Thursday 11 September 2014

Thulasi Kashayam or Basil Decoction (துளசி கஷாயம்)

After a sudden downpour few days ago, every other person is down with cold and cough. Hence, I thought it is the right time to share some homemade cough and cold remedies.

‘Thulasi’ or holy basil (துளசி) is an important plant in Hinduism as well as in Ayurveda. Hindus worship Thulasi plant and use the leaves for worshiping Lord Vishnu. Hindus also use the rosary beads (துளசி மாலை) made of thulasi stem or root for prayer.

According to a study, thulasi helps to combat stress by maintaining normal stress hormone levels. Another study notes that thulasi has antibacterial properties. Traditionally, thulasi leaves are used as insect and mosquito repellant. Thulasi is also used to treat skin problems in native medicine. My grandmother recommended application of thulasi extract on the face to treat pimples. 

1.Thulasi leaves; 2. Dry Ginger; 3. Tail Pepper; 4. Long Pepper
Thulasi is used in Ayurveda for treating headaches, indigestion, respiratory and skin problems. It is also believed that thulasi is effective in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol.

Thulasi leaves can be eaten raw. Decoction made of thulasi and other herbs called 'Thulasi Kashayam' is used to treat fever, body pain, cough and cold. 

Thulasi leaves (துளசி இலை) – a handful
Dry ginger (சுக்கு) – 1” piece
Indian long pepper (திப்பிலி) – 4-5 pieces
Tail pepper (வால் மிளகு)½ teaspoon

Method: Wash basil leaves. Lightly crush long pepper, tail pepper and dry ginger using the mortar and pestle. Boil the crushed ingredients with thulasi leaves and 1½ tumbler (300ml) of water for 5 minutes (See picture on the left). Switch off the stove. Strain the decoction/ kashayam using a strainer.

You may drink ½ tumbler (100ml) of hot thulasi kashayam for relief of cough and cold. This remedy has a strong flavor and taste. However, my grandmother would never allow us to eat sugar after drinking this kashayam! If you find the taste not agreeable, take a teaspoon of honey after drinking the kashayam.

Thulasi Kashayam or Basil Decoction (துளசி கஷாயம்)
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