As one of the earliest cradles of civilization, India has a rich heritage of timeless knowledge and wisdom. Emanating from the ageless Vedas (knowledge) - the Vedanta philosophy and the Vedic way of life revolved around nature. The sages of ancient India not only respected and revered nature, but also studied it scientifically. The wisdom of the sages of ancient India was unmatched. From astronomy to Ayurveda, from literature to linguistics, and from mathematics to metallurgy and medicine- Indian sages were highly advanced in their knowledge and understanding of various sciences.
Holistic health and well-being were of utmost importance. Living a productive and meaningful life of 100 years was a key goal. The sages of ancient India developed Ayurveda - the world’s first holistic system of medicine comprising of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicines using plants, herbs, and spices.


Today, the world is once again turning to the wisdom of the sages of India to re-discover natural, organic, and simple ways of healthy and holistic living. 

Plants and Herbs Mentioned in the Ancient Texts

Besides the four main Vedas, Ayurveda is the key Upveda (an ancillary Veda, of the Atharva Veda) that details use of medicinal plants and herbs. Between 400 BCE - 200 CE, the main texts that form the essence of Ayurveda were compiled. Charak Samhita, complied by the sage Charak during this time, is considered to be the world’s first book on internal medicine. Charak Samhita describes human anatomy, blood circulation embryology, pharmacology, etc. It lists diseases and ailments we now know as diabetes, tuberculosis, blood pressure as well as cardio-vascular and neurological disorders. Importantly, Charak Samhita also mentions numerous medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. 

 (Charak Samhita Manuscript on Palm Leaf. Source : Commons.Wikipedia)


The Vedas mention over 1,000 plants and herbs for medicinal uses.  The Charaka Samhita talks about 341 plant-based medicines, while the Sushruta Samhita (the world’s first compendium on surgery complied by sage Sushruta around 600 BCE - 400 BCE) discusses 385 plant-based medicines. From their roots to stem to leaves to bark to seeds to flowers and fruits - medicinal plants were used as powders, juices, gels, pastes, decoctions and pellets in ancient India. 


The timeless wisdom and knowledge of plants and herbs of the sages of ancient India has made India the #1 country in natural plant-based health and wellness. According to the World Health Organization, around 400 medicinal plants have been studied till now, of which 315 are found in India.


Top 10 Plants and Herbs for Holistic Health and Wellness


Based on their usage in various formulations to treat a variety of diseases, disorders and ailments, we list the top 10 plants and herbs that are immensely beneficial for every day wellness. 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

 (Source : Commons.Wikipedia)


Also known as Indian ginseng or winter-cherry, Ashwaganda (smell of horse), extract and powder of the plant’s roots are used to relieve stress as well as for boosting immunity and vitality. You can check our best-selling Turmeric Ashwagandha herbal tea.
Benefits :


  • Classified adaptogen - helps the body manage stress and anxiety

  • Can reduce blood sugar – by increasing insulin secretion and senstivity

  • May reduce inflammation

  • Can help in lowering cholesterol


Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) 

Giloy (also known as Guduchi) is amongst the most revered plants in Ayurveda. It is also known as Amrit (the nectar of immortality). Giloy is a creeper vine that is grown widely across homes in India. The mature stem of the plant is where the maximum health benefits are found. The easiest use of Giloy is to boil stems and extract the juice. Today, Giloy is also available as powder and capsules forms.


Benefits :


  • Powerful immunity booster - due to high amounts of antioxidants

  • Home-cure for fever

  • Improves digestion, known to cure hyperacidity and worm infections

  • Can help in treatment of diabetes

  • Helps fight rheumatoid arthritis and some liver disorders

  • Reduces ageing

You can also read our dedicated blog on Giloy : The Secret of Eternal Youth of Angels.


Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

(Source : Commons.Wikipedia)


Literally meaning “sweet root”, Licorice is said to be 50 times sweeter than refined sugar. Also known locally as mulethi or jesthimadhu in India,  the roots of licorice plant have been used for their antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and hepato-protective properties.


Benefits :


  • Boosts immunity - anti-viral and anti-inflammatory compounds protect against bacterial and fungal infections

  • Highly effective for sore throat, coughs and breathing difficulties

  • Revitaliser - relieves fatigue

  • Normalises hormonal balance

  • Heals ulcers and wounds

    Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) 

    (Source : Commons.Wikipedia)


    In Sanskrit, Manjistha means ‘bright red’. Commonly known as the Indian madder, the stems and roots of this climber are blood red in color. In ancient India, Manjistha was also used for coloring and dyeing fabric and other articles with a deep red color.


    As a medicinal plant, Manjistha’s most important usage is in purifying blood and improving blood circulation as a powerful lymph cleanser. By draining wastes and toxins from the blood, Manjistha removes blockages and stagnation throughout the circulatory system.


    Benefits :


    • Purifies bloods and improves overall blood circulation

    • Boosts immunity

    • Healthier skin - helps in curing skin allergies, eczema and dermatitis

    • Reduces wrinkles and keeps skin youthful

    • Healthier Liver and Kidneys

    • Aids digestion

    Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

     (Source : Commons.Wikipedia)


    Also known as Shigru in Sanksrit, Moringa is more commonly known as the drumstick tree. Today, Moringa is fast getting recognized globally as a superfood for its immensely nutritious properties and health benefits. Referred to as the Miracle Tree or Mother’s Best Friend due to high content of vitamins A, B and C, iron, calcium, potassium and amino acids. Moringa also has 46 antioxidants. Almost the entire plant can be used : leaves, pods and stems. In India, using fresh Moringa leaves and pods in soups and vegetables is common. Moringa leaves contain the maximum amount of nutrition and health benefits. These can be shade dried and crushed to make a powder, and added to tea, soups and other dishes.

    Try out bounteous Moringa blends that will deeply nourish you, like Moringa Matcha, our Turmeric Moringa tea


    Benefits :


    • Boosts overall health and immunity

    • Reduces inflammation

    • Can reduce blood sugar and helps fight diabetes

    • May reduce liver damage and prevent kidney stones


    All these plants and herbs are today being extensively studied and researched. The wisdom of sages of ancient is being validated by modern science.


    In Part 2 of this blog, we will look at 5 more amazing plants and herbs that have been used since centuries in India for their holistic heath and well-being properties.


    (Disclaimer : The Indian medicine system is based on the age-old Ayurveda. Research is going around the world to study these plants in more depth and scientifically prove their benefits. This blog only presents the current information as a general guide for the readers, who are advised to check with their physicians or  qualified natural health practitioners before incorporating any of the above in their routine, especially if they are under medication.)


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