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 Traditional & Herbal Remedies

July 2009
Monsoon Home Remedies
Nutan Sehgal
Monsoons are upon us and so are the ailments related to this time of the year. But you don't have to make a beeline for the doctor for every little problem. Dig into your kitchen shelves for some time-tested home remedies

Skin Problems
For a healthy skin, during monsoons make a paste of one part each of powdered turmeric, amla, and six parts of dried chickpea powder with curd and lemon. Make into a paste consistency. Apply this to the face and let the mask remain for half an hour before washing it off. This gives the complexion a natural glow and banishes blackheads as well.

For those who are allergic to mosquito repellants during monsoons there is an effective home remedy. Grind a few tulsi (basil) leaves into a paste. Mix a teaspoon of this paste to a glass of water and drink every night for a restful sleep. In case you have been bitten by a mosquito apply this paste to relieve yourself of the burning sensation

Gastric Disorders

Take a teaspoonful each of rock salt, white pepper powder, black pepper powder, ginger paste, garlic paste and a pinch of asafoetida. Grind together to fine paste. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Have half a teaspoon of it after every meal to relieve the body of flatulence, stomach ache and other gastric troubles.

Common Colds
Mix one teaspoon each of ground black pepper and ground cloves to two teaspoons each of ginger paste and tulsi (basil leaves) paste. Add four teaspoons of honey and blend smoothly. Taken thrice a day, this clears the throat and banishes coughs and colds.

Ear Infections
Crush a clove of garlic in hot olive or sesame oil and then filter through a sieve. Put two drops in the ear and gently massage in a circular motion. It will provide not just instant relief but give immunity to the ear against more infections.

Body Aches
Mix half teaspoon each of ground black pepper and ginger powder to a tablespoon of pure honey. Add this mixture to a cup of milk and boil it till all the excessive liquid evaporates. Taken on an empty stomach for two to three weeks, this gives relief to backaches and other body pains.

Fungal Infection
Make a fine paste of one teaspoon of turmeric powder, one teaspoon of neem leaf paste and grind these with one teaspoon of sesame seeds adding a few drops of water to make paste-like consistency. Apply wherever there is fungal infection on the body. This is especially effective as application for infection between foot and hand fingers.

Constipation
Take one tablespoon of Isabgol (husk of cumin seeds commonly available in most stores) and wash it down with a cup of warm milk mixed with honey. This is an excellent cure for constipation. Taken with plain water, Isabgol cures runny stomach and diarrhea

THE MIRACLE OF GARLIC
Garlic has miracle medicinal properties. Allicin, the oil that gives garlic its pungent flavour guards against joint pains and arthritis that afflict many people during monsoons. Garlic also aids longevity, shields against heart disease and high blood pressure. Besides, it has ingredients which lower cholesterol and clear arteries of fat. Raw garlic has amazing antiseptic properties as well.

SPICY CURES
Haldi or turmeric can be applied externally as a paste to relieve itches and mild skin diseases during monsoons. It can also be used as a depilatory to remove unwanted hair. In cooking, besides adding a rich colour to gravies, its intake helps purify blood and soothe inflamed sinusitis. Pungent fumes of a heated raw tumeric stick are considered an excellent cure for colds and coughs

Fenugreek which is widely used in Indian cooking is said to cure body aches that afflict some old people during rains. It is also recommended for patients with chronic cough problems. It brings relief to gout, combats diabetes and because of its nourishing qualities, is given to very sick people. Some Indian doctors suggest its use for liver problems as it helps reduce the enlargement of the spleen.

Asafoetida cures a variety of stomach ailments ranging from indigestion to loose motions so common in the monsoons. A mixture of equal parts of asafoetida, camphor and pure honey can cure fits of hysteria and also relieve toothaches and other joints pains.

Black pepper taken with pure honey and a few drops of ginger juice, clears throat infections that tend to strike during the rains. It also rejuvenates the liver and peps up appetite.

Coriander helps digestion and insomnia while ginger is excellent for anemia, rheumatism and stomach problems. Paste of Sesame seeds is a proven digestive and also aids in preventing hair loss. It is also an excellent skin toner for those difficult rainy days.

Cardamom combats bad breath, nausea, headaches, piles and minor eye irritations that afflict people in the monsoon season.

THE MAGIC OF BENGAL GRAM
Bengal gram is very effective in the rainy season. It reduces phlegm and relieves the body of cold. Ground to powder and whipped up with honey and eaten one tablespoonful every night, it acts as a balm for intestinal disorders. And if this powder is mixed with butter and fresh cream, it makes one of the best and the most soothing face masks
which keeps the skin glowing and young. In fact, a number of herbal specialists are increasingly using this mixture the world over with excellent results.
 

    
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