The Pharmacy In Your Kitchen

the-pharmacy-in-your-kitcheWhen we were young bel (aegle marmelos) was the one fruit which had to be eaten in summer by mashing it into a sherbet. Few people of our generation, whether urban or rural, got amoebiosis. Now, people take tablets for ameobiosis which are merely powdered bel extract. Thousands of medicines come out of plants every year. The human psyche is so odd that rather than use what we commonly see in our kitchen to cure minor ailments, we would rather buy the same thing in pill or tonic form. We call that development. The household health tradition employs simple home remedies using spices for every conceivable ailment under the sun. Here are a few you could find useful :
Coriander or dhania: Regular intake of dhania decoction, made by boiling 2 tsp of dried coriander powder in 1 cup water can help you get rid of high cholesterol levels. Juice of fresh coriander leaves can be used as nasal drops in a nosebleed. Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water and gargle when lukewarm to cure mouth ulcers.
Mint or pudina: Dried and powdered mint leaves can be used as a toothpowder to cure bad odour. 1 tsp of fresh mint juice mixed in equal proportions with lime juice with 1 tbsp of honey can help rid morning sickness. Steep 1 tbsp leaves in one teacup of water and drink several times a day for hiccups, fever, poor digestion.
Cardamom or choti elaichi: Chew seeds to sweeten your breath after a meal.. Make a fine powder of cardamon and fennel seeds and take quarter teaspoon after each meal to relive indigestion. Take powdered cardamom seeds and a cinnamon stick and boil both in water. Add salt when water comes to the boil. Filter and use for gargling. It brings instant relief to sore throats and prevents further infection. Eating cardamom helps check nausea, vomiting, headache, expels wind and eases stomach pain.
Carom seeds or ajwain: Boiling carom seeds in water and inhaling the steam can help asthmatics. Mix quarter teaspoon of ajwain powder and 1 tsp of turmeric with one cup of hot water and take one tbsp with one teaspoon of honey to relieve a cold. Mix half teaspoon of powdered ajwain seeds with two powdered cloves and a pinch of salt. Sip with a little warm water to relieve a cough.
Curry leaves or karipatta: These leaves can be applied as poultices on burns. To cure diarrhoea drink the juice of 15 to 20 tender curry leaves with 1 tsp honey. For constipation, do the same with dried and powdered curry leaf.
Basil or tulsi: Extract the juice by crushing tulsi leaves to a paste and filtering it through a muslin cloth. This juice can be had with 1 tsp of honey to alleviate low blood pressure. A tsp of tulsi juice can also help provide relief for a cough.
Clove or laung: Boiling 6 cloves in 3 tbsp of water and taking 1 tsp of these decoction thrice daily acts as an expectorant for asthmatic patients. Fry cloves and apply to the gums to reduce inflammation.
Mustard seeds or sarson: Eat 1 tsp of mustard seeds ground with honey to alleviate chest congestion.
Fennel or saunf: Chewing fennel seeds helps remove bad breath. To relieve eye strain, one may use eye drops prepared after boiling, cooling and filtering 1 tsp fennel seeds in a cup of water, till the volume is reduced to half. This filtrate is then used to wash the eyes frequently.
Sesame seeds or til: These can be soaked in warm water, ground and strained and drunk by anaemic people. Frequent joint pains can be prevented by consuming a tsp of sesame seeds soaked overnight in quarter cup of water.
Black Pepper or kali mirch: 3 pepper corns sucked with pinch of jeera and salt helps provide relief from dry cough. Half teaspoon of ground pepper and one tbsp of jaggery powder can be taken to cure digestive disorders. Powder black pepper and apply it over pimples to dry them up.
Ginger or adrak: A tsp of fresh ginger juice, mixed with a cup of fenugreek decoction acts as an expectorant in cases of asthma. Hot ginger drink is effective for cold and flu. It helps clear a blocked nose and stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the blood. Make a tea by adding 1 teaspoon of powder to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink.Try pure ginger juice for stomach upsets nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps.
Garlic or lasan: Regular consumption of raw or cooked garlic helps prevent a wide variety of ailments including arteriosclerosis. It also aids in blood purification. Crushed garlic flakes can be rubbed onto acne to cure without leaving scars. Application of garlic juice helps in ripening boils, breaking them and evacuating pus from them. It is also used for treating cramps and muscular spasms. Raw garlic helps to reduce nasal congestion and relieve other symptoms of cold.
Turmeric or haldi: A paste made in a 1:1 ratio of turmeric and ginger powder can be applied externally on boils. Turmeric helps lower cholesterol. Fresh or dry turmeric is used for saline gargles to relieve and prevent sore throats. When applied to skin and exposed to sunlight, turmeric is strongly antibacterial. It improves the action of the liver and is a traditional remedy for jaundice.
Cumin seeds or jeera: Paste made by grinding cumin seeds in water can be applied on acne and boils. It helps to cure flatulence and colic pain.
Cinnamon or dalchini: Paste made by mixing 1 tsp of finely ground cinnamon powder with 1 tsp of lemon juice can be applied for treatment of acne and blackheads. Boiling the seeds, filter and used as a mouthwash. For people with type-2 diabetes, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day, added to food or drink, can lower blood glucose levels.
Fenugreek seeds or sabut methi: Reduces high serum cholesterol. This seeds relieves constipation . Fenugreek seed flour is used as a poultice to inflamed parts.
Nutmeg or Jaiphal: Helps in digestion and relieves nausea, vomiting, flatulence and diarrhoea. The nutmeg should be powdered and mixed with honey and and 1 teaspoon twice or thrice a day taken for diarrhoea.
Cayenne Pepper: Got a toothache? Make a paste with a few drops of water and a spoonful of cayenne, dip a cotton swab into the paste, and dab on the tooth.


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