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 “There is a saying in Kerala, `Chukkillatha kashayamilla’ (there is no concotion without `chukku’ or dry ginger). In almost all Ayurveda medicines, `chukku’ is a common ingredient because of its carminative and digestive properties. According to Ayurveda, indigestion in all levels of metabolism is the root cause of all diseases. So a daily intake of such an ingredient is good enough to keep sickness away,” says Dr. E. T. Neelakandhan Mooss of Vaidyaratnam Oushadashala, Thaikkattussery.

Dr. K. Sreedharan Nair, retired Professor, Shoranur Ayurvedic College and visiting physician, Keraleeya Ayurveda Samajam, explains, “The `chukku’ has catalytic properties and hence it boosts the medicinal value of other ingredients. After a sumptuous meal, you find people serve `chukkuvellam,’ which helps digestion. In
Ayurveda, we often concentrate first on the stomach to see if the ailment has anything to do with improper digestion. If we suspect so, we advice the patient to starve for a couple of days and drink only medicated water so as to cleanse the stomach off its undigested food.”

However, not all types of medicated water suit everybody. It depends on the body constitution, seasonal variations and place of residence. Explaining in detail, Mr. Mooss says that generally the purpose of `chukkuvellam’ type of processed water is to increase appetite, digest foods, clear abdominal discomforts etc. Hence herbs with opposite qualities should not be consumed. For example, invitiation of `kapha’ and `vatha’ diseases, `chukku’ is good. `Jeeraka’ alleviates kapha and `vatha doshas,’ but vitiates `pitha dosha.’ `Pathimukham’ alleviates `kapha and pitha doshas.’” If one is selecting drinking water on the basis of Ayurvedic science, a lot
of things have to be taken into consideration, he adds. Every Vaidyan’s advice is that medicated water should be taken fresh, not more than a day old. Dr. Sreedharan Nair emphasises this should not even be stored overnight. Agrees Dr. Sunil Kumar, “The very meaning of medicated water is that it has to be boiled for at least five minutes, which most people seem to ignore. `Tulasi’ or pepper water is good for cold and throat infections. `Panakam’ water has ingredients like `ramachcham,’ `iriveli’ and sandalwood, which give a cooling effect to the body in summer.”

Chuku Malli drink (Coriander + Dry ginger)

Coriander Seeds - 100 gms
Sukku(dry ginger powder) - 25 gms

Slightly roast coriander seeds and add dry ginger fry for 2 mins in medium flame
Let it cool and powder them.

Prepare the decoction with 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of powdered jaggery or brown unrefined sugar  and 1 tps of prepared powder. Boil for minutes.

`Chukku’ magic
DR. NEELAKANDHAN MOOSS of Vaidyratnam Oushadashala, Thaikkattussery, explains some of the characteristics of `chukku’ (dried ginger), which is used in almost all medicinal preparations especially in decoctions. In Ayurveda, fresh ginger is known as `ardraka’ and dried ginger is known as `suntee.’ In a lot of contexts we can see
`chukku’ as one of the ingredients along with other ingredients. Some examples are :

a) Decoction of `mahabala’ root and `chukku’ checks malarial fever with rigor and burning sensation in two or three days (Ref: Bhavaprakasam)

b) Decoction of `chukku,’ added with honey, alleviates loss of appetite, dyspepsia and cough (Ref: Bhavaprakasam)

c) One should take water processed with `vacha,’ `athivisha,’ `mustha,’ `parpata,’ `hribera’ and `chukku’ for improving appetite and digestion (Ref: Charakam)

d) In case of toxicity, indigestion, piles and constipation one should use regularly `chukku,’ `pippali,’ `harithaki’ or `dadima’ (Ref: Vrinda Madhavam).

e) Decoction of `chukku’ stimulates digestive fire quickly and there is no need of other drugs for this purpose (Ref: Vrinda Madhavam).

f) Water processed with `kantakari,’ `chukku’ or `dhanyaka’ should be given as post meal drink. It acts as carminative and laxative (Ref: Charakam).

g) Taking a decoction of `chukku’ and `eranda’ root added with `hingu’ and `souvarchala’ gives relief from pain instantaneously.

h) Hot decoction of `chukku’ promotes digestion, alleviates cough, asthma, colic and heart diseases.

i) Boiled and cooled water processed with `bala’ or `prisniparni’ or `kautakari’ combined with `chukku’ should be drunk in all cases of alcoholism (Ref: Charakam).



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