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Ayurveda’s primary method of healing is via the use of herbs, massage and aromatic oils. Nutrition is also key, as it is founded on the belief that all disease states stem from digestive system imbalances, hence its focus on digestion and diet.

Constipation: Drinking a glass of hot water each morning will keep things moving. Herbs such as triphala and psyllium husks are bulking agents that help to relieve constipation. It’s very important to drink adequate amounts of water with these herbs to improve digestive function.

Bloating, colic and wind: These unpleasant symptoms are caused by undigested food remaining too long in the system. Ayurvedic medicine recommends a herbal mix that includes asafoetida, black pepper, ginger, and cumin.

Heartburn: Sipping aloe vera juice will calm and cool an inflamed digestive system. Herbal preparations such as licorice, shatavari, and amalki help to balance acidity

Diarrhoea: Best treated by avoiding hot spices and eating small meals. A cup of nettle tea will balance the digestive system; so too will adding fresh ginger, nutmeg, coriander, and saffron to your diet.

High blood pressure: Lifestyle and diet play a key role in the treatment of hypertension. Regular meditation and gentle yoga will help counter this problem. Hypertension is often linked to high cholesterol levels, and can be lowered by adding 1 teaspoon of honey and 5-10 drops of apple cider vinegar to a cup of hot water and drinking it each morning.

Skin problems: Dry skin problems that itch, burn or erupt into red and swollen lumps are best treated with triphala and satisabgol. Skincare products that are made with the fruit and seeds of the neem tree are also useful. For oily skin, herbs that are useful include cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, calamus, and trikatu.

Premenstrual syndrome: The myriad of symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome can be severely debilitating for some. If this is you try adding a pinch of trikatu to 15mls of aloe vera gel and take three times per day. Other herbs that help to alleviate these symptoms are purnarnava, kitki and musta.

Toni Green is a Launceston-based naturopath, herbalist and health writer. It is her passion to pass on this knowledge of natural therapies to others so that they might live a stress-free life with health and vitality. Toni can be contacted at www.naturalhealthsolutions.net.au; toni.green57@iinet.net.au; or 0431 716 601.