Friday, December 09, 2011

Siddha Home Remedies: Medicinal benefits of Greens

Greens (keerai in Tamil) had been part and parcel of South Indian diet from time immemorial. It is considered an easily digestible food than flowers, vegetables, and tubers. Though taking greens everyday is a healthy habit, it should not be taken at night. Taking greens at night can lead to formation of gas in the stomach and other gastric inconveniences.

Care should be taken in selection of greens. Greens with dark black patches should be avoided as they may be contaminated with heavy metals. Also avoid worm infested greens.

Pasalai keerai (Spinach)

This is said to have blood cleansing properties. It strengthens the liver and pacifies pitta. It is a well known remedy for diseases related to the urinary system. People with painful or difficult urination can benefit from taking spinach on a regular basis.

Sirukeerai (Amaranthus Polygonoides)

This greens belong to the amaranthus family. Singers can benefit from taking cooked Amaranthus polygonoides regularly. This is found to preserve and improve their voice. It also works wonders in the case of mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers. Regular consumption of this greens also benefits those with hemorrhoids. Skin conditions like scabies and eczema respond well to consumption of this herb.

Mulai keerai (Amaranth)

This is a tasty green consumed extensively in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Recipes made of this green are very tasty as well as healthy. It cools and energizes the body. The more mature greens of this family is the ‘thandu keerai’. A very good blood cleanser, this green is also strengthens the heart. It loosens stools and helps treat painful and difficult urination due to increase in body ‘heat’.

Pulicha keerai

Known as gongura in Andhra Pradesh, there are numerous tasty recipes made using this green. Consuming this green helps constipation, stomach ulcers and digestive disorders.

Pannai keerai (Celosia argentea)

Pannai keerai has immense medicinal value. Regular consumption of this greens helps ward off ulcerative colitis, stomatitis, sore throat and similar conditions. This has a sweetish-sour taste and is found to be useful in treating eczema and venereal diseases. It loosens the stool and helps in easy bowel movement.

Ponnanganni keerai

Ponnanganni (Alternanthera Sessilis) is an excellent coolant. It neutralizes excessive acidity in the body. It helps keep away bad breath. It is useful in treating skin conditions like scabies, eczema etc and improves the skin tone and texture. It is an excellent herb for hair growth. Application of coconut oil boiled with ponnanganni leaves, shoeflower (hibiscus), arugampul helps in luscious hair growth.

Manathakkali keerai

This greens action on ulcers is well known. It has been very effective in treating all types of internal ulcers, stomach and mouth ulcers. Taking this greens twice or thrice a week keeps the body alkaline and takes care of acidosis, which is considered to be the root cause of all modern diseases.

Thoodhuvalai keerai

This green is an excellent remedy for people suffering from sinus related conditions. Thoothuvalai leaves can be ground to a fine paste adding a bit of tamarind and salt for taste. This paste is taken with hot rice twice or thrice a week. This green has a tendency to increase ‘heat’ in the body and hence should be taken in moderation.


Mint is well known for its action on gas. It adds strength to the body and improves digestion. Kashayam made of dried mint leaves is found to help with jaundice, stomach aches, headaches, hiccups, nausea and vomiting. Dried and powdered mint leaves can be used to treat mouth ulcers. It is also a well known breath freshener.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Siddha Home Remedies: Medicinal Uses of Seenthil Kodi

Seenthil is an herbaceous climber that grows in plenty in the foot of hills in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand etc. This climber is known by the name of Guduchi in Sanskrit. It is also called amirthavalli, kundali, somavalli etc in various parts of India. There are three varieties of seenthil, known as seenthil, por seenthil, paey seenthil or agaaya garudan, also known as kollan kovai. The mature parts of the climber have immense medicinal value. It gives out yellow flowers during the month of May - July and matures into fruits in September – December periods.

The great Siddha sage Theraiyar makes mention of this wonderful herb in his songs. Patients suffering from diabetes can benefit immensely by using seethil climber to their advantage. The leaves of this climber can be used for this purpose. The seenthil climber leaves are collected, washed and then dried in shade for a couple of days. It is then powdered to a fine consistency and taken in the mornings and evenings. A teaspoonful of this powder in a glass of water would be the recommended dosage.

Seenthil climber 50 grams, coriander 5 grams, adhimadhuram 5 grams, fennel seeds 5 gm, paneer flower 5 gm are boiled in 500 ml water, allowed to cool for a couple of hours and then filtered. 50 ml of this seenthil steeped decoction is taken thrice a day for gas, indigestion and stomach problems.

Seenthil sakkarai is a kind of salt obtained from this climber. Seenthil sakkarai is well known for its medicinal value in Siddha world. It has the potential to heal kapha diseases and well as a good number of skin diseases, especially of the itching and oozing types.

Kashayam made of seenthil tubers (seenthil kizhangu) induces appetite. For this, seenthil tubers are dried in shade and powdered to a coarse consistency. A spoonful of this powder is boiled in four glasses of water and reduced to one glass. People who suffer from loss of appetite, abdominal colic, indigestion, fever etc can take this kashayam twice a day till the conditions improves.

Seenthil leaves are useful in treating non healing wounds and ulcers. The leaves are softened over heat and then crushed to obtain the juice. This is then applied on the wounds and ulcers. Regular application helps in healing of these wounds.

People suffering from the effects of a vitiated pitta can make use of seethil leaves to pacify pitta. Vitiated pitta leads to vomiting of bile, vertigo, loss of appetite, skin irritation, yellowish tinge to the skin, lethargy etc. One well known preparation to pacify pitta is a kashayam using seenthil kodi 15 gm, parpadaagam 15 gm, vettiver 15 gm, sandalwood 15 gm, korai kizhangu 15 gm, sitramutti 15 gm, dried ginger (chukka) 15 gm. These ingredients are ground together and then boiled in one litre of water and reduced to half. This is taken twice a day, morning and evening. This is prepared fresh every day. This preparation pacifies the aggravated pitta and restores the harmony of vata, pitta and kapha.

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Siddha Home Remedies: Medicinal Benefits of Cumin Seeds

Cumin seed is used extensively in Indian cuisine to add taste and aroma to the recipes.  The Tamil word for cumin seed is seeragam ‘the one that regulates and keeps the body healthy’.  It is an excellent coolant.  It adds vitality and freshness to those who take it regular.  Cumin seeds hold a special place in Siddha medicinal system.

A handful of cumin seeds can be taken either raw or in powered form in the mornings.  Regular consumption helps get rid of worms from the intestines.  Some may experience a sort of burning sensation in the stomach region.  This kind of persists even after drinking good amount of water.  Consumption of gassy foods (potato, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, broccoli, cheese, cream, beer etc) can lead to such conditions.  Or this can be due to indigestion.  To treat such conditions, a paste made by grinding cumin seeds to a fine consistency using a few drops of water, is applied on the stomach as a thin layer.

Pregnant women can tackle morning sickness and other similar problems with the help of cumin seeds.  During the early stages of pregnancy women tend to suffer from nausea and vomiting.  This pregnancy sickness can be a very debilitating and distressing one.  This occurs at any time of the day.  A handful cumin seeds powdered and taken with lemon juice is found to be helpful in dealing this condition.  Women who suffer from excessive menstrual bleed can benefit from taking cumin seeds. 

100 gm of cumin seeds is added to 2 litres of sesame oil and allowed to boil.  As the seeds start to break, the oil is removed from and heat and then stored in bottles.  Regular application of this oil onto the scalp is found to be helpful in treating headache, vomiting, vertigo etc.

Cumin seed is used in treating scorpion stings.  For this purpose a paste of powdered cumin seeds, salt, honey and butter is used.  This mixture is placed on the sting spot.  This helps to neutralize the toxin present in the venom.

Cumin seeds is helpful in treating constipation.  Patients suffering from chronic constipation should chew a few cumin seeds thoroughly and swallow down the juice.  This helps in curing indigestion as well as constipation.  A pinch of powdered cardamom and cumin seeds taken in equal quantity is found to benefit people who suffer from gas.  This can be taken three times a day for better results.  Also cumin seeds taken with palm candy, is an excellent rejuvenator.

Cumin seed water is a common drink in South India, especially Kerala.  This is prepared by adding a teaspoon of cumin seeds to boiling water (around 5 litres).  The water is boiled for a minute or two and then allowed to cool.  This cumin seed water is an excellent natural immune enhancer.  It is recommended for colic, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion etc.  It has antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It induces sleep.  Cumin seed water can help singers improve their voice.  It also helps them keep cough, throat irritation etc at bay.

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