Sunday, August 17, 2008

Turmeric, Tamarind, Vidanga, Vasaka, Winter Cherry

Turmeric is one of the most useful or our condiments. Available in fresh form throughout the year, it is versatile in its uses.

The tubers and rhizomes are the parts used. Haldi acts as a stimulant, carminative, tonic, appetizer, astringent, decreases vayu (aches and pains) and is useful in blood impurities. It is used in the treatment of cough, anaemia, swelling, hiccups and ulcers. Here are some remedies with a Haldi base:

In cold and cough, tiny pieces of turmeric boiled in milk should be eaten and the milk drunk. This clears the throat.

Turmeric and Aamalaki (Embelic Myobalan) should be taken together in the form of a decoction. This will clarify the urine, remove constipation and lessen the burning sensation (if any) while passing urine.

Shodhal, a great authority on Ayurveda, suggests that the fresh leaves of tamarind and turmeric should be rubbed together and filtered with cold water. This water should be drunk once a day. This is a highly effective remedy and a preventive measure against smallpox.

For swelling caused by external injuries, turmeric rubbed in water and applied in the form of paste relieves pain and reduces swelling.

Turmeric given to women in the post-delivery period purifies breast-milk and strengthens up the reproductive organs.

Turmeric powder is used for rubbing on the skin of babies at the time of bath and this makes the skin nice, smooth and clean. Turmeric, however, is mixed with the powder or green gram, gingelly or yellow sarson (mustered) oil.

For diseases of the eye, tamarind leaves and turmeric in the form of a poultice externally applied to the eyes, relieves swelling and pain. Even if the eyes and ulcers are washed with a mild decoction of turmeric, they become clean and pain is reduced.

Fresh turmeric juice is applied to ulcers, wounds etc.

The powder of the root, 8 – 10 rattis (16 to 20 grains) twice a day with honey is given for dyspepsia, gastric troubles, flatulence and gastritis.

A paste of turmeric along with neem leaves is used for ringworm, itching, eczema and other skin disorders.

The preparation known as Brihata Haridrakhanala prepared from turmeric given in doses of 3 to 6 grains with a glassful of water morning and evening acts effectively in eradication of urticaria and other allergic manifestations. Further it purifies the blood.

Tamarind - Benefits of Natural Healing Herb

Tamarind fruit is carefully gathered and the pulp is separately collected and stored.

Tamarind has a variety of uses. The unripe fruit is acid in taste, whereas the pulp of the ripe fruit is both sweet and acid and is cooling, carminative, digestive and laxative. It is anti-bilious and anti-scorbutic.

The leaves and seeds are astringent. Tender leaves and flowers have a cooling effect. The bark is astringent and serves as a tonic.

According to ayurvedic theory, our diet should include all the six tastes – sweet, sour, pungent, acid, bitter and astringent, tamarind supplies the acid-sweet tastes.

Its use in cooking is well known and is much in vogue particularly in South India. Added in proper measure. Tamarind is beneficial to health, excessive use may prove harmful to the body.

In summer elixir type syrup is prepared from it, which is very cooling and anti-bilious. Sometimes it is given to patients suffering from fever, sunstroke and inflammatory conditions.

It is prepared thus: Boil 1 oz each of tamarind fruit and dates in a quart of milk, strain and add some cloves, cardamoms and a few grains of camphor.

The pulp of the ripe fruit along with the skin of dates or gur mixed freely in water, stirred and filtered, along with pepper, cardamom, clove and a little salt makes a very tasty and delicious ream, which is often taken along with food.

It is commonly used in the preparation of curries and chutneys.

When heavy intoxication is caused by bhanga or cannabis indica, the syrup of panaka prepared from tamarind serves as an antidote. It is also given in cases of liquor or dhatura poisoning.

One tola each of tamarind pulp, dates, seeds of pomegranate and embolic myrobalan are powdered together and mixed with 32 tolas of water. About 2 ozs. Dose of the resultant emulsion is then taken.

In medicine, the pulp of the fruit, seeds, leaves, flowers and the bark are all used.

The pulp of the fruit is useful in constipation. According to the Unani system, the pulp is effective in controlling fever. It purges the bile.

The red outer covering of the seed is an effective remedy against diarrhea and dysentery. About 10 grains of powder of the seeds with an equal quantity of cumin seeds and sugar is given 2-3 times daily.

The seeds powdered and given to women are beneficial in leucorrhoea. Another method is to soak the seeds in water overnight, next morning the skin is removed and the seeds are immersed in milk and given for drinking. This removes leucorrhoea.

The seed rubbed with water and applied to a scorpion sting renders relief.

For the prevention of smallpox, villagers use seeds with turmeric powder and an equal quantity of water for three days.

Leaves are crushed with water and juice extracted. It is useful in feverish conditions and in burning when passing urine.

Poultice prepared from the leaves applied on swelling relieves the trouble.

Juice extracted from the flowers is given internally for bleeding piles.

Gargling with tamarind water aids in the healing of sore throat. Tamarind water with ghee and sugar will stop diarrhea caused as a result of drastic purgatives.

The bark of the tree is burnt and from the ash kshar or salt is prepared. Which is very efficacious in chronic abdominal colic. This is known as Chinchakshara.

Tamarind is efficacious in preventing or curing scurvy.

In short, tamarind which is widely used in cooking, has numerous medicinal applications.

Vidanga - Benefits in Home Based Remedies

Vidanga is a well-known home remedy and in Sanskrit literature it is termed “jantanasa”. The name suggests its fine germicidal and bactericidal action.

It is well known in India and is also available in Singapore, Burma and Ceylon. Its fruits are as small as black pepper but smoother than the latter. New seeds of vidanga are reddish in colour but they become slightly black as time passes. Old fruits are used in medicine.

Vidanga allays vayu, it is diuretic, a mild purgative and kills worms, it is an appetizer, digestive , blood purifier and rejuvenator.

It is also a Rasayana and while taking it the urine takes on a reddish tinge. Vidanga has a good effect on the whole system, especially on the lymphatic glands.

Grandma starts the daily routine or the infant by giving him milk which is boiled with a few seeds of vidanga. Such milk is easily digestible and does not give rise to worms. There is no gas formation or griping pain, it is thus an ideal indigenous gripe cure.

It is equally effective for worms in adults. It is given in the form of powder or decoction and the worms are expelled. The usual method is to give the powder with honey in the dose of 2-4 grams, followed on the second day by a mild purgative.

In ancient times vidanga was used as a blood purifier and many uses, external as well as internal, are mentioned. It was given in food as well as drink.

It has been found that the slow, steady and gradual effect of vidanga on the body is that it increases appetite, brings clear motion, increases weight and improves the complexion. The body becomes light and a person generally feels energetic and well.

In the case of infants, when food is not properly digested, the abdomen becomes enlarged and the upper and lower extremities become thin and emaciated, if vidanga is given, it produces considerable improvement.

There is an effective course of rejuvenating treatment known as Vidanga Thandul, in which the seeds of vidanga and liquorice are powdered, and a patient subsists entirely on this powder with honey. He has to take only a little rice with ghee, green gram (boiled), and the powder of embolic myrobalan.

He must carry out this regimen for a month or two. Experienced vaidyas carry out this treatment even today in Gujarat and Saurashtra. It has no side reaction whatsoever, but produces a Kaya Kalpa effect or body rejuvenation. The patient starts getting good appetite, improves his digestion, there is purification of blood, clarification of the bowels and ultimately chronic disorders like dyspepsia, piles and blood impurities are eradicated.

There are many medicinal preparations described in ayurveda which are vermicidal, and these contain vidanga as the main ingredient.

The powder of vidanga seeds is given in the form of snuff for chronic cold and sinusitis or a Peenasa or one sided headache.
Vidanga is a really effective home remedy. It saves lot of money because by its use it helps prevent disease in children as well as adults

Vasaka - Benefits of Natural Healing Herb

Vasaka is a very well known remedy available everywhere and it is especially popular in rural areas. Acknowledging its medicinal properties, it has been adopted by modern medical practitioners also.

This bush grows in all parts of the worlds and the bark, flowers, roots and leaves are used in medicine. The leaves enjoy a reputation as a useful remedy in the cure of coughs and bronchitis.

The plant has pungent and astringent taste. It is cold in action. It normalizes kapha and pitta and improves the voice. It is useful in ridding the patient of coughing and asthma and can be given as a cure in any disease with which these symptoms are associated. It is beneficial to the tuberculosis patient. Vasaka’s special virtue is stopping bleeding due to the aggravation of pitta, through the mouth, nose, genitals, or the urinary systems.

The leaves are dampened and then pounded, and one teaspoon of the resultant juice is useful in cases of chronic bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis. This is not to say that it always cures all these diseases but it does give immediate relief.

Being a very good expectorant, it draws out all kapha (phlegm) accumulated in the lungs. In many cases where bronchitis is due to lack of appetite and poor digestion, the juice of Vasaka is mixed with the juice of ginger and honey and given in the early morning on an empty stomach.

Given in the early stages of tuberculosis, the juice of Vasaka, thrice a day, helps a patient who is prone to incessant coughing. In many of the cough syrups that are available, Vasaka has been used either as a base or as an ingredient.

Boiled and put on the bladder region, the leaves produce a diuretic action, reduce the swelling of the kidney and lead to clear urination. Persons suffering from bleeding piles or diarrhea, accompanied by bleeding, or women suffering from menorragia can take the juice of Vasaka 2 to 3 times a day to great advantage.

Dried and powdered leaves also form a remedy for bronchitis in the dose of 40 grains twice a day. In liquid form the dose is about half to one teaspoon. In excessive doses of 1 to 2 ozs. An emetic action results inducing vomiting in which all the kapha is removed.

In ancient times the root of the Vasaka was tied on the back below the navel region and it is said that it produced safe, painless delivery.

Vasa avaleha, useful in easing all sorts of coughs, especially in the case of asthma, and bronchial congestion, is made in the following manner: the juice of 1 seer of Vasaka leaves is boiled with ¼ seer of white sugar, 4 tolas long peppers and 4 tolas pure ghee, until the mixture is reduced to a jelly form. After cooling, ¼ seer of honey is added and the preparation is mixed thoroughly. The mixture is given in ½ ounce doses.

A liquid preparation of Vasaka known as Vasasav given in half ounce measures after the principal meals, reduces production of kapha (phlegm) and relieves excessive coughing. The juice of Vasaka leaves softens the bronchial tube.

It is also useful in reducing aggravation of pitta and discomfort due to jaundice.

The roots and bark possess a virtue well-known for their expectorant properties.

If well-known patented expectorant remedies have failed to give you relief, by all means try this home remedy.

Winter Cherry - Benefits in Home Based Remedies

This plant is readily available. Usually its roots, and sometimes the leaves, are used for medicinal purposes.

It is a renowned tonic, aphrodisiac and nervine sedative. In addition, it has astringent and alterative properties.

Leaves and roots are narcotic. It is also diuretic and a form of bitters. It decreases vayu and kapha.

Besides being a tonic, it works wonders especially in cases of backache, pain in joints, rickets, seminal debility, premature ageing and weakness due to sexual exhaustion.

It is equally beneficial to ladies. It reduces weakness, cures leucorrhoea and tones up the uterus. It is very useful during convalescence,

The preparation of this medicine is very simple. Take the dry roots of winter cherry and get it powdered. 3 to 6 grams of powder either with honey or sugar and ghee given morning and evening along with a cupful of milk nourishes the body, rejuvenates the whole system and is most beneficial for an emaciated person.

Those who are very thin and want to gain weight and become healthy and robust should take it morning and evening, with a cupful of milk for at least a period of three to six months and notice the difference. It is but natural that when such an experiment is being carried out, too much of fried things, and food of sour. Acid and pungent tastes should be avoided and only simple nutritious diet should be taken.

Ashwagandha not only builds up physical strength but is ideal for nervous debility and nervous exhaustion. It removes weakness of the nerves, exhaustion, insomnia and mental debility.

There is a well established form of massage with the oil prepared from Ashwagandha for a thin and emaciated body. External application of Ashwagandha oil proves beneficial in the case of emaciated children suffering from rickets and young women with poor bustline.

Nowadays young people generally complain about nightmares and weakness of the seminal system for which the use of Ashwagandha morning and evening as indicated above helps a lot. A syrup prepared from Ashwagandha can be given to under nourished children and I cures skin disorders as well.

Ashwagandha along with vidarikanda and liquorice in the form of powder, given morning and evening, increases breast-milk.

The dose for treatment of rickets in children is 4-6 grains 4 times a day with honey and cow’s milk 8-16 rattis or 16-32 grains at bedtime with honey and milk relieves vayu and brings sound sleep.

It is very useful and efficacious in cases where there is excessive rapidity of the heart’s action. It tones up the heart.

Expert ayurvedic physicians prescribe it in cases of infertility. The woman has to take this powder for four days after the menstrual period along with cow’s milk.

Ashwagandha, is employed in numerous ayurvedic remedies and a separate treatise can be written on it. Suffice it to say that it is a boon for emaciated, under nourished and physically and mentally exhausted individuals.

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