Aug 30, 2013

Palval - Musumusukkai

Palval - Musumusukkai

Botanical name: Mukia Scabrella
Other Names:
Sanskrit: Bijagarbha, Karkasa, Karkasacchada, Kulaka, Meki
Hindi:  Palval, Palwal, Parvar, Parwal
Bengali: Potol, Patol
English: Pointed gourd
Malayalam: Kattu-potolam, Patolam
Tamil: Kombuppudalai, Musumusukai, Peypputalai, Amirtapalai

A dioecious climber with perennial root stock; stem slender, angled, hispid. Tendrils usually forked. Leaves 7.5 * 5 cm, ovate-oblong or cordate, acute, sinuate-dentate, rough on both surfaces.

This species is found in wild state only in the plains of North India from Punjab to Assam. It is also cultivated throughout the warmer regions of India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam for its fruits and throughout India ascending up to 1,800 mtr in the Hills. The plant requires humid and hot climate. Propagation is done by root or stem cuttings. Early planting is done during February-April and late planting form May to July.

Parts used: Leaf

Chemical Constituents:                
Musumusukai is  typically low in calories, low in fat, high in protein per calorie, high in dietary fiber, high in iron  and calcium, and very high in phytochemicals such as vitamin C, carotenoids, lutein, folate as well as Vitamin K.

Siddha Medicinal Benefits:
Abdominal disorders
Skin disorders

If you take musumusukai leaves with your food, it will reduce sneeze problem, Boil the leaf juice with gingelly oil and apply topically on the head before taking bath to cure Asthma.

Aug 28, 2013

Alsi - Ali Vidhai (Flax Seeds)

Alsi - Ali Vidhai

English: Flaxseeds, also known as Linseed
Malayalam: Cheruchana Vithu, Cheru Chanambu
Hindi: Alsi
Tamil: Ali vidhai
Marathi: Atasi, Jawas
Bengali: Tishi
Oriya: Pesi
Kannada: Agasi
Telugu: Avise ginzalu

Flax seeds come in two basic varieties, brown and yellow or golden, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The Benefits of Consuming Flaxseed

Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, can be easily incorporated into your diet and have numerous health benefits. Flax has been touted as a "superfood," which means that it contains a rare blend of nutrients that are found in few others foods.

Benefits in:

1)Cholesterol 2) Cancer 3) Constipation 4) Menopausal Symptoms 5) Cardiovascular Health,Weight Loss and Diabetes 6) Immune System and Inflammation 7) Depression, Memory and Attention Deficit Disorder

Flax contains essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, that help the body with many functions including controlling cholesterol levels and balancing good and bad fats.

Flax contains lignans which prevent the growth of many types of cancer including colon, prostate and breast cancers. Lignans are in flaxseeds 800 times more than any other food or supplement and are more concentrated in the whole, unmilled flaxseed.

Flax is a great source of fiber which alleviates constipation. Flaxseeds also helps relive intestinal inflammation that can lead to Crohn's disease.

Menopausal Symptoms
A poor diet can exacerbate menopausal symptoms, and a flaxseed supplement helps to balance estrogen levels and fill out an imbalance, modern diet.

Cardiovascular Health, Weight Loss and Diabetes
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of all omega-3 essential fatty acids (including alpha-linoleic acids) that are critical for reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes as well as cancer. Omega-3s help balance blood sugar, boost metabolism and control appetite. Flax is known to help keep fats moving, as it emulsifies them in the body instead of storing them and keeps arteries from hardening.

Immune System and Inflammation

Flaxseeds are known to boost the immune system and relieve inflammation resulting from auto-immune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Depression, Memory and Attention Deficit Disorder
The high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in flaxseeds help keep the brain, and its neural pathways functioning properly so the brain does not have to overcompensate for inefficient links between cells.

Consuming flaxseeds should not encourage you to eat poorly or not exercising regularly. While all of the health benefits of flaxseeds that are listed above have been evaluated for efficacy, flaxseeds are not a miracle product that will erase of multitude of sins from unhealthy living.

The best place to store flaxseed is the freezer. Freeze flaxseed in the bag you bought it in or in a plastic sealable bag if you ground it yourself. The freezer will keep the flax from oxidizing and losing its nutritional potency.

Aug 24, 2013

Dronapushpi - Thumbai

Dronapushpi - Thumbai, Guma,Leucas aspera‎

Botanical Name: Leucas aspera‎
Bengali: Bara Halkusha, Dandakolos, Dhrupy
Gujarati: Zina panno kubo
Hindi: Guma, halkusa
Tamil: Thumbai
Kannada: Devva tumbe, hasiru tumbe
Konkani: Tumbo
Malayalam: Tumba
Marathi: Guma
Nepali: Gummi
Punjabi: Gomobati, Gumma, Mal-bheda
Sanskrit: Dronapushpi
Telugu: Tummi

Leucas aspera is a species within the Leucas genus and the Lamiaceae family. Although the species has many different common names depending on the region in which it is located, it is most commonly known as Thumbai. Found throughout India, it is known for its various uses in the fields of medicine and agriculture

Medicinal Uses:
- Cold Tamil Medicine by using Thumbai medicinal plant: Take the 1tsp of thumbai juice from leaves and add few drops of honey. Have this three times a day.

- Cold headache home remedy by using thumbai flower: Add a bunch of thumbai flower in coconut oil and boil for five minutes. Apply the oil regularly for your hair scalp.

- Wash a bunch of thumbai leaves, mint leaves, and coriander leaves. Prepare thuvaiyal in the usual Tamil manner. This will cure your constipation problem.

- Have 1 table spoon of Thumbai leaves juice mixed with 1 glass of cumin seed boiled water to get rid of gastric problem.

- Boil a bunch of thumbai poo and leaves in a cup of water and extract the juice. Drink one or two tsp before each meal. This treatment is one of the best Pitham home remedies.

- Collect a bunch of tender thumbai laves boil with green gram dal. Add salt and chillies mash it nicely and have daily once with rice. This will cure the Tonsillitis problems naturally.

- Take a bunch of thumbai leaves, grind nicely and have 1tsp daily with warm cow’s milk.

Siddha Medicinal Uses:
- The samoolam of this plant is crushed and boiled with water, the steam is used for inhalation in conditions like nasal congestion, cough, cold, fever, headache etc.

- For unconsciousness due to the toxicity of snake bite, the juice of leaves is used as nasal drops. Also the leaves are given internally for best results.

- For sinusitis, the flower juice is used for nasiyam.

- For continuous headache, juice of flower is used for nasiyam.

- For muppini, the flowers are soaked in breast milk and then applied over eyes.

- The oil prepared by using the flowers are effective in headache, sinusitis etc.

- For intestinal worms in children, the juice of flowers and leaves are given internally or a decoction is prepared of it.

- For scorpion bite, the constant rubbing of leaves over effected area can provide relief. 

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.

Methi - Vendhayam

Methi - Vendhayam

Botanical Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Tamil: Vendhayam
English: Fenugreek
Hindi: Methi
Sanskrit: Methika
Malayalam: Uluva
Telugu: Menthulu
Kannada: Mentya

Fenugreek is a plant in the Fabaceae family. Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed, often called vendhayam or methi). The plant is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop and is a common ingredient in many curries. Fenugreek has grown in India, Mediterranean and Africa for centuries.

Parts used:
Fenugreek Leaves and Seeds. Fenugreek is used both as a herb (leaves) and as a spice (seed).

Common Uses:
Arthritis and Bronchitis, induce Labor, improve Digestion and maintain Healthy metabolism. Reproductive disorders in women. Breast enhancement, increasing breast Milk, Anti-oxidants, Menopause, Diabetes, Fevers, Sore throats, Wounds, Skin irritations, Ulcers, and Gout pain.

Principle Constituents:
Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of the polysaccharide galactomannan. They are also a source of saponins such as diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens. Other bioactive constituents of fenugreek include mucilage, volatile oils, and alkaloids such as choline and trigonelline.

SIDDHA medicinal uses:
- Taking fenugreek seed regularly will lower the risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent.

- Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek.

- Fenugreek as an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, gout and ulceration of the skin.

- Mix it with warm water to make a poultice and apply it directly onto the inflamed skin. (A poultice is simply a piece of cloth that has been soaked into the warm water mixture and then applied to the skin).

- Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine, which is very effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux.

- The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness.

- Fenugreek is used in commercial preparations and teas formulated to help balance women’s hormones and to enlarge the breasts.

- Fenugreek stimulates uterine contractions and can be helpful to induce childbirth.

- Fenugreek has been known to increase milk production in lactating women. Research has even shown that milk production can increase by over 50 percent within 24 to 72 hours after consuming fenugreek.

- Recent studies have shown that fenugreek helps lower blood glucose levels.

- It is useful for enlargement of liver and spleen.

- It is useful for Anemia.

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.

Aug 18, 2013

Kulanjan - Sithirathai

Botanical name: Alpinia Calcarata
Common Name: Snap Ginger, Cardamon Ginger, Galangal
Hindi: Kulanjan, Granthimula
Sanskrit: Rasna, Sugandhamoola, Kulanjana
Malayalam: Chittaratha,Artta
Assamese: Sugandhi bach.
Oriya: Chitrartha.
Tamil: Chithirathai, Nattarattai.
Telugu: Dumparastramu.

Note: It should not be confused with ginger (Zingiber officinale).

Alpinia Calcarata is native in India, leaves dull dark green, lighter undersides. Alpinia calcarata is a very easy and vigorous species to grow. It has very narrow foliage and stems and is a prolific plant. Its narrow habit is not nearly as attractive as many of the better foliage Alpinia. The medium size white and red flowers are attractive and appear on upright inflorescences. It grows well in medium sun in well drained rich soil. Alpinia carcarata has nice reedy foliage but there is not much else going for it. If you live in a frost free area you will get some pretty flowers, but like other Alpinias, this will only bloom on second year growth

Medicinal Benefits:

It has been used for thousands of years in traditional eastern medicine. Kulanjan looks a lot like ginger and shares some of its healing properties. It warms the body, helps digestion, and works as an effective anti-nausea remedy. Kulanjan is used as a fragrant spice in East Asian cooking. Hundreds of years after the Chinese, Europeans discovered that Kulanjan could help cure sea sickness.

Kulanjan is used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine to aid digestion and help with abdominal discomfort. It fights nausea, prevents or stops vomiting, and effectively treats diarrhea. Indian Medicine recognized Kulanjan for its anti-inflammatory properties and used it to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps break up mucus and create more productive coughs in patients. More recently, Western researchers have discovered that Kulanjan can help kill cancer cells and prevent cells from becoming malignant. The rhizome of lesser Kulanjan is used to hiccup, cough, metabolic disorder, asthma and joint pain.

Uses in Ayurveda and Sidhha:
Alpinia Calcarata is widely used in Classical Ayurvedic recipes in formulations for: Rheumatoid arthritis, Joint inflammation, Cough, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis, Indigestion, Dyspepsia, Obesity, & Diabetes.

Take 3 Grms daily at once after food with Honey or mix in warm water and drink or as advised by the Naturopaths. Do not overdose.

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.

Aug 13, 2013

Makoya - Manathakkali

Makoya - Manathakkali

Common name: Black nightshade, Black-berry night shade, Nightshade, Poisonberry
Botanical name: Solanum nigrum     
Family: Solanaceae (potato family)
Manipuri: Leipungkhangga
Tamil: Manathakali,Manathakkali
Hindi: Mokoi, Makoya
Malayalam: Mulaku thakkali, Manithakkali
Telugu: Kasaka
Marathi: Laghukavali

Solanum nigrum is a plant, an annual weed that grows up to 60cm tall, is branched and usually erect, growing wild in wastelands and crop fields. Alternate leaves are ovate deep green with an indented margin and acuminate at the tip. Flowers are white with yellow colored centre. The berries are green at early stage and turn to orange or black when ripened.

Solanum nigrum is used as both food and medicine. It has a history of medicinal usage. In oriental medicine, it is considered to be anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and antipyretic. The Chinese believe that it is an anti cancer agent and is good for cancers of the digestive system. It was a traditional European medicine for infirmities that needed cooling. It was considered good for cooling hot inflammation, ringworm, ulcers, testicular swelling, gout and ear pain. It was also used for treating convulsions. The Arabs used the bruised fresh leaves to erase pain and reduce inflammation. They also applied the poultice of the leaves to burns and considered it good for ulcers. In India the plant is noted for its antiseptic and anti-dysentric properties. 

Solanum nigrum's health benefits are many. The leaves are used in the treatment of fever and diarrhoea. It is also used to get quick relief from cough, cold and mouth ulcers. The fruits are used as a tonic and laxative. The boiled extracts of leaves and berries are used to alleviate liver related ailments. The juice from its roots is used for asthma and whooping cough.

Medicinal benefits:
The juice of black nightshade is sometimes used to treat fever and alleviate pain.
- Its fruit is used as a cosmetic; as rubbing its seeds on the cheeks helps remove freckles. Children extensively eat the mature fruit. It has been used for diabetes as well.
- In Northern India, the boiled extracts of its leaves and fruits are used to alleviate the discomfort caused by liver-related ailments, even in jaundice.
- The leaves of black nightshade plant strongly promote perspiration, when ingested in small amounts. They work to purge the bowels the next day.
- The juice of the herb or an ointment prepared from it is externally applied to cure certain skin problems and tumors.
- A decoction of the stalk, leaves, and roots of black nightshade is beneficial for wounds and cancerous sores.
- Its berries are poisonous, but boiling them is believed to destroy the toxic substances and make them safe to be used for preserves, jams, and pies.
- Freshly prepared extract of the plant is effective in treating cirrhosis of the liver and also works as an antidote to poisoning by opium.
- It is very good for mouth sores and ulcers. Make a juice with the leaves and gargle with it. Also chewing some leaves and keeping it in your mouth for sometime helps to heal mouth ulcers.
- It is a diuretic and hence helps in the discharge of urine. A decoction made from the leaves and stem of the plant helps this purpose.
- The leaves of the Solanum nigrum is a natural home remedy to treat digestive propblems. The juice of the leaves is good for flatulence, peptic ulcers and dysentry. An infusion of the plant is good for abdominal upsets.
- The leaves and fruits are said to cure fever. A decoction made from fresh or dried leaves helps to reduce fever.
- The powder mixed with warm water taken thrice a day for the duration of the period, relieves painful periods. This should be continued for a couple of cycles.
- A decoction of the berries and flowers of the Solanum nigrum is good for cough and cold.

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.

Aug 12, 2013

Bhringaraja - Karisalankanni

Bhringaraja - Karisalankanni

Botanical name: Eclipta alba
Tamil: Karisalankanni
Telugu: Guntagalijaeru
Malayalam: Kayyoonni / kayooni / Kayyooni 
Kanada: Kadige garage
Sanskrit: Bhringaraja / Kesaranja
Hindi: Balari, Bhangra, Bungrah, Bhringraj, Bhengra, Mochkand.
Gujarati: Bhangro, Dadhal, Kalobhangro
Marathi: Bhangra, Maka
Sanskrit: Bhringraj, Markara, Pitripriya, Sunilaka, Keshrangana

Eclipta prostrata commonly known as false daisy, yerba de tago, and bhringraj, is a species of plant in the family Asteraceae.

This plant has cylindrical, grayish roots. The solitary flower heads are 6–8 mm in diameter, with white florets. The achenes are compressed and narrowly winged.

It grows commonly in moist places as a weed all over the world. It is widely distributed throughout India, China, Thailand, and Brazil. In ayurvedic medicine, the leaf extract is considered a powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative, and especially good for the hair. A black dye obtained from Eclipta alba is used for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta alba also has traditional external uses, like athlete foot, eczema and dermatitis, on the scalp to address hair loss. Bhringraj helps to improve hair growth and colour. In india, it is grown along side of rice fields and its leaves are used in preparing food. Infact eclipta alba extracts are known to grow hair faster than minoxidil. Oil made with mixture of bhringraj’s juice helps hair growth and prevents premature greying.

Indications :
HEAD: Premature greying of hair, alopecia and early baldness are often classified as a pitta imbalance caused by pitta literally ‘burning’ the hair follicle. Eclipta clears pitta and especially from the head. It also benefits loose teeth, hearing problems, dizziness. Bhringaraja prepared oil also dissolves obstructions in the sinuses, nose, ears and head; use as nose and ear drops.

LIVER: It increases bile flow and helps with the appetite. Combined with a capillary strengthening action this can prevent high blood pressure caused by pitta and vata. It also benefits the eyes and treats conjunctivitis, styes and redness.

NERVES: Insomnia and mental agitation from high pitta and vata. It calms stress and reduces tension by tonifying majja dhatu. Bhringaraja increases blood and nourishes the brain.

SKIN : Bhringaraja treats skin conditions via the nervous system and the liver helping to allay itching and inflammation. It also helps to re-colour the skin after depigmentation.

LUNGS: Its pungency can help alleviate mucus and treat asthma and bronchitis.

Dosage :
1g – 5g per day (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) before breakfast mixed with warm water or honey.

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.

Aug 9, 2013

Musta - Korai Kilangu

Botanical name : Cyperus rotundus
Family : Cyperaceae
Common name : Nutsedge, nutgrass, purple nutsedge
Sanskrit name: Musta
Tamil: Korai kizhangu  
Bengali : Mutha, badhail, bedalle, dila motha, nagarmuta, nagarmotha
Hindi : Motha, dila
Urdu : Mork, deela

General information:
Nut Grass has a long history of medicinal use in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Its benefits have been documented in the Charaka Samhita, one of Ayurveda’s prime texts. The herb also features heavily in medicinal texts of Chinese Traditional Medicine. This ordinary-looking herb grows wild along water courses or wet places inmost parts of India. Known as mustaka in Sanskrit and Cyperus rotundus scientifically.

Medicinal Properties:
Rhizome of the plant is used in various Ayurvedic preparations. Mustaka is widely used in Ayurveda to treat diseases of nervous system where stimulation is required. It helps in indigestion, excessive thirst, cough, cold. Nagarmotha is found to be effective for menstrual disorders, skin troubles, general debility, sun stroke, fever and diseases of female reproductive organs. Topical application of lepa (Poultice or paste) of it stimulates milk secretion in lactating mothers.

Even in ancient times, nagarmotha was a favourite of ayurvedic physicians for treating a number of diseases. Here area few tips with regard to nagarmotha as a household remedy:

Mustakadi kwatha, Mustkarishta and Mustadi Churna are the prestigious classic ayurvedic medicines which containing nagarmotha as their primary ingredient.

Siddha Medicinal Uses :

The tuber is ground and applied over breast in lactating women to increase the milk secretion.

The tuber can be ground and consumed with milk for bloody diarrhoea.

For diarrhoea, indigestion, etc the dried powder of this tuber can be administred in dose of 1 to 3 gms thrice daily with honey.

The tuber is washed properly, crushed, boiled with milk and given daily to both children and adults. This is a very good immune modulator and proved well in conditions like asthma, common cold, chest congestion etc.

The decoction of the tuber is very effective for all intestinal problems including peptic ulcer and inflammatory conditions.

If this tuber is applied externally as a paste over the body daily before bath then the problem of bad odour due to sweat can overcome.

Key therapeutic benefits Nagarmotha:
- It is beneficial in treating nausea and digestive problems.
- It is used as an analgesic for menstruation pains.
- It is used to treat digestive disorders, menstrual irregularity and nausea.
- It also promotes liver detoxification and healing.
- It enhances milk secretion in lactating woman.

2 to 5 grams twice or thrice a day and that of its decoction 50 to 100 ml daily.

Note: Siddha treatment is based on complete physical examination of the patient, Naadi diagnosis, and other diagnostic criteria of the disease. The content given in this article is purely meant for information and education purpose only. Kindly consult a Siddha physician before any sort of self medication.