For centuries, the influence of traditional Ayurvedic herbs with their unique medicinal properties has remained strong. Most of us have grown up getting treated for a cold, cough, a small wound, headache or indigestion by our grandmothers and mothers using whatever is available in the kitchen.
We have seen dozens of potted plants and herbs around our homes that were used as a quick and effective fix to solve day to day health issues without fuss. Just a decade ago, we rarely ever visited a doctor and today there are advanced multi-speciality hospitals every 500 metres.
So where did we go wrong? With advancements in medical technology, why have diseases become more rampant? Maybe, the answer lies inside our homes and the time has come to revisit the history of the traditional Indian kitchen for answers.
It is extremely important for our future generations to learn and implement the valuable knowledge of using the kitchen as our apothecary (place to make medicine). Listed below are some incredible ingredients from the Indian kitchen and how you can use them to heal, rejuvenate and maybe even eradicate diseases.
- The application of turmeric powder on bleeding wounds prevents infection and stops the infection. Clean and dab a pinch of raw turmeric on your wound. Leave it on to do its magic.
- Take a pinch of turmeric powder and mix it with some warm water. Strain and apply a few drops into your eyes every 3 hours to heal conjunctivitis.
- Add 1 teaspoon full of turmeric in a glass of hot milk, add a teaspoon of ghee and drink every night to keep away cold and sore throat:
- Blend 1 small onion with 1 inch long ginger with some water. Strain and add some honey to help clear throat infections.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of onion juice with a pinch of salt. Rub this mixture on your gums to get rid of Gingivitis or gum problems.
- To aid digestion, have 5 tablespoons of raw onion juice mixed with some salt.
- 1 or 2 drops of onion juice in the ears can help get rid of painful earaches.
Just boil a few pieces of garlic in mustard oil and apply this on your skin to get rid of skin allergies.
Apply some garlic juice to scars caused and due to burns and scald injuries.
Boil sesame oil with garlic for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool and then gently massage to relieve painful joints.
Grind 5 to 6 black pepper into a paste, add a few drops of honey and consume it to boost ‘jathraagni’ or appetite.
To relieve indigestion, soak peppercorns overnight and have them before your meals every day. Pepper possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and fever-reducing properties as well.
Methi / Fenugreek:
- Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder to a glass full of buttermilk to immediately get rid of abdominal pain.
- An application of equal amounts of fenugreek seeds and henna leaves ground into a paste can be applied to heal cracks in your feet.
- Mix a teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder with fresh curd. Consume 2 or 3 times in a day to stop loose motions.
- Soaking a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and consuming it the next morning is said to cure diabetes.
Ajwain / Carom seeds:
- Crush some carom seeds with the juice of a lemon. Apply this paste all over the skin for fast relief from rashes and skin eczema.
- Wrap 1 tablespoon of carom seeds in a cloth and toast this on a hot tawa. Massage this hot wrap on the chest, feet and forehead to cure cough and cold.
- Grind ajwain adding a pinch of salt and gently rub this paste over your teeth and gums to cure mouth odour and toothache.
Try out these tips from the Indic kitchen the next time you feel ill. The tradition of using the kitchen as a healing space is a timeless science that has been passed on from one generation to the next. It is our time now to navigate this new generation of pill-popping brigade towards the natural route of a more permanent cure.