Blood or rakta is one of the 7 Dhatus (Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asti, Majja, Shukra) of human body described as per Ayurveda. The quality of each dhatu is determined by the nourishment and quality of one above it (in sequence mentioned). If Rasa dhatu which is the plasma of the cells, is the first dhatu formed from the metabolic process (lymphatic, capillary secretions and digestive juices) which in turn nourishes rakta. Rakta which is the red blood tissue is the combination of water and fire element.
Some dhatus produce accessory tissues called Upadhatus which are considered as a refinement when a particular dhatu metabolism occurs. They nourish the body.
Rishi Charka says: Raktadushi Nidana (Cause of blood impurities)
विदाहिन्यऩानानन स्स्त्नग्धोष्णानन द्रिाणण च |
रक्तिाहिनी दष्ुयस्न्त भजता चातऩनऱो ||
The above shloka says that bad lifestyle, too spicy and hot food habits and breathing in a polluted environment is the cause of impure blood.
To cleanse and detoxify the blood, acharya charaka, advices the use of herbs having a tikta (pungent), kashaya (astringent), katu (bitter) rasa. i.e Nimba, Patola, Khadira, Daruharidra, Haridra, Sariva, Haritaki, Manjistha, Parpataka, Mahanimba, Ashwattha (sacred fig), Bilva, Manjishta, Bakuchi and Chakramarda (Cassia tora).
Kashaya rasa balances Pitta and Kapha (pitta kapha dosha hara) but it is vata dosha vardhaka (increases vata).
Tikta rasa balances Kapha and pitta but increases Vata Dosha.
Katu rasa balances Kapha but increases Vata and Pitta Dosha.
As per Ayurveda, the liver and the kidney are the main organs that purify and detoxify our body. The blood purifying herbs assist the functioning of both these organs. The vitiated pitta dosha is the main reason why the blood becomes impure. With the help of these suitable herbs, we can help balance pitta, and also improve the condition and functioning of liver and the kidney so they are clarify the impurities in the blood.
Diseases Due To Impure Blood
There are many disorders which commonly arise due impure blood.
- Skin disorders like itching, pustules, patches, boils, leprosy, thick skin, disorders of complexion
- Loss of appetite and digestive power.
- Extreme debility, Anorexia, Heaviness in the body
- Heaviness in the body
- Burning sensation after meals
- Internal Hemorrhage
- Fetid smell in body
- Fetid smell from nose and mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive drowsiness
- Weakness of voice
- Exhaustion, Excessive Anger, Confusion Of Mind
Out of the list of Raktashodhaka herbs, here are the list of top blood purifying Ayurvedic herbs that are easily available.
1. Manjishta (Rubia Cordifolia)
Manjishta is one of the most important Ayurvedic herb when it comes to cleansing of the rakta dhatu. Manjistha is a Sanskrit word which means ‘bright red’ and is same as the colour of blood. It is an amazing action of clearing the blockages in the blood and the lymphatic system. It improves blood circulation and removes toxins from the blood and lymph nodes. It is also known as a lymph cleanser and also improves immunity.
Due to its cleansing action, it is an herb which is works most powerfully on skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis. It contains a high level of ‘Glutathione’ which is one of the most powerful antioxidant in the body which helps in dealing with skin problem like hyperpigmentation, acne, wrinkles, scars and prevents early ageing. It is also found to be an amazing herb for liver and kidney health.
2. Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)
Haritaki / Harad / Pathya is one the main ingredients of the reknowned Triphala Churna (click to read about it). It is generally used as a first level laxative but its benefits are on a much deeper level. It totally detoxifies the cells, purifies the blood and removes unnecessary toxins from the body. It is also an amazing medicine for skin diseases as bad blood is the origin of the same.
Ayurveda describes haridra as a herb which is kushtahara (relieving skin disease), dehavarna vidhayini (improves skin complexion), vishodhini (natural detoxifier), krumihara (relieves intestinal worms), kanduhara (relieves itching due to skin allergies), vranahara (quick at relieving wounds).
3. Nimba (Neem)
Neem is a fairly popular herb in most parts of India. It is the ultimate detoxifier and is extensively used in many medicinal preparations in Ayurveda as well as Unani medicine. If you have ever heard of the popular unary medicine, Safi, it uses Neem as its base. Safi, is used to clarify skin diseases like acne, pimples which are also a result of impure blood.
Nimba is a natural blood purifier and it is very bitter in taste. Apart from purifying blood, the leaves of the Neem tree have antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antihyperglycaemic, antiulcer, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory effect. It is also used to treat fevers like dengue and malaria.
4. Aragvdha (Cassia Fistula)
Aragvdha also known as Amaltas is an herb described in Charka Samhita in Virechana Varga. According to Rishi Charaka, it is the best purgative. The pulp of the herb is a good laxative, and is used for curing constipation and burning sensation in the body.
The roots are also a powerful purgative. It is also an amazing blood purifier. Other properties of the plant include, antioxidant, antidiabetic, reduces fever and ulcers, useful in treating skin diseases like leprosy, ring worm, itching. It can also be used to treat wounds. Read more for details.
5. Sariva / Anantmool (Hemidesmus indicus)
Sariva is a powerful herb that has been used locally in India for ages for renal issues, sore mouth in children, syphilis and female health problems like Shweta Pradar (leucorrhea). The roots of the plant are a natural blood purifier and are cooling in nature which makes it an excellent pitta pacifier. Due to these properties, it is beneficial is snake bites, scorpion bites, skin problems like Erysipelas, psoriasis, urticaria. In Ayurveda, it is also used for phychological disorders.
In ancient samhitas, it is classified under Sugandhi Dravya (herbs with aroma) and Varnya (Herbs that relieve burning sensation during skin diseases.)
6. Ashvattha / Peepal (Sacred Fig)
Peepal tree is widely found throughout India, Nepal, Thailand, China and Chad and is known for having very positive prana (life energy). It is said that many great yogic masters found enlightenment sitting beneath this tree.
From the medicinal point of view, It is immensely beneficial for skin problems like pigmentation, dark spots, stretch marks and blemishes for which the leaf extract is widely used for skin care products. It is used in Ayurveda for treating cold, fever, asthma, jaundice, ear infections & diabetes.
The sap and the leaves work amazingly as blood purifiers and is used to treat blood bourn diseases. The cold infusion prepared from the bark and fruit of the tree is also used to purify blood and treat skin problems. 1-2 gm of the seed powder when consumed with honey, twice a day can also help clean the blood.
Common Ayurvedic Medicines Used As Blood Purifiers
- Aragwadharishtam (Used for skin disorders, worm infestations, Haemorrhoids, leucoderma, piles, wounds, chronic ulcers)
- Shonitamrutham Kashayam (Used for cleaning bad blood, skin diseases, boils, itching, eruptions, herpes, psoriasis)
- Mahatikta Ghrita
- Safi Syrup (Used for acne, pimples, and obtaining clear skin)
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