The Benefits of Iron for Health through SV Ayurveda

Iron is an important necessary ingredient in our blood. But do you specifically know how many ailments and imbalances it can address? Long before we could scientifically study the importance of iron for our body’s overall health, its health benefits were already well known by the ancient sages. One 16th century text called “Rasa Tarangini” covers the topic of mineralogy in Ayurveda exhaustively. I will be using it to describe the health benefits of iron for day to day modern life. Here is one verse:
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Properties and health benefits of Iron!
As the verse above explains, iron in sanskrit is called “loha.” In terms of quality, it is rough and dry. Its taste is sweet, but it carries a post-digestive bitter taste. Its vidhya, or potency, is cooling and heavy. It is also astringent, stimulating and supports weight-reduction.
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In addition, the verse explains that iron is very good for the eyes. It is invigorating, and supports sexual stamina. It corrects imbalances of the stomach and helps eliminate pitta and kapha related imbalances!
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Furthermore: it enhances the skin’s complexion, supports the mind’s functioning: dhi – power of learning, dritti – power of retaining, and smritti – power of recall. Iron supports virility in men, and the overall body. When used properly, it can address many imbalances and diseases.
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In another verse of the Rasa Tarangini (Chapter 20 Verse 84), we read:
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This verse explains that loha, or iron, enhances the digestive power, supports the body and rejuvenates it. It helps correct chronic skin problems. Nourishes and thus supports the body in its fight against tumors, bacteria. Iron maintains optimal hemoglobin levels, even as it enhances fat metabolism. Iron is great for sugar metabolism; helps one get rid of nausea; supports the lungs. It also helps optimize the properties of different herbs, thus acting like a “yogavahi” – it helps carry and deliver herbs to their destination faster and more efficiently in the cellular system.
Yet another verse explains:
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This verse says that iron can be as fierce as a lion when ridding the body of herpes. Iron can help with chronic pain conditions, supports the liverbody’s inner vitality, and addresses chronic inflammatory conditions. It can help with several liver disease conditions. It also helps with hemorrhoids.
Another verse says:
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This verse explains that iron helps with chronic problems of absorption, chronic inflammation of the glands in the neck. In addition, it supports the menstrual flow, and pacifies inflammation in the kidneys. Iron supports the heart, and helps the body fight combat chronic fever.
In verse number 89, we read that:
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This verse explains that iron is good for diabetic conditions, that it supports and nourishes the
muscle tissue, and nurtures the female body against overall decay after childbirth.
Verse 90 says that:
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This sutra explains that iron helps heal the throat, helps with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also have a healing effect on liver related fistulas, when used in combination with different proper herbs. Iron can help heal sinusitis, and hyperacidity.
In verse 92, we read that:
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During puberty, iron can help go with hormonal balance, allowing for a smoother puberty, in terms of the menstrual cycle. It can also be used to help support and heal the duodenum, and balance the flow of blood.
Verse 93 says that: iron helps blood supply to the nerves, it helps give better deeper sleep for anemics, it supports the bone tissue in rheumatoid arthritis individuals, and helps maintain the bone tissue by supporting the detox of amavisha, or virulent toxins from it.
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Even more, in verse 94, we read that it helps relieve fatigue from the body, enhances overall mental strength, supports hemoglobin levels for women in menopause, specially if there is significant blood loss during menopause.
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In verse 95, we read that iron helps with imbalances created by the weakness of the nervous system.
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And there are still many more verses covering the benefits of iron for the human physiology, when it is used properly, and with the synergisticbhring raj
combination of other ayurvedic herbs.
You will also have noticed that these ancient verses list all the possible benefits of iron, specially all the ones modern medicine has also delineated for us. In my SVA lineage, we use iron in combination with distinct additional ayurvedic herbs, for added benefit as well as for targeting distinct conditions and situations. Currently, I have made available a total of 4 kinds of iron Herbal Memory Nectar drops, to address the general deficiency of iron, as well as for advanced specific needs.
SVA Loha and Maha Loha Herbal Memory Nectar Drops
The first two are SVA Loha and Maha Loha, These are identical formulas, except that Maha Loha carries a four times higher quantity or concentration of iron molecules than the regular version, made specifically for those who need the higher concentration. The following herbs are also added to enhance the absorption and delivery of the iron molecules. In addition to loha, these


formulas contain the following ingredient-wise properties:

Bhring raj (Eclipta alba) is a famous ayurvedic herb that helps enhance the intelligence of the liver and thus supports the physiology so it can properly metabolize and use iron.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) I add so as to enhance the intelligence of the iron molecules to be delivered to the bone marrow.
Bhumi amla (Phyllantus niruri) to nourish and enhance the intelligence of liver
Mahasudarshan churn is a classical formula that contains a great number of different ingredients. It supports the intelligence of the liver as well as the detox of the liver.
Green cardamom pods (Cardamomum) to enhance the efficacy of iron.

Wild amla (Phyllantus emblica) enhances to absorption of the iron molecules, and secures their delivery into the muscle tissue
Triphala is made up of Amla (Phyllantus emblica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica). I add this to prevent from the common possible side effect of iron: constipation.
SVA Amla Loha
This specific formula is called “Dhatri Loha” in classical Ayurveda. The word “dhatri” is almost identified with the name amla, because of the health- bestowing properties of the fruit. The literal meaning of “dhatri” is: that which gives, that which takes care of, that which is – in its Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.49.30giving nature – like a nurturing, sustenance-giving, woman! In this formula the amla is added in very high potency to enhance the absorption and use of iron, and give it the potency of heme iron. Scientific studies have confirmed the ancient ayurvedic knowledge which states that in the presence of ascorbic acid, the potency and delivery of iron becomes as powerful as heme iron. However, the embellic acid contained in the amla plant is even more potent than ascorbic acid, and it empowers the iron even further. In addition, amla enhances protein synthesis, so this protein synthesis property of amla, synergistically combined with iron, acts as a highly nurturing formulation for the muscle tissue. I have also added DGL in good quantity in the formula to help pacify and keep overall pitta of the liver and stomach in check.
SVA Guduchi Loha
Guduchi is a very famous herb used to enhance and support the intelligence of all seven physical bodily tissues. It is ideal when used for targeted delivery to the bone marrow. Countless scientific studies have also found that Guduchi can boost the immune system. Guduchi is a very balanced herb for nurturing and detoxifying, so in this formula along with iron, I’ve synergistically added enough quantities of guduchi, so that the micromolecules of iron can reach the bone marrow. In addition, ginger, “pippali,” and black pepper together make up a very ancient Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.49.46formula called “trikatu.” Trikatu is the best “yogavahi,” a product or herb that facilitates targeted delivery for greater faster effectiveness. I have
also added a SVA formulation called “Soma Shakti” to these drops. This is a classical formula whose main ingredient is shilajeet. The ayurvedic shastras say that adding shilajeet to the iron bhasma makes the iron more potent and useful for the body.
These two formulas contain nano-particles of iron, infused in the intelligence of the herbs, spices and essential oils found in the formula. These two formulas are very potent; however, for best results, use under the guidance of a SVA expert.
Disclaimer: the description of herbs, plants, ingredients, and combinations offered in the above articles and verses are meant for educational purposes only. If you have, or suspect you have, any medical condition, check with your medical doctor or physician before using any of the herbs or products mentioned above to your daily protocol.

Vaidya answers your questions: Castor oil for joint pain? and Prakrit and Triphala differences

What’s the Difference between Prakrit and High Pitta Triphala?tsmith_100408_0680__34675__19544.1339638061.1280.1280

John S.

What is the difference between what Triphala or Pitta Triphala Tablets do for the digestive system and what do Prakrit Tablets do for the digestive system ?

And are there conditions where both are suggested to be taken?

Thank you for your wonderful formulations.




Dear John: All triphala formulas support the overall intelligence of the colon. There are a myriad imbalances that can affect the smooth functioning of the colon; whenever anyone is experiencing mild imbalances in their daily bowel discharge, then the triphala formula helps correct it by re-establishing  theintelligence of the colon, and thus supporting bowel evacuation.

That’s the operating principle behind this classical triphala formulation, unlike other natural or synthetic laxatives, in that it does not “force” and take over the colon to bring out a bowel movement, rather it re-initiates the natural functioning and intelligence of the colon so it can resume its own work.


But in my experience as a Vaidya here in the West, even the gentle classical triphala formula, made up of the 3 fruits (tri+phala): Amla (Indian gooseberry), Haritaki,(Terminalia chebula), and Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), may prove to be too harsh for some high pitta constitutions!


For high pitta body types, and all severely pitta aggravated people in general, even the natural warmth of the fully matured Haritaki seems to be too much to handle. For them, I had to put together a unique SVA Formulation. I call it “Triphala for High Pitta.” In addition to Haritaki, image descriptionBhibhitaki, and Amla, I have added Rose and Fennel. But I also use the almost mature, not fully mature fruit of Haritaki  in this formulation, in addition to the organic rose extract and fennel that are synergistically infused to cool pitta. The rose and fennel are a pitta type’s best friends, they pacify the pitta dosha so that the remaining ingredients can initiate the bowel cleanse without aggravating and irritating the pitta. High pitta body types are prominent in the western world, and countless SVA clients have benefited from this High Pitta Triphala formulation.


Prakrit, on the other hand, is used when Triphala is unable to help. The Ayurvedic texts explain in great detail that there are very many types and natural predispositions to bowel movements. In general, when people tend to have chronic slow bowel movement, along with a lack of communication betweenPrana Vata, that governs the mind, and Apana Vata that governs the colon, then I use Prakrit to help correct it. Prakrit is a unique SVA formulation that contains  a specific kind of the haritaki fruit. There are seven different species of the haritaki fruit, for the Prakrit formulation, I use the best one, called vijiya haritaki -“victorious haritaki.” I use vijiya haritaki collected from dense forests in the same season it matures, not from past seasons. I then infuse it with medical grade castor oil in homeopathic dosage – below 0.01 %,  weight by weight – in order to support and enhance the ability of haritaki through the prabhava of the castor oil. Castor oil is a laxative but even short term usage can cause dependence if used in large quantities or in its raw physical form. The amounts I use are only for processing, and do not take over the colon’s intelligence, but rather support it, by enhancing the properties of Haritaki.

Castor Oil for Joint Pain?


I have a question regarding oils.  I attended an Ayurveda workshop on oils and was advised that Castor Oil is very effective on various types on pain.  I confirmed this with another practitioner and she too advised that Castor oil can be applied daily.  After applying Castor oil on my feet for a few days, I did feel a lot of pain relief, but instead of being cleansed, I became very clogged.  My digestive system almost came to a halt.

Second question regarding oils again – In the workshop, the practitioner mentioned using Avocado and Sesame oil in equal proportion for pain relief. Kindly advise if this is a good combination for pain relief.  I have joint pain that gets aggravated often.  Kindly advise any home remedies.


Thank you and best regards.



Vaidya responds:

Dear Dolly: in my personal opinion, castor oil should only be used occasionally, and not on a regular daily basis, as long term use can results in nerve damage – as castor oil is a confirmed neurotoxic substance.


As a formulator, I use Castor oil in minimal quantities and only in very specific formulations. Many people have asked me how come I use Castor oil as an ingredient in my Prakrit Tablet formulation?


In contemporary Ayurveda, as well as in the SVA tradition, we use many toxic ingredients or elements for healing benefits; however, such ingredients have to be ayurvedically processed and treated through the proper samyog and samskar: samyog means proportion with proper combination with other ingredients, and samskar means proper processing with other ingredients. The samyog and samskar steps are in addition to two more steps:

a) nirmali karan,

b) amriti karanNirmali karan  means the contaminants in that herb are removed, the plant is cleansed; amriti karan means the toxic substance is transformed through distinct steps into an amrit – a substance that benefits the physiology on many levels, and gives overall life support.

Through Ayurveda then, we can transform a toxic ingredient into a life-giving nectar. However, how beneficial or poisonous it is for the body depends on how correctly we prepare and process it. Specific knowledge with regards to processing, combining, and preparing many such plants and herbs were taught to me by my father, and passed down for countless generations in my SVA lineage.


In SVA formulations with known toxic ingredients, such as Castor oil in the SVA Prakrit Tablets, I use a specific method called guna dhan. Guna dhan is the process of infusing the specific prabhava. Prabhava is the specific effect of the herb or product beyond its post-digestive effect. Once the product has been completely physically processed, digested, and assimilated, it carries a subtle property called prabhava. For example, in the case of Castor oil, its prabhavais virechana, this means it carries a specific way of eliminating toxins by supporting the bowel movement. 

In the case of the SVA Prakrit tablets, for example, the bio-chemical potency of the castor oil molecules gets infused into the Haritaki fruits at the micro-molecular and vibrational levels.

What does this mean? In practical terms, only the “intelligence” of the ingredient, of Castor oil, is yoked to or synergistically combined with the Haritaki, to boost and support the properties of the Haritaki itself.


Castor oil is a known neurotoxic substance. When used over a long period of time in large amounts in its raw or crude form either as a plant or oil, whether ingested or used transdermally, it can create dependence – the body comes to depend on it to perform its own automatic functions, such as the daily evacuation of the bowels. I use only 0.01% medical grade Castor oil in Prakrit, in additional to the full ayurvedic processing protocols to transform Castor oil into a nectar, so any side-effects are further totally mitigated. This way, only the shukshmabhag or subtle micro-molecules of the ingredient play a role in terms of the prabhava, the ultimate most subtle post-physical action.


Here is an alternative SVA remedy for your joint pain.


SVA Home remedy for Joint Pain

I would like to suggest the following home remedy for your joint pain:vitexnegundo


Take  4 oz. of good quality preferably organic sesame oil, add:

1/2 oz. Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) leaf

1/4 oz. Black pepper – ground

1/4 oz. Dry ginger powder


Mix together in a small pot and boil for two minutes. Then use a cheesecloth to strain out the spices and herbs. In the filtered oil, add an equal part of sweet almond oil, then add  5 drops of camphor essential oil, 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, pour into an airtight container, and store for a day to let the formula settle. You can then use this oil to massage your knees and all achy joints, not more than twice a day, morning and evening. This will be a safe and effective oil for your joints. It will not only open the macro and micro channels to release all toxins that are causing inflammation and resulting in pain, but it will also nourish your joints and nerves. Let me know how you like it. Of course, coupling any external local application of herbal formulations will give you best results if you are also keeping a good alkaline anti-inflammatory diet. You can read more about the benefits of the SVA alkaline diet where I recommend avoiding the neurotoxic family of nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, and bell peppers), along with soy, flax, etc. You will then have even better results. Thank you.