You are here

Herbal Database



Scientific Name: Rheum australe
Local Name/s: Archa

While the stems are cooked as a vegetable, as the classic apple-tasting rhubarb, the carrot-sized root serves an important role in medical systems around the world. Archa root, like other species of Rhubarb, is a talented purgative in that its astringent quality can often tone the mucous membranes, and remove cellular toxins while purging more massive congestion from the G.I.  This way it removes excess from all the organs of the G.I. including the Liver.  Powdered Root is also a potent first-aid ‘pulling’ poultice.


Ativisa, Atis, Aconite, Aconitum Heterophylum
Scientific Name: Aconitum Heterophylum
Local Name/s: Atis

As metabolism is absolutey fundamental to wellness, this is one of the best herbs for activating and purifying metabolism.  Atis is considered a panacea by many, usable as a remarkably effective treatment for a majority of imbalances.  It combines well with Kutki in this regard.  Atis sparks efficient clear energy and brings up all levels of digestive fire, physical and mental.  For both adults and children, Atis readily supports the bodymind in optimizing and controlling all forms of fever, from snake bites to parasite to inflammation.  


Scientific Name: Origanum vulgare
Local Name/s: Bantulsi

BanTulsi is Himalayan Oregano that acquired Tulsi’s name via deep socio-religious contexts, illustrating its importance.  Being deliciously fragrant and physically beautiful it demands engagement, and indeed, we have used this herb for at least 50,000 years.  More recently, Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, lung tonic and digestive while today it is a first-reach potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial immunostimulant, in fact, kudos to Ben Heron in establishing its renown and availability for MRSA therapy.


Scientific Name: Chenopodium album
Local Name/s: Bathuwa

Bhathuwa is a genetically-ancient, gluten-free, non-allergenic, low-glycemic index, nutrient-dense herb, green vegetable, and grain, perfect for our day and age.  Also known as Goosefoot and Lamb’s Quarters, it is used around the world and has kept us fed for tens of thousands of years. Indicating extreme popularity, it has at least 27 names in Sanskrit, including Shakaraja, ‘King of Vegetables.’ This ‘superfood’ is important to ‘The People’ as it’s ‘off-the charts’ nourishing and a zero-tillage intercrop.


Scientific Name: Juniperus communis
Local Name/s: Bhateru

This is common Juniper, the largest ranged woody plant in the Northern Hemisphere, whose spicy female cones (berries) and fragrant leaves are used by healers everywhere, the cones especially to optimize the uro-genital tract, and the leaves to support lungs.  Juniper berries prime treatment in UTI/Cystitis, and as a uterine stimulant/abortifacient. A strong antibiotic and anti-cancer against drug-resistant tumors it is burned, akin to Sage, for shamanic purification and protection daily.


Scientific Name: Sassurea obvallata
Local Name/s: Brahmakamal

In many ways there is no herb nor flower that surpasses Brahmakamal, the Lotus of Brahma, thriving on top of the world at 17,000 feet high in the Himalayas.  Filling the valleys with visual and aromatic beauty, the unique hermaphrodite flowerheads, which unify the masculine and feminine, are whitish-purple and protected in orb-like layers of greenish-yellow, papery bracts that are redolent of a timeless temple. Offered to Vishnu at Badrinath and to Nanda Devi, this revered being is used in Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine to optimize and enliven subtle neuro-endrocrine-nadi circuits within.


Scientific Name: Centella asiatica
Local Name/s: Brahmi

Brahmi/ Gotu Kola is one of the world’s most powerful adaptogenic longevity herbs.  An indespensible tonic of Sage apothecaries across Asia, it helps calm, replenish, nourish, protect and rebuild the nervous system including enhancing cross-hemisphere connections. By optimizing blood, artery and lymph function Brahmi clears the congestion precluding all flows thereby promoting an increased brain circulation that enhances energy, mood, memory, concentration and cognitive executive functions. 


Scientific Name: Rhododendron arboreum
Local Name/s: Burans

Sometimes entire Himalayan mountainsides burst with a deep crimson red, the flowers of Burans, the state tree of Uttaranchal, the most common tree in the Himalayas.  Typically the flower orbs are taken fresh, as a jam, or a chutney, to treat diabetes, liver, pain and colon dysfunction.  It is an analgesic that works deep on central inhibitory mechanisms and treats diabetes by promoting insulin secretion, glycolysis, hepatic hexokinase activity, by decreasing gluconeogenesis, and by increasing glutathione mediated detoxification with results equaling Milk Thistle’s silymarin.


Scientific Name: Arcitum lappa
Local Name/s: Jungly Kuth

Burdock is a deeply detoxifying, liver/blood purifying ‘World’ herb, a bitter tonic with over 30 Latin binomial synonyms, signifying its global use. 10th century Saxons: infected wounds; Chinese: diabetes; Renaissance Europe: malaria; Canada: cancer/essiac; Brazil: infectious disease; Japan: gobo; India: liver. A paragon of the Asters (Daisy, Sunflower, Calendula, Pushkarmool, Yarrow) it combines the potent power of dandelion, manjishta, and neem, all in a delicious vegetable, which, when fermented, is nigh unto a probiotic superfood.


Scientific Name: Angelica glauca
Local Name/s: Chora, Choru

Himalayan Angelica! Need I say more!  This generous herb supports our body, mind and Spirit in dozens of ways, especially women.  Use roots for soup and medicine, seeds for a cooking spice, leaves for tea, stalks for a vegetable, and makes elixirs with ginger, and turmeric, etc (use non-metal containers). ‘Choraka’ can mean ‘like white Turmeric/Zeodary’ and Angelica equates it to an Archangel’s gift, the ‘root of the Holy Ghost,’ the Divine Feminine, and indeed this anti-aging root is a ‘feminine ginseng’ that prolongs life, nourishes the Woman, rebuilds blood, and restores hormonal balance. 


Scientific Name: Berberis aristata
Local Name/s: Daruhaldi

Daruharidra is a tall shrub-like herb growing in thick thorny clumps all through the Himalayas.  The roots and stems are burgeoning with the potent alkaloid berberine, making its woody stems appear to be Turmeric-colored, and hence its name.  An excellent substitute for Goldenseal, with which it shares chemistry, including berberine, it also is one of the world’s foremost Liver, metabolism, detox, diabetes herbs.


Scientific Name: Cedrus deodara
Local Name/s: Deodar

Deodar, ‘The wood of Shiva,’ a majestic high-altitude Cedar nourished by Parvati herself, is one of the most astounding plants in the Himalayas.  Rising to 60 meters (200 feet) with a trunk up to 3 meters (10 feet) across, the groves of Deodar are the primordial original temples of the Vedic, Yogic and Druid Traditions. A strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic, Deodar works systemically as a cellular metabolic stimulant with an affinity for the heart, lungs and urinary tract, while stabilizing Spirit.


Scientific Name: Curcuma longa
Local Name/s: Haldi

Many top Herbalists of various Traditions call Turmeric the World’s most valuable all-around herb.  This potent antimicrobial anti-inflammatory is a worthy potent Pharmacy. Besides flavoring food, to purify the blood and ensure a vivified radiant complexion is probably the most common use of Turmeric in Ayurveda.  The principle organs that it treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs as it deeply purifies the bodymind.


Scientific Name: Nardostachys Jatamansi
Local Name/s: Jatamansi, Marsi,

When you read of Nard in the Odyssey and Iliad, or the Nard that was Cleopatra's favorite substance, or the Nard in the song of Solomon, or the expensive Nard oil that was used to wash Jesus's feet, you are reading about the legendary Jatamansi.  As a type of Valerian, it tends to calm the bodymind, but unlike Valerian it does not calm by sedation, but rather by illumination and restoration, making it a fantastic ally for anyone who would like to enpower and vivify all their cognitive functions.  Jatamansi also has an affinity for female reproductive tissue and function.


Scientific Name: Roscoea purpurea
Local Name/s: Kakoli

Kakoli: vehicle of Tara. A hardy beautiful member of the Ginger family, I have found this gorgeous herb, with its spectacular long arcing orchid-like purple to white flowers, mostly on the Northeast slopes of open woodlands at 9000 feet though they grow up to 14,000 feet.  Medicinally a cross between Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Kali Musli and Ginger, it is one of Charaka’s Jivaniya herbs, deeply vivifying allies, and is part of the legendary Astavarga, ‘8 principal medicaments’ of ‘seen’ by celestial physicians and used to deeply restore the Sage Chyawan, becoming the basis of true Chywanaprash.

Kedar Pati

Scientific Name: Skimmia laureola
Local Name/s: Ner pati

KedarPati.  Prayer.  Puja.  Potency.  Purity.  Sometimes on the sides of mountains, up to 2500 meters, in the shade of oaks and rhododendrons, you will walk into patch of perennial evergreen Kedarpati shrubs that is miles wide and high up the ridge.  These are good days!  Smoked on Temple braziers, cooking fires, and in chillums, the minty pungent Bhuta-clearing aroma deeply centers oneself into empowered calm. 


Scientific Name: Saussurea Costas
Local Name/s: Kuth, Kashmiri Kuth

Of the relatively few herbs mentioned in the Vedas perhaps none is more highly regarded than Kustha, Kuth, who is considered to be the brother of Soma himself, the son of Jivala (longevity), and living where Eagles are born.  In the Vedas, where health is alignment with the Devatas and disease is when we are grasped by entities, Kuth receives copious praise for his ability to optimize salubrious alignment, minimize ‘the life force of imbalance,’ and greatly enhance the power of healing mantras.


Scientific Name: Picrorhiza kurroa
Local Name/s: Kutki, Kardawi jeri, Korai

Though a very effective detoxifier, 'deep terrain optimizer' is the apt term for this hepatoprotective herbal ally whose effectiveness has been confirmed by contemporary clinicians and Western Bioscience.  Kutki is considered by many of the top Herbalists to be the best liver herb they know, as it can heal people of extensive Cirrhosis and Hepatitus C by directly improving liver terrain, physiology and function, including increasing innate key liver antioxidants like Glutathione and SOD.  Recent studies reveal its effectiveness in Alzheimer's as well.


Scientific Name: Polygonatum cirrhifolium
Local Name/s: Mahameda

MahaMeda is one of the two deeply restorative Himalayan Solomon's Seals, the other being Meda.  Meda and MahaMeda are medicinally and visually very similar, with the more potent MahaMeda, having a curl at the end of its leaf.  Both are part of the legendary Astavarga formula, the ‘8 principal medicaments’ of Ayurveda that was created by the celestial physicians, the Ashwin Twins, to deeply restore the Sage Chyawan, thus becoming the basis of the original Chywanaprash. Truly a legend.


Scientific Name: Rubia cordifolia
Local Name/s: Manjishta

Manjishta is unsurpassed as one of the best liver/blood/skin/spleen alterative purifiers. The combination of being bitter, astringent, sweet, heavy, dry and hot is remarkable and foreshadows a broad-spectrum effective healer. Superb for complexion and skin, from psoriasis to white or brown spots, as well as the Kidney, Spleen and Liver, and neuroprotective via 5 mechanisms, it combines well with Kutki, Atis, and Turmeric.


Scientific Name: Polygonatum verticillatum
Local Name/s: Meda

Meda is one of the two deeply restorative Himalayan Solomon's Seals, the other being Mahameda. Medicinally and visually very similar, both are part of the legendary Astavarga formula, the ‘8 principal medicaments’ of Ayurveda created by celestial physicians, the Ashwin Twins, to deeply restore the Sage Chyawan, thus becoming the basis of the original Chywanaprash.  The Astavarg is not just restorative, but legendary at how quickly and thoroughly its restorative actions manifest.


Scientific Name: Urtica dioica
Local Name/s: Bicchukas

If you could only have a few herbs, the ‘World Herb’ Nettle would certainly be one of them.  Many species of humans have used this deeply nourishing Spring ‘bitter green’ for at least 80,000 years to make fabrics, ropes, meals and medicines. Simultaneously deeply cleansing and detoxing yet strongly nourishing and fortifying, it has an affinity for Blood/Liver as well the Genito-Urinary system where it also is a nutritive astringent.


Scientific Name: Bergenia ciliata
Local Name/s: Silpara

One of Ayurveda’s first-reach herbs for the entire urinary system, especially for creating a basic terrain unsuitable to kidney stones, PashenaBheda is also a strong systemic tonic that is considered a Rhodiola-like adpatogen by modern researchers.  Literally meaning ‘Stonebreaker,’ it expresses the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ by growing amongst rocks and breaking them apart, as it does to oxalate stones in our Kidneys. Tibetan Amchis, Siberian Shamans, and Indian Vaidyas all hold this herb as essential.


Scientific Name: PLantago lanceolata
Local Name/s: Jungly Isabgol

As a wound-healing blood-stopping first-reach poultice herb I am sure we used plantain 50,000 years ago with 10,000 year-old evidence of this in Norway. Not to be confused with Plantain the banana, this is a little herb species you see around the world, famous for its ability to suppress coughs as well as to heal wounds. It is also a great herb to alleviate poisoning and munching its roots will mitigate tooth pain like clove does, but watch out as chewing it may also give you an aversion to Tobacco.


Scientific Name: Inula racemosa
Local Name/s: Pushkarmool

Pushkarmool, Himalayan Elecampane, is one of the world’s most successful herbs for increasing lung function and capacity.  It improves cardio-pulmonary function via many mechanisms including offering antioxidants, expectorants, antispasmodics, anti-allergens, anti-histaminics, and anti-inflammatories all with special affinities toward lung and heart tissue. These factors help us to breathe freely and increase the systemic flow of Prana, an action amplified with this high-altitude plant ally.

Ragi Millet

Scientific Name: Eleusine coracana
Local Name/s: ragi, madua

Ragi, what you are enjoying when you consume Ethiopian Injera, is a genetically-ancient, gluten-free, non-allergenic, low-glycemic index, nutrient-dense herb and grain, perfect for our day and age.  Sacred to both Durga and Parvati, Ragi, sprouted Himalayan Millet, is so safe and deeply nourishing it is traditionally given to pregnant women and to infants over six months.  Ragi, an herb and a food is a ‘superfood’ that is important to ‘The People’ as it is so nourishing and high in methionine.


Scientific Name: Amaranthus caudatus
Local Name/s: Ramdana, Cholai

Try watching Himalyan sunsets above fields of glowing crimson velvet red flowers, Rama Dana, the grain of God!  Amlana, the ‘unwithered, bright’ is one of 36 Sanskrit names for Amaranth. It is excellent nutrition children as it has higher energy than other grains, the leaves are nourishing, a very high protein content of 30% of which 25% is the lysine missing in modern diets.  Growing on a fraction of the water that other grains require, this nourishing, deep-rooted, early-maturing (60 days,) drought-resistant protective-intercrop, is supportive of all marginalized farmers and ‘the people.’

Salam Punja

Salam Punja
Scientific Name: Dactylorhiza hatagirea
Local Name/s: Salam Punja, Punja, Panchamulia

Salam Punja is the hand-shaped tubor of a rare and endangered high Himlayan orchid used for millenia as an earth element adaptogenic tonic that can restore deep vitality and core Ojas resevoirs.  One can direct its shakti down and out as sexual energy, in and up as spiritual energy or held systematically as core organ restoration.  Also it serves as a 'Salep,' a sexual stimulant; as a core yogin fuel;and as a potent nutritive anabolic restorative tonic, as the body even generates hormones and neurotransmitters from Punja.  


Scientific Name: Asparagus racemosus
Local Name/s: Shataver

Along with Ashwagandha and Salam Punja, Shatavri is a precious herb for increasing Ojas, the density of core vitality, the basis of immunity and the central support of reproductive function.  The sweet cooling roots of this wild asparagus are as delicious as the sprouts of its cultivated cousin, making it a bona fide ‘Superfood.’  Traditionally, this adaptogenic phyto-estrogenic gem is a most effective herb for supporting male and female reproductive health and increasing reproductive fluids (shukrakari). 


Scientific Name: Rhododendron campanulatum
Local Name/s: Simru

A small high Himalayan ‘firewood’ shrub that is grown around the world as an ornamental.  A bit like the Aconites, this herb is a mild poison, with grayanotoxin in this case, and thus tends to be very good treatment for poisons, toxins and infections.  The powdered leaves and stems with tobacco and snuffed to cure hemicranias, colds, asthma, lung infections, etc. Leaf juice treats rheumatism, sciatica and syphilis.


Scientific Name: Zanthoxylum armatum
Local Name/s: Tejbal, Timru, Timur

Tejbal, locally known as Timru or Timur, is a small tree with a large list of potent uses.  The seed pericarp is used as a very pungently sharp pepper-like spice to flavor foods, improve digestion, and to treat a wide variety of imbalances.  The thorns, the bark, and the pericarp are amongst the very best remedies for tooth and gums.  The powerful antioxidants responsible for the spiciness are strong immunostimulants and dynamic anti-inflammatories useful to optimize joint function and minimize infections.  Tejbal branches are also used as a Danda, the Yogi's "magic' walking staff.


Scientific Name: Juniperus recurva
Local Name/s: Thelu

Thelu Dhoop, Drooping Juniper, is a very special being.  Native to the Himalayas, this threatened species is seldom seen below 10,000 feet and can live as high as 15,000.  Once called Juniperus religiosa, as Europeans first saw the distinctive drooping graceful curves of its branches around high-altitude monasteries, it indeed is supportive of the deep calm, certainty and clarity required for many Spiritual practices. Medicinally the cones-berries are similar to that of other Junipers, though more potent.


Scientific Name: Taxus baccata
Local Name/s: Thuner

Thuner is a Himalayan Yew, a small coniferous tree, the one with the little red ‘aril’ that looks like a berry.  As this tree can grow to be over 2000 years old, the reddish brown wood and bark has long been associated with Immortality, and by extension, death.  A very sacred tree, around the world over the last 15,000 years, from Native Americans to Scythians, it is the wood most favored for making bows. Except for those bright red arils, including the seed within the aril, the entire tree is very poisonous, all parts filled with the deadly alkaloid taxine, the source of taxol, a potent anti breast cancer drug.


Scientific Name: Ocimum sanctum
Local Name/s: Tulsi

For over five millennia, the esteem that Tulsi has earned makes it one of the most cherished and truly legendary of India’s healing herbs. From general well-being to acute critical imbalances, Tulsi’s magnanimous healing nature is used and honored daily by millions for whom it is a first reach herb for cough, colds, flu as well as for any fever or infection. Tulsi potent capability of invoking true wellness via dozens of mechanisms ascends it to the peak of the Yogic, Ayurvedic and Puranic traditions.  


Scientific Name: Acorus calamus
Local Name/s: Vacha

Vacha is one of the very best nootropic tonic herbs to support the nervous system, cognitive function, and especially for the clear expression of ‘Vak,’ Saraswati, so much so that its name is derived from ‘Vacana,’ the ability to eloquently express Truth.  The oldest surviving monocot (grasses, orchids, palms), its broad spectrum of positive influence seems deep and primal as well.