Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of medicine. It aims to preserve health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance and preventing disease rather than treating it.
To do so, it employs a holistic approach that combines diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes (1Trusted Source).
Ayurvedic herbs and spices are also an important component of this approach. They’re thought to protect your body from disease and offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and mental health.
Here are 12 Ayurvedic herbs and spices with science-backed health benefits.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a small woody plant native to India and North Africa. Its root and berries are used to produce a very popular Ayurvedic remedy (2Trusted Source).
It’s considered an adaptogen, which means that it’s believed to help your body manage stress more effectively. Research has shown that it reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that your adrenal glands produce in response to stress (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
There’s also evidence linking ashwagandha to lower levels of anxiety and improved sleep in people with stress and anxiety disorders (3Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Moreover, research shows that ashwagandha may enhance muscle growth, memory, and male fertility, as well as lower blood sugar levels. However, larger studies are needed to confirm these benefits (4Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Finally, there’s evidence that it may help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system, though more studies are needed (11, 12Trusted Source).