Remember the famous saying, that ‘Kitchen is the first hospital, food the medicine and mother the doctor’.
In Kerala, a land of well flourished Ayurveda, it is a practice to use home remedies for a number of mild ailments, a few I personally tried and found very effective. In addition to the various ingredients for cooking, the kitchen garden and the yard around the house, are sources of a number of effective home remedies . Here, I am trying to introduce a few plants that are very common in this area and are used as home remedies . The most important one among them is the Holy basil or the Thulasi, known as the queen of herbs and is grown in almost all houses.
The Holy basil or Thulasi
Two common types of Basil plants found in this area are Krishna Thulasi, the one with a dark bluish green stem and the other the Rama Thulasi, that is light green in colour. These two plants are related to Sri Krishna and Sri Rama, ( two incarnations of Lord Mahavishnu ), worshipped as important deities in Indian mythology. (There are ten incarnations for Lord Mahavishnu, and the stories of Sri Krishna and Sri Rama can be read from The Mahabharata, written by the sage Ved Vyas and The Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki ). Krishna is described as karvarna, the one who’s colour is that of rain clouds, and the similarity in colour of Sri Krishna and the Krishna Thulasi plant, is really fascinating. A garland made of Thulasi leaves is the main offering in temples where Krishna is worshipped as the deity. According to Hindu belief, the Thulasi plant is the incarnation of Goddes Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Mahavishnu.
The Thulasi plants are considered holy, and the leaves are used for Pooja purposes in temples. In Hindu homes the sacred Thulasi plants are protected in front of the house on a special platform called Thulasi thara and worshipped in the morning and evening by lighting holy lamp near it. It might be due to the medicinal value, the plant is given such an importance as a holy plant. In Ayurveda the plant has got a very important place, as it is used for the preparation of a number of medicines for the treatment of diseases like respiratory problems, digestive disorders , stress, skin problems , insect bites etc. and the medicinal value of the plant might be the reason behind the belief, that wherever a Thulasi plant is grown with reverence prevents the untimely stepping in of Yama ( the God of death in Hindu Mythology ). It is also believed that any kind of impurity happened to the soul and body of a human being, can be dispelled by touching this sacred plant.
Try this Thulasi tea, easy to be made and found very effective for cold and fever.
- Thulasi leaves. – A handful
- Black pepper – One tablespoon
- Dried ginger – One inch piece
- Cumin seeds. – Half teaspoon
- Jaggery. – One tablespoon
- Water. – Two cups
How to prepare:
Crush Black pepper, Dried ginger and Cumin seeds in a mortar. Mix all the ingredients with water, and boil on a moderate flame for about ten minutes and drain the decoction. Take 50 ml of the warm Thulasi tea twice or thrice a day for better effect.
I will be back with another home remedy.