By Midori Hatakayama
I believe that herbal medicines are important to us because they connect us with the very source of our life that is the nature, which is full of vitality and pure energies. Further more, herbal medicines are the time tested holistic and preventive medicines that have least side effects if at all.
It is said that the many of the herbs on the market are wild grown and the destruction of the natural habitats and the growing needs for herbs are inviting the phenomenon of over harvesting which are risking the extinction of potent and popular herbs grown in wild.
By choosing herbal medicine, one must recognize the value of the nature and the five elements within. Herbalists must become aware of the environment that surrounds not only themselves but also the environment that surrounds the very plants that save us from suffering. It is crucial for herbalists to learn about the local cultures and the lives of local people and how the plants are harvested.
It is important that we become aware of the circumstances of the plants and that any suffering of the source we use for the medicine will directly affect the effect of our medicine not to mention the extinction of the source. It is also important that herbalists
and the practitioners of traditional medicines unite themselves in the protection and conservation of the nature.
To protect the future of the herbal medicine, cultivation and certification of herbs must be encouraged and the practitioners of Traditional Medicine and herbalists should make a conscientious choice of correcting cultivated and certified herbs instead of wild grown endangered herbs for their practices.
By choosing the way of herbal medicine, not only we have chosen the holistic health for ourselves but also chosen the holistic way of life in which we must stand aside with the nature and wildlife and participate in a conscientious and ethical practice of collecting herbs.
In general, low dose restores, stimulates, or cleanses the target system by balancing related dosha; medium dose directory affects the target dosha and counteracts to the symptoms of its imbalance; and high dose dramatically increases or decreases the target dosha whereby causing aggravation of non-target dosha.
I would prescribe low dosages as prevention of imbalances, medium dosages for treatment for mild imbalances, and high dosages for severe imbalances. I also would monitor the patient during the medium and high dosage treatment and follow up with treatments for the secondary aggravation of doshas that may occur during or after the primary treatment.
Sweet taste restores and nourishes Vata and Pita in low and medium dosages, calms nervous system and Vata imbalance but aggravates Kapha in high dosage.
Sour, salty, and pungent, tastes stimulates Agni but sour, salty and pungent increases Pitta in low dosages.
Sour and salty moistens and balances Vata but sour aggravates pitta and salty aggravates Kapha in medium dosages.
Sour contracts the organs in high dosage and salty breaks accumulations but aggravates all doshas.
Pungent stimulates circulation and increases Pitta in medium dosage but aggravates Vata and Pitta in high dosage.
IAhrb101 Module 1 Student Assignments Midori Hatakeyama September 12, 2010
Student: San Diego College of Ayurveda
Bitter stimulates digestion, clears Kapha and activates nervous system in low dosha, detoxified the liver and blood and reduces ama, in medium dosages, cleanses bowel and bladder and clears Pitta in high dosages but decreases Agni and aggravates Vata.
Astringent taste clears mucus, Pitta and Kapha in low dosages, maintain the organs and tissues in place in medium dosages, stagnates the blood, liquids, and prana movements aggravating Vata.
What sour, salty and astringent have common is that they become more harmful than beneficial in high dosages.