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Overview of Zinc and Ayurvedic medicine

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Zinc (Zn) is one of the most abundant trace minerals in the human body and is essential for a variety of cellular processes. It is important for numerous bodily functions, such as the proper functioning of the immune system, reproductive health, wound healing, and neurological functioning. It plays a role in improving cognition and preventing age-related deterioration of the brain. Continue reading to learn more about Zinc and its relation with Ayurvedic medicine in the form of herbs.




Herbs high in Zinc

Here is the rundown of ayurvedic herbs that are the rich sources of Zinc.

  • Parsley: A great source of Zn, parsley is a type of leafy herb commonly used as a garnish in salads, soups, and more. 

  • Basil: It is a flavourful herb with unique green leaves, and it is high in Zn content.

  • Oregano: It is a type of herb that adds flavour to many dishes and is high in Zn.

  • Thyme: Another herb with high Zn content, thyme has a delicious and distinct flavour.

  • Sage: Sage is a unique herb which has a strong flavour and contains a good amount of Zn.

  • Rosemary: Rosemary is a distinctive herb with an unmistakable flavour and aroma, and it is also a rich source of Zn.

Health benefits of Zinc

Zinc can help strengthen the immune system and protect against viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents.

  • It may regulate hormones and enzymes, supporting healthy cell function and growth.

  • It supports cognitive development and memory.

  • It helps in maintaining bone health, and promoting energy production and protein synthesis.

  • It helps to keep the skin healthy and reduce inflammation. It also supports wound healing and tissue repair.

  • It has antioxidant properties that can protect against oxidative damage.

  • It aids in maintaining healthy levels of cortisol in the body, which reduce stress and anxiety.

  • It regulates blood sugar levels, which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Itregulates appetite, which can lead to weight control.

Signs of Zinc deficiency

Symptoms of Zinc deficiency can range from mild to severe and include skin rashes, impaired growth, delayed sexual maturation, frequent infections, and diarrhoea. Zn deficiency can affect both physical and mental health, including symptoms such as fatigue, depression and poor concentration. A lack of Zn can also impair the immune system due to the critical role it plays in healthy immune function. Deficiency can also result in an impaired sense of taste and smell. 

Causes and complications of Zinc deficiency

The causes of Zinc deficiency can vary. Poor dietary intake is one of the most common causes. Other causes can include malabsorption syndromes, gastrointestinal surgery, certain diseases, certain medications, and consuming excessive alcohol.

Zinc deficiency can result in serious complications such as stunted growth, immune deficiencies and increased risk of infection, and poor wound healing. It can also contribute to the development of certain illnesses such as diarrhoea, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.

How to take Zinc

Zinc is an essential nutrient and it is imperative to take it in the right amounts to ensure optimal health. It can be taken in the form of supplements or found in foods. 

1. Supplementation 

Zn supplements are available in various forms, such as pills, capsules, liquids and powders. The dosage depends on the individual and their health needs. It is advisable to talk to a doctor before beginning to take Zn supplements in order to determine the correct dosage and avoid any potential side effects.  

2. Foods

Foods rich in Zn include beans, nuts, red meat, oysters, poultry, and dairy products. It is also found in some fortified breakfast cereals, bread and plant-based foods such as lentils and quinoa. Eating a balanced diet with enough zinc-rich foods is the best way to ensure an adequate intake of Zn. 

Fruits that are rich in Zinc 

Here are some examples of fruits that are high in Zn.

Citrus fruits 

  • Oranges 

  • Grapefruits 

  • Lemons 

  • Limes 

These fruits are all rich in vitamin C and Zn, making them a great choice for getting your daily dose of both vitamins.

Dried fruits 

  • Dates 

  • Raisins 

  • Prunes 

  • Apricots 

Dried fruits are a great snack option and provide a concentrated source of Zn. 

Other fruits 

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Apples

  • Berries

These fruits are all the best sources of Zinc, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. Choosing fruits that are high in Zn can help you reach your daily Zn requirement. Eating a variety of fruits can help you get the essential vitamins and minerals you need while also providing a tasty treat.

Different forms of Zinc supplement

Listed below are the different forms of Zn supplements available.  

1. Zinc oxide

Zinc oxide is the most commonly used form of Zn for medical and dental use. It is also an ingredient in many consumer products such as sunscreens and cosmetics. 

2. Zinc sulphate

Zinc sulphate is another form of Zn that is also used for medical and dental purposes. It is often used to treat skin conditions and infections.

3. Zinc gluconate

Zinc gluconate is a form of Znthat is found in certain foods and supplements. It is often used to help treat Zn deficiencies and can also help support a healthy immune system. It is available in a variety of forms, including tablets and capsules. 

Dosage of Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that has many vital roles in the body. Depending on age, sex, and other factors, the recommended dosage of Zn can vary from 10-15 mg/day to 40-45 mg/day. For pregnant women, the recommended dosage of Zn is 1.1-2 mg/day in the early phase and 3 mg/day in later months.

Side effects of Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that has many benefits for health and wellness. But it can also come with some potential side effects, which are as follows.

  • Headaches 

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Excessive sweating

  • Paleness of the skin

  • Loss of appetite

  • Metallic taste in the mouth

  • Mood changes

Zinc toxicity can occur when someone consumes more than the recommended daily allowance of Zn. The risk is also increased for people who take supplements or Zinc-containing medications. Taking more than the recommended amount of Zn can make you feel overwhelmed and may even lead to organ damage.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a list of commonly asked questions pertaining to Zinc.


How to get 100% of daily Zinc requirement?

Here are different ways to make sure you are getting enough Zn in your diet.

  • Eating a balanced diet including foods high in Zn, such as red meat, poultry, oysters, legumes, nuts, and dairy. 

  • Taking a daily multivitamin with Zn, or a Zn supplement. 

  • Incorporating foods fortified with Zn, such as cereal, yoghurt, or nut butter. 

What are the benefits of Zinc?

Zinc has many important benefits for the body, such as helping to heal wounds, boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and promoting growth and development. It also helps maintain healthy skin, nails, eyes, and hair. Adequate levels of Zn can even reduce the risk of certain illnesses and diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Can I take Zinc everyday?

It is important to note that many people may not need to take Zn supplements every day, but can still benefit from including Zinc in their diet. 

What's the best time to take a Zinc supplement?

Below are some general tips on when and how to take Zn for optimal benefits.

  • Take Zinc supplements with food. This increases absorption into the body.

  • Consume the supplement with healthy fats. Good sources of healthy fats are nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish. 

  • Start with a lower dosage and work your way up.

  • Monitor your body's response. If you experience nausea, headaches, or other side effects, you should consider reducing the dosage or stopping altogether.

What blocks zinc absorption?

Zinc is crucial for proper growth and development, and for many enzymes and hormones in the body. However, it can be difficult for the body to absorb due to certain inhibitors.

Here is the list of inhibitors of Zn absorption.

  • Phytic acid: Found in high levels in grains and legumes, phytic acid binds to and blocks Zinc absorption. 

  • Calcium: Dairy products can inhibit Zn absorption and should not be eaten at the same time as Zinc-rich foods. 

  • Oxalates: Found in spinach and other leafy greens, oxalates can bind to Zn and reduce how much the body absorbs. 

  • Fibre: High-fibre foods can reduce Zn absorption, but the amount of fibre needs to be exceptionally high to have an effect.

Sometimes, other medications or supplements can also impede Zinc absorption. It is best to speak with a healthcare practitioner to see what could be causing low Zn levels in the body.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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