Home Remedies

Warm Kashays for cold weather

Weather is changing and it is getting cold here. It is a time when many of us are down with cold or fever. Few of my readers asked for the ‘Kashay’-A good for health drink used to cure many diseases. The other traditional Kashay I posted many days ago is an all time substitute for tea/coffee at our native. But sometimes it aggravates cold, so better to use it in summer if you are not accustomed to it.

A very hilarious post about the effects of cold can be read here. I could not stop laughing after reading it.

Let me start with a milk which my Aayi prepares when we have throat pain or cough. It was/is always helpful.

Pepper milk for throat pain, cough, cold: Boil 1 cup of milk and add 1/8 tea spn of turmeric powder, sugar (preferably the ‘kallu sakkare/khade sakkar’- sugar stones) and 1/4 tea spn pepper powder. This has the maximum power when drank very hot. Due to pepper, this milk becomes too spicy This milk is a bit difficult to drink since it is hot and spicy, but works miracles :D.

Cough in kidsMix lemon juice and sugar(Sugar stones called as kallu sakkare/khade sakkar). Heat it on low flame to get the thick syrup. Apply this syrup to the tounge.

Following are the remedies I got in Kannada weekly “Sudha”. I thought it may be helpful for my readers. I am going to try them when I get cold/fever next time.

Kashay-1 for cold: Powder together 2 pieces of dry ginger, 4 cloves, 10 peppercorns. Heat 1 and 1/2 cups water, add the powder and boil it till the quantity reduces to 1/2 cup. Mix jaggery or sugar and drink it hot thrice a day.

Kashay-2 for cold: Boil one handful of tulsi leaves(Holy basil) with 1″ crushed ginger and 1 big cup of water till the water reduces to 1/2 cup. Add milk, sugar and drink it.

Nose blocks: Heat a turmeric root on coal(or stove) and inhale the smoke.

Cold: Take out the thick juice from ginger, mix with honey and drink.

Cough (Kafa in Kannada or sputum), cold and fever: Cook 1 bunch of chopped methi(fenugreek) leaves. Take out 1/2 cup of thick juice from it. Mix 2 tea spn ginger-juice, 2 tea spn honey and drink. This helps in reducing sputum.

Cold fever: Crush 20 peppercorns, 1″ ginger, 1 and 1/2 tea spn jaggery, 1/2 tea spn turmeric powder, 1 tea spn lemon juice. Boil them with 4 cups of water. When the water reduces to 1 cup, strain it using tea strainer, add lemon juice and drink.

Cough with phlegm: Mix one pinch of pepper powder with ghee and eat it soon after getting up in the morning. This reduces the phlegm.

Fever: Mix 1 cup of boiled and then cooled water with 1/2 tea spn pepper powder, sugar, ground sandalwood, one pinch salt, 1-2 tbl spn of lemon juice. Mix well strain and drink.

Blocked nose, cough and body pain: Boil 2 handful of coriander seeds, 1 tbl spn peppercorns, 10 raisins(dry grapes), 4 dates(Kharjoor), 1 turmeric piece, 1 tbl spn cumin seeds, one small piece of Jeshtha Madhu(liquorice), 1 cardamom, 1/2″ ginger, 1/4 tea spn fennel seeds with 4 cups of water till it reduces to 2 cups. Strain it and drink before going to bed.

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Richness of turmeric

You all must be wondering why I thought about writing this post. In last few days, I noticed that few of my readers have objections about my including a pinch of turmeric in the authentic dishes. First things first, we do include it from generations and my goal is to provide authentic, tried and tested recipes that I’ve learnt from my Aayi. The second thing is, a pinch of turmeric does not affect the taste in anyway and it has so many medicinal values that, if possible, better to include it in all dishes.

As I said, we include turmeric in most of our food. Then my pachi(mom’s sister) read an article somewhere, which said using turmeric in all the dishes, reduces the chances of Cancer. She kept on stressing this point and Aayi also started including it consciously. I try my best to include it in most of the dishes that I cook.

I found this interesting article in the collection from Kannada weekly ‘Sudha’. Hope it helps you all. Take some time from your busy schedule and go through it, I am sure it will help you all. I am translating this article as it is.
The name of the article is “Arishinada Arasutana”. Arishina means turmeric in Kannada. Arasu means king. Arasutana means royal (not too literal meaning, but close). So the title – “Richness of turmeric”, something close to the Kannada title.

The scientific name of turmeric is “Curcuma longa”. It also has the names like ‘Haridra’, ‘Kanchani’, ‘VaravarNini’. The turmeric powder is a powder prepared by the roots of this plant. These roots are hard and brittle. When tender, the outer skin of these roots has dark brown or yellowish green color, the inside of the roots has orange mixed brown or bright red color. The roots are cleaned, boiled, dried and then powdered to get the ‘turmeric powder’. The powder prepared in this way has yellow color and very good aroma.

Auspicious uses of turmeric:
Turmeric has the first place in any pooja, wedding, thread ceremony, house-warming ceremony etc. Any pooja (devataarchane – kannada) starts with turmeric and kumkum. Turmeric is mixed with water, given a shape of dome(Gopura) and worshiped as Goddess Gowri. In poojas, usually people wear the cloths soaked in turmeric(and then dried).

Turmeric in kitchen: Turmeric is the most important ingredient in Indian dishes. It gives color, taste and aroma to the dishes. This has blood purifying, antiseptic and digestive properties. In recent days, we are seeing an increase in usage of artificial food ingredients in various food and food products, which may affect our health adversely. With the intake of turmeric, the adverse effects on health can be controlled. The idlis and kadubus(a dish similar to idli) prepared with turmeric leaves are good for health. In villages, turmeric leaves (instead of plates) are used to have food. Turmeric is a main ingredient in preparing pickles as well.

Turmeric in cosmetics:
Turmeric is a very safe and effective beauty product.
– Apply a paste of turmeric and sandal wood paste to face and wash it after 10mins. This helps in making the face glow and cures pimples.
– Tender turmeric root and Raktachandan(no idea of an English name) are mixed with milk and applied to face twice in a day. This makes the face glow.
– Turmeric root mixed in coconut milk helps in getting rid of pimples and makes the skin more healthy and soft.
– Mix turmeric powder, besan(chick pea flour) and fenugreek powder in equal quantities with milk, apply this to body and take bath. This removes unwanted hair from the body and makes the skin soft and beautiful.

Turmeric as medicine: Turmeric is full of medicinal values.
– Turmeric has anti-cancer properties.
– For cold and throat pain, mix 2 teaspoons turmeric with 1-cup warm water and drink. (We usually drink turmeric and pepper mixed with hot milk whenever we get throat pain or cough. This gives immediate relief).
– For the cuts from sharp knifes, turmeric is applied to the cut and pressed to stop the bleeding.
– Mix clean turmeric powder with coconut oil, apply to body and take bath after sometime, to reduce the occurrences of skin diseases.
– Mix turmeric powder, ginger, garlic with milk and keep it for boiling. Drink this milk before going to bed to overcome cold and throat pain.
– The intake of turmeric keeps a pregnant woman healthy. This helps to increase the antibiotic properties in babies.
– For cough, drink 1-teaspoon turmeric mixed with 1-teaspoon honey. Followed by this, drink hot milk.
– Mix turmeric and amla(gooseberry) in equal quantities with 1 tea spn hot water and drink twice daily. This helps in controlling diabetes.
– Applying turmeric to boils in mouth helps to overcome the boils.
– Turmeric is good for people with heart problems.
– Mix turmeric with buttermilk and drink to overcome jaundice, piles.
– Mix turmeric with salt, brush teeth with this mixture to reduce tooth pain.
– Intake of tender turmeric mixed with pepper is good for urine problems.
– Mix turmeric with milk cream and apply to dry lips, hands and legs.

Read this for more details about turmeric.

Note: I haven’t tried and tested all of these remedies, but few of them. Also this article should not be taken as a medical advice. Please consult your physician for illnesses mentioned in the article.

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Medicinal values of Mango

Who does not like mango? Many of us have fond memories of our childhood like getting to stone the mango tree for fresh raw mangoes, playing in mango groves etc. But how many of us know about the medicinal values of this tasty fruit?

I still remember when we were kids, my parents used to force me and my brother to brush our teeth with tender mango leaf and a pinch of salt granules. This is supposed to clean the germs and keep the mouth fresh and odorless. I did not know any other medicinal values of this fruit apart from this. But when I read one article in the old Kannada weekly, I was amazed. It says, every part of the tree has lot of medicinal values. This may be one of the reasons our elders included mango leaves in all the poojas and festivals.

– Chew tender leaves to avoid bleeding in the gums. This reduces pain in the tooth.
– Soak few tender leaves in water overnight and drink the water. This is supposed to help patients with diabetes.
– Eat a piece of raw sour mango with salt and honey, to overcome loose motion, constipation and indigestion.
– Eat raw mango pieces with black pepper and honey to avoid jaundice and other diseases related to stomach and liver.
– Eat mango with salt to overcome thirst and reduces the effects of sun stroke during summer. This is the reason during season, roasted or raw mango pulp mixed with sugar, water and cardamom is served as a drink (‘panaka’) during the festivals like Ramanavami, HanumaJayanti, Gouri thadige etc. This ‘panaka’ and Kosambir with mango is very famous during the above festivals in spring in North and coastal Karnataka.
– Raw mangoes contain more Vitamin C and B compared to ripe mangoes. It is advisable to eat one raw mango a day for better blood circulation during the mango season. It also helps to overcome nervous disorders and helps in improving memory.
– Mangoes that have ripened on the tree are tasty and improve appetite.
– One bowl of mango juice with a pinch of pepper serves as energy source to the body, increases inner glow of the skin and acts as diuretic. It also improves eye sight and immune power of the body. Mango can be used in pickles, chutney, gojju with daily meals. Kids love the jam that is prepared out of Mangoes and sugar.
– Finely ground Mango seeds mixed with buttermilk taken twice a day helps people with piles and such disorders.
– During the mango season, drink a cup of milk after eating one ripe mango. The sugar of mango and protein in the milk helps improving overall health.

Though I believe this information is fairly accurate (since it has come in the weekly), I haven’t tried and tested all of them. I use mango widely during the season in mango paank, mango lassi, clams gravy, pickle, sasam, amras, ghashi/rosu/udid methi, burfi, rasam etc.

I would be posting more of mango recipes in the coming days (I had missed JFI for mangoes in May). Click here for the JFI-mango roundup.

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Home remedies – bitter gourd

We all know bittergourd has too many medicinal values. I found this article in one weekly. I thought it would be helpful for everybody.

I never understood the importance of home remedies before coming to USA. My father being a doctor, I used to always get immediate medical attention back in India. But when I came here, everything changed. It all started from a serious medical emergency we had to handle soon after coming here. We neither had the insurance nor money to pay the hospital bills (we were still expecting our insuarnce cards). When we called hospital to take appointment, they said we had to wait for 6months!!!. We didn’t know about emergency rooms. Finally though we went to emergency room (thanks to an american lady, who took us to hopital and gave us ride back home in her car), we had to wait 3hrs for meeting the doctor, which was hell in our situation. The doctor talked to us for 5mins, needless to say, it didn’t help us in any way, but since he had prescribed some medicines, we could atleast buy them from pharmacy. (BTW..we got a bill of $1000 for that visit!!!).

Anyway…that incident taught me a lot. India is a land of Ayurveda. There are thousands of home remedies which our elders followed for almost every possible disease. My grandfather who was 93 years old when he passed away, never had any health issues. He did so much of physical work at that age, which we cannot even dream to do. Their medicines were simple, all natural. Then why can’t we follow the same and be healthy? So I started this ‘home remedies’ category few days back. I would like to post all the remedies which I have collected so far. All my readers are welcome to add any remedies they know.

Now..coming to bitter gourd. It has the following medicinal value.
Source: compiled from kannada weekly magazines.

  • Bitter gourd is the best medicine for diabetes. It is rich in A, B1, B2, C vitamins and Iron. Drink bittergourd juice in the morning on empty stomach to keep the diabetes in control.
  • Bitter gourd reduces fever.
  • It is useful for people with vision problems, since it has Vitamin A.
  • People suffering from Jaundice, drink 1-2 tea spn of bitter gourd in a day. This reduces jaundice and the yellowish colour of eyes turns back to white.
  • This is useful in purifying the blood.
  • It is helpful in digestion, joint pain and gas problems.
  • It is useful in liver problem, pain and swelling of nerves.
  • For piles problems, mix 1 cup curd with 1 tea spn of fresh bitter gourd plant leaves juice and drink. This and the bittegourd juice reduces the piles problems remarkably.
  • This kills germs in the stomach.
  • This reduces unnecessary body heat.
  • Bittergourd slices boiled in water and taken early in the morning cures constipation

Eat any version of bitter gourd to keep yourself away from many diseases and remain healthy.

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Home remedies – Jaggery

Are you thinking I have made a mistake in the title of the post?? Jaggery has a medicinal value? Isn’t it strange? To tell you the truth, I never knew about it until I read an interesting article in one of the old Kannada weekly. I thought it would be useful for my readers.

  • Drink jaggery panak(any drink using jaggery), while drinking water eat a bit of jaggery or add a bit of jaggery to day to day dishes. This will help in reducing the occurance of headache.
  • For sprain, heat jaggery and ghee, when it is still warm, apply to sprain. The pain reduces slowly.
  • For running nose, mix jaggery with some curd(curd should not be sour) and eat.
  • For headache, mix old jaggery with same proportion of sesame seeds. Grind both with a little milk. Heat the mixture with a small quantity of ghee. Apply this to the forehead and sleep. Headache reduces gradually.
  • For continuous severe headaches, mix ghee and jaggery in same proportion and eat daily for 5-6 days. The headache goes off.

In olden days, people used to make tea and coffee using jaggery, but these days people are using sugar instead of jaggery. But still some people use jaggery for tea, coffee and other drinks and due to this they get definite health improvement.

These days since medicines are available for almost all the diseases people might laugh at some of these remedies. But my whole purpose is to store such precious bits of information and I am sure these will come handy one or the other day.

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Home remedies for Constipation

Here are a few remedies for Constipation, I have collected them from different sources. Any of my readers can add to this by leaving a comment and I will update this post.

  • Eat lots of peanuts.
  • Eat prunes (dried plums)
  • Eat lots of greens especially spinach.
  • The best herbal medincine for constipation is, drinking Isabgol mixed with hot milk (Isbgol is taken with curd to cure loose motions!!! ). Read more about Isbgol here.
  • For adults, eat a lot of raisins. Especially for even small kids, soak raisins in little water,and give that water to breast feeding babies.
  • Drink one teaspoon of castor oil in the morning to cleanse your interstines completel. (No you cannot go to office that day. So, should do it in on a holiday.Esp good for kids with eating problems etc).
  • Drink plenty of Water with dry ginger powder and a few mint leaves.
  • Eat one banana before going to bed.
  • Bittergourd slices boiled in water and taken early in the morning cures constipation

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