IDLE TALKERS FAVORITE GOOSEBERRY DIGESTIVE PILLSIndians loves tasty meal and mukhshuddhi to continue relishing the taste of food, for good digestion and of course for time pass. Mouth freshener or mukhshuddhi is being used in India since pre-Harappan period with the name of Mukhwas.
From a boon to a bane
Tambula, as the betel preparation is called in Sanskrit widely recognized as a mouth freshener. According to Sushrata, the patriarch of ancient Indian medicine the paan or betel leaf keeps mouth clean, strengthens the voice, tongue and teeth and guards against diseases. It is also said to aid in digestion and purify blood.
Betel leaf has great significance in the puja offerings for the Goddess and also wedding rituals of most provinces of India. Folded betel leaf containing lime, catechu, areca nut, cardamom, etc. are distributed liberally at wedding parties.
Betel leaf has a small content of a volatile oil called betel-oil in the leaf, which creates the desired spicy, aromatic and fresh taste in the mouth. In classical literature these effects have been appreciated and it is suggested and explained why one should chew a tambula. Before the introduction of sophisticated materials and methods of construction, often the betel boxes were made of khas grass or even terracotta which were kept wet by sprinkling water so that the leaves remained fresh. Betel boxes today have become a part of Indian artifacts.
Preparing paan at home may be out-dated and considered a time consuming process today but eating paan and/or mouth freshener is still a part of Indian habit. After lunch and after dinner people inevitably make their way to the tiny paan shops located at every street corner in front of the kiosks of paan wallah, a little commercial set ups with their brass containers lined in front are keeping alive a culture that originated centuries ago.
How Boon turned Bane
Chewing mouth freshener for many people initially starts as an occasional indulgence but over the years becomes a habit very difficult to part with. Like any other habit, chewing mouth freshener for long time has its consequence depending on what is being chewed. Over the centuries people have tried out various mouth fresheners.
Several spices such as fennel seeds, green cardamom, cloves, peppermint, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mouth fresheners come in various colors, taste and combinations. Sugar coated and bright colored fennel seeds along with flavored sugar crystals or misri even in a little Indian restaurant. Tobacco and betel nuts, mineral slaked lime, saffron mixed mouth fresheners Pan Masala or Ghutka are favourite among the masses. It has ill effect on health which is a matter of great concern. Mouth fresheners mixed with tobacco and betel nuts or supari, mineral slaked lime or calcium hydroxide, ghutka can cause serious health problems.
Beauty hides the Beast
Smokeless tobacco product is responsible for about 90 per cent oral cancer cases in India. Enormous health hazard like oral sub-mucous fibrosis a pre-cancerous disease, predominantly squamous cell carcinomas of the lip, mouth, tongue, pharynx and oesophagus, loss of appetite, unusual sleep patterns, loss of concentration, also triggers hypertension and heart diseases and numerous other harmful diseases. Some states of India has banned the production and sale of tobacco and betel nut based mouth fresheners, but the solution lies in the hand of each individual when faced with choosing one or the other mouth freshener. Perhaps turning over to some natural harmless mouth fresheners will save us from undergoing needless suffering.
Beyond the shadow "The boon"
One of the best natural mouth fresheners "The gooseberry pills – Amloki bati recipe"
“Dhatri” meaning foster mother, is a name of the fruit of the “amalaka” or the Amalaki tree [Emblica officinalis] because the juice of this fruit is like a panacea for all kinds of human aliments. It stimulates saliva, increases the power of digestion, imparts strength to the body, and keeps the sense organs in order. It contains bioflavonoids, niacin, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, tanins, polyphenoids. Amla is about twenty times higher in vitamin C than oranges.
Jewels of healthy life in beautiful jewel box
Amla boti in papier mâché floral box from Kashmir Handicraft
Preparation Time: 5 minutes | Cook time:1 hour | Total time: 2 hours | Serves 1
Ingredients:250 unripe gooseberry or Amalaki, 2 teaspoon rock salt, 1 inch ginger, 2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 2 whole dried red chilies, Water.
Instructions:Put the amalaki, whole ginger, rock salt, whole red chili, and fennel seeds in a bowl of water. Boil until gooseberries properly done. Turn off the heat and keep in the water until completely cool down. Take out the berries. Do not discard the water you can use the water to cook sour legume or curries. Now seeds can easily be removed from the berries. Take a plate cover the plate with muslin cloth or kitchen towel. Mash the boiled gooseberries with your hand and make small bati from it, put those on the cloth covered plate sequentially. Let it sundry until completely dries up. Store in a glass jar or nonmetal box. Take this very tasty herbal chewing pills daily after each meal to stay out of pills [drugs]. You can even soak 3 to 4 pills in the water for 3 to 4 hours to take as an amla drink. Be confident with your healthy smile.
The ancient Ayurvedic texts cannot be used verbatim.
The Indians of antiquity used what was available to them and we need to use what is available to us. For example we would like to take Amla which is unusually rich in vitamin C per fruit about 700 mg, but we are very much unlikely to use cow-dung or cow-urine even if we have access to them. Our cultural conditioning does not predispose us to them, though Ayurveda offers something beyond peculiar and excellent treatments. It gives a clear system of concepts and principals, an understanding of natural laws, which became invaluable to us at this time as we are struggling with plenty of consequences for years of mis-practices and customary misconception of the planetary culture, for which our planet and natural practices are being neglected.
Rituals with amla
Ahakash is the morning ablution of the lord Jagannath while deities just like human beings this includes cleaning of the teeth, symbolic scrapping of the tongue and thereafter along with chanting of Vedic Suktas water mixed with camphor, amla, sandal paste, milk and curd are poured on the reflection of the lord for giving a pleasant bath.
Avail Bhojan, it is a dinner taken under the Phylanthus emblica or Amiaki tree on the fourteenth day of Kartik (October-November). The Phyllanthus emblica tree is worshipped and a meal is taken sitting under it [Avail Bhojan]. Chips of its wood thrown into water to clear it. This property may have induced people to sanctify it in primitive days. Its wood is still used in well-curbs.
Since human nature is concerned, from the beginning of creation man has learnt to worship nature. The abode of the gods worshiped in the tree as a tree has also been conducted. People of Praise and amla tree has been treating them as godlike, Amlki Ekadashi (Amalki Ekadasi) is proof of that vow. The scriptures gives Amalaki the best place in the same way as it is in the rivers Ganges and the deities of Lord Vishnu. Phalguna Shukla Paksha Ekadashi is known as Amalaki Ekadashi. Amalaki Ekadashi falls between Maha Shivaratri and Holi. Currently it is observed in month of Ferbruary or March in English calendar.
Evidently invaluable lessons in well being - herbal recipes
Jawarish Amla : Its name is due to its chief ingredient Amla is a Gastric tonic or Muqavvi Meda, Brain tonic or Muqavvi Dimagh, Liver tonic Muqavvi Jiger, used as weakness of stomach, weakness of brain, biliary diarrhea and flatulence.
Ingredient: Amalaki or amla 100g and sugar 1 kg
Preparation: Soak Amla in milk for 24 hours. Wash with water thoroughly. Boil in water then mash with hands, filter and mix sugar for preparation of a solution to take 1 teaspoon with white sandal wood paste twice daily. On cooling the preserve is stored in a glass jar. Precautions are taken to prevent iron objects from touching the amalaki fruits as these turn the preserve black.
For topical application amla is an ingredients in shampoo and other hair preparations as well as massage oils. It has a calming effect when applied as a poultice to the head in cases of mental disorders. [Rakta-pittam, prameham, vata-raktam, giddiness and vertigo.] Amla is a traditional ayurvedic remedy for mother who act angerly towards their children helping to calm their emotions. It is also used to comfort children who have lost their mothers.
Juice of extract of the fruit with honey and pipli added is given to stop hiccup and in painful respiration.
Dalchini, Rodhra and amla equal parts of these, powdered and mixed with honey, make a mouthwash.
While taking a bath if body is rubbed with Pippali powder which has been given "Bhavana" of the milky latex of Kulish tree and to which amalaka has been added, the body hairs will fall off.
**Bhavana : Process is to take the powder in a mortar and add the desired juice to it. It is then pestled till the juice dries and this process is repeated as often as desired.
Take equal parts of the Ela, Madanka [Bee's wax], Tuti Shaileeyaka, Kacchura and Maruvaka. Add amalaka to this mixture. It will make an excellent "Udvartaka", which is very fragnant, and liked by females.
If the hair are enveloped with the mixture of Amra seeds and Amalaka at the time of washing the hair, they will stop falling, become strong rooted, thick, glossy and long.
If a plaster made up of Amalaka, Kushtha, Kuvalaya, Mansi and Bala is applied to the hair, scanty hair will become luxuriant and beautiful in a short period.
On applying the paste made of Lohakitt [iron rust] Japa flowers, Dhatri fruits all taken in equal parts for three days grey hair would become black and would remain black for two months after the application.
A paste made of amalaka, soaked in the milky latex of snuhi, soma, arka, and the juice of the fruit of Avalguja will the make the hair bleach - white.
Take one Prastha each of the juice of amla, oleander [Raktakarabi], Bhringaraja and oil, and boil these for "prastha" in a new vessel of iron. Then let it stand for a month in a box made of Pisal [dark] wood, along with Mudga, this oil removes wrinkles and premature grey hair, and may even change the color of cows, dogs, asses, camels and white feathered birds.
If the oil medicated with burnt ivory, amalaka and juice of Bhringi is applied in bald patch, thick hair will start growing on that patch.