1. Sagargota (Fever Nut)
The seeds of this herb are used in balguti. This bitter tonic improves appetite and is useful in bringing down fever. This herb is bitter, pungent and stringent. It is useful in sorting out minor liver disorders and worms. It eases stomach pain due to gases and also works on diarrhoea, dysentery and colitis.
2. Dikemali (Cumbi Gum)
The strong-odoured resin part of this herb is used in balguti, as it has a strong antiseptic action. It is especially useful during the teething phase. A baby is prone to inflamed gums, diarrhoea, fever, pain, vomiting and gases. Apply Dikemali paste on the swollen gums to reduce pain and swelling, and to strengthen the gums. Kids having PICA syndrome (i.e. kids who are fond of eating clay, mud, etc.) are give dikemali . Its repulsive taste and smell help to put kids off tasting anything foreign.
3. Murudsheng (Indian Screw Tree)
The fruits of this tree form part of the regular balguti. These fruits are demulcent by nature. They are useful in colic pain, dysentery and diarrhoea. It is very useful for gripe pain and intestinal colic as well. Give fried pods of murudsheng to older children to kill intestinal worms.
4. Hirda (Chebulic Myrobalan)
The mature fruits of this tree have astringent properties are mild laxatives. Giving hirda with ghee promotes longevity. It also boosts energy levels. To ease asthma issues or constant hiccups, give hirda and dry ginger. The most important use of hirda is that it helps to clear out the bowels and improve appetite.
5. Maiphal (Oak Gall)
Maiphal galls have astringent action and are useful against excessive phlegm. Maiphal is neither a fruit nor a herb, but is in reality just galls that arise on the branches as a result of gall wasps. Use it to soothe cough, running nose, etc. and dysentery and vomiting that is a result of excessive phlegm. It has anti fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
6. Bal Hirda (Myrobalans)
The immature fruit of the cherubic myrobalan tree is a mild laxative. It has the same properties as the more mature hirda. The only difference between the two is that bal hirda is blackish in colour and is without seed.
7. Kuda (Kurchi Bark)
Kuda in balguti actually stands for the bark of the kurchi tree. This bitter bark is only soluble in butter milk. Its paste acts as a bitter tonic that is useful against diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery and irritable bowel syndrome.
8. Ativish (Atis Roots)
Atis roots are a bitter tonic that act against fever. Contrary to what the name suggests, these anti-toxic roots are not poisonous. In fact, they have a detoxifying effect on the body. They remove poisonous toxins from the body and work on the digestive system to correct metabolism. Atis roots are the often the drug of choice for curing most paediatric health problems. The roots are also helpful in clearing the airways of phlegm and help to purify blood too.
9. Vekhand (Sweet Flag)
Vekhand is my go to herb during fever and the fact that I love how it smells is just a bonus. The rhizomes of Vekhand are used in balguti as an anti-infective. This rhizome is also a stimulant that is used with ghee to improve speech and reduce stammering. It is also useful against infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. It also treats cough, inflammation and fever. Vekhand in paste form can be gently rubbed on the chest and forehead of babies. This brings down fever and prevent cough and sinusitis.
10. Haldi (Turmeric)
The whole world now knows the glory of turmeric. This rhizome is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic as well as anti-periodic. It treats cough, fever, gastric ailments and even skin diseases. It also soothes respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis and allergic bronchitis. When a baby is given cow milk instead of breast milk, a pinch of turmeric may be added to the milk to make it easier to digest.
11. Jaiphal (Nutmeg)
Nutmeg seeds are soothing and are useful in treating diarrhoea, dysentery and vomiting. This aromatic seed is a digestive tonic that controls loose motions. Higher doses of nutmeg can induce deep sleep. External application of nutmeg treats headaches, cough, colds and even mild symptoms of asthma.
12. Kadakshingi (Terminalia Chebula Retz)
This astringent gall treats respiratory disorders as it controls the secretion of phlegm. In paediatric balguti, kadakshingi treats common cold and eases teething troubles. It also treats throat infections, hiccups, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and symptoms of asthma.
13. Nagarmotha (Nut Grass)
Nut grass tubers have a cooling action. They soothe burning micturition, gastric disorders, fever and excessive thirst. These tubers also have carminative, febrifuge, diuretic and anthelmintic properties. Nagarmotha is useful for new mothers as well. Its paste is applied externally to increase the quality of breastmilk. Nagarmotha is an excellent galactagogue.
14. Jeshthimadh (Liquorice)
Better known as liquorice in English and mulethi in Hindi, jeshtimadh is a demulcent root with soothing properties. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent expectorant. It treats cough, asthma and voice hoarseness. Liquorice improves vision and skin texture, and is often called a ‘rejuvenating herb’. It also has mild laxative properties and works as an effective antacid.
15. Suntha (Dry Ginger)
Suntha is the dried form of the ginger rhizome. This digestive increases appetite and has carminative properties. Dried ginger has slightly different actions than normal, fresh ginger. Suntha is a rich source of anti-oxidants and is also rich in gut-strengthening enzymes. It increases body temperature and improves immunity. It also relieves constipation and aids in cases of abdominal colic. It can also be applied externally to relieve headaches.
16. Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry)
Ashwagandha roots are a rejuvenating force that help in strengthening the immune system. These roots give nutrition to the building blocks of the body. Though they are good when taken at any age, they are especially necessary for kids. Ashwagandha also acts as a nerving tonic.
17. Pimpli (Long Pepper)
Pimpli or long pepper is actually a fruit and its main action is on the lungs. It acts as an expectorant and prevent cough. It is also useful to treat asthma and fever when it is combined with honey. Pimpli stimulates the liver and spleen and also acts as a detoxifying agent. Pimpli should be used in a controlled manner in the balguti of very young children as it is a hot spice.
18. Kharik (Dry Dates)
Kharik or dry dates are jam packed with nutrition. They are veritable treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, especially iron. They contain vitamins like A, C, E, K, B2, B6, niacin and thiamine. Dry dates give strength and energy and improve the body’s capacity to handle routine wear and tear.
19. Beheda (Belliric Myrobalan)
Beheda fruit has an astringent action and is useful in respiratory disorders. It also has rejuvenate properties. It imparts longevity and boosts immunity. Beheda helps in improving appetite and treats flatulence, thirst, piles and worms. It is also beneficial for hair and eyesight. Beheda alleviates cough, blacked phlegm, and bronchospasm. It also helps to control bleeding in the sputum.
20. Badam (Almonds)
Almonds are a good skin and brain tonic. Not just a good source of vitamin E and A, almonds are also rich in fiber. They help in preventing constipation and help to maintain a proper digestive system. Almond oil is also great to massage newborns with.