Thursday, October 07, 2010

Indian Borage for Curing Coughs

I have been travelling about so that is why the blog is a bit slow on the updates. Well I had gone home to Banting to visit my parents and to indulge in mom's homecooked food for a few days. I also learnt from her how to make vinegared pig trotters, a recipe I am going to share with you in the next few days.

Fresh vanilla pods!


After visiting my parents, I had come home for two weeks before I was packing again. This time, Nic and I were going to Kerala, India. This visit was with a client as he had wanted to visit some organic farms and farmers in the Wayanad region of Kerala.

The climate in Kerala is just like our Malaysian climate. We were lucky that when we were there, the rains didn't start yet. I heard that it is flooding now in Kerala and travel may be hindered.
Pepper, grown organically in Kerala


Kerala is famous for ayurvedic treatments and clinics. Health is a top priority for the people of Kerala. They pay a lot of attention to herbs and plants for medicinal purposes besides using yoga and other holistic treatments for health problems.

Lemongrass oil, camphor oil, castor oil and more in an Indian supermarket



In fact their supermarket sells a lot of oils, remedies and balms made with herbs and plants. Even their soaps are made with herbs!

All sorts of herbal remedies for coughs


Anyway, while visiting an Indian farmer who planted pepper and vanilla, among other crops, I saw that he also planted a pot of Indian borage. I've had more than a mild interest in Indian borage because I was introduced to this plant/herb not too long ago by a friend here in Penang. She had given me a cutting and my Indian borage now thrives in my garden.

This herb is pungent and smells a bit like oregano. Therefore it also goes by the name Local Oregano. I believe the Filipinos call it Oregano.

It is an easy plant to grow as long as its cutting has taken root. I noticed it also loves the sun as it has bloomed really well in the morning sun.

Why do I like this plant so much? Like my TCM herbs, this herb is useful for coughs and for asthmatic conditions. It is also useful for clearing dandruff, encouraging lactation in breastfeeding moms and helps with sore throats.

As I had just come home from Kerala with a dry cough, I decided to cure myself with some of my own homegrown Indian borage.

I plucked 2 leaves off the plant, crushed them and put them into a small pot with 1 cup of water to boil for 5 minutes. Once cooled to touch, stir in 2 teaspoons of honey. Drink warm.

I believe it is helping my cough as I am coughing less as I type this now. I will drink another decoction later this evening.

If you want to know how the plant looks like and what else you can use it for, this helpful article is all you need.