The first year of a baby is the trickiest for parents. When the baby cries because she wants to sleep, parents may think she is crying because she is hungry. Or the baby may cry of hunger and the mother would start singing a lullaby. And when the child cries of colic, helpless parents try everything they can to soothe the baby.
A traditional remedy from our grandma’s kitchen for colic and indigestion is what this article is about – a herbal drink made of select herbs termed ‘Sorasam’ in Tamil.
What is the herbal decoction made of?
This is basically a decoction made by boiling ground fresh herbs. The herbs used are Tulsi (Holy Basil), Indian Borage (Karpooravalli) and Betel leaf.
The number of leaves and the strength of the decoction depends on the age of your baby. First things first – Sorasam can be given to babies aged 3 months and above.
Take leaves of Karpooravalli, Tulsi and Betel.
For a 3+ month old:
- 1 Karpooravalli leaf
- 2 Tulsi leaves
- Half of a small betel leaf
For a 6+ month old:
- 2 karpooravalli leaves
- 4 tulsi leaves
- Half a leaf of a Big Betel leaf or alternatively, one small betel leaf.
After your child is 8 months old, you may add one clove of garlic once in a while.
Take the leaves specified above and wash them well.
Tear them with your hand roughly and place them on a grinding stone. You could also use a mixer / blender, but those may not do the best job since the quantity of leaves is not much. Also the heat produced by a blender may reduce the nutrition value of the leaves.
Add just a tiny bit of salt and sugar (really little – and preferably not the powdered kind).
Grind them well and keep it in a small cup. Add some water to this ground paste and allow it to boil for a few minutes like how you would make herbal tea or decoction.
Allow this to cool for a few minutes and strain well using a tea strainer. Since babies may find it difficult to swallow if there is any leaf in the decoction, a fine strainer / filter would be required.
Give it to your little one using a spoon (if your baby is not fussy) or using the traditional silver paaladai. Paaladai is the small bowl with a long tip used to feed babies.
An additional pointer here – Silver has the natural tendency to kill bacteria and germs and was hence used for everyday use in ancient India. Although these days everything is replaced by plastic or ceramic, please do try to use silver at least for your babies since this has a range of health benefits (which we will discuss in future).
Tip: I grow these herbs in my own garden, so I get them fresh. You could also try to grow at least Karpooravalli and Tulsi – both these plants are very hardy and can also be easily grown.
When to administer
After the baby has an oil bath (which as per traditional practice is every alternate day), sorasam can be given. However, this is not mandatory. Just make it a point to give this at least thrice a week. During peak summer season, this may be brought down to once a week because the body heat may go up during summer and the herbs in sorasam probably would increase this further.
- Prevents cold/flu and other respiratory problems. Relieves congestion if the baby already has common cold.
- Cures cough.
- Improves digestion and also relieves from colic/flatulence.
- Boosts immunity and overall health.
- Relief from difficulty in breathing.
You can do your own research and find that the benefits just don’t end here.
Let’s bring up our kids the natural way!