11 Herbal Medicines You Can Grow at Home for Respiratory and Digestive Health
SChennai resident ubashree Vijay is an entrepreneur who sells herbal products ranging from food to cosmetics and is an expert in gardening.
For the past two decades, she has maintained a herb garden with over 400 varieties of medicinal plants. She also runs her own company, Atria, which offers functional food products, herbal cosmetics and herbal medicines.
Subashree, who grew up in Madurai, has always loved gardening since childhood. It was his favorite pastime.
“After marriage, my family became my priority but I always tried to maintain a mini-garden even when we were in an apartment,” says Subashree. The best India.
“Later, I met Mr. Nellai Nayakam, a traditional Siddha (medicine) practitioner based in Chennai and started assisting him. He was the one who introduced me to the herbs. became my passion and I started to learn more about herbal medicines and their benefits,” says Subhashree who also did her postgraduate studies in physics.
“Every house should have some medicinal plants in its garden,” she says with conviction. “There are plenty of medicinal plants that can be easily grown even in small spaces with a little care.”
Apart from growing an herb garden, the 50-year-old also helps set up these gardens for schools and colleges. She runs a seed bank and sells medicinal plants. It is for this reason that she received a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for her work with herbal medicines and for making a herbal deodorant, a substitute for mothballs. .
Speaking to The Better India, Subashree shares a list of 10 herbal remedies you can grow at home for respiratory and digestive health.
Herbs to grow for respiratory health:
1. Tulsi (holy basil)
Considered “the queen of herbs”, Tulsi can help maintain good respiratory health. Tulsi leaves can be used as chooran (powder) or kashayam (decoction) and can also be used to make tea, by adding turmeric and pepper.
2. Karpuravalli or Ajwain (Arisochilus carrosus or Mexican mint)
The leaves of this herb can be chewed or its extract can be consumed with honey to soothe sore throats and treat a cold. In winter, these leaves can also be used to make ‘bhajis’.
3. Thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum)
The leaves can be used to make chutneys, its powder and can also be added in soups. Dried leaves can be used in ‘dhal’ powders. “Their flowers are boiled in milk and given to cure coughs,” she says.
4. Aadathodai or Vasaka (Justicia Adhatoda)
Aadathoda Manapagu is an effective cough syrup in Tamil Nadu. “A decoction made from its leaves can help cure wheezing,” she adds.
5. Chitharathai or Kulanjan (Alpinia Galangal)
The roots of this plant are dried and ground into a powder and mixed with honey to “treat coughs and colds”, she says. Their leaves can also be used in herbal tea.
6. Nochi or Sambhalo (Vitex negundo)
“Nochi leaves can be used while steaming to cure headaches, sinusitis and wheezing. It can also be used in bath water to reduce body aches and fever,” says Subashree.
Herbs to grow for digestive health:
1. Pirandai or Hadjod (Veld grape)
It is also a well-known herb for strengthening bones. “The tender stems of Pirandai can be used to make chutneys, which can help cure indigestion and hemorrhoids,” she says.
Mint leaves are generally used to make chutney, soup, rasam and also tea. “It can improve the digestive process, heal ulcers in the mouth, and also heal bloating,” she adds.
A great additive to tea, it is also a good ingredient for dishes like pulav. “It helps improve metabolism, blood circulation and is also good for digestion,” she says.
4. Lemon Basil
Usually used in salads and tea, they are a good flavoring agent and aid digestion.
5. Curry leaves
A common ingredient in Indian cooking, curry leaves can aid digestion and help reduce stomach issues. In addition, it is a good source of iron and vitamins.
Besides those mentioned above, she says, “Some herbs help in rejuvenation, bone strengthening and liver stimulation, such as Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Ponnanganni (Alternanthera sessilis), Bhringraj, etc.”
All of the herbs listed here can be grown by beginners with a little effort and can easily be maintained on a patio or balcony, explains the gardening expert.
“These herbs just need well-aerated, nutrient-rich soil, plenty of sunlight, and a little attention from gardeners,” she adds.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)