herbs, a brief description of their qualities and their effect on the body and the mind, and ayurvedic aspects in case you know what your constitution is. For more information about ayurveda and how to find out your constitution, see The ayurvedic lowdown on spring.

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is an Indian herb that has become popular in the west. It is a very important herb for rejuvenation in ayurvedic medicine and perhaps one of the most spiritual and sattvic of the herbs.

  • It increases intelligence, longevity, and memory.
  • It decreases senility and aging.
  • It cleanses and nourishes the immune system.
  • It is a powerful blood purifier.
  • It is balancing for all three doshas.

You can see why I am so fond of this herb. I drink it every day.


Licorice has a marked effect in the endocrine system. Sattvic in quality, it helps to calm the mind and nurtures the spirit.

  • It has a beneficial action in the adrenal glands.
  • It helps to liquify mucous and clean the lungs and stomach.
  • It nourishes the brain.
  • It decreases Vata and Pitta. If used long term, it increases Kapha.

It has an awesome sweet taste! so it is good to pair with other herbs to mask a bitter taste for example.


Peppermint is one of the best agents available to support digestion. It is cooling and it helps to relax the body and clear the mind and senses.

  • It stimulates the secretion of bile and digestive juices.
  • It has a relaxing effect in the visceral muscles.
  • It has a mild soothing action on the nerves and digestion.
  • It improves mood, awareness, and energy levels.
  • It decreases Pitta and Kapha. In excess, it increases Vata.

Excellent substitute for coffee. Giving you a more sustainable way to increase your energy without any negative side effects. Buy the fresh herb and smell, you will taste the difference!


It is a good general herb for Pitta conditions for its cooling properties. It reduces excess of Pita, bile and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

  • It aids the body to deal with fevers.
  • It stops internal and external bleeding.
  • It stimulates digestion.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It calms and promotes clarity and perception.
  • It decreases Pitta and Kapha. In excess, it increases Vata.


Dandelion is one of my favorite bitter and cooling herb.

  • It clear and cleanses the liver and gall blader.
  • It is an excellent liver tonic.
  • It dispels accumulated and stagnated bile.
  • It is an excellent source of potassium.
  • It decreases Pitta and Kapha. In excess, it increases Vata.

It is great for detoxification. Especially from a diet with a lot of meat and fatty or fried foods. Good choice to drink after the winter as part of spring cleansing.

Practicing yoga of herbs

You can start by using herbs for a specific action. For example, drinking a cup of peppermint infusion for energy or to help with digestion after a heavy meal.

Then try combinations for specific conditions from good-reputed brands or from a qualified practitioner like a herbal medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist. For information on my own blends, see Herbal potions to practice yoga of herbs.

Best to drink the infusions from herbs away from meals or other medications. This way there are no interactions or interference with absorption of food nutrients.

Keep in mind that the chemical actions of the herbs can interfere with medication. Always consult with practitioner of your choice to ensure that is safe to drink specific herbal teas with your medications.

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1 Comment

  1. No wonder I have always loved licorice! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, very interesting!

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