With sporadic downpours in Chennai, people have been coming down with coughs, colds and bad throats. Sometimes the coughs and colds disappear, but the hoarseness of the throat continues and is often accompanied by a kind of hacking cough. The cough is not very responsive to antibiotics and persists for many days.
One of the simple remedies that ayurveda has to offer for the above conditions is Yashti Churanam. It is a very simple formulation, unlike the usual ayurvedic formulations where a myriad herbs are put together. Yashti Churanam is made from the single herb, Glycyrrhiza glabra (called Yashti in Sanskrit and adhi madhuram in Tamil). It is very simple to prepare and can be made at home. Roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra are available in a ‘country drug store’. Clean the roots of the drug and then powder it in a mixie. Later sieve and store it. Very easy to make, on top of it there is a sense of fulfillment in making your own medications which are safe and without major side-effects.
The dosage for this medication is about 1-2 gram with honey, ghee or milk twice or thrice a day.
In Western medical literature, there is a warning that too much Glycyrrhiza glabra can increase blood pressure. So those having very high blood pressure should use this drug with caution. Local vaidyars, however, are of the opinion that locally available yashti and in the quantities that they prescribe really does not affect the blood pressure. Yashti is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, demulcent and a memory stimulant. Recent research in the West has confirmed its memory-enhancing role.
Yashti is a liver protective herb. This is the good thing about many ayurvedic herbs that they protect the liver while attacking the disease. Many allopathic drugs are, however, toxic to the liver or kidneys and often physicians will require you to have your liver and kidney function tests done while taking the drugs. Yashti in addition has hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic properties, so your cholesterol concerns are addressed simultaneously.
In case of mouth ulcers, it is recommended you keep a small piece of the herb in your mouth. Both smokers and singers love this herb as it soothes the throat and vocal cords.
The principal constituent of yashti is Glycyrrhiza acid which gives it its sweet taste. Glycyrrhiza acid has neuroprotective effects against cerebral damage and is also protective against ischemic damage. Yashti is also being used in Western alternative medicine as a ‘natural’ source of estrogen and is being given to treat symptoms of menopause. Yashti is said to contain over 120 hormones and is good for supporting your adrenals.
Yashti Churanam is a powerful single herb drug which you can use for treating multiple health conditions.
The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu, and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at Sheelarani.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier articles can be accessed at www.arogyamantra.blogspot.com