A Traditional Kerala Home Remedy

I’ve never had allergies, but something’s getting me in Kerala. My eyes are red, my nose is a faucet and my head feels like it’s about to explode. As I was wallowing in pity, I noticed Sandeep’s mom puttering about with various shrubs. She confessed that she was brewing me up a home remedy to clear out my head.

As with most of her cooking, some ingredients are a mystery. Some tulsi (holy basil), dried ginger, a liberal amount of black peppercorns, the leaves of what she called wild Chinese potato (she specified that it had to be wild), and a wad of coffee-ginger-Chinese potato mixture.

She pounded it to a pulp in her mortar.

And boiled it down to a thick opaque juice.

At first, things seemed to have backfired. My eyes started spouting, my nose turned red, my head heated up. But then, within minutes, everything cleared. When traveling, I do think it’s best to try the local remedies. Locals are much more used to the flora and fauna and have perfected these solutions over generations. Way better than a Benedryl and without the side effects.

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7 Comments

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7 Responses to A Traditional Kerala Home Remedy

  1. Larry

    She should go commercial! Great need for stuff like this

  2. There must be some magic in home remedies. My late mother prepared a chest cold remedy for me that was transmitted to her by her great grand aunt, Tante Fradel, who personally received it from her great grand mother, all living in northern Poland. When I was dosed with the remedy by my mother, it always worked. When I prepared it for myself, it never did.

    • Diya

      I can safely predict that if I tried to make this at home it would fail miserably. Half of the cure is likely love, which can’t be replicated when self made. Also, not sure where I would find wild Chinese potato leaves in New York…

  3. Can your mother-in-law make a house call to Connecticut? I could really use an alternative to the head cold meds I have been taking for the last 2 weeks that just don’t seem to be doing the trick!

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