Most of us at Naad Wellness, from the doctors to the chef to the housekeeping team are gardening enthusiasts and have converted the lush gardens of the property into our own haven of sourcing fresh, natural ingredients.
The culinary team oversees two beautiful vegetable and herb gardens and the day's menu is often planned around what is ripe for consumption. The housekeeping team collects fallen fragrant flavours every morning and places them as natural room fresheners in different parts of the centre or turn them into potpourri. Similarly, the wellness team also manages the growth of a few key herbs and medicinal plants which are used in our therapies.
This week, I am going to introduce you to a few of my favourite plants at Naad, which we blend into ingredients for our treatments.
Castor Leaves: These have impressive anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and are perfect to blend into poultices and packs. In fact, these are the key ingredients for Patra Pinda Sweda and Upanaha, two Ayurvedic therapies administered at Naad.
Datura: If taken orally without purification, this plant can be extremely poisonous. However, its external application has a great many uses. In fact, certain Ayurvedic internal medicines also use purified datura as an ingredient. It is great for skin disorders and also eases swelling and pain.
Aloe Vera: A very common medicinal plant, Aloe Vera has great internal and external uses. We often administer fresh Aloe Vera juice to guests on our Detox program and it works very well as a post yoga or post therapy refreshment.
Hibiscus: This beautiful flower has more than just aesthetic appeal at Naad. We have used both the leaf and the flower to make herbal shampoos for guests since it helps with hair fall, nourishes and cleanses the scalp.
Neem: The quintessential Indian medicinal tree needs no introduction and it is used in many traditional therapies for its healing powers. At Naad, we blend the leaves in naturopathy packs and also use it to make herbal hair masks for those suffering from dandruff.
Its nourishing and anti-sceptic properties are the reasons we also use it in herbal hair masks which are applied after therapies like Shiroabhyanga.
Additionally, we also serve hibiscus tea to guests on our Hypertension Management program because it is useful to help lower blood pressure.
If you have any questions on growing these plants in your garden or on to use them in home remedies, please feel free to write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to address your queries.
About the author: Dr. Hrishikesh is an MS in ShalyaTantra (Ayurvedic Surgery) from SSR Ayurveda Medical College & Hospital and is a graduate of JSS Ayurveda Medical College & Hospital. He also holds a post graduate diploma in Yoga from Annamalai University. A fifth generation Ayurvedic doctor, his family owns and runs an Ayurvedic Hospital in Kerala which specialises in creating their own in-house medicines. Dr. Hrishikesh brings with him a clinical experience of nearly ten years and specialises in Panchakarma and sports rehabilitation.