Sukku (dry ginger), milagu (peppercorns) and thippili (long pepper) is called thirikadugam in Tamil. The combination of these three ingredients is so very effective that it is used to treat many diseases and it is popularly called thirikadugam in Tamil. In India, we have quite few herbal powders that are marketed for cough and removing phlegm, which are quite effective actually. Last week, when I was talking to my sister in law, she mentioned that she makes her own herbal powder now and she said it was exactly like the store bought herbal powder for cough and cold that she had used before. She also added that it was very very effective for removing the phlegm. When she mentioned the ingredients, I realized that she was mentioning thirikadugam. Thirikadugam is an ultimate medicine that treats a wide variety of diseases depending on how it is used. Thirikadugam can be used for treating cold related headaches, sinus problems, in fact it also treats indigestion related problems too. I had completely forgotten to mention thirikadugam in the blog. I find that the main problem many readers of this blog face is not able to find fresh herbs that I mention in the remedy. So I was thinking that I should post more of remedies in which the ingredients can be sourced easily and can be stored for a long time like thirikadugam. This powder once made can be stored in an airtight box for future use and once you start using this blend, I am sure you will be using it again and again. Even I really love this combination, no wonder our elders have praised thirikadugam so much. To make the powder, sun dry sukku, milagu, thippili in a plate till crisp and powder it finely in a mixer. To make the decoction, add around half a tsp of the powder for a cup of water. This was the measurement my sister in law gave me, but if you find it very spicy or if you are giving it to children, decrease the amount of the powder. This herbal decoction also can be taken when you are lethargic, have a severe body ache or general feeling ill or sick.
1. Measure out the peppercorns, long pepper and dry ginger in a plate and sun dry till crisp. The weight of the three ingredients should be approximately same. You don’t have to sun dry for a long time, just 15 to 20 minutes in bright sunlight would too.
2. Powder it as finely as you can in a dry mixer and you don’t have to sieve it.
4. To make the decoction, boil around a cup water along with 1/2 tsps of the herbal powder mix.
5. Boil for a few minutes, switch off and strain. The longer you boil, the spicier it will get and if you boil it for too long, it will taste bitter. If you like to sweeten, I would suggest sweetening it with palm candy. This mixture can be taken daily twice till one gets good relief.
- Sun drying makes it easier to grind the ingredients finely.
- The mixture need not be too fine, a little coarseness is ok.
- Like I mentioned before, the amount of powder to be added depends on the age.
- This powder can be given to young children from the age of 2 to 3 years onwards.
- For young children, less than 1/4 tsp will be more than enough. If children refuse to drink it, you can sweeten with honey too.
- This powder can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- This powder can be used for all cold related problems.
- This same remedy can be used to treat indigestion.