Since time immemorial, herbs, their extracts and supplements have been valued by all ancient cultures for their medicinal, aromatic or savory qualities. Herbalists have been using various parts of the herbs such as the stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flowers and fruits to prevent and treat illness. For many years, herbs have been used in and as foods, flavorings, scents, disinfectants, medicines and cosmetics. Today, despite of few experimental evidences, traditional medicinal herb use is accepted by the real world on the basis of trial and error method, and result-based evidences.
Herbal Remedies for Health Care
Herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care known to mankind. Plants have been the Nature’s Pharmacy for many years. This field of medicine has renewed interest in people to choose herbal treatments in the overall health routine. Find here some of the useful, time-tested traditional herbal remedies to prevent and treat common day-to-day illnesses.
- Acidity: To get relief from acidity, mix equal amounts of dried Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) fruit powder and harra (Terminalia chebula). Take 2 tbsp of the mixture after dinner with warm water daily. Another remedy is to have 1 tsp of carom (Trachyspermum ammi) with some salt after meals.
- Asthma: Boil a few basil (Ocimum sanctum) leaves, 5-6 ground black pepper (Piper nigrum) and a clove (Syzygium aromaticum) in a glass of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Filter the same and add 2 tsp of honey to taste. Administer it to the patient twice daily. Another remedy is to prepare a cup of fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) juice and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) decoction. Add a tbsp of honey and drink.
- Appetizer: Mix equal proportions of powdered carom seeds, fennel seeds, black cumin (Nigella sativa) seeds, ginger and rock salt. Administer tsp of the mixture before meals daily.
- Arthritis: Having half a teaspoon of powdered guggulu (Commiphora mukul) with warm water (after meals) is known to help in relieving arthritis pain. Also, having a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds powder with warm water, before going to bed, is said to be beneficial in treating arthritis pain.
- Anemia: Drinking a glass of spinach (Spinacea oleracea) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) juice every morning and evening is believed to cure anemia. Another useful remedy for anemia is to have a glass of beetroot (Beta vulgaris) and carrot (Daucus carota) juice with tsp of fennel seeds powder.
- Bad breath: Chewing clove buds is believed to remove bad breath. Eating a tsp of fennel seeds in betel (Piper betel) leaf is also used to remove bad breath.
- Boils: Take 1 tsp of milk cream and mix a pinch of turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder and tsp lemon (Citrus limon) juice. This formulation is an excellent poultice and helps in healing blood boils without allowing them to become septic.
- Bronchitis: Eating equal proportions of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds with fig (Ficus carica) is known to relieve symptoms of cough and bronchitis.
- Colic: Boil 1 tsp of fennel seeds with tsp of carom (Trachyspermum copticum) seeds in liter of water. Cook the mixture on low flame for 5 minutes. Cool and strain the same. Drink a cup daily after meals.
- Cough and cold: To cure cough and cold, add 2-4 grounded black pepper, ginger, clove bud and 2-3 basil leaves while preparing tea. Another remedy for cough is to ground 3-4 black pepper and mix in a tsp of clarified butter. Add sugar to taste.
- Catarrh: Eating a clove bud in betel (Piper betel) leaf is an effective remedy for curing catarrh.
- Conjunctivitis: In conjunctivitis, drink a cup of amla fruit juice with honey twice daily.
- Constipation: Mix powdered 2 tbsp isubgol (Plantago ovate) husk, 1 tbsp kalinga (Holarrhena pubescens) bark, 2 tbsp amla, 1 harra fruits and 2 tbsp swarnamukhi (Cassia senna) leaves. To cure constipation, give it to the patient before going to bed.
- Dysentery: A tsp of powdered amla with equal proportions of harra is said to be best in treating dysentery.
- Diarrhea: Roast a handful of fennel seeds and add same proportion of sugar to it. Powder the mixture. Administer a teaspoon 3-4 times daily to the patient suffering from diarrhea.
- Diabetes: Mix a tbsp of amla fruit juice in a cup of fresh bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) juice. Have it daily for two months to control diabetes. Another herbal remedy for diabetes is to prepare a mixture of gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre), fenugreek seeds, guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), bitter gourd, vijaysar (Pterocarpus marsupium), pippali (Piper longum) and neem (Azadirachta indica) in equal quantities. Take 2 g each of chirayata (Swertia chirata) and paneer doda (Tukhm-hayaat). Soak this mixture in 150 ml of water for 10-12 hours. Filter the same. Administer a tsp of the herbal preparation with half the solution before meals.
- Eye tonic: To strengthen optic weakness, mix tsp of fennel seeds powder in a glass of carrot (Daucus carota) juice.
- Earache: Mix clove oil and sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil in equal amounts and warm the mixture. Put 2-3 drops in the ear to cure ache.
- Eczema: for eczema, mix a tbsp each of powdered amla fruits and neem bark. Add a pinch of turmeric to the same. Prepare paste in water and apply over the affected area. Another remedy is to heat about 2 tbsp of coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil. Add 2 crushed garlic (Allium sativum) cloves to the same and filter. Apply the oil over the affected skin.
- Fever: For fever, take 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds with a tsp of lemon and honey thrice a day. Another herbal cure for fever is to boil 5 g each of powdered amla fruits, ghost tree (Ficus religiosa) fruit and chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) in 50 ml water for half an hour. Filter and give it to the patient thrice a day.
- Heart diseases: To control cholesterol levels, drink a glass of buttermilk with teaspoon black pepper daily. Consuming 50-60 g of fenugreek seeds daily in diet or with water is believed to reduce the risk of heart attacks.
- Hypertension: To check high blood pressure, crush 2 garlic cloves and lick it with honey twice daily.
- Hypotension: To treat hypotension, soak 4-5 pista (Pistacia vera) overnight and consume in the morning.
- Headache: Application of a paste of clove buds is said to relieve headache.
- Heat stroke: Soak about a handful of fennel seeds in water overnight. Next morning, strain the water and add a pinch of black salt and sugar. Drink the same to get relief from heat stroke.
- Indigestion: Cut ginger into small pieces and soak in a cup of lemon juice. Add black salt to the mixture and leave it for 2 hours. This remedy is used to cure indigestion. Another cure is to mix powdered black pepper in ginger juice. Take this formulation after meals.
- Insomnia: Drink a cup of amla juice with powdered nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) daily to treat insomnia.
- Immunity: For immunity, take a tsp of amla powder with water every day. Drinking a tsp of turmeric powder with warm milk daily is also believed to improve immunity.
- Joint pain and muscular cramps: Mix a few drops of clove oil in two tbsp of mustard (Brassica juncea) oil and massage over the aching joints and cramps. Consuming a tbsp of powdered fenugreek seeds with lukewarm water is another effective remedy for joint pains and muscular cramps.
- Memory booster: To improve memory power, chew ashoka (Saraca indica) seeds with betel (Piper betel) leaf for 3 weeks daily. Taking a tsp of satavari (Asparagus recemosus) root powder with warm milk everyday is also beneficial as a memory enhancer.
- Nausea and vomiting: Prepare a paste by mixing clove powder in honey. Licking the same would ease the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Another remedy for vomits is to boil clove bud in water and give to the patient.
- Weight loss: Take a cup of warm water. Add tsp black pepper, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp honey. Drinking the same is said to be beneficial in reducing weight. Another weight loss remedy is to mix cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) powder in honey and consume it daily.
- Sunburn: Prepare a paste of gram (Cicer arietinum) flour, rose (Rosa indica) water and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply over the affected parts of the body and wash off after 20 minutes.
- Sexual debility: For sexual debility, heat a tsp of clarified butter. To it, add 3-4 grounded black pepper followed by a glass of milk. Now add 2-3 crushed almonds (Prunus amygdalus) and let it come to a boil. Add sugar to taste. This formulation is effective when taken at bed time.
- Sty: For treating sty (inflammation on the eyelash), rub a clove stub in water and apply the paste over the affected area.
- Scurvy: Mix tsp of amla powder with same quantity of sugar. To treat scurvy, have it with milk thrice daily.
- Throat infection: Mix 1 tbsp each of powdered amla, harra fruits, mulhatti (Glycyrrhiza glabra) roots , bahera (Terminalia bellirica) fruits, pipli fruits and kungyi (Sida cordifolia) roots. To cure throat infection, take a tsp of the mixture with water twice daily.
- Toothache: To cure toothache, make a paste of powdered black pepper in clove oil and apply on the affected part. Pressing a clove bud between the jaws, at the site of aching tooth also relieves the pain. Apply clove oil in the cavity of decayed tooth also helps to ameliorate tooth infections.
- Underweight: Chewing 8-10 black pepper in betel leaf is known to be beneficial in gaining weight. Also eating a banana (Musa paradisiaca) followed by a glass of milk everyday is useful in weight gain.
- Vaginal discharge: Taking a tsp of fenugreek seeds powder with curd is said to be beneficial in treating vaginal discharge caused due to infections.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
- H. K. Bakhru, Herbs that heal: natural remedies for good health. Orient paper backs. 2008
- Garima Sancheti, Home Remedies with Fenugreek, Suite101.com February 22, 2011
- Garima Sancheti, Herbal Remedies with Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Suite101.com March 30, 2011