An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine

The Yoga of Herbs – A Classic

An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine Title: The Yoga of Herbs

Author: Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad

Tagline: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine

Details: Originally written in 1986. Applying Ayurvedic Principles to Eastern and Western Herbs.

“The proper usage of a plant or herb, during which its true power is released, implies a communion with it

This book was written in 1986 when it was rare to find a book on medicinal herbs, particularly Ayurvedic Herbs in english. Today, most everyone takes a vitamin or herbal formula.  Many ayurvedic herbs are being formulated into supplements by the dietary supplement industry but they are still relatively unknown to the public. Re-reading this book has brought me new found respect for these two pioneers of Ayurveda in the West.

Audience: This book is a must read as an introduction into the world of ayurvedic herbs. It may not be the most appropriate for total beginners as there are many new concepts and words in Sanskrit. The Yoga of Herbs also withstands someone with a wealth of knowledge in Ayurvedic herbs as it reviews the principles of the qualities and function of the herbs.  Reminding us how to speak to the western mind who may be seeking advice from an ayurvedic practitioner or doctor (vaidya). For anyone in between its a great resource.

Summary: The Yoga of Herbs is an introduction to Ayurveda from an Herbal medicine perspective.  It reviews the bodily systems (srota), the five elements (panchamahabhuta), the three dosha, seven dhatu (tissues) and five prana.

Included in the book is a view of herbal energetics, therapeutics and preparation of herbs.


The Yoga of Herbs is divided into 8 sections:
  1. Background of Ayurvedic Medicine
  2. Herbal Energetics
  3. Management of Individual Constitution (Dosha)
  4. Herbal Therapeutics
  5. Preparing and using herbs ayurvedically
  6. 62 easily available herbs, spices and seeds from alfalfa to turmeric to red clover.
  7. 25 asian herbs (these are now more readily available) from Fo-Ti to Haritaki
  8. Mystical aspects of working with herbs and other ayurvedic remedies.

There is a special section in the book about the connection of consciousness of plants and the consciousness of humans.  I think we should all read this for a better more peaceful way to be in this world.

The Pros: 

  • This book makes the topic of ayurveda and ayurvedic herbs very approachable.
  • There are some great illustrations of the herbs.
  • Dr Frawley and Dr. Lad have become two of the best teachers of ayurveda, this collaboration proves it.
  • The pages on the herbs are clear and succinct.

The Cons:

  • The book was written at a time when yoga and ayurveda were not very well known, so there are a lot of super basic information.
  • Some of the latin names for herbs may be incorrect, one prime example is the confusion around holy basil.
  • There are many words in Sanskrit, making it difficult to get some of the concepts.

Bottom Line

I really love this book.  The Yoga of Herbs is my go to, when I have questions about herbs. A must have on my library shelf. The initial basic definitions of ayurveda are helpful.  I find reviewing the basics helps me go deeper into the subject.


If you have any books you would like me to review or have any questions about anything in the world of ayurveda.

Kindle Version Here

Softcover The Yoga of Herbs Here

Thanks for reading this far. Why this book is called the YOGA of HERBS? Answer below in comment field.



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