Fenugreek: The Versatile Herb

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO “Amma, my hair lacks lustre and volume.” “Amma, my face feels dry and dull.” “Amma, I’m in my periods and cramping.” “Maa, I am lactating scantily.” “Mom, I’m severely constipated.” “Ma, how is it that you are able to have good blood sugar control without medicines?” My battery of questions

Cassia: Questa È Bella

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO Monsoons are a good time for botanical pursuits. That beauty of knowing the unknown was experienced by this writer — during my Monsoon field visits, while accompanying my late uncle, Venkatram Daithota, a folk practitioner, who was a botanist-herbalist by passion. He would often quote the Sanskrit verse, Naasti moolam

Indian Borage: The Handy Herb


Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO Achoo… The word is derived from onomatopoeia — a thing, or action, corresponding to a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it. Add it to, sniffles. And, you hear this, pronto: ‘god bless.’ Three decades down memory lane, like many other kids, I recall my ‘connect’ to the category of

Much More Than Popeye’s Favourite Food

nutritional food

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO The monsoon in Bengaluru has its own charm, more so when we are able to source some remote greens and enjoy a local recipe thoughtfully chosen. I thank my domestic help for introducing me to this delectable nutritious green. This accidental indulgence in ragi mudde [the traditional finger millet balls;

Purslane: The Super-Food


Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO The COVID-19 lockdown acquainted us with this wonderful weed, or herb — a truly appetising super-food. We were ‘locked’ in a village with meagre supplies. We had no choice, but to rely on indigenously grown produce — for the most part, the various weeds that were sprouting, with no effort,

[K]night In Healthy Armour

Black nightshade

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO   Childhood is the phase of life most cherished by all. Childhood experiences of most kids in the rural, semi-urban dwellings and suburban townships across India is incomplete without a memorable indulgence in the wildly growing succulent black berries of the black nightshade. This edible medicinal weed, quite popular in

Tora! Tora! Tora!


Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO This piece has nothing to do with the epic World War II movie, Tora! Tora! Tora! The word means ‘attack’ in Japanese. This sounds like it, yes, although you’d certainly reach out for a tora leaves delicacy and ‘attack’ your plate for a sumptuous fill. When one travels through the humid coastal

Not Penny. Pound’s Wort

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO Indian pennywort is a famed memory enhancer, a delectable culinary herb and a doctor’s ‘good bet’ in treating neurological disorders. It is colloquially as popular as Brahmi, which is technically and authentically a different herb with similar qualities. Its botanical name is Centella asiatica. It is known as Gotu kola

Herbs That Nourish & Heal

Words: Dr Chaithra S RAO  Ayurveda, the science of life, is not knowledge limited to medicine. The popularity of Ayurveda, thanks to its focus on total health and wellness is not only immense, but also simple, and yet trailblazing, since ancient times. The way of life that Ayurveda preaches has, yet again, and in a

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