Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Siddha Home Remedies: Oridazh Thamarai

Oridazh thamarai is a tiny herb that grows in the wilderness. All parts of the herb have medicinal value.

The great Siddhas had left behind a great repository of herbal knowledge for the benefit of mankind. They intuited the uses of different kinds of herbs through their penance and had detailed them in palm manuscripts. The remedies were useful in curing the diseases that afflicted mankind throughout the ages. With the advent of conventional medicine it very quickly dethroned the folk remedies and herbs and soon they were regarded as quackery. The onslaught went on for almost the whole of twentieth century and herbal medicines were looked down upon. People in big cities ignored the herbs, they were considered as weeds and promptly cleared.

Though the quality of life had improved, mortality rate has decreased, though people lived longer on an average, they seemed to be affected by newer and unknown diseases, they had lesser immunity. This prompted people to turn to herbal remedies and alternative systems. And during the tough times, the tough and resilient alternative systems have come back with a bang.

For instance, my niece had jaundice a few months back. Her allopathy doctor prescribed kizhanelli (a herb prescribed by Siddha system for jaundice) paste along with some vitamin tablets. Surprise!

Now back to oridazh thamarai. One of the herbs that can help convalescing people to regain their lost strength, oridhazh tamarai is also a well known aphrodisiac. The name thamarai may be misleading. This herb does not grow in water. The botanical name is Ionidium Suffruticosum. In Malayalam it is ‘orilai thamarai’. The leaves, stem, root, flower all have medicinal value. The whole plant is dried in shade and powdered. This teaspoon of this powder is then mixed in milk and taken in the mornings and evenings. This strengthens the body and helps in regaining the lost vitality.

For people suffering with high fever, the kashayam made of the herb is very effective in bringing down the fever.

Most youngsters due to the pent up sexual urge, ejaculate while asleep. Siddha regards semen as energy and loss of semen is said to weaken an individual. In such cases, the powder of this herb is mixed with honey and taken internally before going to bed. This is said to compensate the loss.

For people who have lost their sexual urge, the powder of this remedy is taken with milk for a mandalam (48 days). This is found to help them in regaining their lost vigour.

Thus oridazh thamarai is an excellent Siddha herb that helps one to regain the lost health.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Siddha Home Remedies: Adathoda Vasica Part II

Couple of my earlier posts on cough, cold and asthma contain preparations made using adathoda. Along with thippili (piper longum), chukka (dry ginger), pepper, adathoda, thoothuvalai (tri lobatum)are the common herbs used in treating all conditions related to lungs, airway passage, throat etc. Of this, adathoda holds a vital position in treating asthmatic conditions.

Adathodai kudineer and manappagu are the two time tested Siddha remedies used in treating asthma. Kudineer is tamil word for decoction. Adhatoda kudineer is prepared by boiling adathoda leaves in water and then cooling down the water for consumption.

Now for the ingredients needed to prepare the kudineer or decoction. Adathodai leaves, chukku or dry ginger, and pepper are taken. They are crushed and put in 1 litre of water and allowed to boil. Once it boils for 3-5 minutes, remove from the stove and allow it to cool. When it reaches a lukewarm state, drink this. This is done three times a day for 3-4 days. This is found to be helpful in clearing cough, cold and phlegm in chest.

One other preparation for treating cough is to follow the above-mentioned process using adathoda root and kandankathiri root. Piper longum powder is added to this decoction. This is taken three times a day after food.

In case of chronic wheeze, the following time-tested preparation can be used. Prepare a decoction using adathoda leaves, terminalia chebula (kadukkai), and grapes. Add honey and palm candy to this decoction and take it three times a day after food. Continue this till there is no wheezing.

Another combination is to prepare a decoction of adhathoda root, kandankathiri root, dry ginger, horsegram and adding powder of alli kizhangu (nymphaea rubra) tuber. This is also effective in curing wheezing.

The juice obtained from the leaves can be used to treat bloody stool and mucus in stool.

The dry leaves can be rolled and smoked as a cigar to treat wheezing. The flower of adathoda can be used to treat ailments of eye. For this, the flowers are slightly shown on fire and then placed on the eyelids. Regular application is said to cure eye irritation and other minor ailments.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Siddha Home Remedies: Adhatoda Vasica

Adhatoda vasica (Adathoda in Tamil and Adalodakam in Malayalam) is a medicinal plant used extensively in treating cough and cold. It is a native of the Asian continent. The flowers, leaves, bark, root are used in preparing Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines to treat various bronchial and lung diseases. It has a bitter taste. It is an expectorant and bronchodilator. Alternative systems use preparations made from this plant to treat asthma.

The general areas of treatment where it would be of use include vata diseases, fevers, stomach diseases, cough, wheeze, vomiting, etc. It improves the tone of your voice.

Juice of the leaves 10-20 drops with honey is found to cure the above mentioned diseases, especially cough, wheeze, fevers.

A decoction made of the leaves plus honey can also do the trick.

Three leaves of adathoda cut to pieces along with a cardamom is soaked in 400 ml hot water. After two hours, filter out the leaves and cardamom.  50 ml of this water is given three times a day for fever and cough due to phlegm.

One time tested preparation for bringing out phlegm in chest as well as treating cough and cold is mentioned below.

Three leaves of the plant are cut into very small pieces.  Using a fresh mud put, fry these finely cut leaves using 2-3 teaspoon honey. Frying will give rise to a nice aroma. Once you get this smell, add finely ground athimathuram 2 gm, thippili 2 gm, thalisapathiri ½ gm, sitrarathai ¼ gm, to the adhathoda leaves along with a litre of water and reduce it to ¼ litre.  This preparation can be given morning and night for a day or two for expelling the phlegm from chest.

More remedies using the adathoda plant to follow.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Siddha Home Remedies: Some More Medicinal Uses of Arugampul

Bermuda grass or arugampul juice has wonderful medicinal properties. It acts as an excellent detoxifier.

The credit for increase in the lifespan of human beings can undeniably be attributed to the conventional system of medicine. With its excellent diagnostic methods and thorough knowledge of human anatomy, allopathic system has virtually eliminated most of the dreaded diseases from the planet earth. In the process, more potent and powerful drugs were made to combat more virulent variations. The expensive medicinal system burnt a hole in the average Joe’s pocket. Also these drugs had dangerous side effects. What were once hailed as wonder drugs were later derided and shunned within a couple of years due to the side effects. This forced people to look into the direction of alternative systems. In Siddha system of medicine, arugampul is used to detoxify the body of these dangerous drugs. For this purpose, arugampul is collected and the knots in the grass are removed. Ten grams of this grass is then ground to a fine paste along with white pepper. This paste is then added to butter and taken on empty stomach early in the morning for three consecutive days. This is said to neutralize and remove toxins from the body. This also useful in cases of itching due to allergies.

Bad eating habits, environmental pollution, contaminated water, air etc can cause many diseases especially, skin problems. Skin diseases that manifest as a result of impurities in blood can be cured by Bermuda grass. For this turmeric, arugampul, basil leaves, rock salt and chebulic myrobalan are collected in equal quantities, ground to a fine paste, applied on the affected areas and after half an hour, can be washed away. Regular application of this paste helps in curing these diseases.

Bermuda grass is also found to be effective in curtailing blood loss. Be it blood loss due to an injury, or nosebleed, or excessive menstrual flow, these all can be treated with Bermuda grass or arugampul. In case of injury, arugampul paste can be applied on the wounded area. A couple of drops of Bermuda grass juice can help nosebleeds. Regular intake of arugampul juice is found to cure excessive menstrual flow.

Consumption of oily substances is a strict no, no for heart patients. They are advised to take chapattis. While preparing chapattis, arugampul juice can be used instead of water. This is also an ideal diabetic diet. Also 10-15 neem leaves along with a handful of arugampul can be ground to a fine paste with a few drops of water. This juice is effective in curing diabetes if it is of recent onset. In chronic case of diabetes, this juice helps in keep the sugar levels in control.

Research is going on in the western world on the medicinal effects of arugampul.

This grass is indeed a blessing to the ailing humanity.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Siddha Home Remedies: Medicinal Uses of Arugampul

Arugampul or Bermuda grass grows abundantly in the surroundings of our household. It has wonderful medicinal properties. It occupies a prime position among the Siddha herbs along with basil, neem, vilva etc.

In South India Arugampul is regarded as a holy herb along with basil and neem. Arugampul is the herb of Lord Ganapathi, the Hindu God whom people worship before starting anything important.

Now for some medicinal uses of Arugampul.

It is well known for its medicinal properties, notably its action in regulating the vitiated doshas. It is a diuretic. It quenches thirst. It tastes sweet and is regarded as a moderator of doshas. Juice obtained from arugampul can be used as eye drops to cure eye irritation. When applied on fresh wounds it helps the blood to clot fast. It helps in healing old wounds too.

It helps in detoxifying your body. Take juice of arugampul every morning on empty stomach. It helps in removing toxins from your body.

A paste made from arugampul and turmeric can be applied on skin to treat problems like scabies, eczema etc. Regular application is found to cure the eczema and scabies.

Boil arugampul 10 gm , white pepper 2 gm, in 50 ml water and reduce it to 25 ml. Allow this preparation to cool and add a spoon of butter. This preparation can be taken to treat anal itch, urinary tract infection, painful urination, and side effects of medicines etc.

Make a paste of arugampul and mix it in a cup of yoghurt (curds). Women suffering from white discharge can benefit from this, they can take this for a week for complete cure.

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