Science behind home made remedies

No matter how old you are, you always run to their mother or grandmother and ask her to make the magical mixture of kaadha when they have a cold, cough, or any other small ailment like a fever. These cures have been passed on from one generation to another in our country, and continue to hold their trustworthiness in the age of doctors. This wisdom has long been taken for granted, because of the strong belief that Indians have in their elders and their families. 77% of Indians still use Ayurvedic cures. Now that modern medicine has also acknowledged and understood the effects of these cures, it is important to know the science behind them and understand possible negative effects as well. In the event of a critical illness, they may not be as effective.

Rock salt

Rock salt is essentially salt in a purer form. When mixed with lemon juice, it aids digestion because of its natural minerals. It helps to relieve gases present in the digestive system. It relieves a bloated stomach, making it a preferred cure for digestive troubles.

The catch here is that a lemon juice-rock salt mixture is advised only for mild ailments. It can’t cure a severe case of gastroenteritis or diarrhea. It doesn’t work with acidity either, as lemon only increases the acidity. Another word of caution is for heart and high BP patients, as they can’t eat too much salt, and this includes rock salt.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup is amongst the common home remedies for common cold and flu. The hot soup helps to open up the throat and nose, soothing the throat in the process. It also helps a lot in hydration, which gives the body strength to recover faster. Chicken soup restricts the movement of neutrophils (white blood cells) present in the respiratory tract and relieves congestion. Another part that chicken soup helps you with is the functioning of cilia or cells with hair like projections in the mucous membrane that trap dirt and aid in the removal of mucous. <?

However effective, chicken soup only provides relief from certain symptoms. If the symptoms last for too long, it is advised to visit a doctor because it could be a more serious problem than just the cold or the flu.

Turmeric and milk

If you look at both components individually, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and an antioxidant called curcumin; while milk is rich in protein and calcium. The protein in milk helps to heal wounds and turmeric helps soothe inflamed muscles and fight free radicals in the body, powering up the immune system in the process. This combined medicine is known to heal wounds, body pains and boost immunity in general. A lot of mothers give it to their kids on a regular basis to keep them in good health.

Oil massage

A lot of families prefer mustard oil for baby massages. Mustard oil is intrinsically warm, and helps in opening sweat glands. This makes the child’s skin soft and supple. It also helps to improve their blood circulation. The overall effect relaxes its muscles and makes it feel more comfortable and sleep better. The peculiar pungent smell of mustard oil additionally works as a repellent for insects and mosquitoes. The only word of caution is that it should not be used for babies younger than 1 year. Even for adults, mustard oil is recommended for its richness in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.

Honey and ginger

Ginger and honey are often used separately and together as well for cough and sore throat. Ginger works as an antioxidant against cough. Honey prevents inflammation of the throat. Its high stickiness also soothes the throat lining. Together, they form a potent combination for problems related to the throat. Diabetes patients, however, need to consult their doctor before consuming honey as it could affect their sugar levels.

Lavender oil

No, this is not one of the Indian home remedies. However, it has been a trusted cure in the West for a long time. It has an amazing property of interacting with receptors in the CNS (Central Nervous System). The CNS controls our psychological functioning, basically. Lavender oil, in the form of a massage oil, or in the form of pills, helps with depression, anxiety and stress. Lavender oil candles are also known to help uplift one’s mood and help them sleep peacefully. It is not extremely popular in India as of now, but is steadily increasing its presence.

It must however, be remembered that home remedies are only useful for symptomatic cures and minor ailments. When it is a critical illness, one must not let it aggravate by relying on them.

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