Since the time I started this column, many people have been writing to me, they ask me queries on dosages, alternatives etc. etc. I am glad to help as much as possible but I would like to share with my readers that I am not a physician (kindly check the disclaimer below) but nor were our grandmother's but they knew how to relieve us with herbs and spices available immediately at home.
Our precious little ones. We wouldn't want anything to happen to them, but it is well known that the immune systems of babies below the age of one year are immature. Hence, they are very susceptible to falling sick with slight changes in weather, diet, etc. Indians don’t like to give babies western medicines at the drop of the hat, it is for this reason that most Indian households stock up on medicinal herbs to tackle common situations such as gripes in the middle of the night or a sudden rise in body temperature. These are also popularly known as Dadi Ma ke nuskhe (Grandmothers prescriptions).
JANAM GHUTTI / ORAKYARA MARUNDHU
In India all new born babies are given some herbs (These herbs refer to Naatu Vaidyam and Ayurveda) which are freshly rubbed on stone with some water and administered to the babies after bath, this is known as "janam ghutti" in the north and in Tamil it is called "Orakyara Marundhu" (Herbs which are rubbed and administered). Each herb which is part of the janam ghutti has a function, which not only strengthens the digestive system, prevents the child from getting coughs, colds, fevers and infections, induces good sleep patterns and brings about general well being in the baby.
If everything with the clothes is ok and the baby continues crying, lightly press the baby's stomach, ears and back. The baby will react immediately if he/she is experiencing pain in any of these areas.
TRADITIONAL HOME REMEDIES FOR STOMACH AILMENTS
STOMACH PAIN (COLIC)
H Here’s a picture of the dill seed for identification.
It is very effective in treating constipation. Just rub the seed of the harda on a stone with a little bit of water and give the paste to the baby every morning after bath and the baby will be relieved of constipation.
6. Apply Castor oil/ Coconut oil to the Anus region of the Baby, so that it doesn't pain for the baby while passing motion and the hard motion easily slips out. Use a cotton bud to apply and don't use your finger else you may hurt the baby with your nail.
1. Cut a lemon into two halves. Sprinkle a very small pinch of black salt over the cut surface, and lick it. The strong aroma of lemon coupled with the salty taste will make you feel better.
Further, in Ayurveda, diarrhoea is also described to be induced by mental causes and by toxins.
- Whey or buttermilk are considered effective remedies for diarrhoea. Whey is the liquid portion of curd while buttermilk is obtained by churning the curd after the fat has been removed. Take any one of them in small volumes at frequent intervals.
- Kanji made from cooked rice cooked in water, with a pinch of salt is also very good and soothing.
- A solution made with salt and sugar (Electral water/ ORS) is to be administered to the person suffering from time to time. This is to prevent dehydration.
- Raw banana is an effective astringent and is recommended widely as a diet for treating diarrhoea. Cut one raw banana into three pieces and soften them in a pressure cooker using an adequate volume of water. Drain out the excess water. Separate the peel and mash the softened pulp well. In a skillet, roast a small volume of poppy seeds till they brown. Grind them to obtain a fine powder. Add this powder to the banana mash together with a pinch of salt. This delicious and nutritious receipe checks diarrhoea owing to its astringent properties.
- The dried rind of a pomegranate is an invaluable remedy for diarrhoea. A fine powder of this rind, 1 gm twice a day taken with buttermilk helps to check the frequency of loose motions.
(Refer to picture of Nutmeg on your left).
Nutmeg is very effective in loose motions. It helps arrest the motions and also gives a peaceful sleep to the baby.
Mouth Ulcers or Canker sores are small boils which appear in the inside of your mouth, on the tongue or inner lips. Sometimes they are so painful that the person cannot speak, eat or drink anything.
Causes of Mouth Ulcers are:
Lack of Vitamin B2 in the diet
Eating acidic or spicy food
Eating antibiotics or other medications which cause heat in the body
Sometimes minor injuries can also cause it.
Home remedies for mouth ulcers
- Avoid stress, Have a good sleep and eat a balanced diet
- Avoid eating hot and spicy food, avoid drinking hot tea/coffee.
- Have a diet of Rice mixed with cold yogurt and a pinch of salt till your mouth ulcers are gone.
- Take B-Complex capsules (Becosules) twice a day, it is quite effective.
- Keep rinsing the mouth with salt water. Take more salt, about 2 tsps in one cup of lukewarm water.
- Make a solution of 1tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder in lukewarm water and rinse 3-4 times a day.
- Gargle alternately with hot and cold water.
- Take 4-5 leaves of Tulsi ( Holy Basil) and chew them in the morning and evening with water. This can be done 5-6 times a day. This not only cures mouth ulcers but also prevents bad breath.
- Biting on to small pieces of coconut, chew until the coconut milk starts to flow, swish the coconut milk in your mouth, this is one home remedy suggested by my grandmother which is quite effective.
- Apply Coconut milk mixed with honey 3-4 times a day on the ulcers for relief.
- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder to one teaspoon of glycerine and apply this solution on the ulcers
- For bad mouth ulcers take raw coconut break it into pieces and chew it with little sugar. Do this 4-5 times a day.
- Application of Peppermint oil to the mouth ulcers gives relief from pain and irritation.
- Make a paste of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and apply to the ulcers, this also works effectively.
- Have Mint leaves (Pudina), 2-3 in the morning and chew onto it. You can do this 2-3 times a day. Mint is very cooling for the system.
- Remove the gel from aloe vera and put it in a blender with some distilled water. Keep this solution in a bottle and regularly, swish it round your mouth, holding and swishing for a few minutes then just swallow it, if you also have a sore throat gargle before swallowing. Aloe vera can also be used on other ulcers.
- Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water. When this is warm, gargle with it 3-4 times a day.
- Baking soda and lemon juice is very effective in ulcers of the oral cavity relieving pain as well as the severity of the sores.
- Gargle a solution of 1 teaspoon of apple vinegar with half a cup of water three times a day.
- Bicarbonate of Soda dabbed on the ulcer will clear it up quickly. Dip finger in powder and apply to ulcer, leave for as long as possible. It will sting at first but will give relief soon after.
- For mouth ulcers, use alum. Take a cotton swab and place alum on infected
HOME REMEDIES FOR MOUTH ULCER AND SWELLING IN GUMS FOR TODDLERS / BABIES
•Add salt to warm water and rinse your mouth with it. The proportion of salt should be high i.e., 3 tbsp of salt in one glass of warm water. Gargle with this water and let it stay in your mouth for at least 30 seconds. Swoosh the water around inside your mouth so that it covers your teeth and gums thoroughly. Do not rinse your mouth with plain water immediately if you want to have relief from the pain for longer time. (FOR TODDLERS ONLY)
•You can apply coconut milk during the day time to the insides of the mouth and the gums. It will be soothing and help in healing. (FOR TODDLERS & BABIES)
•If you are breast feeding your baby. Keep breast feeding him/her. Breast milk can be very healing for mouth ulcers. (FOR TODDLERS & BABIES)
•If your baby suffers from swelling and infection in your gums more often, make it a habit of brushing your baby's teeth 3 times a day. Do not use a brush, but use your forefinger to brush gently. Please ensure that your finger nails are cut. Do not forget to make him rinse his mouth after every meal. Carry out proper hygiene. (FOR TODDLERS ONLY)
•If the swelling does not subside for a couple of days and your baby is not eating properly or crying, see a dentist and go through the treatment prescribed.
Cold makes the baby extremely uneasy, the baby becomes cranky and sleepless. What can be done when the baby has a cold.
Indian Home remedy :
Here is a recipe for “Kashayam” or tonic which can be administered to the baby all through the day instead of using water. The only point to remember is that it has to be made fresh every morning and it should be warm while given to the baby, this can be had by adults too.
Recipe for Kashayam for Cold
Tulasi or Basil – 8-10 leaves (u can put along with the stem). (Refer to picture on your left)
Leaves of the Bishop’s weed – (leaves of the ajwain plant, Karpooravalli) – 1-2 leaves. (Refer to picture on your left)
Bishop’s weed - (Ajwain,Omam) – one teaspoon
(Refer to picture on your left)
Cumin seeds – (Jeera, Jeeragam) – one teaspoon(refer to picture on your right)
Dill seeds – (
Pepper (Miri, Molaghu) – 3-4 peppercorns (refer to picture on your left)
Take 4-5 glasses of water, put all the abovementioned ingredients and let it come to boiling point, once it reaches the boiling point wait for another 2-3 minutes so that all the essence of the spices and herbs enter the water and put off the gas.
Wait till this concoction becomes warm and u can add a teaspoon of honey and give your baby. Honey is very soothing for the throat incase the baby is having a sore throat. Also if the baby is fussy and doesn’t like the taste of the tonic, adding honey may induce the baby to have the tonic because it adds some sweetness to the kashayam. This can be served several times during the day. It reduces the phlegm and very soothing for the cold and cough. Remember it has to always be served warm and made fresh everyday.
Having a cold can be quite a nuisance, but for a baby it is particularly uncomfortable. There is a traditional method to alleviate the baby's discomfort. If the baby is less than six months old, take 4-5 nagarvel paans (Paan means betel leaves) and place them on a sieve. Place the sieve on a cooking pan over a fire. 1 paan should be placed in the centre of the sieve to allow it to get moderately hot. These warm paans are then placed on the baby's chest one after another. However, make sure that the paans are not so hot that they burn the baby's skin. This procedure should be continued for about five minutes by re-heating the cooled paans.
In the case of babies over six months of age, one can use balls of soft cotton cloth in place of the paans. The balls of cloth should be heated on an indirect fire (heat a tava (flat bottomed pan), place the cloth for a second or 2, feel it against your palm, if it is bearable or not). Then place it on the baby’s chest, on the ribs, the throat and the back. The moderately warm balls of cloth should then be pressed gently against the baby's chest and back. Here again, make sure that the balls of cloth are at a temperature that will not affect the baby's tender skin. If it is not possible to heat the balls of cloth on an indirect fire, one can heat a piece of soft cotton cloth using a hot iron and then roll it into a ball.
2. The person should be given adequate liquids if the situation permits.
DISCLAIMER : "HOME REMEDIES ARE JUST SUPPLEMENTARY APPROACHES. ALWAYS SEEK A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN'S ADVICE FOR ANY ILLNESSES."