Archives for February 2021

Coriander (Dhaniya)

Coriander Scientific Name

Coriandrum Sativum

Coriander Other Names

English: Coriander, Cilantro leaves
Chinese: Yuan sui, husui
Latin: Coriandrum sativum Linn Pennel
Hindi: Dhaniya, Dhania, Dhanya
Sanskrit: Dhanyaka, Kustambari, Dhania Vitunnaka

What is Coriander?

Coriander seeds and leaves, also known as Cilantro, are part of Indian and Mexican culinary since ages. In Ayurveda, both the seeds and leaves, are widely used for it’s medicinal properties. Although, the term “coriander/cilantro” is typically used to refer to the leaves, in the following sections, the term “coriander” will be used to describe the seeds.

Coriander seeds are commonly used in medicinal decoctions to prevent nausea and food poisoning. It is also used as a powerfull balancer of all 3 doshas (kapha, vata, pitta). Hulled and split seeds of coriander are used as common mouth freshner often in combination with dill seeds.

Common forms of Coriander

Seeds, Powder, Fresh Leaves

Coriander is commonly used for:

  • Treating fever, diarrohoea, indigestion, gas (flatulence), worms and nausea
  • Curing Piles
  • Quenching thirst and rehydration especially in extreme hot weather
  • Treating rheumatoid arthritis and gout
  • Cough and asthma in Children
  • Treating burning sensation in eyes
  • Managing headaches, stress, anxiety and insomnia
  • Obesity
  • Fever
  • Allergies

Coriander Dosage

Seed Powder: 3 to 6 grams
Cold infusion/decoction: 10 to 30 ml per or as directed by an Ayurvedic doctor.
Oil: 1 to 3 drops

Coriander Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: Not known
Not so common side-effects: It can cause skin irritation and itching.
Pregnant and nursing mothers: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if coriander is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Children: Not Known.
In some cases, Coriander has shown to cause allergic reactions with symptoms including asthma, nasal swelling, hives, or swelling inside the mouth.

Where to Buy Coriander in US?

Tamarind (Imli)

Tamarind Scientific Name

Tamarindus indica

Tamarind Other Names

English: Tamarind, Indian date
Hindi: Imali, Imli, Ambli
Sanskrit: Cinca

What is Tamarind?

Tamarind fruit, mainly used for its high content of tartaric acid, is used widely in Indian cooking to impart sweet acidity to foods. In Ayurveda, Tamarind is useful in treating cardiac disorders, non-healing wounds, anorexia etc.
Tamarind has certain laxative properties and is used to treat mild to moderate constipation. It helps to boost immunity as it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, making it useful in managing the common cold. Tamarind, at different stages of ripeness, affects and balances levels of the Doshas (Kapha, Vata, Pitta). Recent research has suggested the presence of a certain compound in Tamarind that is similar to Mucin, the wet substance that protects the cornea, found in eyes and hence can be potentially used to treat dry eyes.

Common forms of Tamarind

Powder, Oil, Pulp Concentrate, Paste

Tamarind is commonly used for:

  • Treating coughs and colds
  • Relieving constipation
  • Treating fever
  • Eradicating intestinal worms
  • Treating stomach, liver and gallbladder problems
  • Managing pregnancy-related nausea

Tamarind Dosage

For dry eyes: Eye drops containing up to 1% tamarind seed sugars have been found to alievate 4-5 times a day.
1/2 tsp of Tamarind pulp/paste/powder with a glass of warm water

Tamarind Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: Not Known.
Not so common side-effects: Not Known
Pregnant and nursing mothers: Stick to food amounts for safer dosage
Children: Not Known.
In some cases, Tamarind, was found to interfere with post-surgery blood sugar control. It is advisable to avoid Tamarind at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Where to Buy Tamarind in US?

Kesar (Saffron)

Kesar Scientific Name

Crocus sativus

Kesar Other Names

English: Saffron
Spanish: Azafran
Hindi: Kesar
Sanskrit: Rakta, Kashmir, Balhil, Ghusrun, Kumkum

What is Kesar?

A fragrant spice, Saffron, aka Kesar in India is considered one of the most expensive spices in the world. This royal spice native to the Kashmir region of India and mainly obtained from the flower part of the plant. Most known use of Saffron is in flavorsome cooking. The fragrance, and it’s skin-glow bestowing properties makes it a common ingredient in beauty products.
In Ayurveda, Saffron is grouped the category of herbs called “Varanya Gana” that gives the skin a warm, glowing complexion. The spice is considered Tridoshic in that it balances all Doshas (kapha, vata and pitta). It is also known as a wonderful anti-oxidant to flush toxins out of the body and skin. It is a soothing, anti-inflammatory, and improves blood circulation. Saffron is mood-enhancing and is most commonly used for treating mental disorders like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer disease. Additionally it is also found to relieve menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Saffron is also used for many other conditions, but more research is needed to support any other uses

Common forms of Kesar

Tablets, Capsules, Oil, Threads

Kesar is commonly used for:

Kesar Dosage

Capsule: 1 capsule once or twice a day.
Tablet: 1 Tablet once or twice a day.
Oil: 1-3 drops or as prescribed by the doctor

Kesar Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: Large amounts of Saffron have found to cause yellow appearance of the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Additionally symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from the nose, lips, eyelids, numbness, were also reported.
Not so common side-effects: Not Known.
Pregnant and nursing mothers: Saffron (kesar) can be taken during pregnancy but follow the dosage and duration as recommended by the doctor and self-medication should be avoided. Larger amounts of saffron can cause pre-mature contractions leading to a miscarriage.
Children: Not Known.
Taking large amounts of saffron by mouth is likely unsafe. Doses over 5 grams or more can cause poisoning and over 12 grams can cause death.
Saffron/Kesar has blood-pressure lowering tendency and hence consult a doctor if you are already on antihypertensive medication.

Where to Buy Kesar in US?

Star Anise (Chakra Phool)

Star Anise Scientific Name

Illicium verum

Star Anise Other Names

English: Star Anise, Indian anise, Chinese anise, Badian anise
Chinese: Ba jiao
German: Sternanis, Badian
Hindi: Chakra Phool, Badiyan ka Phool
Sanskrit: Mishi

What is Star Anise?

This dark brown colored licorice-flavored star-shaped fruit is a rich source of major health-promoting compounds like Linalool, Quercetin, Anethole, Shikimic acid, Gallic acid, and Limonene.
Star anise is a popular herb used in the Indian Ayurveda and ancient Chinese therapies for centuries. It is used for lung infections, gas and colic pains in babies. Known for it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and expectorant properties, Star anise is commonly used in treating cough and cold. It promotes reproductive health in women and acts as a Galactogogue (promotes breast-milk secretion in lactating mothers).

Common forms of Star Anise

Dried Fruit, Powder, Oil

Star Anise is commonly used for:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Fighting Viruses and Flu
  • Protecting digestive system
  • Reducing respiratory congestion
  • Improving Lactation
  • Anti-diabetic properties
  • Promoting bone health
  • Protecting Liver

Star Anise Dosage

Powder: 3 gram per day.
Oil: 300 mg per day.
Tea: 0.5 to 1 g ground seed boiled in 150 mL water for 120 min.

Star Anise Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: Some people may be allergic or develop allergies to ingredients responsible for the licorice type aroma and/or taste.
Not so common side-effects: Not known.
Pregnant women: Not known.
Children: Not known.
Be sure you are using Chinese star anise, not Japanese star anise. Japanese star anise is poisonous and looks identical to Chinese star anise.

Where to Buy Star Anise in US?

Mustard (Sarso) Seeds

Mustard Seeds Scientific Name

Yellow Mustard Seeds: Sinapis alba
Black Mustard Seeds: Brassica nigra

Mustard Seeds Other Names

Yellow Mustard Seeds:
English: White turnip
Hindi: Peeli sarso, Rai
Black Mustard Seeds:
English: Black mustard seed, Brown mustard seed, Indian mustard
German: Schwarzer Senf, Braunsenf
Hindi: Kali rai, Kali sarson, Lal sarson, Rai, Sarson

What is Mustard Seeds?

Small seeds of the Mustard plant are a common ingredient in Indian cooking. Yellow mustard seeds have pungent and spicy bite but are milder than their close relative, brown/black mustard seeds. Mustard sauce is a condiment in variety of dishes. Black mustard oil is used for treating common cold, painful joints and muscles (rheumatism), and arthritis.
Mustard oil is loaded with natural fats which promote healthy hair. Massaging scalp with the mustard oil provides deep conditioning and increases hair growth.

Common forms of Mustard Seeds

Seeds, Powder, Oil

Mustard Seeds is commonly used for:

  • Bronchitis
  • Relieving muscle spasms
  • Relieving respiratory disorders
  • Curing body aches
  • Fighting bad breath
  • Boosting metabolism
  • Promoting hair growth
  • Soothing colds and coughs
  • Treating Osteoarthritis
  • Curing Water retention (edema)
  • Inducing vomiting
  • Pneumonia and painful lung conditions, when applied to the affected area as a “mustard plaster”

Mustard Seeds Dosage

Powder: 2 to 4 gram a day.
Oil: 2 to 4 teaspoons oil in daily cooking

Mustard Seeds Side-effects and Warnings

Common side effects: When applied to the skin, especially for a long time, black mustard can cause skin blisters and skin damage.

Not so common side effects: If taken in large amounts it might cause side effects such as throat damage, heart failure, diarrhea, drowsiness and breathing difficulties.

Pregnant or Nursing mothers: Certain chemicals in Mustard can induce menstruation and cause a miscarriage.

Children: Not known.

Over-consumption of Mustard oil may lead to stomach and gastrointestinal irritation and may lead to thyroid problems resulting in hyperthyroidism.

Where to Buy Mustard Seeds in US?

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Tulsi Scientific Name

Ocimum sanctum

Tulsi Other Names

English: Holy Basil
Sanskrit: Tulasi
Hindi: Tulsi

What is Tulsi?

Tulsi, aka Indian basil or the holy basil, is called the Queen of Herbs, in Ayurveda. Originally from India, it is now grown in Australia, West Africa, and some Middle Eastern countries. The leaves, stems, and seeds are used to make Ayurvedic medicine. It is a natural adaptogen that has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties and helps in fighting stress and related disorders.
Inherent chemicals in holy basil are thought to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and in some cases helps in lowering blood sugar levels in Diabetics. In certain studies, the anti-oxidant properties of Tulsi have found to have an anti-carcinogenic effect on the body.

Common forms of Tulsi

Tablets, Liquid Extract, Capsules, Tea, Powder

Tulsi is commonly used for:

Tulsi Dosage

A dose of 10 grams of holy basil/tulsi leaf aqueous extract can be given 1 to 4 times per day in equal doses. As a tincture solution, the average dose is 30 drops per day in three equal doses. Tulsi whole-plant aqueous extract of 6 to 14 grams is an average daily dose.

Tulsi Side-effects and Warnings

Common side effects: Not known.
Not so common side effects: Holy basil is possibly safe when used for up to 8 weeks. Taking high doses of holy basil might cause nausea or diarrhea.
Pregnant or Nursing mothers: Avoid concentrated doses to be on the safe side.
Children: Not known.

Where to Buy Tulsi in US?