Over the ages, yogis have classified certain herbs that have powerful impact on the mind.
Using the healing tools of Ayurveda and yoga will give us a deeper understanding of our essential selves and help us reach ever higher consciousness.
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogaraj, D.N.-C., R.H., has over 37 years of experience in alternative medicine, and is one of the foremost herbal experts in North America. He is President of the American Herbalists Guild, and a respected teacher, writer and lecturer who has presented at over 150 national conventions and conferences. He has authored or edited 30 books, including the recent The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs. K.P. Khalsa is a faculty member in the Botanical Medicine Department of Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington, where he trains naturopathic medical students, and a professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.
Khalsa is the curriculum director and principal instructor of the Nutritional Therapy Program at Portland Community College and the curriculum designer and principal herbal medicine instructor at the Northwest Institute of Ayurveda.
The Three Gunas
Yoga talks about the three primal gunas of the Universe. From the three gunas come all the aspects of the mind.
Is potential creative energy and brings contentment, joy, peace, and harmony to our lives.
Is vital force, causes change, emotion, and turbulence.
Is potential destructive force, often described as inertia. It represents rest, dullness, depression, spoilage, and resistance.
Each gunu plays its part in the human life. The goal of yoga is to move toward being a sattvic of mind, and to lead a sattvic life as much as possible. The objective is to develop the neutral mind.
Medhya herbs and therapies are typically thought of as those that promote the capabilities the Western World call the mind. Medhya herbs engender and summon intelligence, memory, and mental perception. They make the mind worthy of sacrifice to the Divine.
Bitter taste is made from air and ether tattvas.
(Tattva is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘thatness’, ‘principle’, ‘reality’ or ‘truth’. According to various Indian schools of philosophy, a tattva is an element or aspect of reality conceived as an aspect of deity. Although the number of tattvas varies depending on the philosophical school, together they are thought to form the basis of all our experience. The Samkhya philosophy uses a system of 25 tattvas, while Shaivism recognises 36 tattvas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattva).
It predominates in the mind. Bitter herbs open the mind and increase sensitivity, awareness, and mental functioning. Since bitter herbs are cooling and calming, they combat mental dullness, allowing us to reach our full sattvic potential of becoming radiant and divinely loveable.
Gentian is an especially bitter herb. Several species of this potent root are used interchangeably in India and Europe. Beside the mentally cleansing sattvic aspects, the bitter taste, it cleanses the liver and stimulates digestive secretions. It is an anti-inflammatory and fever remedy, and also forms the basis of a well known European herb combination for sinus infection.
Ayurveda often substitutes bitter Gentian with other comparable bitters, such as Chiretta (also in the Gentian family) or Kutki, all of which cleanse the mind and make a person more sattvic. Gentian might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it is renowned for getting your mind clear and your digestion going.
Chiretta is a close relative of Gentian, in the same botanical family. It’s used similarly to Gentian, as a very general, very cold bitter. It is also similar in action, bitterness, and use to Kalmegh, another Ayurvedic star. It is a popular digestive bitter that clears toxins and inflammation from the intestines. It balances the liver, so it can stimulate the appetite. It also alleviates asthma, lowers fever, removes impurities from the blood, and is used in skin diseases.
Chiretta is used with Cardamom, Turmeric, and Kutki for gastrointestinal tract inflammation. It is combined with Neem, Manjishta and Gtu Kola for inflamed skin.
Gtu Kola (CENTELLA ASIÁTICA)
Why be bitter about your life? Embrace the bitter, climb up to a sattvic life, and become so radiant that God will not only find you, but will cuddle you in His cosy, loving arms, and you will never be lonely again.