Dadima Ke Nuske: Home Remedies That Your Grandma Used
When you analyze the science behind food and its use in medicine, it turns out your grandma wasn’t so far off the mark in the type of remedies and healing foods she used. Natural remedies that have been passed on from one generation to another, got lost somewhere amidst the shiny pills of modern medicine, so much so that we reach for them before anything else.
But does that mean we discount grandma, and all the women who suggested home remedies before her?
Don’t entertain that thought just yet! Many of the ailments we experience today have always been treated by simple and natural means. In our quest for quick medicines, we seem to have complicated many ailments that are essentially simple ones, and which keep the body’s immunity up at all times.
Due to better awareness and reported allergies to drugs used in modern medicine, a huge chunk of the population are slowly going back to their roots and discovering natural and age-old home remedies and healing foods used and advised by their grandmothers. An increasing group of parents are trying out different ways of treatment, alternative therapies also being among them.
While many such medicines lost, I have put together a few quick medicine recipes based on sound scientific facts with ingredients available in your kitchen cabinets or refrigerator, that can take care of a host of health problems.
NEEM FOR ALLERGIES
Neem has been an age-old ingredient used to treat many ailments. Naturally cool, neem is used to treat various skin allergies.
Here is how you can use it: Boil antiseptic neem in water, sieve, cool in the refrigerator and use to wash itchy parts of your body without using soaps.
AJWAIN FOR ACIDITY
Ajwain seeds have anti-hyperacidity properties.
Here is how you can administer it: A pinch of ajwain with another pinch of rock salt and a dash of lime helps in relieving acidity.
YOGHURT FOR DIARRHEA
Yogurt has some amazing properties that can help restore and maintain the health and proper function of the digestive system. Plain unsweetened yogurt contains good bacteria called probiotics, which line the intestines and protect against the germs that cause disease.
Here is how you can use it: Eat a cup daily, not just when you have diarrhea OR Mix 1 tablespoon yogurt with a pinch of nutmeg for immediate relief from loose stools.
GARLIC FOR CANCER PREVENTION
Garlic is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. Allicin is the most critical substance found in this member of the allium family. This sulfuric compound is what makes garlic a cancer-fighter.
Here is how you can consume it: Eat one or two cloves a day of raw or lightly sautéed garlic, all at once or in small doses.
RADISH FOR CONGESTION
Radish contains some compounds that help to clear chest congestion induced by bronchitis, allergies, cold or flu.
Here is how you can administer it: Grate a piece of radish, add a squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of salt and sugar, stir and swallow. The pungent vapours will clear up your chest. Try not to hold your breath while you swallow.
SESAME FOR TOOTHACHES
Sesame seeds contain at least seven pain-relieving compounds.
Here is how you can administer it: Boil one part sesame seeds with three parts water until liquid is reduced in half. Cool the resulting brew, and apply it directly to the aching tooth.
GINGER FOR MOTION SICKNESS
Ginger has demonstrated to be far superior to dimenhydrinate, the active ingredient in anti nausea medications – without the side effects of drowsiness, dry mouth or blurry vision. Ginger works by dampening impulses to the brain that deliver messages about equilibrium. You need to give it time to kick in.
Here is how you can administer it: One hour before you start your trip/ journey, grate 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon fresh ginger and let it steep in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain this mixture and drink.
TURMERIC FOR COUGH
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. It has proven to be very effective for the treatment of cough. Do not dismiss the haldi-wala doodh our grannies used to prescribe to avoid any cough and to increase immunity.
Here is how you can administer it: Add a pinch of turmeric to a cup of hot milk with a little pepper and sugar to taste. Drink warm before bedtime.
COCONUT OIL FOR BUG BITES/ STINGS
Coconut oil is found to be great for injuries, infections and insect bites. The anti-microbial action of coconut oil kills harmful microbes and bacteria from the affected area (cuts, bruises etc.) thus helping it heal faster and without infections. It also rejuvenates skin cells, helps in shedding of dead skin cells and provides necessary moisture to the skin. All these factors help in remove scars caused due to injuries, wounds, etc.
Here is how you can administer it: Apply coconut oil on the affected area and massage into the bruise/ insect bite. Leave and repeat if necessary.
CORIANDER POWDER FOR UTI
UTI can develop when bacteria gets into the urethra opening and moves upward into the urinary tract. Maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness is the best way to prevent the UTI. If the condition does develop, there are many home remedies that can be used. Excessive heat of the body is responsible for the burning sensation when urinating. Coriander powder has cooling properties that can cure these symptoms.
Here is how you can administer it: Add 3 tablespoons of coriander seed powder and 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar to 3 cups of water. Stir it well and allow it to soak overnight. Stir again and drink 3 times a day.
Note: Coriander spice or Coriander leaves can also be used.
CARROTS TO EASE ANXIETY
Raw carrot juice has calming properties and helps when you are stressed out. Science has now given weight to this theory. Apparently it is the magnesium (present in moderate amounts in these veggies) that helps by regulating serotonin balance.
Here is how you can administer it: Juice fresh carrots and have 1 cup everyday.
GHEE FOR MOUTH ULCERS
Desi ghee is an age-old remedy for mouth ulcers your grandmother may have often told you about. Ghee possesses anti inflammatory properties.
Here is how you administer it: Apply desi ghee on the ulcer, let it stay for few minutes and then spit it out. Repeat till ulcer fades away.
Widespread antibiotic abuse has led to resistance and development of far more virulent and harmful bacteria. As much as modern medicine cannot be dismissed in the treatment of progressive illnesses and advanced stage ailments, the positive effects and benefits of home remedies that have passed on from one generation to another especially in little children cannot be ignored. Pumping their tiny little bodies with chemicals as a first line of treatment is not recommended. Although they do get quicker relief, their immunity gets a beating. By helping their bodies heal themselves, children turn out much healthier and will learn the significance of everyday foods that can be used to heal them.