Vethalai/Vetrilai (Betel) – Thulasi/Tulsi (Holy Basil) Kashayam is a healthy drink.
Betel plant is a creeper with heart shaped leaves. The betel leaf is popular throughout India for its traditional and cultural value. In Hindu religion, it is served in all cultural and religious activities including day-to-day puja, marriage etc. In Tamil Nadu, betel leaf with areca nut is served as thamboolam during marriage celebrations, festivals and puja. It is offered specially to ladies on festival days to honor them. Also betel leaf is aromatic and has medicinal value. Chewing betel leaves helps to cure bad breath, constipation and indigestion. Betel plant can be easily grown at home.
Similarly, holy basil is known for its medicinal value in curing cold and allergies. Holy basil plant can be seen almost in all traditional Hindu homes. Holy basil is used in puja.
So on any festival days, we have plenty of betel leaves and holy basil leaves at home. I prefer to prepare a kashayam (medicinal drink) with these leaves to cure common cold and indigestion. This is a very good drink during rainy and winter season. I use palm candy to make this drink sweet and more healthy.
Betel leaf is known as Vethalai/Vetrilai in Tamil and as Paan in Hindi. Holy basil is known as Thulasi in Tamil and as Tulsi in Hindi.
Here are home grown betel plant (photo from my sister’s home) and holy basil (photo from my flat).
- Betel leaves – 6 to 7 no
- Holy basil leaves – 15 to 20 no
- Black pepper corns – 6 no
- Palm candy/sugar – as required
- Green cardamom – 2 no
- Wash betel, holy basil leaves and chop roughly; crush pepper corns and cardamom; heat four cups of water in a pan; add chopped betel leaves, holy basil leaves and crushed pepper corns, cardamom; bring to boil.
- Let it boil till the water reduces to half in volume approximately.
- Filter and serve hot or warm.
- This kashayam can be taken once or twice a day.