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The Magic In Koththamalli

Loosely known as Koththamalli, this miracle herbal tea has cured colds for many generations. Our search for its origins has led to the Tamil community. This home remedy seems to have first been brewed by the Tamils, but over the years it has spread among all communities in Sri Lanka making it a popular medicinal concoction. Koththamalli is simply coriander, also known as cilantro, but there’s actually a bit more to it than coriander and water.

What Goes Into Koththamalli?

There seem to be a few variations in how we prepare koththamalli. You may recall your mother or grandmother adding black peppercorns to the brew, while some of you who just read that line may find the addition of peppercorns bizarre.

The basic ingredients are dry-roasted coriander seeds and ginger. The addition of peppercorns and sugar is optional.

Healing Properties Of Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are known to possess health benefits and healing properties. Image courtesy stylecraze.com

Anti-inflammatory properties – Koththamalli helps reduce the inflammation of your sinus.

High in Vitamin C – Vitamin C hasn’t really been proved to have any effect on a cold, but it’s a great antioxidant! Antioxidants neutralize free radicals (we’re getting to it) in your blood. So, free radicals are what damage your DNA and cells, and can increase in your blood stream when you feel stressed out, smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, and are exposed to excess sunlight and pollution. Cold or not, antioxidants are a dietary must-have.

Packed with Vitamin B complexes – Such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and niacin (B3). As with vitamin C, they might not help cure your cold, but these vitamin B complexes are essential vitamins. There are eight types of vitamin B and they are all known as the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin because it toughens your immune system and helps fight against the harm caused by stress. These three vitamin Bs, coupled with some protein and vitamin A, can reduce your chances of developing cataracts on the lens of your eyes.

Health Benefits Of Ginger

Ginger – another component of koththamalli. Image courtesy herbalremediesadvice.org

Increased appetite – Sometimes when your cold is at its worst, you may lose your appetite, a little bit of ginger can help work up your appetite. And you need to eat when you’re ill, turning food away will only make you weaker.

Anti-inflammatory properties – as with coriander seeds, ginger can reduce the inflammation of your sinus.

Ginger can also induce sweating, which, and, according to German research, sweat contains a powerful germ-fighting agent that may help fend off infections: “Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans”.

How Pepper Helps

Black pepper contains anti-bacterial properties, and is also a great remedy for colds and coughs. Image courtesy reluctanttrading.com

When it comes to colds and coughs, Ayurvedic practitioners turn to black pepper. It has expectorant properties that can help remove mucus and phlegm deposited in your respiratory tract. It’s basically a natural irritant that can induce sneeze and coughing, and subsequently dislodge and bring out phlegm and mucus.

Pepper also has antibacterial properties. It helps fight against infections and even insect bites. Like vitamin C, pepper is an anti-oxidant.

So next time you sip a hot cup of koththamalli, you’ll know that there are multiple benefits to the simple, age-old Sri Lankan cold cure. Not simply to combat symptoms of a cold but to boost your immune system and provide you with essential vitamins and minerals, that are required in your regular diet.

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