Karpuravalli also called Indian Borage in English and Karpooravalli, Omavalli, Doddapatre and Panikoorka in other Indian languages is a very important herb that has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. Karpuravalli is traditionally used for treating cold and cough in infants, babies and adults.
It is also used for treating hair problems like grey hair and dandruff, aiding weight loss, for promoting hair growth and also for treating asthma and fever. Here at home, we make karpuravalli rasam and chutney with the leaves for treating cold and cough. Along with karpooravalli rasam and chutney, karpooravalli pachadi also called doddapatre tambuli in Kannada is also quite famous.
Karpooravalli is a very highly aromatic perennial herb that is found in warm tropical countries like India, Australia and Africa. Karpooravalli is a succulent plant that can reach almost a meter in height and can be seen growing wildly in villages in India.
If you visit any village in South India, you will find karpooravalli plants very easily. We have plenty of karpooravalli plant growing wildly in our farm. The leaves are fleshy and highly aromatic, they have oregano like smell. They can be used as substitute for oregano in cooking.
If we just touch karpooravalli leaves, the beautiful refreshing smell will linger in our hands for a long time. An essential oil is also distilled from the leaves and it also has amazing medicinal uses due to the presence of large amounts of bio active compounds. It is sold under the name of “Indian Borage Essential Oil”.
We can easily grow karpooravalli plant in small pots in our homes. It grows well in full sunlight and also in partial shade so it can be grown easily in a balcony. Karpooravalli needs a well drained soil, if we over water the plant the root will start to root. It is usually propagated by stem cuttings and it can withstand long duration’s of drought and needs little to no maintenance at all.
Karpuravalli Botanical & Common Names:
Karpuravalli Traditional Uses:
- Karpooravalli is traditionally used for treating cold and cough. This is one home remedy that we resort to first when we get a cold and cough, I have given the method of making karpooravalli cough medicine along with the dosage below.
- Karpooravalli is used for treating fevers especially malaria fever. It is a common practice to give karpooravalli rasam to people suffering from cold, cough and fever. At home, we grind the fresh leaves along with little water and consume it for treating all respiratory problems.
- Traditionally karpooravalli is also used for treating skin diseases. We apply the fresh leaf paste as a poultice on the affected area. It helps treat boils and wounds very quickly.
- Karpooravalli is extensively used for treating chest congestion in both Infants and babies. The vapor inhaled by boiling the leaves in water is very effective in removing the chest congestion in babies, you can also apply the juice on the chest.
- Karpooravalli is used for treating headache too. The juice of the leaves when applied on the fore head is a very good home remedy for headache, this is a very popular practice in Tamil Nadu.
- Karpooravalli is also used for treating hair problems. During winter season karpooravalli can be added to the ingredients for making oil bath, it prevents cold and headache during winter season and it also treats dandruff.
- Karpooravalli is also used in the treatment of hiccups, mouth ulcers, skin infections, colic asthma and indigestion.
Karpuravalli Chemical Constituents:
a. Karpooravalli Essential Oil
b. The Whole Plant
The whole plant extract showed the presence of phenolic acid, flavonoids, monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes, esters, etc. Some of the important phenolic acids present are caffeic acid, gallic acid, rosmarinic acid, etc. Some of the important flavonoids present are chrysoeriol, cirsimaritin, eriodictyol, leutolin and rutin, etc.
Karpuravalli Medicinal Uses:
1. Antibacterial Properties:
2. Anti Fungal Properties:
3. Anti Viral Properties:
4. Treats Respiratory Problems:
In India, karpooravalli is widely used for treating respiratory problems like cough, asthma, cold and sore throat. Both the water decoction and fresh leaf extract is used and now even the essential oil is use. This is due to the presence of high amounts of thymol and carvacrol, they are both excellent expectorants.
5. Antioxidant Properties:
6. Wound healing Properties:
Karpooravalli has wonderful wound healing properties too. Traditionally the leaf is pounded into a paste and then applied as a poultice over the wound. Karpooravalli when applied externally for wound healing improves collagen deposition, increases wound contraction and also reduces epithelialization period!
7. Anti Inflammatory & Analgesic:
The reason keelanelli is so effective while taken during cold and flu is due to it’s anti inflammatory and analgesic properties. It helps reduce headache, body pain and also inflammation that is very common during cold and flu. If you are recovering from fever or cold, try drinking karpooravalli rasam or soup for a few days, it will greatly help…
8. Karpuravalli Uses For Oral Diseases:
9. Karpuravalli Uses For Skin & Hair:
Karpooravalli treats many skin and hair problems. It treats hair problems like dandruff and itchy scalp, for treating dandruff, mix the essential oil with a base oil and apply. Karpooravalli treats many skin problems including cuts, burns and allergies when applied as a poultice.
10. Treats Insect & Animal Bites:
Karpooravalli is applied externally for treating scorpion bites and centipede bites. The juice got by bruising the leaves when applied on the skin also acts as a natural mosquito repellent and the leaves can also can be carried if you are going camping to ward of mosquitoes.
11. Anti Malarial Properties:
Karpooravalli is not only effective against warding off mosquitoes when applied externally but also helps treat malaria fever which is a mosquito borne disease. The effect was dosage dependent and it varied from 75 % to 90 % depending on the dosage. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
12. Anti Cancer Properties:
Both karpooravalli and karpooravalli essential oil have powerful anti cancer properties! Karpooravalli leaf extract has been proven to inhibit the growth breast cancer cells and the karpooravalli essential oil has been proven to be effective against lung cancer. You can read the study that proves it here.
13. Karpuravalli Uses For Diabetic Patients:
14. Karpuravalli Uses For Digestive Problems:
15. Karpuravalli Uses For Arthritic Patients:
Karpuravalli Side Effects:
Karpooravalli has low toxicity and has been used in traditional medicine for a long time so it is considered very safe. But I would suggest consuming it in the dosage and duration mentioned. We don’t consume karpooravalli daily, we mainly use it as a medicine.
I found a study in which a lady developed skin allergy after regular long term use of karpooravalli leaf extract and once she stopped using it, the ulcer healed fast. But this incident is very very rare and I have never seen anyone reacting to karpooravalli like this.
Where To Buy Karpuravalli?
We get karpooravalli powder in many herb shops and also some departmental stores in Tamil Nadu regularly stock karpooravalli powder. If you visit any village in India, you will find this plant growing abundantly. You can collect, dry them till crisp under hot sunlight and use it year round. We can buy the essential oil easily through online shops.
3 Top Karpuravalli Uses For Health:
1. Karpuravalli Cough Syrup:
To make the cough medicine, wash the leaves well. Pound these leaves in a mortar and pestle. As the leaves are fleshy, it gives out it’s juice easily. Add 1-2 tbsp of boiled water when pounding the leaves to make it easier to extract the juice. Strain the juice.
When you are straining the juice, press the leaves with your hands to extract the juice from it completely and discard the leaves. Add honey to the extracted juice and your cough medicine is ready! One gets good relief from cough with this remedy.
The juice of these leaves have a very strong distinctive smell, but it is not bitter. Don’t substitute honey with sugar for this remedy, as sugar will increase the cough. We even treat small children with this remedy. Try drinking this juice, at least for three days to get good relief from cough. For children reduce the quantity, for young babies a tsp of this juice will be enough.
2. Karpuravalli Rasam:
To make karpooravalli rasam, take a small lemon sized tamarind and soak it in 11/2 cups of water for 15 minutes to soften it. Now take 2 large garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp of peppercorns, 2 small green chillies, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds and pound coarsely in a mortar and pestle. Finally add in 6 to 7 karpooravalli leaves and pound everything together a few more times.
Heat a tsp of ghee in a pan, add in 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp of asafoetida, once mustard seeds splutters, add in 1 red chilli broken and 1 finely chopped ripe tomato and fry till tomato turns mushy. Now add in the pounded spices and fry for a few more seconds.
Finally add in tamarind water along with salt and let it boil in low to medium flame till the raw smell disappears. Don’t let it boil, once it is about to start boiling, switch off. This karpooravalli rasam is amazing for treating all cold related problems.
3. Karpuravalli Chutney:
To make karpooravalli chutney, take 3 teaspoons of urad dal and fry in a tsp of oil till golden and remove. You can also add in equal part urad dal and chana dal too instead of adding only urad dal. Now add in 2 red chillies to the left over oil in the pan and fry till it changes color and remove.
Finally add in a handful of washed karpooravalli leaves and fry till it is wilted and then add 1/4 cup of freshly grated coconut and a small piece of tamarind and fry for a minute or two and remove.
Now add very little water and required amount of salt and grind to a thick but coarse paste. This chutney is usually served along with rice and a small amount of ghee. It tastes wonderful and helps reduce inflammation and pain greatly!
long time back amma gave this to me ! now i totally forget about this ! thats a good info !
Good information. Thanks
Good one for cold
Thanks for updating
This is available in dubai country ican purchase at dubai
Can these leaves be dried and used later?
Yes, you can dry the leaves and use them later…
How many leaves needed to make juice to be given to 5 year old? How many times a day?
For a 5 year old kid, 2 big karpooravalli leaves will be enough. Give the juice once in empty stomach for 3 days…
to add… please include milk in the child's diet, as karpooravalli will increase body heat. I use a combination of karpooravalli and alternate it with arathai and athimathuram powder, a pinch of each , mixed with honey. these natural com remedies will dry up mucous membranes if overdozed and cause a typical headache.so, use limited quantity between 3 or 4 hours followed with 1 or 3/4 glass of warm milk.
For a 18 month old how much should I give.
For 18 month old child, the juice of half a karpooravalli leaf will work well….
For 3 year baby how many leaves ad how many days can give . any side effects
For 3 year old baby you can give the juice of 2 leaves and it can be given for 3 days. If given in the proper dosage it will not have any side effects…
Very useful information. Thanks
This is also known as French thyme. In grows well indoors if placed in a sunny window. I have them all over my house and we live in a somewhat colder region. These are not winter hardy plants
For 2months baby how should I give
I would suggest waiting till the baby is at least 4 to 5 months old before giving karpooravalli…
I eat 3 leaves with some rock salt when i get first sign of cough / cold… always helps
During pregnancy can i eat karpora valli leaf for cold
Yes you can karpooravalli while pregnant for treating cold…
How much should I give for 4 months old baby??
How much should I have to give for 4 months old baby?
How much should I have to give for 4 months old baby, when to give and how many times??
How much should I give for 4 months old baby??
hi.. for 4 month baby how much to give? how to calculate a proper dosage according to their age? my eldest 7 yrs and 2 yrs old.. tq
hi.. how much to give to 4 month baby?.. how to calculate the correct dose according to the age?
For new born babies, we usually give around 5 to 6 drops of karpooravalli juice. For 7 year old child, 5 ml of the karpooravalli juice can be given. It can be given once everyday for 3 days…
Thank You For Information
Thank you so much for the valuable information. In my home, its grown like a bush. By your blog, I got a method to this leaves.Thanks,ParthasarathiMysore
I am glad, karpooravalli has wonderful medicinal uses…
hi,how many leaves should be given for a 16 month old baby?
Use the juice of 2 small karpooravalli leaves, 8 to 10 drops pf the juice will work well…..
how many leaves should be given to a 16 month old baby?
its a variety of Basil and not Thyme
Thyme is called Omam in Tamil
is there any side effect for using karpooravalli leaf. because I dont have a kid. is it affect anything. pls guide me.
My 11 month old shows signs of cold (grunting sound while breathing).. I've been giving a paladai of diluted karpooravalli juice (karpooravalli leaves warmed up till dark green in a tawa & juice squeezed) for about 4 days now but I see no effect. Is there something am doing wrong? 🙁
My mother's favorite home medicine,we have it in home till now, the method is new & good to adopt for children.
My kid eats more than 10 karpooravalli leaves . He s only 2 1/2 year old. Can he eat that much leaves?
Hi can i give the juice to 4 month old baby? As i know babies can only drink milk for the first 6 months. Kindly advise.
Around 5 to 6 drops of karpooravalli juice works well..
I am old school, I still use this remedys even now on my kids and guranteed it works all the time. Great to learn of all the natural healing remedys.
Can it be preserve in fridge and use later?
Yes, you can Sindhuja…
Can u pls tell how this leaf helps in treating dandruff n grey hair..pls share the procedure
After eat kapuravalli , I affect skin allergies . I only consume 6 pcs .😖
Hello Ramya, Thank you for your hard work in providing such a valuable website. I have a question regarding Kapooravalli plant. Many people also use the name Ajwain plant for karpooravalli. Isn’t this incorrect? I thought ajwain was a different plant, but many are saying it is karpooravalli and I am confused. i see in your article, that you do not use the name interchangably. Please give any information you have as it is confusing many.
an a adult eat daily say two leaf
Can we keep karpooravalli plant in our bedroom?