Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ways to Consume Siddha Herbs - II

Pittu or Puttu

The leaves and stem of the herbs are dried under shade, powdered and sieved. Milk and water of equal quantity are mixed and heated in a mud pot. (You will find utensils made of clay used extensively in preparing siddha concoctions, here mud pot is used for steam baking). Add a few drops of milk to the herbal powder to wet it before steam baking. Now steam bake the herbal powder by placing it on a cloth in the mud pot. Once baked, remove the herbal powder from the pot. Add palm candy to the baked powder. This is then taken as prescribed.

Herbs that can be baked thus are thoothuvalai, thulasi (basil), adathoda (adathoda vasica), karisalankanni, curry leaves, murungai, mudakkathan, kothumalli, pudhina, seeragam etc.

Powder (choornam)

The dried leaves and stem of herbs (after frying if necessary) are powdered and sieved. This powder is then purified in certain ways to increase its potency. One way to improve the potency is to steam bake as in the previous method but to continue heating till the water and milk evaporates completely. The powder is then dried, powdered and sieved again.

Nelli, thippili, adathoda (adathoda vasica), sirukurinjan, siriyanangai, nilaavaarai, amukkura, vendhayam, arugampul, seenthil, thoothuvalai, kandankathiri, adhimadhuram, vallarai, chukku, milagu, kadukkai skin etc can be made into choornam.

Manappagu (syrup)

Prepare a kashayam of the herb. Add palm candy as necessary to the kashayam and pour it into a mud pot. It is then heated. When you can smell the aroma remove the pot from fire. Sprinkle herbal powder on top of kashayam if needed and let it cool. Store it in a bottle. This is the herbal syrup or manappagu.

Following herbs are used in the form of syrup also. Naaval, avaarai, karpooravalli, nannaari, grapes, hibiscus, aththi, vallarai, thippili, coriander, pudhina, ginger, madhulai (pomegranate) are used in making syrup.

Note: Kashayam is prepared by boiling the mixture of crushed or powdered raw herbs with specified quantity of water, and boiled to specific concentration. The medicinal properties are preserved)


Kashayam or juice of the herbs are taken either separately or mixed together and palm candy is added to this. It is then poured into a mud pot and heated. When the kashayam gets solidified, it is stirred well and necessary herbal powders are added. Ghee and honey are added at appropriate times. Once it is reduced to a pasty form it is allowed to cool. It is then bottled and stored in a cool dry place.

Aththi, amukkara, rose, grapes, nannari, thippili, athimathuram etc are some of the herbs used in lehyams.

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