22.Herbal Ayurwedic Foods

It's amazing just how many herbal treatments and cures there are in Sri Lanka. Almost every herb, vegetable and fruit has a wide variety of medicinal properties. In short, there's a cure for every ailment if you know herbs well enough. Herbal medications are also becoming popular exports in Sri Lanka. One of the commonest herbs with an array of medicinal uses is 'Welpenela'. Its botanical term is Cardiospermum halicacabum and some of its other names are heart seed, black liquorice and balloon vine. It is found aplenty in markets and growing in many a home garden. This small and delicate wiry climber can be used to treat piles, rheumatism, nervous disorders and chronic bronchitis. Its power lies mostly in its leaves which can also be used as a poultice for skin diseases. A paste of the leaves is a dressing for sores and wounds. Crushed leaves can also be inhaled to relieve headaches and the seeds used to
relieve fever and body aches.


Bittergourd ( Karawila)

The leaves of the Bittergourd plant or 'karavila' can be crushed and the juice massaged into the scalp for a good growth of hair and to help prevent hair loss. The 'karavila' fruit, bitter as it is, increases the flow of milk in nursing mothers, when eaten in sufficient quantities. Juice extract from karawila is drunk by diabetics and get immedite result.





Cucumber

Cucumber, popular in salads, is a herb which is known to keep the
kidneys healthy. Cucumber seeds when roasted, powdered and made into
a coffee-like drink have been known to relieve colic. Thin slices of
cucumber placed on tired eyes is supposed to have a soothing effect.
Pomegranate
For sore eyes, the flowers of the pomegranate (Punica granatum)
tree known as 'delun' can give great relief. The buds of the tree are
boiled and the infusion given to stop chronic diarrhoea especially
in children. The same infusion also relieves bronchitis.
Bleeding from the nose can be checked by powdering the flowers
of the pomegranate tree and applying it on the bleeding area.







Jackfruit

The intriguing jak fruit is extremely nutritious and medicinal.
Jak (Artocarpus reterophyllus) comes in two varieties in Sri Lanka.
They are soft or 'vala' and hard or 'waraka'.
The latter is more popular than the soft.
The bark of the jak tree is used mainly for medicinal purposes
including sprains and fractures.
Tender jak which is known as 'polos',
can be made into a delicious curry and, in the diet of ancient Lankan royalty
this was a dish that was rarely absent.
Nursing mothers are given 'polos' and boiled jak to increase milk.
'Polos' curry also helps those recovering from diarrhoea,
because 'vala' or the soft ripe jak is a laxative which can
be eaten as it is. It helps clear the bowels and assists in digestion.
It also helps relieve bronchitis when kept in bees honey and given
to the patient each morning. 'Waraka' or the hard jak variety is
beneficial to diabetic patients.
The leaves are dried, powdered and made into
a coffee-like drink to be given to diabetics. A
ccording to an ancient recipe the ripe jak leaves are pounded
and fried in gingili (sesame) oil and given to the diabetic patient
each day. It is hard to imagine that such a simple recipe can be a
cure for diabetes but the fact that it has been mentioned often in
ancient books is proof of its efficacy.






Nelli

Another important fruit-medicine is the 'nelli'.
This is a small, green sour fruit with a very high quantity of vitamin C.z
There is hardly any disease for which the 'nelli' is not used either
singly or in combination with other herbs.
The 'nelli' is given to strengthen the retina
and improves weak and defective vision. If dried 'nelli'
is soaked overnight and the juice extracted and drunk each morning,
it makes a good laxative. Leaves boiled and applied on skin eruptions is
said to be beneficial. The ground leaves are said to cure eczema.
Two tablespoons of 'nelli' mixed with a tablespoon of bees honey,
taken regularly each morning helps reduce bleeding piles,
while raw 'nelli', sour as it may be, improves complexion.
Half a cup of 'nelli' juice twice a week helps keep bowel movements
in order.





gotukola (sentella asiatica)

this is known as remedy for hey fever and catarrh.
It has a high content of vitamin A and folic acid.
It's commercially available now as a herbal and in capsule form.

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