Top 5 home remedies to cure Cold and Cough–Chukku (Dry Ginger), Basil and more

With the onset of winter comes its woes of Cold and Cough. Those blessed with a good immune system can do the filmy style rain dance and still be in the pink of their health. However for the majority of the others, it is the other way round. One brief dash of drizzle can make us go pink (or rather red) in the nose with cold. Invariably it gets manifested into cough and in some cases even a slight fever. My uncle who is a medical practitioner loves to quip every time we have a cold – ‘Cold gets cured in 1 week with medicine and in 7 days without meds’. It is better not to pop a pill for something as minor as a common cold.  However there are some home remedies which are helpful in curing the cold faster and makes the ailment bearable because of its soothing effect.

Here are the 5 tried, tested and working natural cures for common cold

1. Holy Basil (Tulsi) and Oregano leaf (Karpooravalli) Water

If the symptoms of cold have just started, this method works wonderfully to reduce the intensity of the cold. Boil about 10-15 Holy Basil (Tulsi) leaves along with 6-8 leaves of Oregano (Navara pachilai in Malayalam/Ajwain in hindi) in 3/4 liters of water. Drink this water whenever you are thirsty. However we feel less thirsty during a cold so I recommend having a self reminder to take a half cup full of this hot concoction even 30 minutes or so. This can be heated up repeatedly for drinking. This method is very safe and can be administered to  children and infants(above 1.5 year old). For infants, one might want to reduce the number of leaves to make the concoction less strong.

Hint: The leaves add more flavor when they are cut into coarser pieces

Home remedies for cold and cough, beautyandu

2. Steaming

Nothing relieves a congested nose and blocked chest like Steaming. In a large vessel boil water along with Tulsi leaves and Betel (Vettrilai) leaves keeping it covered all the while. Once the water boils very well, do the steaming. Unlike facial steaming, steaming has to be done from under a bed sheet so that no steam escapes for better results. Keep inhaling till the nasal congestion is relieved. Keep a small towel handy to blow the nose during steaming.

Hint: Few drops from a inhalation tablet can be added to the hot water just before steaming for quick relief from congested nose.

3. Dry Ginger (Chukku) and Thippili (Piper longum) with Honey

Uncontrollable coughs makes the throat sore. Thippili (Piper longum or long pepper) is one of the best known medicines for cold and cough. It is mentioned in the same breath with Chukku (Dry Ginger) and Milagu (Black pepper) as a natural cure for common cold. Honey has soothing effect on the throat. Powder Thippili and Chukku. To a teaspoon of honey add 2 pinches of Chukku powder and 2 pinches of thippili powder and make it to a paste and consume it. This can be given to children and infants.

Hint: Instead of swallowing this paste in a gulp, take it down the throat slowly to keep cough away for a longer time.

4. Chukku, Milagu (Black Pepper) , Thippili and Turmeric powder with Milk.

Chukku, Black Pepper (milagu) and Thippili can be powdered and kept handy during the winter season. For a glass of warm milk, add a couple of pinches of Turmeric powder and one teaspoon of the powdered mixture (Sukku,milagu,thippili powder). Mix well and drink to treat the sore throat and cough. One can skip adding Turmeric powder and have this drink regularly twice per week to keep the cold at bay. This is a very healthy drink and can be given to children and infants(without turmeric powder).

Hint: Adding honey increases the taste and soothing effect of the drink.

5. Sukku Kashayam (Dry ginger concoction)

Even though it is called Sukku kashayam, it is a strong potion made from a variety of ingredients. This is one of the oldest known home cures for cold. A very useful and a easy to make recipe, this works wonders on the cold apart from being healthy even otherwise.


Dry Ginger - Powdered – 1 tablespoon

Black Pepper - Powdered – 2 teaspoons

Coriander seeds - Coarsely powdered – 3 Teaspoons

Thippili - Powdered – 2 Teaspoons

Palm Jaggery (Karuppati) - Roughly Broken – 1 cup (I like it sweeter, you may want to adjust this for your taste)

Water – 1 Litre

Add all the ingredients to water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, allow the potion to simmer for about 5 minutes. Keep it aside for it to filter.

This potion can be taken every once in a while (reheating it) to cure the cold. Can also be administered for young children to treat their cold. This potion helps in building immunity in the body and hence can be taken by the entire family during winter.

Hint: Some people prefer adding Tulsi leaves to this potion to make it tangy.

Try these Do It Yourself (DIY) home remedies for cold and enjoy your winter.

Please do comment if you have other working natural cures for cold!


Diwali Decoration ideas–Diwali home decorations at low cost!


Come october – November (Vaigasi month), the festive mood is in the air. With the 9 days celebration of the Goddess (Navarathri or Navarathiri) coming to a close just a few days ago, its time to gear up for the next festival – The festival of lights – Diwali or Deepavali.

Diwali is one festival that is celebrated by everyone in India. People from all walks of life try to put up their best during this festival. Houses are painted, new clothes for every one, new gifts and these days new mobiles, and most importantly decorations for diwali. Decorations can be done elaborately and exquisitely spending a lot of money.But one can go frugal and still end up with great decorations in their house with a immense sense of satisfaction having saved money.

So here are some ideas for decoration ideas for diwali that can be done at home at low budget:

  • Time to take out the diyas from the last season.
  • Soak the mud / clay / terracotta diyas in water for some time and let them dry out well in the sum (Damp diyas consume more oil. So make sure they are really dry)
  • Try your hand at painting the diays both on the inside and the outside. Use vibrant colors – Bring on the Reds and Greens.
  • You can make paper lanterns on your own or get them from market. They are not on the expensive decorations list
  • To make floating diyas, all you need are a Glass cup, some flowers and small candles. They make excellent table setting decoration!
  • Try investing in beautiful candle holders. They can be reused year and year again. Place painted diays on them instead of candles.

Diwali decorations for home

Altar with Diyas:
  • If you have an Idol of a God, then you can set an altar arrangement decorating the idol with flowers
  • Nothing can match the beauty of a decorated kuthuvilakku in front of a God. Polish the brass Diyas and light them up on the altar.
  • Make this arrangement the center of attraction. You can have a rangoli or urli with flowers in front of the altar.

Diwali decorations for home

Draping the windows / Curtains:
  • Use dupattas and old fancy sarees for draping and curtains.
  • You can stick fancy stikers / stone work stickers on plain dupatta to make it look beautiful
  • You can also try getting vibrant colored paper ribbons with different patterns and knot them around the window curtain holder to make fancy drapes

Diwali decorations for home

  • Rangoli at the entrance and inside the house is a great decoration idea
  • Placing diyas on the rangoli adds beauty to the setting
  • An urli with flower arrangement and diyas can also add beauty to the interiors of the house

Diwali decorations for home

Painting the Walls:
  • Instead of spending on the distemper paints, try cleaning the walls for dirt from hands (especially near the switch boards)
  • Decorate wall with hand made paintings of Diyas
  • Decorate walls with Marigold flower strings (Saamanthi flowers) which are not as costly as Jasmine flowers
  • You can even try handing the string lights inside the rooms to add to the lights and the beauty!

Have you decorated your home for Diwali. Do you have other ideas for decorating the home. Please do share in comments


Home remedies for dark circles–Top 10 natural ways to get rid of under eye dark circles

Dark circles under the eye can be due to a variety of reasons the most important being sleeplessness and stress. When both combine together it becomes a scary combination. I still remember one of my friends who used to come to exams with a very bad dark circle under her eye post study holidays and it vanishes when she comes back the next semester. The first thing to understand from this is, dark circles is not a permanent problem, and there are many solutions to get these off. The reasons that are known to cause dark circles are:

  • Dryness of Skin
  • Lack of sleep
  • Tiredness
  • Stress
  • Heredity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Aging
  • Working in laptop for long hours

Instead of spending money on the chemical products, try to use some of the ingredients readily available in your kitchen to help in getting rid of under eye circle. The top 10 remedies that help in fighting under eye circles are:

Dark circles natural home remedies

1. Green Tea:

Green tea is known to have great medicinal properties. It also does a lot of good to the skin. Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants that helps in refreshing and rejuvenating the tired skin

  • Cool Some tea bags in the fridge.
  • Slightly wet the tea bags.
  • Instead of wetting them with water, try squeezing some lemon juice on it. Lime juice is a good cleanser
  • Close your eyes and keep them over the eyes.
  • Keep them for 20 mins and relax yourself.

2. Apple:

Apple pulp along with some lime juice can be used for reducing the darkness due to under eye circles. The Tannic acid in Apple gives natural skin lightening benefit.

  • Peel an Apple and grind it to a pulp
  • Add some lime juice to it.
  • Apply this mix as a pack around the eyes.
  • Cover the eyes with moist cotton.
  • Keep for 15 – 20 mins before washing off.

3. Tomato:

Tomato is another good kitchen ingredient that can be used for skin lightening and tightening of the skin.

  • Finely grind tomato to a paste
  • Apply this paste around the eyes
  • Cover the eyes with moist cotton
  • Rest your eyes for 30 mins and wash with cool water

4. Ice cubes:

Ice cubes have cooling effect on the eyes. Not advisable if you are prone to cold very easily. Ice cubes help in reducing the puffiness around the eyes taking off the tired look from the eyes.

  • Wrap an ice cube in a soft napkin
  • Apply over the eyes for some time – around 10 mins

5. Almond Oil:

Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E and it is a known fact that Vitamin E is essential for keeping the skin young and glowing. Almond oil can be applied to the entire face and left overnight.

  • Apply almond oil on the face and massage well on the face
  • Let the oil work on your skin overnight
  • Wash off in the morning with rose water

6. Potato:

Potato is a natural bleach and potato juice not only reduces darkness under the eyes, it also helps in overcoming the puffy look of the bags under the eyes due to tiredness.

  • Grind a peeled potato to the pulp
  • All we need is the juice of the potato
  • Dip a cotton swab into the juice and apply it in the dark circle area
  • Wash off after it dries.

7. Lime Juice:

Lime juice mixed with Rose water acts as an excellent skin tonic. Lime juice is rich in Vitamin C and Flavonoids which are good anti-oxidants.

  • Mix equal quantities of lime juice with Rose water.
  • Apply this to the eyelids and under eye area using a cotton swab.
  • Leave for 30 mins and wash.

8. Cucumber:

Cucumber is a good skin toner and astringent. It also has skin lightening properties. It gives a soothing and refreshed feeling to the skin

  • Mix 2 tsp cucumber juice with 1 tsp lemon juice.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply this mix to the affected area

9. Mint Paste:

Mint is an excellent anti-oxidant. Mint tea is recommended for weight loss because of this. Mint also refreshes the skin.

  • Apply mint paste to the dark circle area.
  • Cover the eyes with a moist cotton.

10. Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera has moisturizing effect on the skin and helps in rejuvenating the skin.

  • Extract fresh Aloe Vera gel from the stem of Aloe Vera
  • Apply the gel using a cotton swab around the eyes
  • Wash when dry.

Do you have the problem of dark circles around the eyes? Have you tried any of these ideas? Or do you have other solutions that work for the dark under eye circles.


Home remedies for Acne – Top 15 home remedy ideas to cure Pimples Naturally

Pimples are one of the most common problems in a girls life. Lucky are those who escaped the horror of pimples but that is a very small percentage of girls. Teenage and Adolescent girls are more prone to pimples than women of other age group. Pimples are caused due to inflammation of the skin and occurs when sebaceous glans are infected with bacteria and are filled with pus. When oil glands in the facial skin secrete excess Sebum, pimple outbreak occurs. Pimples can also occur when dirt gets into face skin pores and turn into blackheads which further blocks oil from coming out.
Pimples are embarrassing as they affect the physical appearance of a girl. However, the things that are commonly available in the kitchen are just enough to treat the pimple problems. Here are top 15 sure shot natural treatments / home remedies for pimples.
1. Pulp of Nutmeg seed (Jathikai in Tamil)  mixed in milk makes a good facepack and is effective in curing pimples and pimple marks. However oily skin does not respond well for this treatment as milk causes the skin to become more oily
Nutmeg milk home remedy tip1
2. Cinnamon (Pattai in Tamil) is also a good kitchen ingredient that helps in curing pimples. Applying cinnamon powder mixed in homey reduces pimples
Cinnamon Honey home remedy tip2
3. Mint has natural astringent effects and works well in reducing pimples.
fresh green leaf of melissa isolated on white background
4. Neem and Turmeric are very good natural antiseptic agents and help in controlling pimples. Using turmeric root (kastoori manjal) instead of turmeric powder yields better results. Do note that using turmeric root can leave a yellow tinge on the face.
Turmeric Neem home remedy 4
5. Tomato pulp has astringent effect and hence is a good natural remedy for Pimples
Tomato pulp home remedy 56.  Toothpaste can be used to hide pimple breakout when one has an important appointment / date on the next day. It is a sure shot quickie remedy to hide the reddishness of pimples.
Toothpaste home remedy 6
7. Orange peel paste made with water treats pimples. However citrus fruits are not recommended for dry  skin as it dries up the skin further when left to dry on the skin
Orange Peel home remedy 7
8. Multani mitti (Fuller’s earth) mixed with Lime juice is an excellent face pack for oily skin as it removes excess oil from the face. Besides being a treatment for pimple, this pack can also help in removing tan in the face
Lime Multani mitti home remedy 8
9. Turmeric root paste with Aloe vera gel reduces pimples naturally and also is effective in moisturizing the face. Be careful when applying turmeric on the face as it will make your face looking yellow even after washing
Aloe vera turmeric pimple cure
10. Garlic has a variety of health benefits because of its anti-fungal nature. Eating Garlic raw is not just healthy but it also helps in controlling pimples.
Garlic home remedy 10
11. Raw Papaya paste can be applied to the entire skin and washed off once dry. It makes the skin look rejuvenated.
Papaya pulp home remedy 11
12.  Mustard (or Kadugu) is a natural source of Salicylic acid and helps in curing the pimples.
Mustard paste home remedy 12
13. Common kitchen ingredients like baking soda and lemon are good treatment option for Pimples. Dry skinned people must avoid this method as it can cause mild irritation
Baking Soda Lime home remedy 13
14. Paste of Multani mitti in Cucumber is a natural soothing face pack with the benefit of pimple reduction.Cucumber Multani mitti home remedy 14
15. Oatmeal paste made with honey also helps in reducing pimples
Oatmeal Honey home remedy 15
Try out these simple home remedies instead of costly chemical treatments. However if you pimple or acne is really worse, it is better to consult a dermatologist. The most important thing to remember about pimples is ‘DON’T TOUCH THEM’. So apply the packs and try to avoid picking on the pimples. Hopefully you will have a clear face in matter of days!!
  • Do you have some other home remedies for pimple?
  • Have you tried any of these and how has the results been?
  • Share it here!


Top 10 Home Remedies for Dandruff–Natural Treatment for Dandruff

Dandruff is a common problem to people of both sexes and there are a multitude of reasons for dandruff. The primary reason for dandruff is a dry scalp which may be due to excessive shampooing, not applying enough oil to the scalp, exposure to harsh weather or even stress. The other common reason is overgrowth of malassezia – a yeast like fungus. This overgrowth occurs when scalp gets damp with sweat very often. In some cases it can be due to skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or eczema or psoriasis which will need dermatological treatment. However, there are certain home remedies that can cure the common dandruff problem.


  1. Aloe Vera gel

    Apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel on the scalp and leave for 30 mins. Wash your hair with mild shampoo.

    • Aloe vera has anti bacterial and anti fungal properties apart from also being a good moisturizer.

  2. Fenugreeek (Methi or Vendhayam)

    Coarsely grind fenugreek seeds (just 1 round in mixie) and soak it in water overnight. Grind this to a fine paste and apply to the scalp for about 30 mins. Wash with plain water.

    • Fenugreek has cooling and soothing effect on the scalp

  3. Basil Leaves (Thulasi or Tulsi)
    Make a paste of Basil leaves and apply to the scalp for about 15 mins. Wash off thoroughly.
    • Basil leaves are used for its antiseptic benefits.

  4. Neem leaves

    Use neem leaf paste just like basil leaf paste. Alternatively neem leaves can be added to the water and boiled. After the water gets cooled, it can be used to wash the hair.

    • Neem leaves have anti fungal and antiseptic benefits

  5. Curd

    Use freshly fermented curd to cure dandruff. Apply curd to scalp and let it rest for 30 mins to 1 hour. Wash the hair with plain water. Curd along with Egg is also a very good natural hair conditioner.

    • Curd has acidic property which helps in curing dandruff

  6. Fruit Therapy

    Grind one apple and one orange to smooth paste and apply to the scalp for 10-15 mins.

    • Apple has soothing and anti inflammatory property that gives a refreshed feeling after washing the hair.

  7. Besan or Gram flour

    Apply gram flour paste made with curd (instead of water) to the scalp and leave for 20 mins. Rinse the hair with lukewarm water.

    • Besan flour has cleansing properties that can remove flaky dandruff

  8. Lime Juice

    Lime juice is also a natural hair conditioner. Apply lime juice to the scalp using a cotton ball so that the scalp is totally covered with the lime juice and keep it for 20 minutes. Alternatively, lime juice and curd mixture can also be applied to the scalp.

    • Lemon juice helps in removing the dead cells which are main cause for dandruff

  9. Ginger paste

    Ginger paste can be applied to scalp overnight and washed off in the morning. This treatment can give visible results in 3-4 nights

  10. Mehandi or Henna

    Mehandi besides being a natural hair colorant, can also help in tackling the dandruff problem. Apply henna paste generously to the scalp and wash the hair after about 5 – 6 hours. For strong hair, mix amla powder with the mehandi paste.

    • Henna is also a good conditioner for hair

Have any you tried any of these methods? Do you know of any other natural remedies to treat dandruff? Please do share in the comments!


Get Smooth Hair Naturally–Natural Hair Conditioners

Who does not like a smooth and shiny hair? But one does really get confused looking at all the shampoos and conditioners bombarded on the television. In this chaos it is easy to forget about the variety of naturally available resources for beautiful hair. This post is about the natural methods to get a great looking hair.

Natural Hair ConditionersEgg and Curd:

One of the most widely suggested conditioners for hair is Egg White. Take equal amounts of Egg white and curd and apply to damp hair. Wait for about 20 mins and then wash off with clean water. This treatment leaves your hair silky and shiny

Home remedy for tanned hands and tanned face - Kadalai maavu pack

Our face and hands are the parts of our body that is most affected by the tanning problem. Covering the face with dupatta or wearing hand gloves may help a bit to prevent tanning during the harsh summer days. However it is essential to care for our skin regularly to prevent permanent effects of tanning.

The preliminary protective measures could be

Using a good sunscreen that suits your skin whenever you go out in the sun.
Use a hand glove that reaches the upper arm
Wear helmet to protect the face
Avoid waxing your hands regularly,  then when u wax them for a special occasion, they'd look bright. 
Use a good scrub to wash your face and hands after your outing in the sun.

Home Remedies

There are several natural home remedies for tanned skin. I try to list those that has been effective for me
  1. Kadalai maavu pack or Bengal gram pack: One can use the besan flour available in the market or grind green gram to a fine powder for this purpose. Mix the flour with rose water (pannir) and make a smooth paste. Apply this to the face and hands. Let it dry and then wash it off. This method greatly helps in removing tan also it gives a natural glow to the skin
  2. Potato Mash Pack: Peel a potato and grind it in a mixer grinder. The puree may be runny. To make it to a paste add some multani mitti (Fuller's earth) to it. Apply the paste on face and hands and let it dry. Wash off with clean water. I have seen visible results with this method.
  3.  Aloe Vera: (Kaththalai or sothu kaththalai in Tamil) Cut the Aloe vera stem and you can get the gel like substance from inside it. It can be applied directly on the face and the hands or you can add curd to it and apply to the face and hands. This not only helps in removing tan but is also a good moisturizer.
Do try these methods and let me know your feedback. Also please share other methods you use to reduce the effect of tanning.