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  • Popular Desi Home Remedies

    Desi remedies to treat ailments and personal hygiene problems are very popular amongst South Asian communities. We look at some of the common health problems many of us have and what Desi remedies are used to cure them.

    Most of the remedies use natural ingredients

    Home remedies in the South Asian home are a strong part of culture and heritage. Particularly, amongst the older generations who have used these methods to address ailments through time. Most of us are bound to remember the use of traditional medicine in one form or other, perhaps when prescribed medication did not provide the antidote.

    Many of these ‘desi’ home remedies work and are very effective. Most of the remedies use natural ingredients. A lot of the remedies have been passed down through family generations. For South Asians originating from rural environments in South Asia, these kind of remedies were the only form of medication available, due to lack of doctors or facilities in such areas.

    We bring you some of the popular desi remedies known to Asian families and ones that can be used to help with certain health issues and personal hygiene problems.

    Toothache

    Toothache is a very painful experience. It occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Toothaches can be the result of a poor diet and poor dental hygiene, a symptom of a serious dental problem, or a symptom of a serious health problem elsewhere in the body.

    Here are desi tips to help combat toothache pain.

    • Keep a clove in your mouth in between the aching teeth and suck on it. You can even apply clove oil on the affected tooth.
    • Place a clove of garlic clove on the aching tooth and let its juice be absorbed for relief.
    • A pinch of pepper powder mixed with common salt works well on the aching tooth. It’s especially effective against the increased sensitiveness of the teeth.

    Body Odor

    Perspiration or sweat doesn’t cause odor but the bacteria that gets accumulated on the skin releases unpleasant smelling chemicals. The body odor is strongly associated with the emission from our sweat glands. The armpits and genitals perspire more as compare to any other parts of the body. Body odor can be a very embarrassing and personal nightmare for those who find it difficult to manage.

    Here are desi tips to treat body odor.

    • Drinking a cup of sage tea daily will reduce the activity of sweat glands and ultimately will minimise the odor and acts as body odor remedy.
    • Unpleasant armpit odor can be addressed by applying cider vinegar to the armpits.
    • In the bathing water, add a few cups of tomato juice and soak yourself in water for about 15 minutes.

    Coughs

    A cough is the body’s way of cleaning its airways and many times it is a reflex that cannot be controlled. Coughs come in many forms and they can be irritable mostly at night-time. They are usually caused by throat or chest infections. A cough is classified by how long it lasts: an acute cough lasts up to three weeks; 3-8 weeks is sub-acute; more than 8 weeks is considered chronic.

    Here are desi remedies for coughs.

    • Take one glass of warm water and pour some lime juice and a teaspoon of honey in it and consume it once or twice on a daily basis.
    • Take 1 tablespoon of Pepper powder and boil it in a cup of milk. Also add on a pinch of turmeric to it. Put some sugar for taste. Drink it once in a day for about three days.
    • Use unadulterated licourice root and boil for 20 minutes to make a decoction. Use about 1 cup of water for a four-inch piece of root. Or if you have powdered licourice root, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup hot water. Add honey as desired and drink.

    Ear Ache

    Earaches are a common occurrence in our lives, especially in children. A very common cause of the earache is due to plugged ‘Eustachian’ tubes (the tube that comes from the back of your throat and connects to your middle ear). When your Eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid will gather resulting in a painful earache, bringing with it the possibility of bacteria buildup or infection.

    Here are desi tips to reduce the pain from earaches.

    • Boil 3-4 cloves of Garlic in some water. Mash them and add a pinch of salt. Wrap this poultice in a flannel or woolen cloth and place on the aching ear.
    • Heat a little extra virgin olive oil, and 2 whole cloves garlic. Strain the oil and use a dropper and put about 3-5 drops in the paining ear and close with cotton wool.
    • Squeeze some onion juice from an onion. Warm it up put few drops with a dropper in the paining ear.

    Heartburn

    Most people suffer from heartburn usually after a meal. Your esophagus is the food tube that carries what you swallow down to your stomach. Stomach acid are used for digestion but when the acid reacts strongly to certain foods during digestion, Heartburn occurs, and the acid enters the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the stomach and chest areas.

    Here are desi tips to reduce the pain from earaches.

    • Boil 3-4 cloves of Garlic in some water. Mash them and add a pinch of salt. Wrap this poultice in a flannel or woolen cloth and place on the aching ear.
    • Heat a little extra virgin olive oil, and 2 whole cloves garlic. Strain the oil and use a dropper and put about 3-5 drops in the paining ear and close with cotton wool.
    • Squeeze some onion juice from an onion. Warm it up put few drops with a dropper in the paining ear.

    Diarrhoea

    The condition of Diarrhoea occurs when stools are frequent, loose and watery, often accompanied by abdominal cramps. It is an effective way for the body to get rid of an undesirable substance. It can be caused by food poisoning; bacteria in food or water; food allergies; or a virus. Also, excess alcohol consumption; laxatives; caffeine are known to cause diarrhea.

    Here are desi tips to help address symptoms of Diarrhoea.

    • Take a ripe banana and mash it properly. Add 1 teaspoon of tamarind pulp and a pinch of salt to it. Consume this mixture two times a day.
    • Consume a paste made of 15-20 fresh curry leaves mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey.
    • Roast 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Mix and make it into powder. Add to 4 teaspoons of yogurt. Take this mixture three times in a day.

    Common Cold

    Cold symptoms develop over a few days. Sore throat, sneezing and a blocked nose are generally present with a cold, while they are not so common with the flu. It is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by infection with common cold viruses. It is highly contagious. It is very common in infants and adults having low resistance or immunity power.

    Here are desi tips for treating a common cold.

    • Prepare tea by adding 1 tablespoon of pepper powder in a cup of milk along with a pinch of turmeric and little sugar. Drink it once in a day for about three days.
    • Take one glass of warm water and pour some lime juice and a teaspoon of honey in it and consume it once or twice on a daily basis.
    • Squeeze 3-4 teaspoons of juice from an onion. Add 3-4 teaspoons of Honey and mix well before consuming.

    Dandruff

    Dandruff is a condition of the scalp. It is when skin flakes come out of the scalp. There are basically two types of dandruff – dry dandruff and waxy dandruff. Dry dandruff causes itchiness. Waxy dandruff remains stuck to the scalp in patches. Causes of dandruff include bad diet, dry atomspheres, deficiency of zinc and high use of alkaline soaps and shampoos.

    Here are desi tips for treating dandruff.

    • Add a few drops of vinegar and ginger juice to some beetroot juice. Mix the juice and lightly massage it into the scalp.
    • Apply warm coconut oil mixed with lemon juice to scalp and leave on for about an hour. Then steam your hair for 10 minutes and wash . You can also use Olive oil instead of coconut oil. Use this treatment twice a week.
    • Soak two tablespoons of fenugreek (methi) seeds overnight in water and grind into a fine paste . Apply this to your scalp and leave to absorb into scalp, and then wash after half an hour.

    There are many more remedies for these ailments and some will also vary from the above, depending on the region of origin. With most of them being natural ingredients, it will be a case of trying them to see if they help and ease your problem, although the taste and smells may be interesting!

    Nazhat is a woman on a mission to reveal many different aspects of 'Desiness.' With interests in fashion, cooking and keeping fit, she describes herself as a bright and chic 'Desi' lady who lives by the motto 'survival of the fittest...'

    Please be advised that these are remedies are well known amongst South Asian cultures and do not guarantee results. If in doubt, you should consult a physician for any problems that you feel need professional help.


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