Wash the leaves thoroughly in running water. Eat them on an empty stomach preferably. Chew them well for easy digestion. Eating leaves raw is the easiest and effective way of using herbs to our benefit.
Following herbs can be consumed raw. Curry leaves, basil leaves, coriander, lettuce, celery, betel leaves, lemon, pepper, ammaan pacharisi (Euphorbia hirta), karisilanganni (Eclipta prostrata), siriyanangai (Andrographis paniculata), thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum), sirukurinjan (Gymnema sylvestre), oridazh thamarai, vallarai (Indian penny wort), manathakkali (solanum nigrum), carrot, beetroot, turnip etc.
In this method the leaves and stem of the herb are pounded and filtered to extract the juice or they may be ground, pressed and filtered. The juice loses its potency over time. So the juice thus extracted is taken immediately.
The juice of the following herbs are used medicinally. Lemon, coriander, basil, adathoda (adathoda vasica), pudhina (spearmint), kalyanamurungai, plantain pith, arugampul (Bermuda grass), carrot etc.
Surasam is a Tamil word for herbal juices that are heated and taken orally.
For example, juice is extracted from ginger and heated using a mud pot. Remove it from stove when it is about to boil and allow it cool. This is an excellent remedy for indigestion.
The leaves and stem of the herbs are cooked in boiling water (either fresh or dried herbs) and the water is reduced to ¼ of its original quantity. It is then allowed to cool. The broth is filtered and the fluid is taken orally as medicine.
One simple kashayam for diabetes. Take 10-12 fresh leaves of the passion fruit climber and cut then to small pieces. Pour two glasses of water in a vessel and drop the cut leaves into it. Heat the water and allow it boil. When the water gets reduced to half a glass, remove the vessel and allow the water to cool. Filter out the leaves and drink the ensuing thick fluid. This taken for 3-5 days every morning can bring down your sugar levels drastically.
Following herbs are used to make kashayams. Rose buds, kadukkai (terminalia chebula), thippili (piper longum), cumin seeds, thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum), kandankathiri (Solanum Xanthocarpum), nerunjil (Tribulus terrestris), gooseberry, pepper, thumbai, arugampul (Bermuda grass), nilavembu etc.
In the next post, I will elaborate on other ways like puttu (steamed herb), choornam (powder), manapaagu (syrup) and lehyam.
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