Healing Greens and Herbal Recipes

Hello everyone,
This page is dedicated to foods / ingredients which have medicinal properties and green/herbs used in Indian cooking.

"Healing Foods"

There is a famous saying "Prevention is better than cure"....this applies to all aspects of life especially one's health. To really understand what Indian food is one has to understand  "Philosophy" behind the cuisine which is not an easy task.
Indian cuisine is strongly influenced by "Ayurveda"-"Ayus" means "Span of life" and "Veda" means "Knowledge" in Sanskrit, the origins of which lies in "Atharvanaveda" which has contents dating around 1000 BC.
Ayurveda is not confined to medicine alone. It covers all aspects of life- physical and mental health, purpose of life and ethical conduct for healthy living. It is amazing that all these observations were made thousands of years ago, while only in recent times scientists have found a link between emotional state of mind and physical well being.
According to ayurveda, human body is composed of seven body elements: skin, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerves and reproductive secretions and numerous channels which connect and supply these elements.

There are 3 primary life forces: 
1.Vata [air]: meaning "which moves" eg. breathing, beat of the heart.
2.Pitta [fire]: bile that digests and generates energy [physical and mental digestion].
3.Kapha [water]: phlegm which holds things together.
Ayurveda believes that all the 3 primary forces should be at a balance: any imbalance gives rise to diseases. Disease should be treated with food first and then medication. Treatment using food is based on 6 tastes [Rasa in sanskrit].
1.Sweet: strength to tissues, good for nourishment and harmonises the mind.
2.Sour: aids digestion and good for the heart [natural sour tasting foods and not vinegar].
3.Salty: aids digestion and clears obstruction of channels in the body.
4.Pungent: increase metabolism and boosts immune system.
5.Bitter: blood purification and digestion.
6.Astringent: heals wounds and ulcers.
A traditional "Indian Thali" meal has all these six tastes....wonderful, isn't it!!!

Food used as medicine in Ayurveda is classified into based on "taste", "potency" and its "special action on the body". Humans are classified into 3 types depending on their mental state.
1.Satva : Thinker with real knowledge and will try to win in competitive situations through fair means.
2.Rajas: Industrious and domineering.
3.Tamas: No desire to learn and lacks intellectual capacities.

Food for these 3 types of individuals:
Satva: easily digestible, fresh and ripe, cooked by simple process, taken in moderate quantities.
Rajas: highly spicy food and non-vegetarian food.
Tamas: overcooked, eaten long time after cooking [months], stale and unclean food.

Ayurvedic texts also describe how food should be prepared and eaten: with love and good feeling and eaten in quietitude. It is surprising to find alcohol [ 84 types]and meat being mentioned in Ayurveda.

OK, let me come to the point. There is no need to be very strict in what we eat. It just means everything should be included and in moderation. To be honest, how many of us eat the "parboiled rice" regularly or  "bitter gourd fry" once a week or "banana shoot/vazhaithandu juice" at least once a month- not me,of course. Basically this is the foremost reason for me to have a seperate page for these recipes.

Few additions of certain ingredients on a regular basis helps us steer clear of unwanted ailments in the long term. This is no rocket science to understand or something new for which you need research evidence to believe in.  The evidence lies in our age old tradition/culture and history......in the nostalgic memories of our elders.
It is fine even if you don't believe that "food" can cure or better still "can prevent" ailments, the best part is that these recipes don't compromise on taste and I can guarantee that. You can try them just because it tastes nice and nothing else.... 

Recipes for common ailments:

Common Cold
Paruppu Omam Kanji

Methi Rice/Venthaiya Keerai Saadham

Drumstick Leaf Adai/Murungai Ilai Adai

Herbal Recipes: In India , herbs are used as offerings for god and in festive and auspicious occasions - that is the status given to herbs. They hold so much of medicinal and curative properties that they were kept next to the diety.

Betel Leaf Vadai/ Vetrilai Vadai 

Mushroom Curry Leaf Masala

Vallarai Curry Leaf Podi 

If you are interested in further reading here are some pages:



Scribbled by Reva

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