Down-to-earth remedies

Tulsi (basil) for cold. Mudakathan (balloon vine plant) for joint pain. Thoodhuvalai (purple fruited pea eggplant) for cold.

Published: 29th May 2019 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2019 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tulsi (basil) for cold. Mudakathan (balloon vine plant) for joint pain. Thoodhuvalai (purple fruited pea eggplant) for cold. Take a look around and you will spot these herbs either in your garden or on the streets. These medicinal herbs are easy to grow, found in abundance, do not require maintenance and yet are easily ignored. Our ancestors used the juices extracted from the leaves of these herbs to cure ailments. In a world obsessed with antibiotics, it’s high time we pause and reflect on the values of going back to the basics.

TP Sathyabhama

“Herbal remedy is a relatively slow process. They’re healthy, do not have side effects, and are cheaper options. We need to start using them from the early stage so that the body gets accustomed. They are effective as preventive medicines than when used to treat a disease.

This is probably why doctors advise patients not to try out these natural remedies when the condition is severe,” said TP Sathyabhama, a retired Botany teacher who practices herbal remedies at home.She shares seven herbs that can be used to cure different ailments and how  to consume them. 

Karpuravalli or oregano

The leaves can be used to cure headache, fever, nose block, migraine, phlegm, indigestion, allergies, and urinary infections.

The extracted juice from leaves can be mixed with honey and given to kids. Elders can chew the leaves directly. The leaves can also be ground and the paste can be applied on the forehead for headache.

Mudakathan or balloon vine plant

The herb is good for joint and knee pain, constipation, menstrual cramps and gastric problems.

The leaves can be ground and added to dosa batter. We can also prepare soup, chutney and curry. But the nutritional value gets lost in the process of boiling and cooking. It’s better to have it freshly ground. It can be taken once a week for good results.

Thoodhuvalai or purple fruited pea eggplant

This herb is used to treat asthma, phlegm, cold and cough especially for children.

It can be used to prepare chutney, rasam and soup. The fruit is dried and used to make vathal. The flowers can be added to boiling milk and filtered. We can also prepare kashayam by adding ginger, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Boil, filter, and drink for immediate results.

Basil or Tulsi

It is good for all kinds of respiratory disorders such as cold and cough. It’s a good source of vitamin K. It can also be used for dental care and oral health.  

The leaves can be added to soups or eaten directly. Sometimes it’s also used as a garnish in salads. Basil seeds or sabja can be added to juice to give a cooling effect to reduce the body heat in summer. The seeds are also good for weight loss. 

Karisalankanni or bringa or false daisy

It’s a great hair tonic. It helps with eye vision. The juice extracted can be used to treat skin allergies and cracked heals. It prevents hair fall, balding, and patches on head.

Can be mixed with coconut oil, boiled and applied for hair growth and to prevent greying.  You can make poriyal and chutney with the leaves. It’s consumed by tribal people as a local medicine. 

Kuppameni or acalypha indica

The herb has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s good for skin care, ulcer, eczema, dandruff, skin rashes, pimples and psoriasis.

The powder from dried leaves can be used as a pack on skin and hair. The plant is grown everywhere. It requires no maintenance. A paste made out of it can be used for itching and rashes on skin. The oil from the leaves can also be used to cure joint pains. 

India Matters


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