Dec 1, 2016

Chakunda - Thagarai

Botanical Name: Cassia tora
Sanskrit: Edagaja, Dadrughna, Chakramarda
Assamese: Kulb
Bengali: Chavuka, Chakunda, Panevar, Chakunda
English: Ring Worm Plant, Fetid Cassia, Fetid Senna, Sickle Senna, Wild Senna
Gujarati: Kovaraya
Hindi: Chakunda, Pavand, Punwad, Punwadia, Chakavar, , Pamad, Panevar
Kannada: Tagache, Thagache, Thagatthe
Malayalam: Chakramandrakam, Tagera, Takara, Cakramardrakam, Tagara, Takaram, Thavara
Marathi: Tankala
Punjabi: Panwal, Chakunda, Chakwad
Tamil: Tagarai, Ushit-tagarai, Senavu, Sirutagarai, Usittagarai, Vanamavaram, Ucitakarai, Vindu, Thagarai, Oosithagarai, Oosthagarai, Takarai
Telugu: Tagiris
Urdu: Panwar

Synonyms: Senna tora Roxb, Senna tortoides Roxb, Cassia obtusifolia, Cassia foetida Salisb, Cassia humilis Collad., Cassia gallineria Collad, Cassia tortoides Roxb.

Cassia tora is a small erect shrub, about 1 m tall, commonly found growing wild on roadsides. It is widely spreading with numerous ascending branches. The compound leaves are arranged spirally and usually have three pairs of symmetrically egg-shaped leaflets up to 2 inches long. One to three yellow flowers appear on short axillary stems. The linear pods grow to 8 inches long, curve downward and contain many shiny, angular seeds. It occurs abundantly in open pastures, and is very common on roadsides and wasteland. In organic farms of India, Stinking Cassia is used as natural pesticide. Cassia tora or Senna tora occurs throughout the tropics, including India Sri Lanka and Philippines. It mainly grows as a weed on road sides and waste ground in the dry regions.

Medicinal Uses of Cassia tora
The whole plant of Cassia tora is of medicinal importance. The leaves are laxative and purgative due to which they are useful in habitual constipation and haemorrhoids. The seeds have anti-parasitic properties. The paste of seeds is applied topically on ringworms and scabies. The decoction of whole plant is given as a vermifuge and purgative.

Medicinal uses:
It is nutritive and toxin remover. It is indicated in skin diseases and respiratory allergy. The leaves of plant are used in the treatment of Malaria, ring worm, chronic inflammation of the skin and other skin diseases.

1- Erysipelas, eczema

Erysipelas: It is an acute, sometimes recurrent disease caused by a bacterial infection, characterized by large raised red patches on the skin.

Eczema: It is condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding.

Leaf paste is applied. Root paste with lime juice is applied.

2- Blood dysentery, diarrhoea
Leaf juice mixed with salt is given.

3- Scabies, itches
Plant paste with buttermilk is applied. Or Leaf decoction is used as a wash.

4- Carbuncles, warts
Root paste with lime juice is applied. Or Hot leaf paste is applied.

5- Bee sting
Pounded leaf is applied topically.

6- Ring worm, scabies
Seed paste with buttermilk is applied.

7- Fever
Leaf decoction is given.

8- Pus release from furuncles
Hot leaf paste is applied.

9- Intestinal Parasites
Plant decoction is given.

10- Cough
Leaf juice is given.

11- Menstrual disorders
Whole plant decoction is given.

12- Psoriasis
Leaf juice is applied topically.

13- Eczema
The paste made of Cassia tora with milk or the paste of the roots is applied.

14- Blood purifier
The dried root of Cassia tora is a good purifier of blood and a tonic. The very fine powder of the root is given in doses of 3-4 grams every morning mixed with 30ml of ghee and 7ml powdered sugar.

19- Leucoderma
The paste made of equal parts of Cassia tora + sandalwood + camphor with buttermilk is applied topically. Or  The paste made of equal parts of the seeds of Cassia tora (chakund) and neem berries is applied topically.

Contraindication warnings of Cassia tora
It is safe to take Cassia tora, in low dosage for a short term period. Do not take in excess dosage. In excess it has many ill-effects, such as lower RBCs, reduced weight and water intake. In males it may cause, reduced sperm count. It may cause loose motions. It may have mild diuretic effect.
Please note, this herb should not be taken for long term period.

Aug 18, 2016

Ajwain - Omam

Botanical Name: Trachyspermum ammi
Sanskrit: Ajamoda, Yavanika, Agnivardhana
Tamil: Omam
Hindi: Ajwain
Kannada: Oma
Telugu: Vamu
Malayalam: Omum
Marathi: Ova

Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Sison ammi, Trachyspermum copticum, Carum ajowan, Bishop’s weed

Ajwain is an erect, hairless or minutely pubescent, branched annual herb. The stems are grooved. the leaves are rather distant, 2-3-pinnately divided in narrow linear segments. Flowers are borne in terminal or seemingly-lateral stalked, compound umbels, white and small. The fruits are ovoid, aromatic, greyish brown. The mericarps, which are the components of the fruit, are compressed, with distinct ridges and tubercular surface, 1-seeded. This is what is used as the spice Ajwain, in cooking.

Ajwain in Hindi and Yavanika or Agnivardhana in Sanskrit. ‘Agnivardhana’ –meaning, stimulation of agni or digestive fire in our body. Its pungent taste and aromatic smell has made it a favored spice in preparing pickles, confectionary, curries, biscuits and beverages. It is also used as an effective preservative and anti-oxidant. Crushed Ajwain seeds find utility in pot-pourri and scented powders.

Ajwain was originally grown in Mediterranean region. It is now grown in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Central Asian countries, China and Africa. In India, it is grown in the plains and higher altitudes as a garden crop or in small fields.

Medicinal uses:
Ajwain is also traditionally known as a digestive aid, relieves abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and antiseptic.

Dissolve Kidney Stones: When the mix of Ajwain seeds +honey + vinegar is used for 10 days, it helps to dissolve kidney stone that ultimately remove with urine.

Ajwain reduces Gas and Flatulence: Ajwain is one of the best herbal wonder drug for gas, flatulence and indigestion. Ajwain distilled water is good for the above said problems and also enhances appetite.

Relieves diarrhea and colic due to their stimulating, carminative and anti-spasmodic properties.

Acts as expectorant: Relieves bronchitis, habitual drinking, sore-throat and decongest digestive and respiratory tracts. Relieves cough, cold, influenza, arthritis, asthma and rheumatism.

Common cold: Ajwain seeds open up blocked nasal passage. Inhalation using crushed seeds tied in cloth or placing it beside one’s pillow relieves congestion. Alternately, one can inhale steam by boiling one teaspoon seeds in water.

Aphrodisiac: Consuming a teaspoon of powder obtained by frying equal quantities of Ajwain seeds, kemel of seeds from tamarind in ghee with one tablespoon honey and milk before bed-time makes an effective aphrodisiac increasing virility and averting premature ejaculation.

Mouth disorders: An infusion of Ajwain seeds with common salt makes an effective gargle for severe pharyngitis.

Aug 14, 2016

Kalmegh - Siriyanangai

Botanical Name: Andrographis Paniculata
Hindi: Kalmegh
Sanskrit: Kalmegh
Tamil: Siriyanangai
Marathi: Kadu kirayata
Bengali: Kalmegh
Gujarati: Kariyatu

Andrographis Paniculata is traditionally known as kalmegh. The plant belongs to family Acanthaceae, native to India and Sri Lanka. It is an erect annual herb extremely bitter in taste in each and every part of the plant body. It grows erect to a height of 30-110 cm in moist shady places with glabrous leaves and white flowers having rose-purple spots on the petals. Flowers are small, solitary in panicles. Fruit is approximately 2 cm long. Seeds are numerous, yellow-brown in colour. The flowers of Siriyanangai looks like a snake cobra. This medicinal plant is used for snake bites in some villages.

The plant grows in waste grounds and prefers moist habitat. The herb is bitter in taste and has weak odour. The whole plant may be used in medicine. It is widely cultivated in southern Asia, where it is used to treat infections and some diseases, often being used before antibiotics were created. Mostly the leaves and roots were used for medicinal purposes.

Both in Ayurveda and Unani, it is often confused with 'Chirayita' (Swertia chirata), but both are different plants. It is widely available in Arabia and It is given for fever along with several herbs.

Properties and uses of Siriyanangai
Siriyanangai has been found to be an effective anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and immune system stimulant. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. It has been described as antipyretic and hepatoprotective.

1. It is used for fever and liver disorders.
2. It has beneficial effect in reducing diarrhoea.
3. It is used in treatment of Jaundice.
4. It is used in case of diseases like flu, sinusites, upper respiratory tract infection and cough.
5. Used as one of the best remedies for Malaria.
6. It acts to dispel heat and remove toxins.
7. It is a blood purifier, so used to cure torbid liver, jaundice, and dermatological diseases.
8. It is used in viral hepatitis, children’s bowel complaints, gastric acidity, liver congestion, flatulence.
9. Tincture of roots is tonic, stimulant and aperients.
10. Kills intestinal worms and support intestine.
11. Siriyanangai is also used for snake bites in the villages of Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka
12. It is also used in Ayurvedic Preparation which is used to treat vitiligo.

Aug 7, 2016

Anar - Madhulai

Botanical Name: Punica Granatum
Sanskrit: Darima
Hindi: Anar
Tamil: Madulai
Kannada: Dalimbe
Telugu: Danimma
Bengali: Dalim
Urdu: Anar
Punjabi: Anar
Persian: Anar, Anaar

Pomegranate or Anar (Punica granatum) is an attractive fruit having lots of health benefits. It is a big gift on the earth from the God to the human beings. Pomegranate is a super seedy fruit having brilliant red seeds considered as the wonderful fruit in the world. It is also known as the seeded apple extensively used for its health benefits and medicinal values.

Pomegranates were originated in the surrounding area of the Iran in the ancient time. Now, it has been started cultivating all through the Mediterranean areas of the Middle East, southern Europe, northern and tropical Africa, Indian regions, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, parts of California and Arizona and etc. It is sufficiently available in the winter season from September to February and in the summer season from March to May.

Pomegranate plant is tolerant to the entire climate which can be easily grown in the dry areas or in the winter rainfall weather or in the summer rainfall weather.

Pomegranate Peel is used in the formulation of medicines for sore throat, heart and blood vessels, stomatitis, gum disease, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, skin and hair care products.

Health Benefits of Pomegranate peel:

Prevents from Anemia
-          It prevents from the anaemia as it contains sufficient amount of iron which helps in increasing hemoglobin level.

Induces Hunger
-          It induces hunger and manages thirst as well as acts as a good tonic for the stomach, liver and heart.

Prevents from UTI
-          It helps in curing the urinary tract infection.

Improves Digestion
-          It has both soluble and insoluble dietary fibres which improves the digestion as well as normalize the bowel movement.
-          It helps in increasing the libido in male thus enhances the fertility.

Treats Diarrhoea
-          Pomegranate peel extract is a great home remedy to treat diarrhoea and dysentery as well as to improve the digestion.

Provides Glow to Skin
-          Pomegranate peels have the highest amount of the antioxidants thus it nourishes the skin and makes it glowing and fair.

Provides Relief from Stress
-          Applying the paste of it on head helps in treating headache, half headache and other stress related problems.

Regulates Irregular Period
-          One table spoonful of Pomegranate powder with normal water twice a day is the best home remedy to normalize irregular periods.

Jul 28, 2016

Chirata - Nilavembu

Botanical Name: Swertia Chirata
Sanskrit: Chirata, Kiratatikta, Bhunimba
Hindi: Chirayita
Bengali: Chirata
Tamil: Nilavembu
Punjab: Charaita
Marathi: Kiraita
Gujarati: Kariyatum
Kannada: Nilabevu
Malayalam: Nilaveppa
Telugu: Nilavemu

Nilavembu meaning "Neem of the ground". The plant is known in north-eastern India as Maha-tita, literally "king of bitters", and known by various vernacular names.

Swertia Chirata is called as ‘Chirayata’ in India. It is also known as `Indian Gentian`. This annual herb is found all across India and grows up to the height of 1.5 meters. It is majorly found in the Himalayas majorly between the heights of 1200 to 1500 meters. It is known to have leaves in opposite pairs which are about 10 cms in length with no stalks. In Hindi the herb is called Chiretta and in Sanskrit it is called Bhunimba or Kirata tikta.

Kiratatikta is a very famous Ayurvedic herb used mainly in the treatment of infectious and inflammatory conditions like fever, skin diseases etc. The word meaning of Kirata tikta is – utterly bitter.

This ancient herb is a blue flowering plant and is also sometimes known as the Nepali Neem because it is a common plant in the forests of Nepal. All the parts of the plant can be used for making either a dried herb or powder. In rural areas the Kalamegha is considered as Kirathathiktha and it is used in place of Kirathathiktha because of its similar morphology and properties

Benefits of Swertia Chirata
Apart from healing many fevers, Swertia Chirata is a magical herb which can cure many diseases. It is ‘one herb with many benefits.’

It is beneficial in treating liver problems and increases metabolism as it contains digestive, hepatic and tonic properties.
It is an anti-oxidant herb and its anti-oxidant action guards the cells from turning cancerous and fights against cancer.
Anti – Inflammatory
It is rich in its anti-inflammatory properties which make it a great remedy for joint disease, swelling, pain, redness and specially Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It has the ability to lower blood sugar levels and stimulates insulin production. It can be a cure for diabetes.
Skin Disease
It cures many skin diseases. It is great for rashes, inflamed skin and other skin problems.
It helps cure bronchitis, asthma and inflammatory conditions of the lungs by opening the bronchi.
Stomach Disorders
It is effective in strengthening the stomach and promotes its action. It reinforces the stomach and boosts its functions. It can relieve diarrhea.
Intestinal Worms
The herb contains anthelmintic which destroys and kills intestinal worms. This makes it effective for relieving worm issues that affect the intestine.
The astringent flavor of Chiretta sets of an impulsive response that promotes the production of saliva and gastric enzymes. It relieves hiccups, bloating and indigestion.
It helps with heavy monthly periods, internal bleeding and nose bleeding.

Side effects:
Some people might not tolerate bitterness. In them, the decoction may induce vomiting.
It is safe to give in children and lactating mother. But the dose needs to be monitored carefully.
It is best to seek medical advice for use in pregnancy.
It lowers blood sugar levels. Hence precaution is required while administering it in diabetic patients.

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.

Jul 16, 2016

Thirikadugu - Trikadu Churnam

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum / Piper longum / Zingiber officinalis

Sanskrit:Trikadu Churnam

Tamil:Thirikadugu Churnam

Hindi:Trikadu Churnam

Thirikadugu Churnam Health Benfits:

Trikatu Churna is a simple mixture of three Indian spices. It is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments and in Indian household. Trikatu Churna falls both under medicinal herbs and dietary herbs.

Trikatu churna is also known as thrikadugu choornam, Trikatu choorna, katutraya churna, kadutraya churna etc.

Chruna is a Sanskrit term meaning powder. Trikatu – Tri – means three, katu – herbs that are hot and pungent.  – overall, Triaktu powder is a fine powder mix of three spices.

Trikatu powder contains three spices in equal proportions. Black pepper – Piper nigrum Long pepper fruit – Piper longum Ginger – Zingiber officinalis. If these spices are available, the Trikatu powder can be made at home, under hygienic condtions, using a mixer.

Trikatu benefits – Trikatu is hot in potency. Trikatu is stimulative in nature, good for liver, spleen and pancreas. Trikatu choornam stimulates stomach to produce enzymes. Hence it helps in digestion. Trikatu is also good for respiratory system and to cure cold and cough.

- This powder can be given to young children from the age of 2 to 3 years onwards.

- For young children, less than 1/4 tsp will be more than enough. If children refuse to drink it, you can sweeten with honey or Palm Candy.

- This powder can be stored for up to 1 Year.

- This powder can be used for all cold related problems.

- This same remedy can be used to treat indigestion.

Jan 21, 2016

Dalchini - Lavangapattai

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Sanskrit: Twak
English: Cinnamon
Hindi: Dalchini
Tamil: Lavangam, Karuvapattai
Telugu: Lavanga Patta, Dalcina
Kannada: Dalcinni, Lavana Patte, Chakke

Parts Used: Bark
Habitat: Indigenous to India and Sri Lanka.

Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. The cinnamon trees are about 10 to 15 meters high. The light brown, papery bark and leathery leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, with a length of 7 to 18 cm. The green flowers are arranged in panicles and have a distinct odor. The tree bears purple berries with a single seed. Cinnamon has a fragrant perfume and a sweet and aromatic taste.

Uses & Benefits of Cinnamon
- Since it is delicate in flavour, cinnamon is used in dessert dishes. It is widely used in cakes and other baked recipe, along with milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, especially apples and pears.

- Cinnamon is also used to spice mulled wines, creams and syrups.

- Consuming half teaspoon of the powdered spice each day helps in reducing blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels by as much as 20%.

- It is used to treat nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.

- Chewing and swallowing a small pinch of powdered cinnamon is helpful in treating cough accompanied by spitting of whitish phlegm. The remedy is also helpful to people having cold feet and hands at night.

- The spice is significant in treating loss of appetite and indigestion.

- Cinnamon helps in relieving vomiting, due to its mild astringency.

- Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on blood.

Cinnamon should not be consumed by breastfeeding women. The spice is known to cause unwanted effects in sensitive individuals.

It can be toxic  if it is taken in large doses.

Jan 4, 2016

Madhanaghanti - Nathaichoori

Botanical Name: Spermacoce Hispida

Sanskrit:  Madhanaghanti

Hindi: Madanaghanti

Tamil: Nathai Choori, Kuzhimeettan

Telugu: Madhana Chettu

Malayalm: Thartavel, Kudalchurukki, Nattachuri

Kannada: Madhana Budumachi  Gida, Madanagamti

Gujarati: Madhuri jadi

Marathi: Ghanti chi bhaaji, madanghanti

Medicinal Uses:
The samoolam of this plant is helpful in reducing the over weight or obesity. The leghyam prepared from this seeds is given twice daily for bloody diarrhoea. The roots are dried and powdered and given along with cows milk daily twice for conditions like urinary infections, oliguria, etc.
The choornam of the roots is taken daily for reducing the internal heat, venereal diseases etc.
A decoction of the samoolam is helpful in treating head ache.

Nathai Soori root powder with palm sugar or palm candy, boiled in water and strained gives us a liquid which helps in rejuvenation of the body after any kind of illness. Nathai Soori's whole plant's paste or leaf's paste is an excellent healing oinment for boils and swellings. The seeds of Nathai Soori when powdered and prepared with brown sugar and water brings relief for hemorrhoids and dysentery. It cures urinary stones and liver related diseases. It strengthens the bone, heart and liver. Nathai Soori root powder and gingelly oil prepared as a paste is an internal and external medicine. It is an anti oxidant, which lowers the cholesterol in blood and thus reduces obesity. Nathai Soori has anti fungal, anti microbial, anti inflammatory and analgesic qualities too.

Recently it is found that this herb contains Calcium and Phosphorus in abundance hence adiministration of this drug in form of chooranam or decoction is recommended in conditions like bone diseases, fractures etc

Shivanimba - Sivanaarvembu

Botanical Name: Indigofera Aspalathoides

Sanskrit: Shivanimba, Ajara, Ajara nili, Ajura, Ajura nili, Manaveli.

English: Wiry Indigo

Telugu: Neeli, Nela Vempali

Tamil: Sivanaarvembu, Iraivanvembu

Malayalam: Manali

Kannada: Shivamalli-gida

Description & usage

Commonly present in South India, mostly growing on waste and barren lands. It is a small herb. Sivanarvembu is a herb that has anti cancerous properties, hence is a medicine for deadly cancers like carcinoma and sarcoma. The leaves of this plant help to treat all kinds of skin diseases and acts as a blood purifier. It protects the liver and stimulates its function and is a cure for jaundice and Hepatitis. Sivanar Vembu relieves any inflammation, pain and lowers our blood sugar level. This herb's roots are a natural remedy for tooth ache, gum swelling and all types of ulcer, especially mouth ulcer. Preparation of Sivanar Vembu's leaves and roots can be externally used to heal skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, ringworm and skin allergy.

How to Use:  
The plant Indigofera aspalathoides which is well known as 'Sivanar vembu' is widely used for skin diseases.  Leaves, flowers and tender shoots are employed in decoction as a cooling and demulcent drink and in elephantiasis, leprosy and cancer, and as an alternative in secondary syphilis etc. Root is chewed for toothache and aphthae. The whole plant with butter is applied to reduce oedematous tumours.

Jan 1, 2016

Palm Candy - Panankarkandu

Palm Candy - Panankarkandu

Palm Candy (In Tamil- “Panankarkandu”) is  produced from the sweet “Neera” from Palmyra.

Palm candy is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, but it's completely natural and unrefined

It has a number of minerals, vitamins, calcium, iron& phyto nutrients including zinc and potassium.
The sugar content in palm candy is well balanced. It is a good source of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. It being rich in iron helps to treat anemia. Palm candy is “thermogenic” that it takes more energy for the body to burn it. There by it increases metabolism.

Palm candy with water quenches thirst. Palm candy with milk relieves urinary trouble, urinary tract infection and heat. Palm candy in warm milk with pepper and turmeric powder acts as a goody remedy for sore throat and throat pain.

It’s a good natural substitute for Refined Sugar.