Home Remedies from south India: Digestive Disorders

This is a continuation of the series which started with Hair Care. The other posts covered Colds, Coughs, Foot problems, Head aches, and Skin care among other topics. The information in this series is the knowledge of my grandmother, which I documented as part of a project on medicinal plants and home remedies.

  1. Honey taken with cinnamon powder to cure stomach ache and clear stomach ulcers from the root.
  2. Kadukkai (Terminalia chebula) powder is mixed with warm water and consumed before sleep. This acts as a laxative.
  3. Cinnamon powder is sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey and taken before a meal. This relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
  4. The stem of a Peacock feather is heated and powdered. This ash is mixed with honey and eaten to stop vomiting sensation.
  5. Bananas will settle an upset stomach.
  6. Ginger will cure morning sickness and nausea.
  7. Vendhayam (fenugreek) is swallowed with butter milk to arrest loose stools. (It is also good for alleviating stress)
  8. Vasambu is heated in insufficient oxygen till it charrs. This is mixed with honey and eaten for all digestion problems in children.
  9. Grate an apple with its skin. Let it turn brown and eat to treat diarrhoea.
  10. Buttermilk with Karuvepellai (curry leaf), Omam (ajvain or carom), Narthanga oorga (Indian bitter-lemon pickle), and Perungayam (asafotida/hing) is consumed for gas trouble. Buttermilk with even one of the above will also work well.
  11. Vethalai (beetle leaf), salt, poondu (garlic), perungayam (hing/asafotida), omam (carom) are all ground with water to make a concentrated juice. A teaspoon is consumed after bath everyday for good digestive health.
  12. Honey taken with cinnamon powder relieves gas.
  13. Vellakkennai (castor oil) is applied on Uchantalai (top of the head), Ullangall (the soles of the feet), around the belly button, and on the  Ullangai (the palm of the hands) to relieve stomach aches caused by heat (ushnam).
  14. Areca nut (beetle nut) is good for the stomach. It is often chewed with beetle leaves and calcium oxide after heavy, festive meals.
  15. Gullihai with Jeeraha-kashaayam (Jeera/Cumin decoction) made of butter, jeeraham and heated till the water volume is one-third the original amount. This is good for the stomach.
  16. Tender red/light green neem leaves are ground and wrapped in a Vella-orundai (ball of jaggery) is kept inside. This rids the stomach of worms. The Jaggery is mainly to overpower the extreme bitter taste of crushed neem leaves.
  17. Handful of Tulasi with one spoon of pepper is boiled in water until the volume comes to one-fourth of its original volume. It is consumed while it is warm on an empty stomach.
  18. Vethelai (beetle leaf) applied with vellakennai (castor oil) is warmed on the puja lamp and placed on the belly of babies for belly aches.
  19. For stomach ache due to heat in adults a wet cloth is dipped in cold water (not dripping) and wrapped around the stomach and the person made to lie down.
  20. Maadhulum pinju (a developing, raw pomegranate) is ground with curd. Eating this helps in arresting diarrhoea.
  21. Drinking a lot of water often solves many digestive problems.


The pictures used in this series are inserted from other websites. I have used them only to illustrate the ingredients used in the remedies.

See also