In this post, I’ve attempted to give detailed recipes of some of the herbal teas and preparations straight from my grandmother’s kitchen. These have been used for ages to boost immunity and fight against diseases. These can be used safely for your little ones. Have fun watching them grow healthy – the natural way!
Long pepper tea (Kandathippili, sukku kashayam)
- Dry ginger (Sukku in Tamil)
- Long Pepper (Thippili in Tamil)
- Black pepper
- Palm sugar or honey
- Take one piece of dry ginger – about the size of half your little finger, one small piece of long pepper – about the size of half your little finger and 2-3 black peppers.
- In a mortar or better yet, in a grinding stone, grind these well with little water.
- Keep grinding till the paste is smooth. (A mixer or blender will not give you the kind of smooth paste that you would get in a grinding stone)
- In a small pan take some milk, add this paste and allow to boil. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes.
- Switch off.
- Add little honey or palm sugar.
- Once it is warm, give it to you toddler. If he feels difficult to drink the tea, dilute it.
You can give this twice a week. Ensure that you do not give this on an empty stomach. Twenty minutes to half hour after food would be the right time.
Finger root tea (Chithirathai Kashayam)
- Finger root – also referred to as This ginger (Chithirathai in Tamil)
- Liquorice root (Athi mathuram in tamil)
- Grind little finger root (size of half your little finger), 1 small piece of liquorice and 2-3 black pepper in a grinding stone with water.
- Boil these along with water for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add honey and allow it to cool.
Give this decoction once a week to your toddler. You can mix it with milk and give it too.
Winter cherry (Ashwagandha) preparation
Ideally, a preparation of Ashwagandha has to be made at home with ashwagandha root, jaggery, pepper and ginger. But ashwagandha is not widely available these days. Hence you could opt for a traditionally made lehiyam or churan and give this once a week.
There are many over the counter Ashwagandha lehiyam preparations available. You definitely have to check with the store for the one which would be suitable for toddlers and then buy it.
Although it has been specified as toddlers here, I would suggest this preparation be given for kids of 5+ years only.
This is a very mild preparation and can hence be consumed on a daily basis from the age of 3.
- Organic milk (cow’s milk)
- Pepper powder
- Boil milk well.
- In 200 ml milk, add half teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a pinch of pepper powder. (If you are able to get raw turmeric, that is even better. You could add a small slice of turmeric to the milk instead of the powder)
- Stir and then add just a pinch of cardamom.
- Allow it to become warm.
Give this everyday night before bed from the age of 4. This will also enable your child to sleep well.
Swarasa (Sorasam in tamil, Herbal tea)
To prepare a swarasa (kashayam of sorts) for kids aged above 2, follow the below procedure. Garlic and ginseng have been used for centuries in natural treatments. While the below decoction is suitable for adults as well, a more diluted form would be suitable for the little ones.
- Take two cloves of a medium sized garlic and peel the skin.
- Crush the garlic and boil it in little milk.
- Add ginseng powder and amla powder to the milk.
- Switch off and allow to cool.
- Strain well.
- Mix this in warm milk and give it to your little one once or twice a week.
When you make this decoction for your child(ren), do keep aside a little for you and make it a practice to consume regularly. The amla present in this swarasa is great to boost immunity of adults as well.
Note: Some children tend to catch the common cold due to the amla content. So try once with a little powder mixed in warm water and if it suits your child, you can continue with the swarasa.