Updated: Jun 30
Children are highly susceptible to mild viral infections of the upper respiratory tract (cold and cough). They have a tender constitution and wide exposure to germs. Young children are curious to taste everything - parents would groan “Except real food”. Hands, nails, toys, hair, and even toes find their way into the mouth.
Getting exposed, infected, and healing to have a stronger immune function is a vital part of growing up. But things can get tough when the episodes are frequent and the child needs repeated rounds of antibiotics to heal.
These can be tough times for young parents, especially in a nuclear setup. Oftentimes you catch your own parents shaking their heads in dismay and disapproval of your parental skills.
Here is something that’s ‘granny approved’ and scientifically proven. It can relieve the symptoms of cold and cough with no side effects plus bonus side benefits (listed below).
Drum roll - ‘Sitopaladi Churnam’ - Ta da.
There is a 100 % chance you may have heard about it before. So why this? Because I earnestly hope to motivate and encourage all parents to prepare this at home.
Quality control: as parents, we would buy the best quality ingredients. Commercial companies may cut corners
It is much more effective. I can assure you this with experience.
No need to add preservatives
The active principles of Sitopaladi are the volatile compounds and oils of the spices. Aged elaichi, dalchini, and pippali will not be effective. Commercially prepared sitopaladi may be old, lying on the shop shelf for a long time.
The ingredients of Sitopaladi are easy to source
It is extremely easy to prepare
How to make Sitopaladi chooran :
Sita mishri: It appears very much like the regular mishri (sugar candy) except, the crystals are highly transparent and white, suggesting superior quality.
Vanshalochan: Vansha-bamboo and lochan-extract. This exudate of the bamboo is collected from the nodes of the bamboo grass (yes, technically bamboo is grass). It is an excellent anti-inflammatory and strengthens the bones and lungs.
Pippali: Long pepper is what India has been known for in the civilized world since the history of mankind. Sadly we have replaced this wonderful herb with Mexican chilies. And assumed that mirchi is Indian and long pepper is exotic. This piperine found in long pepper is part of not just the ancient Indian cuisine but is now actively used in Pharma. Pharmaceutical research now proves that drugs when administered with piperine become more available in the body and hence are needed in smaller doses. It is also excellent for immunity, gut health, and here in Sitopaladi, to relieve colds and coughs.
Elaichi- Needs no introduction. Green cardamom sourced from the foothills of nilgiri should be fresh, fragrant, and of a deep green hue.
Dalchini: Cinnamon. Choose fresh, mold-free, and spicy like the spice should be.
All these ingredients a readily available online. ( I source them from Amazon.in). If local shops is what you prefer buy them after proper quality inspection.
Things you will need:
Kitchen weighing scale
A fine mesh sieve (Maida Sieve)
Method of preparation:
Start with a little extra amount of each ingredient. Grinding and sifting leads to loss.
Take each ingredient, inspect carefully, and grind them separately.
Sift the powders of each ingredient separately through a fine mesh sieve. I use the one for Maida (refined flour).
Weigh them perfectly in the above-mentioned ratios. Kindly weigh them after grinding and sifting. Weighing them before will not account for the wastage caused during the process. Eg. Elaichi when ground and sieved yields only 85 % of its weight. The fibrous skin of Elaichi does not make it through the fine mesh.
Put them in a jar and mix.
Its ready !
Dose: 3-5 gms 4-5 times daily with raw unprocessed/unheated honey for adults and kids above 5 years of age.
Age 0.5 - 1 Years: 1.2 to 1.5 gm 4-5 times daily with jaggery powder. (Honey is contraindicated for children below the age of one.)
Age 1- 2 Years: 1.5 to 2 gm 4-5 times daily with honey
Age 2- 5 Years: 2 to 3 gm 4-5 times daily with honey
Time: Sitopaladi is best given between meals i.e.1 hour after food and 1 hour before food.
On getting incessant bouts of coughing, Sitopaladi can soothe and relieve the sufferer. it is especially beneficial at bedtime to avoid nighttime congestion. Remember to brush the teeth after taking it at night
Benefits: Sitopaladi decreases the inflammatory markers that may worsen the cold and cough.
According to Bhavapraksha, consuming Sitopaladi regularly can help cure colds and coughs. It can improve digestion and also work up an appetite for children who get fussy when unwell.
1) When consumed with ghee (1/4 tsp) and honey (1 tsp) regularly, it can positively improve immune function.
2) With a spoon of fresh butter (homemade), sitopaladi cools the system (reduces Pitta). It strengthens asthi dhatu (bone tissue), aids digestion, and improves lung health.
3) Sitopaladi + Amla powder 1 tsp + Honey 1 tsp + ghee 1/2 tsp: This mix can be taken at bedtime or early morning to delay aging (for adults of course), and build the immune system.
End note: Sitopaladi is not the end of the treatment for cold and cough. But for minor bouts, it may drastically lessen your dependence on drugs. On having severe symptoms always reach out to an expert Ayurvedic practitioner.
There are other things that I recommend to help get better faster:
1) Putting 2 drops of warm ghee/coconut oil in the nose at bedtime.
2) Gargling with salt and turmeric water.
3) Keeping bowels clear. Regular potty ensures less congestion.
4) Drinking lots of warm fluids.
5) Children become fussy eaters when unwell. As parents, we can make bad choices of food for our children. Do not fall for barter and bribe by offering their favorite cream biscuit, Nutella sandwich, chocolate, maida - bread, pasta, noodles, etc. Remember light diet is way better than giving something that's unhealthy, for nurturing health. Children when communicated properly, are very reasonable beings.