The Tantra of Herbs: Essence of Elements
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Yoga & Ayurveda are sister Sciences. One complements the other. Yoga is the methodology of Connection to Universe or Higher Intelligence, Space, Consciousness; Ayurveda is the the science of connection to Nature & Elements. Both sciences give practical wisdom about the essence of Inner & Outer Harmony. Both are precise & practical. Both were taught by enlightened Beings. And when we bring in Tantra into it, means we will be bringing in Herbs into our Lives to expand ourselves to boost physical & mental Health, we will integrate Ayurvedic & Yogic teachings to take the most of it. Tantra is all about Energies & Kundalini Force to make us a refined Superhuman without aggression & fear, with kindness, bliss, strength, positive mind. So by incorporating Tantric approach into Herbology we will try to understand the energetics behind every herb which is all what matters.
Western approach to herbs is quite simplified by stating the general effect of the herb for a certain purpose. That's fair enough but it is a limited understanding. Here Ayurveda come in with it's immense & deep understanding of how each herb really works which are it's elements/energetics & how will it influence someone else's elements. Let's put an example here to understand this approach better. According to Western Herbology for example Valerian is used for calming & improving sleep, so can be taken by anyone for such purposes. Ayurveda goes deeper than that & says, Valerian has heating energetics, so meanwhile it will help anyone to calm down it will also increase inner fire element & have acidic post-effect which is also heating, so it will not be suitable for people who are Pitta constitution (fire element predominant) & for people who have an increased Pitta whatever there constitution is. If our internal Fire element is in excess, the person will have to treat it, & also pay attention to intake of foods & herbs which are heating in Nature as it will be very harmful. This is a simple practical example.
I would like to share one more practical example. I am Kapha-Pitta/Pitta-Kapha constitution according to Ayurveda, which means there is predominance of Earth+Water & Fire+Water elements. So that means there is lots of Water & Fire, Earth & little Air/Ether. So knowing my own elements scheme i can understand how to keep my elements balance, treat imbalances in different climates, favouring & avoiding certain foods, herbs & activities. So for example i have a lot of Water, quite good about of Fire & very little Air element. Now i am living in Ubud, Bali where it's very humid & hot, so i have to counterbalance this outer infuence of these elements with drying foods, herbs & activities. Because i already have a lot fo those & there is a lot of them in the environment. So i would not spend my days drinking smoothies, coconuts, juices which are cooling & humid rather i would really control intake of liquid & favor more dry foods with less liquid & humidity. Since i have already a good amount of fire, & there is enough Sun in Bali i will control the intake of foods, herbs^ practices which increase my Fire element. So i will avoid spicy, fried, salty, sour, hot foods as they all increase Fire element instead i will favor warm, boiled, steamed, baked, sweet, bitter, cooling type of foods. I will spend a lot of time outdoors to counterbalance my lack of Air+Ether elements unless it's raining & it's humid. I would also take herbs as an external aid to balance my elements. If it's raining a lot, so i am feeling sluggish & heavy because of too much fluids i would take herbs which are drying but not too heating as Neem which is drying, bitter & cooling.
Well there go few practical examples of how we can manage our Lifestyle. What can be really empowering is learning about these things & experimenting with them, as everyone is very different. Also learning to be constantly aware of One's own elements & always learning to keep them in balance can be very empowering & bringing Health & Well-Being. But also what works for someone does not necessarily work for someone else but there are Universal principles which work for everyone as in Essence we are made of Elements.
Hope you found this insightful & uplifting, wishing you good Health & Joy on your Journeys, Hari Om Tat Sat