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Some Experiences with Natural Medicine
and related observations
A decoction of shredded ginger eases stomach ache caused by acid and gas. The inclusion of other spices and/or herbs is even more beneficial. Many proprietary Indian, Chinese and Western herbal medicines for the stomach and lungs include ginger and some of the other spices listed below. You need to 'listen' to your body - remember to check for contraindications. I found that just 2 doses per day were enough to set me on the road to recovery. I did not exceed this dose because I wanted to encourage my body to heal itself. Given that anything in excess is bad for the body I took different remedies on different days (see gastritis.html).
- Boil and simmer about 2 teaspoons of shredded ginger in half a pint (up to 10 ounces) of water for about 15 minutes in a closed pot. I initially used the ginger with skin on since the gingerol and other chemicals are concentrated just under the skin. However, the skin is usually discarded in normal use since it is regarded to be too 'heaty' by Asians.
- Strain half the tea (about 4 oz) into a mug
- Add less than half a teaspoon of honey. You can add more or less if you prefer. I sometimes use Licorice as sweetener instead of honey.
- Sip it while it is still warm, holding the liquid in the mouth and swilling it around before swallowing it. Add warm water if the decoction is too strong for you.
- Just a couple of the black seeds from inside a cardamom pod makes the tea fragrant and enhances the therapeutic effect.
I took the dose after breakfast and the remainder after lunch. I felt immediate relief, starting with my throat. On the following days, the healing extended down the gullet to the stomach. The hard painful bulge over the ribs and under the breast started to decrease and soften every time I burped. It was a slow recovery which took nearly 4 weeks to become manageable and over a year to return to normal. I stuck to my normal diet throughout this time.
You should feel the brew warm you from the inside. If you have an infection, have it before you tuck yourself under blankets and they will help to sweat the toxins out! If your body needs it, you will want the remainder in the pot. If not, it will keep for a couple of days. Bring it to the boil again and add more water and spices if you wish and have the strained liquid with honey or palm sugar (which is a rich source of nutrients). You can also make coffee with the decoction and sweeten with molasses (another source of nutrients). The Indians brew tea with this mixture to make Masala Tea. You can have several doses on a cold day – but Asians regard these spices as ‘heaty’ and will not have them in hot weather.
If you add other spices, you should dry roast them in a frying pan and crush them slightly before adding them to the decoction to release their aromatic oils. Please note that the columns below are for gastritis only and do not apply to other ailments, which may benefit from other combinations. Other ingredients which help - good combinations I have tried are underlined. Other ingredients which were unsuitable for my gastritis
Ajwain - an Indian carminative which can be overpowering with its distinctive taste of thymol.
Cardamom - another warming carminative
Clove and cinnamon - also warming, antiseptic etc.
Coriander - another waming carminative
Dill -the same but is more overpowering in taste
Honey - but not if you are diabetic
Licorice - which helped to soothe the mucosa of the gullet and stomach, which were inflamed.
Mandarin Peel Dried - fragrant - see also: http://theherbalfarm.blogspot.com/2008/01/orange-peel.html
Mint especially Peppermint
Nutmeg - only a small amount.
Pepper - very pungent but a very warming and soothing after effect. Long Pepper is even more pungent but more effective. Malaysian researchers have found that ginger, Black pepper and Long Pepper were most effective in killing and preventing the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
Cumin - is a cooling herb and is better suited to hot weather.
Fennel - did not help the stomach but seems to be better for intestinal flatulence with lower abdominal bloating and pain.
Lemon Juice - which is more appropriate for colds and flu. Made my system more acidic. http://bundleboy.hubpages.com/hub/Home-Remedies-with-Ginger
Milk - worsens acidity although it is used in Indian Masala Tea.
Once I knew the stomach was recovering from gastritis, I stuck to Ginger, licorice/honey. I put one tablet of concentrated licorice extract in with the ginger when it was simmering. This herbal potion (which the Tamils call kashayam) tasted very similar to that which my grandmother boiled for me when I had a bad bout of flu as a child.
After 4 weeks, I got tired of boiling a brew up every day. Instead I made some ginger, turmeric and honey pills (see gastritis.html) which were quite effective in eliminating residual swelling of the tongue, throat and cheeks. I dont know if this would have been as effective if I had started with this remedy instead of the teas. Strangely, my tinnitus (which was investigated by scans and which I believe was caused by an abscessed tooth) is also a lot better - in fact I would say that it is almost gone along with my double chin!
Siva's ginger tea recipe for chest cold
2 athimathuram (licorice) stick
3tb spoon malli (coriander)
1tb sp. small jeerakam (cumin)
1 tsp vendium (fenugreek, this is bitter but Indians believe that it stimulates the liver)
1 tsp chukku -dried ginger powder
1 tsp brown sugar
3 cups water
Boil all the ingredients until reduced to 2 cups medication.
BOTTLE IT, SIP IT SLOWLY, PHLEGM WILL MELT AWAY.
© Mahes Visvalingam, 10 Jan 2012
Last updated on 30/08/13