Thursday, 7 February 2013

Home Remedies/Kai Vaidhyam - Ginger Decoction/Inji Kashayam and Tulsi/Basil Kashayam

Home Remedies or Kai Vaidhyam or Paati Vaidhyam is not new for Indians, esp., it’s very common among Nagarathars/Chettiars.

Here I’m giving the remedies, which I have personally tested, tried and verified the effectiveness.
Home Remedy for Cough and Cold: Inji Kashayam/Ginger Decoction:

Inji Kashayam/Ginger Decoction
Inji Kashayam or Ginger Decoction is sure to prevent as well as treat Cough and Cold.

I used to have phlegm in my throat, throughout the year and I used to suffer from flu, very often. After I started drinking this Kashayam on a regular basis, gradually the phlegm disappeared and my flu attacks gone down.

When we take allopathy tablets like anti-histamines, decongestants, cough suppressants and expectorants, the problem is, as one symptom disappear, another will crop up. When we get rid of running nose, we are heading for cough and phlegm. Often we suffer from repeated flu attacks.

By taking Inji Kashayam, we can treat as well as prevent running nose, cough and cold. Above all, we can be rest assured that there won't be any side-effects, unless you are allergic to any one of the ingredients, which is rare.

It also promotes digestion which is very important for our health.

Inji Kashayam/ Ginger Decoction:

Ingredients for Inji Kashayam/Ginger Decoction


Ginger - 1 piece (about 3 inch)

Pepper - 1 tsp.,

Cardomom /Elakkai - 3

Cloves/Kraambu - 3

Cinnamon/Pattai - 1 small piece

Palm/Rock/brown Sugar/Panankarkandu - 1 tbsp.

Omavalli/Karpooravalli leaves - few
(country borage, colcus aromatica)
(upon availability you can use it, otherwise proceed with other ingredients, will still be effective)

Betel leaves/Vethallai - 2 (upon availability)

Natural Palm Sugar/Panangarkandu!!

Karpooravalli/Omavalli plant in my mini garden


In a mixer, grind all the spices with water. Add one cup water and the sugar. (To dilute and make it less spicy, you can add more water.) Let it boil for few minutes. In the meantime, take the leaves pound it with a mortar & pestle, then with little water add it to the boiling Kashayam. Let it boil for 1 minute, switch off. Now filter and let it cool. When it is warm, it's ready to drink.

- Adults can drink 1/2 to 1 cup.

- Kids aged 7 and above can drink up to 1/2 cup.

- Young kids can drink 5 to 15 ml.

- It’s better to drink early in the morning, when stomach is empty.

However, we can drink 2 to three times a day, mid-morning, afternoon and early evening. Avoid drinking milk while taking Kashayam, they don't go together. Also avoid consuming after meals. Kashayam and meals should be spaced out well.

 I always try to use fresh ginger, which is greatly reflected in the effectiveness of the decoction.

Sometimes, I found the kashayam turning sticky after boiling, through the experience, I realised that the reason is the variety of the Cinnamon bark/Pattai, in such cases you can conveniently skip Cinnamon/pattai and continue with the rest of the ingredients.  

Over time I figured out Cinnamon variety is very important, now I'm using Srilankan or Ceylon Cinnamon, which is really good and flavourful. Cinnamon is well known for its medicinal properties. So it's good to include in your diet.

Srilankan/Ceylon Cinnamon

Simple Alternative for Ginger/Inji Kashayam:

 Ingredients for 2 servings:
Ginger/Inji -  2 to 3 inch piece
Cloves/Krambu  - 3 to 4
Black Pepper/Milagu  - few
Elachi/Elakkai - 2 to 3
Water - 1&1/2 Cup
Natural Palm Sugar/Panangarkandu - 2 to 3 tsp. (according to taste)
Choose Original Panangarkandu!!!

Peel the ginger and cut into small slices, along with all the other ingredients add water and grind it in a mixer/blender.
Take 1 Cup of water and mix it to the ground paste, add the Panangarkandu/palm sugar and allow it to boil. Once boiled, switch off and allow it to cool. Drain with a large strainer /filter first and again drain with a fine strainer.  Serve preferably in empty stomach or take one hour after meal.  It's very effective in preventing and treating cough and phlegm.  Also aids digestion.
Ground Mixture

Add Water to the mixture and boil...
Large Strainer..


Fine Strainer..


Ready to serve!!

Holy basil or Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum):


This is a very potent herb, which has excellent antibiotic property can be very very effective in getting rid of phlegm and cough; for sure it will prevent chesty infections if taken at the beginning stages.  Since it a very potent herb, we cannot consume more than 3 days in a row.  But within that, it would have magical effect.

Tulsi/Basil lightly pounded!

Tulsi/Basil with Water

Tulsi/Basil Kashayam/Decoction mixed with Ginger Decoction

Wash fresh Basil/Tulsi leaves with plenty of water, rinse again and again to get rid of soil.  Pound the leaves coarsely with mortar and pestle, to emanate wonderful flavour from the herb. Add to the already boiled ‘Ginger Decoction’, allow it to boil once. The herbs should not be boiled for a long time to retain the effectiveness.  Drain, cool and serve warm.

Alternative Method:

Pound 1 tsp. black pepper, add palm sugar and water, boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then add pounded Tulsi.  Boil for just one minute, allow it cool, strain before using it. 

Tulsi/Basil Kashayam/Decoction

To learn more about Tulsi, log on to the following website:
In Singapore, Basil leaves or Tulsi is available at ‘Jothi Store Pushpa Kadai’, in Little India, I’ve even found in some Indian flower shops in ‘Residential areas’.


  1. Can I give this 3 yr kids on empty stomach(1st kashyam).Ginger can given to kid on empty stomach cause any acidity to kid.

    1. Hi,
      I started giving ginger kashayam to my kids after 5, 6 years of age.
      However, I guess you can give little amount of kashayam to your kid, but better give it in day time, perhaps an hour after giving meals.
      But I have given Tulsi, Katpooravalli and Vethalai mixture kashayam at early age, about 5 to 10ml. You can add little bit of honey or panamkarkandu to sweeten the kashayam.
      Hope it helps :)


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