In south Indian villages, 'kashayam' is a familiar word. It is nothing but a herbal decoration used to prevent and cure certain minor illnesses, infections and fevers. And yes, it is very effective and was used since centuries.
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It is one of the primary home remedies for most of the minor seasonal issues and infections. And its preparation is pretty easy.
It is more a kind of tea which is prepared by boiling certain medicinal herbs. You can use pepper, tulsi leaves, neem leaves, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, eucalyptus, cloves and more. The taste could be very strong and unbearable but its healing benefits can't be underestimated.
Firstly, herbs are powdered or ground well. They are soaked in water for a couple of hours. After that, water is added in the ratio of 1:8. For one cup of herbal constituents, roughly 8 cups of water is added.
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The mixture is then boiled on medium flame for 45 minutes. The water is then filtered. The essence should be drunk within 3-4 hours of preparation. Now, here are more facts about kashayam.
How does it work? The nutrients of the herbs that are water soluble get into this healing potion. You can derive the maximum benefit of the healing properties.
Another advantage is that your intestines absorb the water soluble nutrients of herbs very fast. So this potion works quite fast on your system.
The best time to consume this kind of tea is in the morning on empty stomach. Your body will be able to absorb the nutrients well.
If you add garlic, ginger or other strong spices, consuming it early in the morning would be difficult and painful on your stomach. In that case, you can take it after breakfast.
Can you add any spices to your preparation? Well, only an ayurvedic practitioner can advise you about the right combinations. If you are doubtful about the combinations, prepare your decoction with a single ingredient every day. One day you can try with ginger and turmeric and another day, you can try some tulsi and neem leaves and so on.
It can work well in preventing and treating cough, common cold and mild fever during seasonal changes.
When certain ingredients like ginger are added, it can work well for digestive issues too.