We call herbal bath powder for kids nalangu maavu in Tamil. This custom of making nalangu maavu has been followed for many years. When I was pregnant, me and my grandmother had fun time collecting and making the bath powder at home. When I was pregnant I was not very good in identifying the herbs like I am now, so the whole herb collecting was done by a long time worker of us. He has been with us from the time I was born and he does not know to read and write but he has an amazing knowledge of local herbs. We make the bath powder slightly different from what is sold in the shops, we make it with lot of herbs. The powder made this way is a very effective antiseptic and prevents the child from falling ill often and it completely prevents skin diseases. This bath powder is also very very aromatic and after bathing with this powder, the children will be smelling of this powder all day long. There is no set measurements for the recipe, even if you add more of one herb it will not harm the skin. I have given all the herbs that we use for making the bath powder, try to choose at least 2 to 3 varieties of the herbs from this list. The herbs are appakovay leaves (kedrostis foetidissima), karpooravalli (plectranthus amboinicus), avarai leaves (lablab leaves), avarampoo (tanner’s cassia), marjoram, marikolunthu (artemisia pallens), thiruneetru pachai (ocimum basilicum) and arugampul (bermuda grass). The dry ingredients are wild turmeric or kasthuri manjal, white turmeric or poolan kilangu, karboga arisi |babchi (psoralea corylifolia) and ordinary turmeric. You can find the information about all these herbs in the blog except thiruneetru pachai, marikolunthu and karboga arisi, I will try updating more information about them in the blog soon. I have given the measurements for the dry ingredients and you can get all the dry ingredients in ayurvedic shops. Dry them under hot sun separately and dry the herbs separately till crisp and powder everything together. For boys we don’t add turmeric as it helps shed the body hair, replace the regular turmeric and wild turmeric in the recipe with green gram dhal for boy babies. As you can see from the ingredients, each and every herb in the ingredients list are powerful antiseptics. They heals and protect the skin from infections due to dust and pollution. I made a huge batch of this powder and I was using only this powder for my son till he was 2 to 3 years old. This powder does not strip the skin of natural oils and is very gentle on the skin.
1. Take the herbs that you have chosen and spread it on a plate to dry under hot sun. Don’t heap it like me, spread each leaf separately so it dries faster.
2. Take the dry ingredients and dry them under hot sun separately. The ingredients are white turmeric, wild turmeric and regular fat turmeric and karboga arisi | babchi
3. Grind everything together in a dry mixer while the ingredients are still crisp from sun drying, sieve to get a fine mixture.
- We add all the herbs I have given in the list, if you can’t get all of it try adding at least 2 to 3 herbs from the list.
- Replace only the wild turmeric and regular turmeric with green gram dhal for boy babies and add the white turmeric.
- Try making the powder during hot summer months when you get plenty of sunlight.
- When drying cover it with thin mesh to prevent dust settling on the herbs.
- This powder can be used daily instead of soap for bathing the child.
- Be very very careful while grinding as the mixer or the machine should not have even a tinge of spiciness in it, else this powder will irritate the babies skin. I used to have a separate small mixer jar just for grinding ingredients for my son.
- I ground the powder in our local flour mill, if you want to make a huge batch it is better to grind it in flour mill. But insist that it has to be ground in a machine that is used for grinding flour…
- Regular use of this powder will gradually reduce the body hair growth in girl babies.
- Add a handful of each herb given for this amount of dry ingredients, if you double the recipe add 2 handfuls of each herb.