September 21, 2019

Neem Herbal Tea For Stomach Ailments & Intestinal Worm Infections

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Most of the time, we eagerly wait for the monsoons to provide the much-needed relief after the scorching summer heat and the soaring temperatures. And though, this year, monsoons have hit almost all parts of India, the incessant rains and the unending, unabated showers sadly, have wreaked havoc in many places causing loss of life and property.

However, this is usually not the norm and  rainy season is welcomed by one and all as it is a pleasant change after the unbearable heat and grime. Sitting by the window, watching the rains and sipping a cup of hot coffee or tea along  with crispy, fried pakodas is most people's idea of spending a rainy day comfortably and leisurely.

woman with an umbrella enjoying the rains



Monsoon diseases due to change in weather conditions

But along with the awesome climate, monsoons tend to reduce our immunity making us susceptible to host of diseases commonly associated with rains and excessive humidity.  Some of these are viral infections like common cold, flu / fever, influenza, swine flu etc or the dreaded jaundice and food poisoning, water borne diseases such as diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections like typhoid, cholera or intestinal worm infections.

Do read:
Rainy season is also the ideal time for mosquitoes to thrive and as such mosquito-borne such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya etc. are quite common during this season. [ Interestingly, a recent study has also found that dengue could be transmitted sexually too. ]


 woman walking in heavy rains with an umbrella


Wading through dirty puddles of water during the rainy season also leads to to fungal infections which affect toes and nails. [ Also go through these 3 great home-remedies to heal nail fungus. ]

Do read:
People afflicted by health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular problems, weak lungs are more at risk of infection and monsoon related ailments during the rainy season. Hence one needs to be extra cautious about one's health during the rainy season.

According to Ayurveda, monsoons are the time when our body goes into vata dosha imbalance. The digestive system which is already weakened in summer due to dehydration gets further weakened in the monsoons, say the Ayurvedic texts. So our digesting capability is at its lowest in the monsoons. This, in turn, makes our metabolism sluggish and increases fat storage.

Since the digestive system and metabolism work at a slower pace during rainy season, it makes sense to eat slightly less than what you usually eat and moreover eat only when you feel feel hungry. Overeating in monsoons may cause indigestion and bloating.

Do read: Home remedies for indigestion

So improving your digestive power and strengthening your digestive system should be one of the top priorities in the rainy season and this can be achieved to some extent by eating the right foods and drinking the right beverages.

The wonder herb neem and certain spices may tremendously help in keeping your immunity levels in top condition and boost your digestive system.

A homemade herbal tea or kashayam / kashaya with neem leaves and some incredible spices that boosts immunity and wards off infections is the perfect beverage to be had during rainy season.

Homemade Herbal Tea With Neem Leaves, Ginger & Other Spices

Ingredients:
  • Neem leaves - a big bunch
  • Ginger (Adrak) - 1½ inches or 1 tbsp grated
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 2-3 tsp
  • Ajwain (Bishop's weed) - 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper - 1-2 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups
Method:
First of all take cumin seeds, ajwain and black pepper and crush it into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Keep this powder aside. Now take 2 cups of water in a vessel and add a big bunch of neem leaves to it.

Add considerable amount of neem leaves as shown in the figure so that all the goodness of the leaves gets seeped into the decoction. The decoction should taste considerably bitter; that's why the need to add more leaves.

Now add sliced ginger or grated ginger to it and let it simmer over a flame. Then add the powdered spices to it and let it boil till the water reduces to half. Then strain it and pour into glasses and have it.

neem herbal drink or kashayam


Medicinal benefits of the ingredients used in the neem herbal tea

Neem:
 Neem is a wonder herb which has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, hypoglycaemic, antimalarial,and diuretic properties. In India neem leaves are used to cure all sorts of stomach and intestinal problems. The herb promotes a healthy digestive system by protecting the stomach, aiding in elimination, and removing toxins and noxious bacteria.


Additionally neem helps maintain healthy gut flora, as it only targets harmful microbes while allowing the good ones to thrive in the gut. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to remove discomfort and provide relief for stomach infections. Neem leaves are often used to treat heartburn and indigestion.  Neem is also found to be effective in treating digestive disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, hyperacidity and constipation. Neem also helps in conditions like gastritis, stomach ulcers etc.

neem tree leaves

Neem is the choice of the herb for the elimination of  internal parasites or intestinal worm infestation and has been used since time immemorial for this purpose. The best thing about the use of neem is that it not only kills the parasites, but also effectively eliminates the toxins they leave behind as they are dying. Neem also helps the liver recover from being overworked from the parasite infection. [Source]

The scientific name of Neem is Azadirachta indica. It's also known by other names like Indian Lilac, Margosa tree, nim,  paradise tree, white cedar, chinaberry etc. It's called kahi bevu in Kannada, Kod nimbu / limbu in Konkani, Kadu Limbu in Marathi, Veppai, Sengumar in Tamil, Ariyaveppu in Malayalam, Vepa in Telugu and Nimba,  nimbaka or Arishta in Sanskrit.

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Neem is easily available in India. But for those in US, you can buy it from here, here or here.



Ginger:
Ginger is one of the essential ingredients of Indian kitchens that is used to tackle common health woes like cold, cough and flu due to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger stimulates the digestive juices and thus aids digestion. Like neem , ginger too is useful in tackling a lot of stomach problems. It helps to provide relief in indigestion, bloating, flatulence and gas.

See also: Home Remedies for flatulence and gas

Ginger also alleviates  vomiting, nausea,and  acidity .Ginger’s volatile oils are an effective means to relieve gastrointestinal irritation. Some studies have also shown that ginger may reduce acid-reflux that is, the possibility of stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus. Also works well for loss of appetite and loss of taste.

See also: Home remedies for distaste of food

Cumin:
Cumin or jeera is well-known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A good source of iron, in digestion and colon health. Cumin aids digestion by increasing the activity of digestive proteins. It is also found to reduce symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

Certain studies have found that cumin's traditional use as a seasoning may restrict the growth of infectious bacteria and fungi which in turn may reduce food-borne illnesses.

Some research has also revealed that it could possibly promote weight loss and improve blood sugar control and cholesterol if taken in higher doses, though more studies are required to confirm this. [Source]

See also: Home remedies with Jeera or Cumin seeds

Ajwain (Omum) (Bishop's Weed) (Carom):
Ajwain, a spice with its strong flavour has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Like neem and jeera, ajwain too helps treat any kind of abdominal discomfort due to indigestion, such as stomach pain, burning sensation,  flatulence, nausea etc.

Ajwain is found to be quite effective in treating ailments like cold, fever and flu.  Particularly, like neem, jeera, ginger or black pepper, it is also found to be of great use in combating monsoon based ailments and to tackle the effects of weather change during monsoons.

Ajwain also helps with bowel movements, prevents constipation and helps elimination of toxins from the body effectively. It supposedly helps in weight loss too.

Black Pepper (Kali Mirch):
Black pepper is an age-old spice condiment in Ayurveda hailed for its ability to fight off cold, headache, detox the body and reduce joint pains.

Like jeera or cumin, it has  antimicrobial compounds that help keep food fresh. So flavouring foods with black pepper powder could possibly reduce food poisoning too.

Black pepper is also found to be effective in clearing as well as prevention of intestinal worm infections.

See also: Home remedies with black pepper or Kaali Mirch

Final Thoughts

This potent drink prepared with wonderful herbs such as neem, common kitchen ingredient such as ginger and wonderful spices such as cumin seeds, ajwain and pepper corns which are a powerhouse of medicinal properties helps improve the digestion, metabolism, bowel movements as well as immunity.

It will help fight colds, coughs, fever and mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and not to forget intestinal worm infestations and nullify the effects of food poisoning which are all so common during the rainy season. As such, this beverage is ideal to be had during the monsoons.

Neem Herbal Tea or Kashayam -- Homemade


Preferably have it once in 15 days during monsoons and once in a month or two in other seasons to detoxify your body, improve blood circulation, rev up digestion, ensure proper elimination of wastes products and strengthen its immunity.

I've been using this ever since monsoon has started and found great relief from stomach troubles and low immunity which are the banes of rainy season. Specifically I prefer it during monsoons for its ability to get rid of intestinal parasites and worms as I'm not particularly fond of taking allopathic pills for parasite elimination.

So do try this wonderful Neem Herbal Drink interspersed with medicinal spices and let me know how it has worked for you. Do share in the comments.

CAUTION: Do not take this herbal beverage if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or nursing your baby. Neem is found to be act as a contraceptive for both males and females as long as it is consumed or topically applied. Neem is also an abortificant & may induce miscarriage if taken in large quantities.


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