Showing posts with label the healing herb of India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the healing herb of India. Show all posts

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Healing Herb : Teak (Tectona grandis)

Tectona grandis
Teak (Tectona grandis)

Tectona grandis Linn (Teak) is a large deciduous tree belonging to family Verbenaceae. It has yellowish to reddish brown wood and papery leaves that are often hairy on the lower surface. The tree attains a height up to 40 meters. Teak fruit is a drupe enclosed in a brown, papery calyx. The tree bears bluish to white flowers. It requires a dry tropical climate for its growth. It flowers in February and March. Teak is native mainly to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma but is naturalized and cultivated in Africa and Caribbean as well. 

It is commonly  known as sagwan, saka  (India), Djati, Jati (Indonesia), Kyun (Myannmar), Teck, Mai Sak (Thailand), Giati (Vietnam) and Teca (Brazil). Tectona grandia, Tectona hamiltoniana, and Tectona philippinensis are the other related species of the tree. The biggest and oldest (about 1,500 years old) teak is in Uttaradit, Thailand with a height is 47 metres.

Tectona grandis is an economically important species and the best source of most commercial teak wood products. Teak's high oil content, high tensile strength and tight grain makes it particularly suitable for outdoor furniture applications. It is used in the furniture making, boat decks and for indoor flooring. It is widely used to make the doors and house windows. It is resistant to the attack of termites. The wood contains scented oil which is the repellent to insects. Both the root, bark and the young leaves of teak produce a yellowish-brown or reddish dye used for coloring paper, clothes, matting, and even edibles.

Different parts of this tree are used in ayurveda for treating various health ailments for its acrid, sedative, anthelmintic and expectorant properties. It useful in the treatment of indigestion, headache, gravid uterus, piles, leucoderma, dysentery and burning pain over liver region. The bark is bitter tonic and is considered useful in fever. The ashes of wood applied to swollen eyelids and are said to strengthen the sight. 

The oil of nuts promotes the growth of hair and removes itchiness of skin. The flowers and the seeds are diuretics.  In traditional medicine, a wood-powder paste of the treeis used to treat headaches, swellings and dermatitis (a skin reaction), as well as worms and other parasites of the gut.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Carica papaya (Papaya)

Papaya tree
The Healing Herb of India: Carica papaya 
Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae family) is cultivated throughout India, in many places as commercial crop. It is a small, soft wooded, plant with straight trunk without branches that grows to a height up to 8m. The leaves are deeply lobed with long, hollow petioles. Inflorescence bears unisexual white or yellowish white flowers. It bears green fruits when immature, which turn yellow when ripe. The hollow of fruit contains bright orange flesh with small black seeds clustered in the center.

Papaya fruit is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids, the B vitamins, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals (potassium, magnesium and fiber). Latex found in the unripe fruit contains enzymes like papain, peptides and chymopapain A and B.  In this post, learn about various health benefits and remedies with papaya:

Papaya Fruit
Carica papaya 

Skin and Hair
Topical application of papaya fruit pulp is found beneficial in removing tanning, sunburn and age spots. Owing to the high levels of alpha hydroxy acids and papain enzyme, regular application of fruit pulp helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines from the skin. A face pack prepared from the fruit pulp also helps to get rid of pimples and ugly scars. Applying 1 tsp of papaya latex (diluted with water) on the scalp twice a week helps to eradicate head lice completely. Applying latex of the plant on the affected area thrice daily cures ring worms.

Stomach Related Ailments
For constipation, consuming a bowl of papaya fruit would prove to be beneficial. Colon infection can also be treated by regularly having papaya fruit juice. For improving appetite, take 2-3 drops of papaya latex with water in the morning. Eating fruit pulp with a pinch black salt and black pepper, controls windiness in stomach. Chewing or swallowing the seeds of papaya with honey, after meals helps expel worms. Administering 30 drops of raw papaya latex diluted with 1 tsp of water and taken with a little milk, cures dysentery.

Weight Loss
Papaya is a low calorie fruit with high fiber content. Eating a bowl of ripe papaya as mid time snacks helps to feel full for a longer period of time. This keeps you satisfied, curbs the hunger cravings, and keeps you from overeating. The digestive enzymes papain and chymonpapain found in papaya are known to cleanse your digestive tract, further supporting fat loss. 

Papaya can treat fevers too. Drinking 1 tsp juice of young leaves of papaya in a cup of water is an effective treatment for fever. This also treats vomiting, headache and inflammation accompanying fever. One should take this medication thrice daily for 3-5 days for complete cure.

Administering about 30 drops of the latex of the unripe fruit in half a cup of water and added sugar controls liver dysfunction causing jaundice. Take this formulation thrice daily for 5 days; reduce the dose to twice a day for next one week.

Cardiovascular Diseases
Papaya is a rich source of vitamins and soluble dietary fibers. Studies have shown that eating papaya fruit daily works to lower high cholesterol levels and provides protection against heart related ailments.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Aegle marmelos (Bael)

The healing herbs of India
Aegle marmelos (Bael)
Bael (Aegle marmelos, family: Rutaceae) is one of the sacred trees of the Hindus used in religious rituals. It is a medium sized deciduous tree with sharp axillary thorns. Bael fruit is greenish brown & woody that turns yellow when ripe. The rind is hard and woody. It is considered a vast source of several pharmacologically active principles and compounds commonly used in home remedies against multiple health ailments.

Bael tree occurs from the sub-mountainous regions to the dry plains of throughout India. Though it is native to India but has been naturalized throughout most southeastern Asian countries. Bael is commonly known as holy fruit, bel, sirphal, bili, belpatri, Bilvapatra, shivadrum, shreepahal, sadaphal, stone apple, wood apple, Belada Hannu & Bilva. Leaves, fruit, flowers, stem and roots of this tree are used as ethno medicine against various ailments.  In this post, let’s learn about the herbal remedies with Bael for treating a number of common diseases-

Herbal Remedies with Bael (Aegle marmelos)
Leaves of  Aegle marmelos (Bael)
  • For fever, make a paste of 50 g bael leaves & apply the same over head and chest daily till it cures. Another remedy is to boil 100 g bael leaves with water, filter and take it orally twice daily for 2 days.
  • To cure cough and cold, administer 1 tsp of dried bael leaves powder with water thrice a day.
  • To expel intestinal worms, taking 1 tbsp of dried pulp of bael fruit for 5 days thrice daily, is helpful in curing the problem.
  • A paste prepared from 2 g bael flowers and 250 mg black pepper is said to cure vomiting, diarrhea & excessive thirst.
  • For diabetes, administering 4-5 bael leaves extract with honey is said to be beneficial in controlling sugar.
  • For amoebic dysentery, the pulp of half of the dried bael fruit taken with water twice daily for 3 days relieves the same.
  • For abdominal discomfort, boil 50 g bael bark, 25 g flower of caraway & 25 g dried ginger. Administer this formulation twice daily on an empty stomach for for 2-3 days.
  • To get relief from stomachache, powdered fruit pulp taken with milk twice daily is said to be beneficial in curing the ailment.
  • Consuming 5 bael leaves in the morning on an empty stomach for a week is said to indigestion and constipation.
  • Boil 250 g of ripe bael fruit 1 liter of water along with 250 g of sugar & cook till it thickens. Store in a container. Mix 2 tbsp of this syrup to a glass of water and administer to the patient suffering from constipation, or diarrhea. The same remedy is also effective against bleeding piles.
  • The pulp of roasted raw bael fruit taken with curd is believed to benefit the patient suffering from bleeding piles.
  • Boil 10 bael leaves in ½ liter of water & take this decoction twice daily for 5 days to cure bed wetting.
  • To treat mouth ulcers, open and boil raw bael fruit in water and gurgle with the extract 4-5 times a day.
  • For urinary disorders, consuming 4-5 bael leaves daily for a week is said to treat the ailment.
  • For jaundice, a tsp of bael leaves juice taken for a week daily is said to effective in curing the ailment.
  • To treat body odour, prepare a paste of bael leaves in water and apply over body. Wash off after two hours. Continue this treatment daily for 7 days to get rid of body odour.
(Toxicity: The leaves are said to cause abortion and sterility in women. The bark is used as a fish poison in the Celebes. Tannin ingested frequently and in quantity over a long period of time, is antinutrient and carcinogenic.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper (Piper nigrum, family Piperaceae), a native of India, occupies a prominent place in Indian kitchens owing to its aromatic, culinary & medicinal properties. It is also cultivated in other countries such as Egypt and Madagascar. 

Black pepper is rich in iron, manganese & dietary fiber. Piperine, a principle alkaloid found in black pepper helps in promoting brain functions, inhibits metabolism of nutrients present in body, improves digestion and reduces the incidence of stomach ulcers and colon cancer. It also acts as an anti-depressant. The fruits are widely used as an active ingredient in various home remedies for a variety of illnesses such as colic, tooth decay, liver problems, lung disease, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and urinary disorders. 

Find in this post some useful natural remedies with black pepper that would help to deal with common health ailments.
  • To cure all kinds of cough, grind black pepper and add sugar to it. Take it with clarified butter.
  • Grind 5-6 black pepper & mix with honey. Lick this paste to relieve dry cough. This remedy is also effective as appetite stimulant.
  • To cure toothache, mix powdered black pepper in clove oil. Apply this paste on the affected part.
  • In case of indigestion, mix black pepper powder in ginger juice. Take this formulation after meals.
  • Chewing 8-10 black pepper in betel leaf is known to help in gaining weight.
  • Take a cup of water and add to it ¼ tsp black pepper, 2 tsp lemon juice and honey. Drinking the same would help a person in reducing weight.
  • To treat sexual debility, heat a tsp of clarified butter in a pan & add 3-4 black pepper to it, followed by a glass of milk. Now add 3-4 crushed almonds and let it come to a boil. Add sugar to taste. This formulation is beneficial when taken at bed time.
  • To keep a check on cholesterol level, add ¼ tsp black pepper powder in a glass of butter milk. Mix finely diced onion to it and drink.
  • For treating skin allergies and eczema, prepare a paste by mixing black pepper powder in clarified butter. Topical application of this paste is said to be beneficial.
  • For asthma, boil 8-10 black pepper, 2 clove buds & about 10 basil leaves in water for 15 minutes. Filter and add two tsp honey. Drink the same with milk.
  • Take equal amounts of powdered black pepper, cinnamon, cumin & cardamom seeds.  Sniffing the same would induce sneezing and help treat blocked nose. 
  • While preparing tea, add 2-4 black pepper powder, ginger, a clove and few basil leaves. It works as anti-tussive and is also effective against cold.
  • Administrating powdered black pepper with jaggery is said to be effective in curing chronic cold.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Syzygium aromaticum (Clove)

Syzygium aromaticum (Myrtaceae family) commonly known as lawang or cloveis one of the oldest aromatic spices of the world, having many therapeutic virtues. It is a a pyramidal or conical evergreen tree with single main stem and obliquely oriented branches, that grows to a height 12 m. Lawang is also known as Laung (Hindi), shriisanjnan, lavanga, deokusumum (Sanskrit), clove (English). It is grown as a spice crop in western coasts and southern states of India (Karnataka, Kerala & TamilNadu).
Cloves have antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, germicidal, rubefacient, carminative, expectorant, stomachic and stimulant properties. Dried flower buds and clove oil are used to cure ailments and for other culinary purposes. Find in this post about the medicinal uses of clove in treating common health problems as a natural remedy:
  • Having 250 mg of lawang paste with warm water after meals cures indigestion, caused due to overeating and characterized by vomiting, gastritis or loss of appetite. 
  • The same remedy is also useful in treating headache due to sun exposure, smoke or pollution. Application of a paste of clove also relives headache.
  • Cough and throat congestion can be cured by chewing roasted clove. It is also an effective remedy in cases of inflammation in the pharynx (pharyngitis). Another cure is to prepare a decoction by boiling 5-6 cloves in 30 ml of water. Take this decoction with honey thrice a day as an expectorant. 
  • Taking paste of 3-4 cloves with warm water removes windiness of abdomen.
  • For toothache, pressing a clove bud between the jaws, at the site of aching tooth eases the pain. Apply clove oil in the cavity of decayed tooth. This would reduce the pain and help to ameliorate infection.
  • For asthma, soak 2 cloves, 12-15 basil leaves, 10 black pepper in water and boil for 15 minutes. Filter the same. To this, add two tsp honey and drink with milk.
  • For treating spasmodic coughs during tuberculosis, bronchitis & asthma, mix a few drops of clove oil and garlic in honey. Take this formulation before going to bed.
  • In cases of nausea and vomiting, prepare a paste by mixing clove powder in honey and lick it. Clove bud boiled in water and given to a pregnant lady eases vomiting sensation.
  • Application of a few drops of clove oil mixed with mustard oil is effective in joint pain and muscular cramps.
  • In earache, mix clove oil and sesame oil. Warm the mixture and put 2-3 drops in the ear.
  • For acne, apply a paste of clove powder in honey over the affected area. Mix a few drops of clove oil in jojoba or coconut oil and apply over acne. This home remedy not only removes acne but also leftover spots.
  • Clove oil is an effective insect repellent when diluted with water in 1:10 ratio. Spray this solution to keep the insects at bay.
  • Eating a clove in betel leaf is a useful remedy for treating catarrh.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Neem has been used in Ayurvedic, Unani &
Homeopathic Medicines Since Ages!
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tall evergreen tree, native to the tropical regions of Asia. Since ages, the plant has been used in the ayurvedic, unani and homoeopathic medicines. The seeds, leaves & the bark of neem are said to have antiseptic, antiviral, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti cancer and antifungal properties. 

Various active compounds present in the plant are isoprenoids ( diterpenoids and triterpenoid)s, limonoids, azadirone, gedunin, vilasinin, nimbin, salanin and azadirachtin. The non-isoprenoids include proteins, carbohydrates, sulphurous compounds, polyphenolics, dihydrochalcone, coumarin and tannins, aliphatic compounds, etc. In this post learn about the healing proerties of neem and the remedies used to cure common health illnesses:

Traditional Medicinal Remedies with Neem
Traditional Remedies with Neem!
  • For acidity, 40g of dry neem leaves powder can be administered with water early   morning on an empty stomach.
  • For curing indigestion & hyperacidity, douse 5g of crushed neem bark in hot water overnight. Drink the extract early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • In case of loss of appetite, 25-30g neem leaves powder can be cooked with wheat porridge (sooji). This preparation should be taken for a week.
  • To get relief from biliary pain, prepare a mixture of neem bark (1g), Indian gooseberry powder (1g), turmeric powder (500mg). This preparation should be taken with water early in the morning on an empty stomach. Administer this formulation to the sufferer for a week. 
  • To expel intestinal worms, administer 2 g of powdered neem leaves early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • For skin problems, neem leaves extract should be given orally in small quantities, throughout the day.
  • For healthy skin, boil neem leaves in water. Use the same for bathing as it works as a good antiseptic and deodorant.
  • To treat leprosy in its early stages, neem bark extract should be taken orally. Washing wounds with neem bark extract also helps control the disease.To heal wounds, neem gum (2g) can be administered with milk.
  • For jaundice, take a tbsp of neem leaves juice with honey, early in the morning on empty stomach.
  • For treating diabetes, chew neem leaves together with black pepper early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • For night blindness, roasted neem flowers helps cure the illness.
  • To treat non-hemorrhagic piles, mesocarp of about 5 neem fruits should be eaten twice daily.
  • For itchy groins, prepare neem leaves paste with 5g of turmeric. Administer this formulation to the patient early in the morning on empty stomach.
  • To treat persistent vomiting, add 5-6 drops of neem leaves juice to a glass of warm milk. The same preparation can be used to check excessive sleepiness.
  • To repel mosquitoes & flies, smoke from smoldering neem leaves is quite effective.
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