Indian Home Remedies

Traditional Home Remedies

Power of Vegetables

Beetroot is used traditionally as a blood building food. It has liver, spleen, gall bladder and kidney cleansing properties. Beetroot is particularly rich in Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Each capsule provides approximately 1-2mg of elemental iron The iron contained in beetroot is organic and non-irritating and will not cause constipation Beetroot is useful in acidosis due to it being rich in alkaline elements

Carrots contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. Carrot juice has anti-carcinogen properties. Thus, it helps prevent cancer. It is also believed to have cancer-curing properties. It also good for the skin. Carrot juice is like a tonic. It will improve the overall health of you and your child, and increase immunity. In fact, two glasses of carrot juice a day can increase your immunity by as much as 70%!

Power of Fruits

  • The apple is a highly nutritive food.
  • It contains minerals and vitamins in abundance.
  • Apples are useful in kidney stones
  • Iron contained in the apple helps in formation of blood.
  • Raw apples are good for constipation.
  • Cooked or baked apples are good for diarrhea.
  • Apples are of special value to heart patients. They are rich in potassium and phosphorus but low in sodium. It is also useful for patients of high blood pressure.
The banana constitutes almost a complete balanced diet in combination with milk. It is known for promoting healthy digestion. The banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and blandness. It is the only raw fruit which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach.

A beautician's secret, cucumber is excellent for facial skin. It also promotes the growth of healthy hair and nails. And of course, we all know the wonders that it performs on baggy eyes and dark circles. It contains vitamins like B and C, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

Cold and Cough

Following are the signs that indicate the presence of this ailment:
- Running or blocked nose
- Sneezing
- Sore throat
- Congestion
- Headache
- Low fever with body pain
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy
- Insomnia

The aggravation of kapha due to the intake of cold food, drinks and fried stuff etc causes cough. Seasonal changes is also one of the reasons for cough Improper digestion of food transforms into a mucus toxin (Ama) and this circulates through the body and reaches the respiratory system, where it causes colds and coughs.

  • The body should be kept warm - especially the feet, chest, throat and head. Sweating is very helpful.
  • Take half a teaspoon of ginger juice with half a teaspoon of honey, three times a day (morning, noon and night). In winter, warm the mixture by mixing a teaspoon of warm water in it.
  • Mix half a cup of warm water with one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey.
  • Dosage: Take several times a day.
  • In cases of dry cough (especially during the night), peel a small piece of fresh ginger. Sprinkle some salt on it and chew.
  • Take equal amounts of cardamom, ginger powder, black pepper and cinnamon (1 teaspoon each). Add sugar equal to the total amount of mixture and grind to make a fine powder.
  • Dosage: Take half a teaspoon twice daily, with honey or warm water after meals.
  • In cases of sore throat, a clove or two cardamoms or a few raisins can be chewed. Gargling with warm salty water two to three times a day is also beneficial.
Do's and don'ts:
The food and activities that are to be avoided are as follows:
  • Cold foods and drinks
  • Ice cream, sweets Fried foods
  • Milk products (cheese, creams, yogurt)
  • Sweet fruit juices
  • Breads
  • Meats
  • Nuts
  • Pastries
  • Sleeping during the day
  • Taking a cold shower
  • Exposure to cold wind, fans, air conditioners
  • The body should be kept warm - especially the feet, chest, throat and head. Sweating is very helpful.
Following are the substances and activities that should be taken in cough:
  • Boiled or steamed vegetables
  • Vegetable soup
  • Spice teas
  • Herbal teas
  • Hot milk with a piece of crushed ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed in milk provides relief.

Insect bites

The best way to handle bites and stings is to avoid them in the first place. Experts say that when venturing into the outdoors, you should wear white or khaki-colored clothing (including socks and long pants), use insect repellent, avoid sweet-scented fragrances, never mess around with a beehive and always check yourself for hangers-on such as ticks after you go back inside. But even when that doesn't work, most insect bites are just minor annoyances. You'll get an itch, a bump and maybe a burning sensation. The natural remedies in this chapter, used with the approval of your doctor, may provide relief, according to some health professionals.

See Your Medical Doctor When...
An animal bites you.
You develop a fever after being bitten.
You have difficulty breathing or feel severe pain after a bite or sting.

For quick relief from insect bites, apply one drop of pure lavender, tea tree, helichrysum (also called immortelle or everlast) or blue chamomile essential oil directly to the affected area, suggests Los Angeles aromatic consultant John Steele. The oil can be reapplied every ten minutes until you feel better, he says.

Neem powder, made from extracts from India's neem tree and available from Ayurvedic practitioners, can be applied as a plaster to soothe insect bites, according to Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. To make the plaster, Dr. Lad says to take enough neem powder to just cover the area of the bite, then add warm water to make a thick paste. He suggests applying the plaster to the skin twice a day, letting it dry for 10 to 20 minutes each time.
But you can keep the bugs from biting in the first place, says Dr. Lad, by rubbing neem oil (also available from Ayurvedic practitioners) on exposed skin before going outside. According to Dr. Lad, neem contains a compound called salannin that repels insects as effectively as the synthetic chemical DEET-but without DEET's toxic effects on humans. Do not use pure neem tree oil, he cautions, since it's too strong for this use.
You can also soothe insect bites by drinking fresh cilantro juice and applying the cilantro pulp to the skin, says Dr. Lad. Here's how he says to prepare the juice and pulp: Chop 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves and mix with 1/3 cup of water in a blender. Strain this mixture through cheesecloth, saving the pulp to apply directly to the affected area of the skin. Dr. Lad suggests spreading the pulp on the bite once or twice a day and to drink the juice two tablespoons at a time, three times a day. Keep the juice refrigerated; you should have enough for three to four days.

Flower Remedy/Essence Therapy
Try the emergency stress relief formula, sold under brand names such as Calming Essence, Rescue Remedy and Five-Flower FormulaKaslof. By using the formula topically on minor insect bites to relieve pain, swelling and itching. Also, the formula may be helpful in relieving mild allergic reactions to insect bites and stings. We recommend taking four drops under the tongue as needed to calm and relax.
We caution, however, that the formula is not a replacement for emergency medical intervention or doctor-recommended treatment for allergic reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to insect bites and stings, he says, you must consult your doctor before using the emergency stress relief formula.
The emergency stress relief formulas are available in most health food stores and through mail order.

Food Therapy
"A compress made from meat tenderizer breaks down the venom and can take the sting out of bites and stings," says Acharyaji., director of Dhyansanjivani, and author of many books . That's because most insect bites and stings, as well as jellyfish stings, are protein-based, and meat tenderizer breaks down protein-as long as the tenderizer contains papain or bromelain, the active protein-busting ingredients. Acharyaji says to mix a thick paste of water and powdered meat tenderizer and apply it directly on the skin; relief will come within a minute. (Bromelain can cause dermatitis in some people, so don't apply any more if the skin begins to look red and inflamed.)

Herbal Therapy
Here's a natural insect repellent from Barre, Vermont, herbalist Acharya Shivaananddaasji, in other books on herbs: Combine one part bay leaf, four parts pennyroyal, two parts rosemary and one part eucalyptus in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough olive oil to cover the herbs, and then top off with another inch or two. Close the jar and place it on a sunny windowsill or in a sunny spot outside for two weeks. Then strain the mixture so that there's only liquid left. (For extra scent, add a drop or two of eucalyptus essential oil to the liquid.)
Acharyaji recommends using this herbal repellent just as you would a store-bought product, spreading it evenly and lightly on your skin (but avoiding the eyes). And she says that this herbal repellent is safe to use even on children's skin and that it works as well as store-bought chemical varieties.

All of these herbs and oils are available in most health food stores.

To reduce the swelling and pain of bites that have the sensation of coldness and that are better when you apply cold, take a 6C or 12C dose of Ledum or apply Ledum tincture on the bite with a cotton swab every two to three hours as needed until you feel relief. Taking Apis mellifica in 6C or 12C potency is another good remedy, he says, particularly for bites that are burning or stinging, are worse with heat and better with ice packs and cause hive like reactions on the skin.
Acharyaji suggests taking one dose of Ledum or Apis mellifica every 15 minutes for up to four doses. If you're still experiencing pain, he says, take one 30C dose. If there is still no improvement, consult a medical doctor or homeopath, he says.

To relieve the discomfort of insect bites, make up a thin paste of water, apple cider vinegar and fuller's earth (available in most health food stores) and apply to the bite for a few minutes, suggests Acharyaji. Rinse with warm water.

Stomach Ache

The main symptom as is clear from the name is ache or pain. The pain can be of many types depending upon the cause of pain. In some cases it can be very mild and bearable while in other it could be very severe and appears as if the patient is going to lose his/her life. Depending upon the cause of pain it can be continuously high, sometimes high and sometimes low like a wave, appear during a specific time, like one hour before or after the meals or on empty stomach. The nature of pain is also different . It can be biting, burning, throbbing, spasmodic, piercing or sometimes very mild and relief giving.

Stomach ache is a term which is generally used for the abdominal region, so even if the pain is not exactly in the stomach, it can be termed as stomach ache in a layman's language. Common causes of pain in the abdominal region can be appendicitis, stones in the kidney and the gall bladder, gastric or duodenal ulcers, colitis, inflammation of liver or any other part of the alimentary canal and infection in the urinary tract.

Pain in the abdominal region can also be caused due to presence of worms in the digestive tract, constipation, indigestion, wind and distention, gastritis, food poisoning or food allergies ,acidity and diarrhea. It can also be caused due to the presence of a toxic material called ama. Though most pains according to Ayurveda are caused by vata (air ) aggravation, it can also occur by the aggravation of pitta (fire) and kapha (water and mucus ) doshas.

The treatment according to Ayurveda varies according to the cause of the pain. As the aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to remove the root cause, it could be different in different cases depending upon the cause. In this way the Ayurvedic approach is different from the modern medicine where generally pain killers are prescribed irrespective of the cause. Some general remedies for stomach ache are given here. In case of severe symptoms it is advised to consult the Ayurvedic physician.

  1. The patient should have clear bowel movements and should not be constipated. According to Ayurveda every one should pass stool at least once in 24 hours. Early morning (first thing after waking up ) is the best time to do this. In the case of severe constipation an enema with warm water can be given. Two tea spoons of castor oil mixed in a cup of warm milk can be given to the patient every night before going to bed or whenever necessary.
  2. If the pain is due to acidity or gas, drinking plain soda water provides immediate relief.
  3. Two tea spoons of lemon juice mixed with 50 ml. of warm water helps in relieving all kinds of stomach aches. One gram of rock salt powder should be mixed in this and can be taken at least thrice a day.
  4. Take equal weights of dry ginger, black pepper, roasted cumin seeds, dry mint leaves, coriander, asa asafetida, garlic and rock salt. Make a fine powder by grinding all these together. Taking one or half tea spoon of this powder with warm water gives relief from stomach ache. This can be taken two or three times a day after meals. If some of the ingredients are not found, you can make the powder with what ever items being available. Common salt can be used if rock salt is unavailable.
  5. Taking one to three grams of ajowan seeds with warm water relieves stomach ache. It becomes more effective if an equal weight of rock salt is added to it. In case rock salt is not available, common salt can be used.
  6. Giving local heat treatment at the site of the pain also gives some relief from the pain.
  7. One tea spoonful ginger juice and one tea spoonful castor oil mixed in half cup warm water relieves stomach ache. It can be taken twice a day.
  8. Take about 20 gms. of anise seeds. Put them in one cup water for about 4 hours. Then strain and drink this water. It is better to soak the anise seeds overnight, and drink it in the next morning.
Diet and Regimen
Diet should be mainly light and easily digestible. Little grains, rice, yogurt or butter milk, a little salad with a thin dressing of oil or yogurt on it is good. A dressing of lemon juice can also be used on the salad. Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini, pumpkin and mung dal (green beans or pulses) will also help. Khichree is also good. Khichree is prepared by cooking together one part rice and six parts mung beans. Mung beans can be found in any Indian store. A soup of vegetables is good as are fruit juices and fruits like grapes, papaya, orange, peaches etc.

Fried and spicy foods which contain too much oil are prohibited. Beans, potatoes, sweets, creams and yogurt in the night time are also not good.

Avoid all kinds of physical activities immediately after meals. The patient should take sufficient rest. Mental tension, worry, anxiety, greed, anger and fear should be given up and the patient must have a relaxed mind.


Colic is when a baby cries for longer than three hours every day for more than three days a week. It is the extreme end of normal crying behaviour. The condition is harmless, though it can be very distressing for parents or carers. The cause is not known, but there are ways to help calm a baby down.

About infant colic
Colic is uncontrollable, extended crying in a baby who is otherwise healthy and well-fed. Every baby cries, but babies who cry for more than three hours a day, three to four days a week, may have colic. About 20% of babies get colic, and it equally affects boys and girls, first-born children and those born later. In general, it appears at around two to four weeks of age and can last for three months, or longer in some cases.

The cause of colic isn't known. In the past it was thought to be related to the digestive system. However, although painful abdominal gas may contribute to colic, there is little evidence to prove it's due to gastrointestinal problems. Another possible cause of colic is a combination of the baby's temperament and an immature nervous system. The baby's temperament may make him or her highly sensitive to the environment, and he or she may react to normal stimulation or changes to the environment by crying. Because the baby's nervous system is immature, he or she is unable to regulate crying once it starts.

The main symptom is continuous crying for long periods of time. Although this crying can occur at any time, it usually worsens in the evening. Although colic is not thought to be due to pain, a baby with colic may look uncomfortable or appear to be in pain. Babies may lift their head, draw their legs up to their tummy, become red in the face and pass wind. Some babies refuse to eat. Difficulty falling and staying asleep is also common.

Normally, colic is not a serious condition. Research shows that babies with colic continue to eat and gain weight normally, despite the crying.

The main problem with the condition is the stress and anxiety it creates within the home. Parents and other family members may find it difficult to cope with the constant crying, so it's important to have support and to take a break now and then.

When to see a doctor
Colic does not need medical treatment. However, any parent or carer who is worried about their baby's crying may want to get advice from a healthcare professional to make sure there is no serious problem.

Before visiting a doctor, all other possible causes of crying should be eliminated. These include:
  • hunger
  • tiredness
  • lack of contact - some babies want to be cuddled all the time
  • startling - eg due to a jerky movement or sudden noise
  • undressing - most babies don't like the feel of air on their skin
  • temperature - is the baby too hot or too cold?
  • pain - is there an identifiable source of pain, eg a nappy rash
Before going to the doctor, parents should take note of when the baby cries, eats and sleeps, as well as the pattern of bowel movements. This will help the doctor determine the cause of the crying. The doctor will examine the baby and ask about the symptoms to help exclude any other disorders that may be causing the crying.

If the doctor diagnoses colic, there are many things parents can do to help the baby - and themselves - through the next few months.

Treatment for colic
There is no single medicine or proven cure for colic, but there are several measures that may help. Different babies are comforted by different measures, and parents usually need to try various methods to see what works. Parents who bottle-feed their babies may want to try a different formula. For parents who breastfeed, it's a good idea to continue this because weaning the baby from breast milk may make the colic worse.
Some women find that certain foods in their diet seem to make colic worse and they may find that cutting these foods out helps. These might include cruciferous vegetables (eg cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and parsnip), beans, onions, garlic, apricots, melon, spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. By reintroducing foods gradually, women may be able to identify which food, if any, is causing the problem.
If there is a family history of milk sugar (lactose) intolerance, breastfeeding mothers could try eliminating cows milk from their diet. Sometimes babies are not able to digest lactose well - this improves as they get older.
Some parents who bottle-feed their baby try changing over to soya-based formula, but there is no evidence that this is effective at reducing colic.
If the baby seems to have a lot of wind, make sure he or she is burped frequently. Babies who are bottle-fed may swallow air from the bottle: try feeding the baby in a different position, or using a bottle and teat designed to reduce the amount of air the baby swallows during a feed. These include curved bottles, bottles with a collapsible bag inside or bottles with a vent.

To soothe babies with colic, the following techniques may be helpful:
  • carry the baby in a front sling or back pack
  • wrap him or her snugly in a blanket (this is called swaddling)
  • keep the baby moving in a baby swing
  • place him or her near continuous noise or vibrations from household appliances like the dishwasher, vacuum cleaner or washer-dryer
  • take him or her for a car ride or a walk outside
  • give him or her a dummy to suck on
  • give him or her tummy or back rubs
  • take a shower together - the warm water may be comforting
Medicines are not used to treat colic. However, medicines may help to relieve abdominal symptoms. It may be worth trying "colic drops" or "gripe water", which are available without a prescription. A medicine called dimeticone (eg Infacol) is available to relieve trapped wind.

Care for the parent or carer
Having a colicky baby can be very stressful, frustrating and challenging for any parent, particularly if it is the first child. Babies may pick up on anxiety around them, and this may make colic worse.
It's important for the parents or carer to have time to themselves. Parents who feel overwhelmed should take a break. Ask a partner or friend to take over for a while, even for an hour or two.

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