Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Art of Healing with Herbal Plants

Study of herbal plants is not something one can master at once. Whenever there is time at one's disposal, one can set oneself the pleasant task of studying plants, one by one at a time. Then you will be well prepared to meet an emergency when it comes.

In this way, you will learn to recognize them when you see them growing wild, and you will begin to acquire an intimate knowledge of herbs. You will learn to grow them in your garden. You will not miss the right time to gather them, and you will build up for yourself that natural pharmacy which will be very useful to you.

Much patience is needed before you get the feel of the herbs and can predict the effect that a plant will have on a particular case. The plants that are all around us, e.g. garlic, onions, ferns etc., are so familiar that we cannot believe in their efficiency.

On the whole, people tend to have more faith in drugs that come from the farthest and most advanced regions, or those which cost the most money.

A good medicine is one that makes use of all the resources that nature and man's intelligence have put at our disposal. Nothing should be neglected.

The art of healing did not start in the 20th century. It has a long history, and at the same time we accept the progress of science. But to cure common ailments or in order to help in the treatment of serious illness, you can use herbs. To trust in nature does not mean that you must deprive yourself of the discoveries of modern science.

During the time of the Great Asoka, the Hindu Materia Medica contained about 700 herbs which were used by the vaidyas. They were mostly cultivated in the gardens allover the country. The time of collection, the parts used, the methods of curing, the reservation were well known.

Since the number of drugs commonly used in those days was not very large, no elaborate descriptions were given with their identification. The student of medicine used to live with his Guru in the Gurukulas, and received practical training in connection with the identification and proper time of collection.

Medicinal Power and Uses of Spinach

Indigenous medicine is always guided by seasonal behaviour, as it regulates the three forces in the body. We have started the hot season, and many suffer with skin eruptions and cracked skin in the soles of our feet. Some even suffer from sore mouths.

During this season we must avoid 'heaty' food and eat more cooling vegetables and those which contain a higher percentage of water.

Spinach is one such vegetable which gives energy and strength. Spinach has come to us from the Middle East. It was grown in the 11th century in Spain, and in the 15th century in France. It is rich in protein; it helps digestion and is a stimulant of all secretions of the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas.

Medicinal Power of Spinach
It is also very rich in minerals. Most people know that it contains a lot of iron, but according to scientific experiments, it also contains phosphorous iodine and many other elements essential to keep the system in good shape. Spinach can be recommended for children, adolescents, con valescents, anaemics, and all chronic invalids. It is called "Snigdhpatra" or "Gramini" in Sanskrit and its botanical name is Basella Alba.

There are creepers with a red stem and a green stem. It also grows as a shrub. The shrubs are known as "Upodaki or Galodaki". All these varieties have the same type of curative value.

In Ayurvedic books it is said that spinach is cooling, suppresses the Rakta and Pitta imbalance. It is a good laxative. It helps to enrich your complexion. This herb helps to reduce the suppression of urine.

In the old texts on Ayurveda, spinach is mentioned as "Sukkra Janaka" which means that it is an aphrodisiac. Spinach is one of the basic medicines given for insomnia and insanity.

Eat more and more spinach if you need good rest in the night. Spinach leaves are bandaged on to the forehead for severe headaches. It is used as a poultiee for l!lcers. Niviti is a good remedy for eczema, and can be applied on the skin.

In old Ayurvedic books, it is mentioned that niviti improves eyesight. It can be used as an infant food to cure worms. It is an accepted remedy for anaemic invalids as it improves the blood circulation.

Spinach (Niviti) generally grows in cold and water-logged places. It also could be grown in pots as an indoor plant.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ayurveda Cures for Prickly Heat

Natural Remedies for Prickly Heat

This is more annoying than painful as it irritates all the time.

Prickly Heat Cures #1
A cold water bath taken sometime after applying a watery paste of gram (kadalay) four on the body brings relief.

Prickly Heat Cures #2
The powder of sandal wood used as a dust all over the body is effective in giving relief in cases of prickly heat.

Ayurveda Cures Cures #3
The paste of the pini-jambu (Big Jambu) applied over the body cleans the skin and relieves the itching.

Ayurveda Cures Cures #4
When prickly heat is severe, an infusion made overnight of 180 grains each of lightly crushed pomegranate roots, cummin seeds, corriander seeds, red rose petals and sugar is given the following morning; this drink relieves itching caused by prickly heat.

Sri Lanka Ayurveda Cures for Pimples

Home Remedies for Pimples
This is a problem of youth. Mischievous fingers always squeeze out pimples. When they are pricked they remain as black heads or even leave tiny holes on the skin. Let us not meddle with them. Instead apply a paste of cummin seeds (suduru) over the pimples. It gives wonderful relief. A paste of nutmeg (sadicka) made with milk is an efficacious remedy for removing pimples on the face. A paste of red sandalwood (rathadun) and turmeric (kaha) made with milk is a useful local application.

A mixture made of one part sandalwood oil and two parts mustard oil is also a very effective application.

Home Remedies for Ringworm

This skin disease leaves marks on the skin. It is very irritating and sometimes the patches are moist. It is also highly contagious.

Ringworm Home Remedies #1
A paste of the Ehela (Cassia Fistula) is applied over the parts affected by ringworm.

Home Remedies #2
A paste of the roots of Aththora (Aristida Setacea) mixed with honey or a paste of the roots made with sandalwood or the seeds mixed with butter-milk is very effective.

Home Remedies #3
The juice of Aththora leaves mixed with butter-milk too can be used to cure this condition.

Ringworm Remedies #4
The mixture of the juice of Pani tora (Cassia tora) leaves with lemon juice or mixed with butter-­milk is an effective remedy.

Ringworm Remedies #5
The juice of tamarind leaves rubbed on the affected area is an easy cure.

These home remedies have been tested for hundreds of years and they have proved to be effective. All we need is to identify the herbs.

Very old men in the villages are often the best authorities on herbs and their curative value. Sri Lanka has an abundance of greenery, so why should we not make use of it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Home Remedies for Headache and Migraine

Worry, traveling in crowded vehicles, walking in the hot sun are the most common reasons for headaches. When your daily routine of health is in disorder you can get a headache. Herbal plants or herbal seeds can give us much relief by their correct usage.

Corriander seeds made into a paste with cold water and applied on the forehead is an easy and Effective remedy. A paste of raw ginger or cloves or nutmeg with cold water gives quick relief. Raw ginger juice mixed with cow’s milk is very effective. If your headache is a neuralgic headache a paste of ginger, cloves, cinnamon and the roots of the caster oil plant is recommended by the indigenous physician.

The paste of Nelli (Phyllanthus Emblica) fruit and saffron mixed with rose water also gives quick relief. A paste of betel leaf is much better than taking tablets. If your headache is due to a chill, a hot paste of cinnamon made with hot water is applied on the forehead. There are snuffs that you can prepare at home. The mixture of equal parts of very finely powdered Valmi (Liquorice) roots, Atividayan (Atis root) comes in handy. A very small pinch of this mixture will reduce the heaviness in the head and heal the headache.

Home Remedies for Migraine Headache:
This headache comes on periodically and is con­fined to a particular part of the head. This is considered to be an incurable disease. According to my experience herbal plants have done wonders. As a home remedy, the moist paste of three leaves of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) and three black peppers used as smelling salt relieves the unbearable headache. The mixture of the powder of long pepper (Tippili) and the root of Vadakaha (Acorus Calamus) can be used as snuff.

A paste of black pepper made with the juice of Nika (Vitex Negunda) could be sniffed occasionally. If the headache is due to catarrh, dry nika leaves can be smoked. If you suffer from constant headaches it is advisable to sleep on a pillow made with nika leaves. A paste of the leaves applied to the temples makes you comfortable. A medicated oil prepared with nika leaves is also very effective for sinuses.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Herbal Remedies for Ring Worm of the Scalp

Herbal plants and their usage are so many that one cannot limit them only to the medicine chest. Herbs have been around us from the beginning of time. Egyptian hieroglyphics show their use by the Queen of Sheba and her gift of their seeds to King Solomon.

Early records show that many of the herbs we use today were in use centuries ago as medicine, as charms, and as a means to preserve and improve the taste of food. They add a whole new dimension to cooking, bringing the flavour and aroma of foreign lands into our kitchen. Part of the fascination of herbs is the link they provide between the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt, India and Sri Lanka. It is amazing to think that the herbs we pick today, may be the same as those mentioned in the year 2000 B.C.

These herbal plants can cure many of our common ailments and many of them can be found at our door step.

Ring worm of the scalp is a common disease which leaves you worried. This is noticed as round bald patches on the scalp and they spread gradually. Some men even get this disease on the face leaving bald patches on the beard. The following remedies have been tested and found very effective.

The juice of the Oleander (kaneru) leaves is applied on the affected parts of the scalp. The easiest medicine you can get from your kitchen cupboard is a mixture of powdered black pepper, onions and salt. This mixture when briskly rubbed on the bald patches of the scalp caused by Ring worms will not only check the infection but also encourage the growth of new hair.