Today, I thought of sharing with you some medicinal uses of the spices commonly found in our kitchens. My mom is a big believer in household remedies for general sickness. So since childhood I was familiar some of these remedies especially the ones for cold and sore throat. I always seemed to have a cold or a sore throat just before a music competition (god only knows why..). then soon after my marriage my mom-in-law gave me a book that had detailed info on these.Hence thought of sharing with you some of these information i got through books and some passed on to me by my mom. I have tried quite few of them in general case of cold or stomach upset etc. Since these are just spices , there is no harm in trying them. So here you go....
CLINIC IN THE SPICE BOX:
· Add a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi), a tsp of cow’s ghee and a little sugar to a cup of hot milk and drink. This will help in getting rid of cold, cough or sore throat.
· Rub an inch long piece of turmeric on a grinding stone with a little water. Mix the paste with buttermilk and drink for a week. This will help cure piles, dysentery and diarrhea.
· Put some turmeric powder over some live pieces of burning charcoal and inhale the smoke. It will relieve cold.
· Rub a piece of turmeric and sandal wood separately on a grinding stone , with little water. Mix the paste with cream of cow’s milk and apply it on the face. This will help in getting rid of pimples.
· To get relief from skin diseases, mix turmeric powder with little honey and apply.
· Adding a little hing to food items not only helps in relieving gas but also facilitates digestion.
· To relieve children from worm infestation make them drink a little fresh buttermilk mixed with a pinch of hing friend in a little ghee.
· To increase breast milk, drink a thin decoction ( kashaya) of cloves to which a pinch of hing has been added.
· To relieve pain in the joints due to rheumatism, gently apply coconut or sesame oil to which a little hing has been added.
· Chew and swallow cardamom seeds to get relief from vomiting.
· Drink lemon juice with a dash of cardamom powder to help relieve nausea, vomiting and headache.
· Try gargling the mouth with a decoction of cardamom powder to get relief from toothache and foul breath.
· Boil 4 tsp of powdered cardamom peal in 8 cups of water till it is reduced to half. Cool it and keep drinking a spoonful of this water often to get relief from urinary problems, vomiting and diarrhea.
· To get relief from earache, put 2 drops of cardamom oil in the ear.
Ajwain (Tymol seeds):
· Chew and swallow a quarter tsp of ajwain seeds daily after meals. It will keep indigestion, foul breath and gastric problems away.
· Chew a small piece of jiggery (gur) and a quarter tsp of ajwain and swallow thrice a day for 3 days to get relief from dysentery and diarrhea.
· Grind 3 tsp of ajwain and 3 tsp of fenugreek seeds together and boil in 6 cups of water till it is reduced to 3 cups. Add 2 tsp of honey to one cup of hot decoction and drink 3 times a day. It is a good remedy for cough and asthma. The decoction of ajwain is very effective in providing relief from vomiting and stomache ache due to indigestion. A pinch of cooking soda with a tsp of this decoction will relief children of stomach upsets.
· Mix one tsp of roasted pepper powder in 4 tsp of cow’s ghee and add a pinch of salt and sauté in a pan over a low fire. When fried properly, mix it with rice and eat. It will relieve indigestion and gastric problems.
· Pepper powder in a little ghee mixed with honey, if taken a few times is effective for cough and cold.
· Grind pepper to a paste and apply on a betel leaf (pan leaf) and tie it on the head to get relief from heaviness in head due to cold.
· Add a tsp of roasted coriander powder to a cup of water and boil. Add jiggery to taste. When jiggery dissolves, stop boiling. Now add a little undiluted milk and drink. This is good remedy for giddiness, tiredness, gastric problems, heart burn and nausea.
· Crush coriander seeds and dry ginger and boil in water.Strain and drink when cooled. This is effective for stomach ache and indigestion.
· Tie a tsp of coriander in a piece of cloth and soak in water overnight. Next morning place the little bundle of coriander on both eyes. Repeat. This helps in relieving conjuctivitis.
· Soak 1 tsp of coriander seeds in some water for ten minutes. Crush the seeds and strain. Add sugar to the water and drink to get relief from vomiting and chest pain due to gas trouble.
· Take 1 tsp each of coriander seeds and cumin seeds and soak in water for an hour. Crush and strain. Drink it with a little sugar. A good relief from diarrhea and excessive thirst.
· Add half a tsp of cumin powder and salt to a cup of fresh buttermilk, mix well and drink. It helps in relieving gastric problems and excessive thirst.
· To increase breast milk, drink a cup of cumin decoction with a tsp of honey daily.
· Drinking a cup of cumin decoction with half a tsp of cow’s ghee will relieve pain in the lower abdomen, gas trouble and heart burn.
· Chewing a few grains of cumin before meal enhances appetite while eater it after meal aids digestion.
· To stop vomiting, drink lemon juice to which a little cumin powder and salt are added.
· To enhance appetite, chew a quarter tsp of chopped ginger, with a few grains of cumin seeds and a small piece of candied sugar.
· To overcome indigestion and loss of appetite, slowly chew with a piece of ginger with a grain of salt and swallow the juice.
· Cook fenugreek leaves (methi leaves) in some water. Mix 1 tsp each of honey and ginger juice in this water and drink to effectively counter phlegm.
· For sore throat due to cold, chew a small piece of ginger with some sugar candy and swallow the juice.
· Grind ginger to fine paste with some water and apply on the forehead to relieve headache and heaviness in the head due to cold.
· Tooth ache?? Chew a quarter tsp of mustard seeds and keep it in the mouth. Spit after some time.
· For ring worm infection, wash the infected area with besan powder in hot water. Grind mustard with a little water to a fine paste and apply over the infected area.
· To get relief from arthritis and rheumatic pain , mix mustard oil and coconut oil in equal measures and apply gently over the affected area. After an hour slowly pour water over it.
· To relieve stomach ache due to indigestion, swallow half a tsp of fenugreek seeds and drink a cup of buttermilk.
· Add a tsp of fenugreek seeds to a cup of water and boil. Reduce to half. Keep drinking the decoction little by little. Loose motion due to indigestion can be relieved.
· Chew one or two cloves and swallow the juice to get relief from throat irritation, cough, phlegm and asthma.
· Keep clove in the mouth to get rid of foul breath. It also helps in relieving hiccups.
· Clove oil is effective for tooth ache and earache.
Udupi cuisine by U.B. Rajalakshmi