Home Remedies

Ayurvedic Home Remedies For Common Health Problems

Thanks to Drs. Pankaj and Smita Naram and the Siddha Ved tradition of Ayurveda for giving permission to share these safe, effective home remedies for common health problems.*

Please note:  In some cases, more than one remedy is offered for the same or similar condition. You may wish to try each remedy and see what works best for you.

The ingredients that are highlighted can be purchased online by clicking on the highlighted ingredient.  In most cases these links will take you to a high-quality supplier of Ayurvedic herbs, which in most cases provides organic products.  The other ingredients, which are not highlighted, may be purchased either from the spice rack of your local grocery store (for example, black pepper), from the bulk herb and spice section of health food stores, or from Indian grocery stores (for example, ajwan seeds).  Stores such as Whole Foods and Earth Fare also carry most of the spices mentioned in the ingredients as well as organic ghee.

For acute health problems such as cold and flu, it’s a good idea to have these ingredients on hand in the house so they are available at the time acute illness strikes.

COLD, COUGH AND OTHER RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS

1. For cold, cough, and allergies use the following remedy:

1 teaspoon  Ginger root juice
1 teaspoon  Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil or Ocimum Sanctum) leaf juice
1/4 teaspoon  Raw honey

Mix all of the above ingredients and take 2-3 times per day.  If fresh tulsi juice is not available, use 1 teaspoon of dry Tulsi leaf powder . You may use fresh basil leaves instead of tulsi, as they are in the same family, although tulsi is more potent.

If you are not able to juice fresh ginger, use 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root as a substitute.

2.  For cough and cold make these ingredients into a tea:

1/4 teaspoon  Fresh ginger root, grated
8  Basil leaves, crushed
2  Black peppercorns, crushed
Cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
2  Whole cloves
5  Peppermint leaves
1  teaspoon  Raw honey
1 cup  Purified water

Boil the ingredients for a few minutes, except for the honey.  Filter tea and add the honey when the liquid has cooled to a warm temperature.  Drink this tea two to three times per day.  Note:  if peppermint leaves are not available, 3 drops of pure peppermint oil may be substituted.  If fresh basil leaves are not available, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil may be substituted.  If cardamom pods are not available, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder may be substituted.

3. Take one tablet of Trikatu two to three times per day with honey.  This will give immediate relief from the cold and will treat chronic colds at the root cause.  Caution:  if you have high pitta (migraines, bleeding problems, irritability/anger, acidity/ulcers) only take Trikatu after consulting with an Ayurvedic specialist since it is very hot in nature.  Do not take Trikatu for more than a few weeks.

4. Asthma

Mix the following ingredients well and take two to three times per day:

1 teaspoon  Licorice powder

1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon  Pippali (also known as Long Pepper, Piper Longum)
1/4 teaspoon  Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon  Raw honey

5.  For acute asthma, take one teaspoon of Sitopaladi Churna (powder) mixed with honey three to four times per day for up to one week.

6. Sinus infection

Take 1/2 teaspoon of Talisadi Churna [link] three times per day.  Talisadi Churna liquefies the mucus and will relieve the congestion.  It will also remove the yellow/green mucus.

7. Sore throat

1/4 teaspoon  Turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon  Mineral salt
Mix the turmeric and salt in one cup of warm purified water and gargle with this mixture two to three times per day.

8. Sinus Congestion

Lubricate both nasal passages daily with Nasya Oil

Because the nose is a direct route to the brain and also the doorway to consciousness, it is important to ensure proper floe of prana throughout the head and body. Administration of herbally infused oil, or nasya, helps facilitate this cleaning process. Daily use helps to relieve sinus congestion, release of tension in the head and relieve accumulated stress.

9. Nasal Dryness/ Excess Mucous

A Nasal Rinse Cup provides soothing relief from nasal dryness or blockage.  A simple cleansing technique used to gently remove excess mucous and rinse away dust, pollution, pollen and many other nasal irritants.

DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS

1. Acidity, acid reflux, and ulcers:

20  black raisins (soaked over night)
1/2 teaspoon  Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon Fennel seed powder
1/2 teaspoon  Licorice powder
1 teaspoon  Amalaki powder (Embolica officinalis)
1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon  Cardamom seed powder
1 pinch  Sodium bicarbonate
1/2 cup  Purified water
1/2 teaspoon  Triphala powder

Blend all the ingredients together and drink twice a day.

2. Gas and bloating without acidity or acid reflux:

1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 pinch  Asafetida (hing)**
1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon  Black salt**
1/2 cup  Purified water

Mix together and drink in the morning on an empty stomach or after food when bloating is occurring.

**Asafetida is available at Whole Foods and Earth Fare and some other health food stores.  Asafetida, also called “hing” in India, and black salt are available in Indian grocery stores.

3. Gas and bloating with acidity and/or acid reflux

1 teaspoon  Cumin seed powder
1/2 teaspoon  Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon  Unrefined sugar
1/8 teaspoon  Cardamom
1/2 cup  Purified water

Mix the ingredients together in the 1/2 cup of water and take 2-3 times per day.

4.  Acidity, acid reflux (GERD), and heartburn:

A) Mix Amalaki powder with raw sugar or pure maple syrup to taste, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture 2-4 times per day either before or after food.  Although Amalaki is very sour in taste, it has the unusual property of reducing acidity in the digestive tract.

B) Soak 20 raisins overnight in a cup of purified water.  Crush the raisins in the morning, strain, and drink the liquid.

5. Constipation and elimination of toxins:

1 cup  Triphala powder
1/4 cup  Licorice powder
1/4 cup  Fennel seed powder
1/4 cup  Senna leaf powder (use this ingredient only in the case of obstinate, chronic constipation)
1/4 cup  Ginger powder
1/4 cup  Mineral salt

Mix ingredients together.  Take one to two teaspoons of this mixture with warm purified water every night before going to bed.  This mixture will improve the digestion, balance the doshas, eliminate ama, and relieve constipation.  If you know that you have excess vata dosha, you may add one teaspoon of castor oil to the daily dose.

6. To strengthen digestion, relieve gas, and improve appetite and energy levels:

1/2 teaspoon  Fresh ginger root
1 pinch  Rock salt
1 squeeze  Fresh lime juice

Take these ingredients mixed together 10 minutes before food.  They will stimulate the flow of digestive enzymes and help you digest food better.

7. To strengthen appetite and digestion, or to remove toxins from the digestive tract:

1 teaspoon  Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon  Ajwan (Apium graveolens)
1 pinch  Asafetida (Hing)
1/2 teaspoon  Black salt (Kala namak)

Mix the ingredients in 1/2 cup purified water. Taken before a meal this remedy increases appetite.  After a meal it strengthens digestion.  If you take it in between meals on an empty stomach, it will digest toxins (ama).

8. Diarrhea:

A) Mix the following ingredients well and eat:

1 cup  Cooked white rice
1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon  Ghee
1/2 teaspoon  Cumin powder
3-4 tablespoons  Fresh plain yogurt

B) Mix the following ingredients well using a blender.  Drink this mixture two to three times per day.

1/2 cup  Fresh yogurt
1/2 cup  Purified water
1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon  Cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon Unrefined salt
9. Bad Breath

According to Ayurveda, daily cleaning of the tongue reduces toxins and bacteria on the tongue that cause bad breath, enhances the sense of taste and improves digestion. This daily cleansing is an important part of oral hygiene, along with brushing and flossing the teeth regularly. Gently scraping the tongue with a Tongue Cleaner can effectively reduce the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath.

ARTHRITIS, JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN

1. Take one teaspoon of castor oil at night before bedtime, when the stomach is empty.  You may place the teaspoon of castor oil in a cup of ginger tea and sweeten to taste with honey if you like.  The ginger tea will help the castor oil to digest more easily, and the honey will hide the taste of the castor oil.  Use raw honey and place the honey in the tea after it has cooled to lukewarm, as honey should not be heated above 100˚ F.  If you don’t want to bother with the tea, drink a little warm water after taking the castor oil.

2. Also for arthritis, join and muscle pain:

1/4 cup  Ginger powder
1 teaspoon  Fenugreek powder
1 tablespoon  Ajwan powder (Apium graveolens, Wild Celery Seeds)
1 tablespoon  Garlic, crushed
1 cup  Jaggery (unrefined sugar)
1/4 cup  Ghee

Mix the ingredients well and press into balls approximately one inch in diameter.  Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Take one ball per day.

3. Chronic muscle spasms and stiffness:

3  Dates
3  Almonds
1 tablespoon  Sesame seeds
2 pods  Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon  Ginger powder
1 teaspoon  Ghee

Soak the dates, almonds, sesame seeds and cardamom pods overnight in 1/2 cup of water.  In the morning, peel the almond skin and remove the cardamom pod, keeping the black seeds found inside the pod.  Put all the ingredients, including the 1/2 cup of water, in a blender and blend thoroughly.  Drink this mixture on an empty stomach or after a cup of black tea.  Taken regularly as breakfast, this mixture will provide the minerals needed to resolve chronic muscle spasms.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

1. Fry one clove of garlic in 1 teaspoon of ghee and eat in the morning.  The ghee will reduce the heating nature of garlic.  Garlic reduces blood pressure and cholesterol.

2. Apply a small amount of ghee to the temples and soles of the feet before bedtime.  After applying the ghee, gently massage the temples and soles of feet for several minutes.  Applying the ghee in this manner has a cooling and calming effect on the mind and circulatory system.

STRESS AND EMOTIONAL BALANCE

1. To help cope with stress, take:

1/2 teaspoon   Brahmi (Centella asiatica) powder [link]
1/2 teaspoon   Shankhapushpi (Evolvulus alsinoides) powder
1/4 teaspoon  Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera) powder
1/4 teaspoon  Jatamansi powder (Nardostachys jatamansi) powder

Mix these ingredients together and take 1 1/2 teaspoon twice a day.  Note: Jatamansi may be purchased online, but it is considered an endangered plant species and it should only be purchased from companies that use sustainable sourcing.  If you cannot get Jatamansi, you can substitute it with Bacopa monniera.

2. For stress, take one teaspoon of Gotu kola powder (Centella asiatica) two times per day.

3. For anger, anxiety, fear and impulsive behavior, use the following remedy:

1 teaspoon   cumin powder
1 teaspoon   coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon  fennel seed powder
1 teaspoon  Raw cane sugar
1 cup  Purified water
20  Rose petals, rinsed clean

Boil this mixture and then cover for 20 minutes while it steeps.  Filter and drink.  Take this mixture two times per day.

URINARY TRACT PROBLEMS

For urinary tract infections, water retention and low kidney function use this remedy:

1 teaspoon  Barley grain
2 cups  Purified water

Soak the barley grain for 30 minutes in hot water and strain. Place the barley in a sauce pan with two cups cold water.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer until grains are soft. Filter the liquid and squeeze all liquid from grains after they have cooled. Drink one cup of this liquid two to three times daily. You may save the grains and serve them in a soup or vegetable dish.

DIABETES

1/2 cup  Turmeric powder
1/2 cup   Fenugreek powder
1 cup   Amalaki powder

Mix the ingredients well and keep in an airtight container.  Take two teaspoons of this mixture daily, in the morning.  This will help to stabilize blood sugar levels.  Note:  if arthritis is also present with the diabetes, take equal amounts of turmeric and fenugreek together, without the Amalaki.

HYPOTHYROIDISM

Make a juice from the following:

1  Medium cabbage
2  Carrots
1  Apple            ‘

Drink this juice once a day on an empty stomach.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

“I’ve used several of these home remedies, and they’ve really worked for me. They are inexpensive and easy to use. I prefer natural remedies such as these, which help resolve the underlying imbalances causing health problems rather than simply treating symptoms.”
—Lisa J. Cagan
Raleigh, NC