All plants meditate as the earth meditates and all herbs, the product of special plants, are energized through the one great mantra AUM. AUM is the ultimate sound vibration of the Universe. We absorb this vibration as we circle the Sun carried by our mother, earth. All of nature is AUM, a meditation experienced as nature’s rhythms. This meditation is a dream dreamed via Vishnu, the protector of the Universe as he lies sleeping upon his cosmic couch. Vishnu is the preserver, the divine guardian of the Dharma. Whenever the natural order of things are disturbed or threatened, Vishnu takes human form to restore order. He lives with us in this world, and shares our happiness and our sorrow.
The following information is ordered according to the position of the planets as they orbit from the Sun. It is not meant to be exhaustive or by any means complete, relative to planetary herbs. Its intent is to ‘spark’ (Agni) generating greater interest in the amazing depth and mystery that is the science and art of ayurveda, Vedic astrology and yoga. Please consult a trained herbalist or associated professional before using herbs to ensure your best health, use of finances and time.
The Sun is Atma, the Divine Self. In the lower form, it is ego and self-image. Our true nature is illumination and illuminating, yet when we identify with things, the stuff of this world, it is darkness. When we let go of the ‘stuff’, a space is created. This opening within the heart, though initially painful, allows a mysterious, inexplicable light to shine. When the Sun is weak, we lack confidence and self-esteem. We will look to others for identity and self-worth. Agni is the Sun’s ruling deity and Agni is our capacity to digest all that we take into our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional self. Herbs that strengthen digestion are the heating herbs and spices like cayenne but the best may be Turmeric. The mantra is Aum Surya Namaha. The Sun is pitta.
Bringing the mind into a place of ‘letting go’ without force or excessive mental activity is our great challenge. When we are ungrounded, anxious and emotionally unstable, our Moon is weak. Physical factors include chronic dehydration and weak kidneys. Low or excessive body weight and constipation maybe a problem. There can be fertility issues and menstrual problems. The Moon’s deities are Lakshmi (Vishnu’s consort) and Parvati (Shiva’s consort). As Parvati, the Moon is Kundalini, a coiled serpent. Lakshmi as consort of Vishnu represents wealth and the security it brings. Kali is also a deity associated with the Moon, forming the triple-Goddess. Kali is the dark of the Moon, representing death as well as rebirth. Herbs that help to hydrate the physical body, help to protect the mind and stabilize the emotions. As a result, we are able to ‘flow’ with the rhythm and unfolding event that is our lives. The mantra is Aum Chandra Namaha and the appropriate herbs are many as are the phases of the Moon. Aloe is good for the reproductive tissue as well as cleansing and managing the lymphatic system. Licorice is good as a demulcent as it helps to hydrate the tissues. The Moon is vata-kapha.
Mercury is the planetary expression of Vishnu and represents the personal, indwelling cosmic intelligence. He is Buddha, the enlightened one, the avatar of knowledge, meditation and compassion. Mercury guides our reason, organizing impressions gathered by the senses. When Mercury is weak, there is poor communication, memory and recall. Physically, the nervous system is weak. The skin can be dry and itchy. The senses are hypersensitive and the lungs and the heart may be weak. Aum Bum Budhaya Namaha is Mercury’s mantra, focusing the physical mind, improving clarity of perception. One of the best herbs for Mercury as it treats the mind and nervous system is scutellaria lateriflora, commonly known as skullcap. Mercury is tri-doshic.
Venus represents our ability to enjoy life and to create balance. Venus relates to everything luxurious and comfortable. Venus guides us in the creation of beauty, balance and harmony. When Venus is weak, we experience hard-heartedness and insensitivity displayed as lack of love and affection. Physically, a weak Venus shows up in the kidneys and reproductive system as with the Moon. There is a weakness in the bones, low energy, low fertility and chronic UTI (infections) with bleeding. Positive Venus energy is increased by adopting a more sensitive, refined existence through the practicing any or all of the varied arts. Venus’s ruling deity, Indra is the over ruler and Indrani is Indra’s consort also called called Saci, which means eloquence. Gokshura is an herb that clears heat in the urinary track as well as treating cystitis. It removes edema and tonifies the kidneys. The mantra is Aum Shukraya Namaha. Venus is vata-kapha.
Mars represents individuation directing us toward true transformation in our consciousness. The challenge is in recognizing the difference between temporary goals and real result. A weak Mars lacks energy,motivation and healthy boundaries. As a result, we may be fearful and lack courage. Physically, the immune system is weak and there is poor digestion and absorption. The person has weak muscles, liver and small intestines. They may be vulnerable to bleeding and injuries. Mars’s other names are Kuja (of the earth) and Skanda, the Divine warrior. His brother is Ganesha. The ruling deity is Bhumi, the earth goddess and Mars’s Mother. Aum Mangala Namaha is his mantra and herbs that treat the blood are best. Manjishta is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that cools and detoxifies the blood and plasma. Mars is pitta.
Jupiter is Bhrihaspati and means Lord of the vast and profound. Brihaspati (Jupiter) is the priest and Guru of all the planets and directs us toward our spiritual path. Jupiter provides a temperament for the integrated practices of devotion, knowledge and service. Wealth, optimism, spiritual knowledge and philosophy are the realm of Jupiter. When Jupiter is weak, we suffer from a lack of joy and enthusiasm. We feel confined and contracted, devoid of meaning. Jupiter rules the liver and is Ganesha within the Hindu pantheon. His seed mantra is Aum Bruhm Bhrihaspati Namaha. Herbs that cleanse the liver are best for Jupiter such as burdock and dandelion. Jupiter is kapha.
Saturn represents restraint yet is also the power of our action. Regular, systematic practice sets certain forces in motion and is Saturn’s boon. Saturn challenges us in generating conscious, on-going action that improves our condition. We have to put into practice what we learn, not just intellectualize the information and store it away. Saturn requires self-disciple, renunciation, surrender, detachment, objectivity and doing good karma- the yoga of knowledge and service. The mantra is Aum Shani Namaha. Herbs that treat Saturn are those that grow in dark places and have a ‘banishing’ quality. Garlic and asafetida are good and help with digestion and the removal of parasites. Saturn is vata.
Rahu represents illusions of power and consequently, our unfulfilled desires. These illusions and desires operate subconsciously, distorting our perception. With Rahu in effect, we are challenged to master hidden ambition and desire, first accepting what they are. Sarpa is a serpent similar to the serpent in the Garden of Eden and is Rahu and Ketu combined. Rahu is the head of Serpa and in the Bible, tempted Eve with hidden, unrealized desires symbolized as an apple on the tree of knowledge. A weak, deranged Rahu shows up as cloudy perception and fear. The individual has no sense of them self and are easily influenced. The immune system is weak and easily picks up diseases and parasites. We disassociate and disembody, developing mental/nervous system disorders. The best deity for Rahu is Durga, the goddess as demon slayer. Durga clears our mind of illusions and negativity. Rama destroys the demons lurking in the subconscious (lower astral realms). Aum Rahava Namaha is the mantra and herbs that remove parasites like thyme, wormwood and garlic are good. Rahu is vata.
Ketu represents the self-doubt that keeps us from constructive change and action. Ketu represents the death of our ego as well as loss of our physical body. Ketu is the indicator of Moksha, spiritual freedom in our individual charts. When Ketu is weak, our perception is poor and we lack concentration. There may be a tendency toward self-destruction, violence and injury. Physically, there may be poor circulation, anemia, nervous system disorders and difficult or mysterious diseases. Positively, Ketu helps us ‘let go and let God”. He burns and clarifies the spiritual dross. His mantra is Aum Ketava Namaha and all herbs that clear heat are good as Ketu is pitta. Kusa is a traditional Vedic herb suggested in treating Ketu. It is referred to as a grass yet is technically a rhizome. Kusa is a mysterious plant with a deep history and warrants more research and study, just like Ketu.
The Yoga of Herbs – Vasant Lad and David Frawley
Light on Life – Heart Defouw and Robert Svabhoda
Ayurvedic Astrology – David Frawley