One Common Medicinal Herb and Nine Common Spices That Help Heal Injuries and Illnesses
Did you know that there is a shrub that grows abundantly in Meghalaya, one that is considered an obnoxious weed, that can effectively stops bleeding in cuts and wounds? Or, that simple spices you use in your kitchen can effectively help tackle cough and cold? Read on to know more.
In these days of easily obtainable, over-the-counter, medicines we have forgotten age-old home remedies which can be amazing, simple and hassle-free. Let me start by telling you real-life stories that led to the use of home-made remedies. My seven-year-old grand-nephew Dino was out playing ball with his buddies on the sloping pathway outside the house.
Suddenly the excited voices fell silent. Only Dino’s bawl could be heard, loud, clear, and painful. He must have got hurt, thought his mother Reene, as she rushed out. Sure enough, Dino lay sprawled on the ground, holding his knee. It was badly scraped, with a deep gash. The usually tough little Dino had tears in his eyes. Reene was unperturbed. With cotton-wool soaked in warm water and a little savlon she wiped and cleaned the wound.
Then she went out to the garden hedge. Soon she was back with a bunch of leaves, which she washed and pounded to a rough paste. She applied it on the wound, which was still oozing blood, and bandaged it. Fifteen minutes later the bleeding and pain stopped. Dino was back with his friends, a little subdued but almost as good as new! Wondering which leaf did this magic? Read on and you will find out!
My daughter Corey’s precious toddler, Summer, was out with her parents at a birthday party. She enjoyed herself thoroughly and watching her baby antiques was a joy for others. It was past ten-thirty when they returned home. The usually bubbly Summer was however bawling away inconsolably.
“She has caught a cold I think,” said Danny,
Summer’s worried dad, feeling her forehead, which was now warmer than usual. Summer’s nose was running and she was very restless. The night would be a sleepless one, thought Danny. But Corey did not worry. She simply applied her Grandma’s remedy for such emergencies with amazing results. Summer slept peacefully after that. Wondering about the remedy? Read on..
Cough? Drive it off!
One night, a few days before I was to go to Kolkata on an assignment, I found my throat acting up. It felt raw and I started to cough badly. It was too late to visit a doctor. I just couldn’t afford to miss this trip. What I did was go to the kitchen, prepare a simple concoction my grandma had taught us, and gulped it down, with amazing results.
What did Dino’s mother apply on his wound that stopped the bleeding and eased the pain? And what trick did Corey do to put baby Summer at ease, and sent her to peaceful slumber? And, what was the concoction my grandma taught me that helped reduce my cough? Nothing extraordinary. Reene went to the garden, and Corey and I, to the kitchen!
Herbs and Spices in the Kitchen - Doctors on Call
You may not realize it, but you may have a veritable medicine chest in your garden and kitchen. The everyday herbs and spices that you use can come in handy as medicines. Reene made use of the leaves of the common plant Eupatorium (that grows wild and is in plenty all around). In Khasi it’s commonly called ‘kynbat Japan’ or ‘jabuid’ or ‘bat-iong’. Studies prove it to be very effective in stopping the bleeding on skin wounds. It is also found to be antimicrobial.
And you can do what Corey did:
Heat a little mustard oil and when it starts smoking add five to six cloves of garlic. Let it sizzle for a while before taking it off the fire. Pour the garlic-oil on to a bowl or saucer, and then squeeze on a few drops of lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.
While it is warm apply on the baby’s chest, back, shoulders, and temples, on the nose and below the nostrils. Then make sure she is clothed to keep her warm. If the weather is on the colder side wrap a thin shawl around the head. Baby will sleep like a baby!
Take about ten black pepper corns. If you use long pepper, or piper longum (pipli in Hindi), take about five spikes, and po1und to powder. Add half-inch piece of ginger and pound till the whole thing becomes pasty. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a teaspoon of mustard oil (use water if you find the smell too strong). Sweeten the paste with a teaspoon or more of honey and gulp the concoction down. Your emergency anti-cough/anti-cold remedy is that simple to prepare.
Medicinal Herbs and Spices – Help on Hand
Ages ago our tribal folks had no access to modern medicine. It was the simple, natural, medicinal herbs and spices that they resorted to, and stayed healthy and happy. The therapeutic properties of these natural herbs and spices are well documented in Ayurvedic literature.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to take care of common, annoying ailments that crop up every now and then, from coughs and colds to cuts, stings and burns and more. The good news is - you don’t have to rush to the doctor for every little thing. Help is on hand right there in your kitchen, or your garden.
At Zizira, in the City of Shillong…
We are committed to the cause of the poor farmer in Meghalaya, which is known for its unique and high-quality horticultural produce. We have the best of turmeric, ginger, garlic, long pepper and many other products, naturally grown and meticulously picked and packed.
Do visit our store and see for yourself the fare we have. It would be a delight to have your comments.
Disclaimer: The use of Herbs and Spices for medicinal purposes is only a suggestion and not a prescription. Persons with medical problems are encouraged to consult their physicians for expert advice.
Herbs and spices have been used and consumed for more than 2000 years now and have features such as colour, flavour and aroma. They consist of phytochemicals which are the chemicals produced by the plants through the primary or secondary source of metabolism. They play a huge role in the growth of a plant as they protect plants from pathogens. Due to this, they are also used in the preservation of foods and beverages.