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Vethalai/Vetrilai (Betel) and Thulasi/Tulsi (Holy Basil) Kashayam

Vethalai_Vetrilai_Betel_Thulasi_Tulsi_Holy_Basil_Kashayam_1 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_plant_leaf_vethalai_vetrilai_paan holy_basil_thulasi_tulsi_plant


  • Betel leaves – 6 to 7 no  Vethalai_Vetrilai_Betel_Thulasi_Tulsi_Holy_Basil_Kashayam_2
  • 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.

Vethalai_Vetrilai_Betel_Thulasi_Tulsi_Holy_Basil_Kashayam_3 Vethalai_Vetrilai_Betel_Thulasi_Tulsi_Holy_Basil_Kashayam_4

  • 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.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • prathibha January 25, 2011, 12:05 pm

    very healthy one..love to sip it in winters…n it is a gr8 remedy for cold..

  • Sum January 25, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Nice Kashaya for cold and winters! Check out my recipe on Beetle leaves rice..

  • kanthi January 25, 2011, 10:27 pm

    Thulasi kashayam a good and healthy one in cold season..have a look at my blog,tulasi kashayam.

  • Jayashree January 26, 2011, 11:57 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I am always on the look out for home remedies for cold/cough.

  • Usha January 27, 2011, 9:19 am

    thanks, i will surely try this.

  • Seshadri May 15, 2012, 6:23 pm

    Good nd informative. Saw a line for free receipie. Will you send new receipie on my above email id. If so thanks. If not, then also thanks for sharing on Beetle-Tulsi Kashayam

  • savithiri November 11, 2013, 9:45 am

    thanks for you recipies. i will try this. very useful to my child

  • Vijayalakshmi senthilnambi February 26, 2014, 9:48 am

    When should we drink this kashayam? At any time or any specific time? before food or after food? Thank You….

  • Vijayalakshmi senthilnambi February 26, 2014, 9:51 am

    Betel plant is a climber I think….As My son is in 2-nd standard I came to refresh my knowledge on plants!!!….Thank You.

  • Vijayalakshmi senthilnambi February 26, 2014, 9:53 am

    Sorry, another doubt, when to add the palm candy?

  • Viji Senthil March 7, 2014, 8:25 am

    Hi, Wishes. When to add palm candy? at boiling or at last?

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