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Panikoorka: A Natural Remedy for Colds, Fevers, and Common Ailments

Dhannyya is experienced in using home remedies for common ailments.

The Many Health Benefits of Panikoorka

Panikoorka, or Plectranthus amboinicus, is a popular remedy used in South Indian states for coughs and colds in children. The plant is known for its numerous therapeutic benefits and is particularly popular in Kerala. In South India, people say that you should grow panikoorka in your house if you have children. The herb is traditionally known as one of the most effective and widely used natural medicines for sick children.

Be sure to consult with a qualified medical professional before ingesting or incorporating medicinal herbs and plants into your regimen. Always consult with a qualified medical professional before giving an unprescribed herb to children.

Alternative Names for Panikoorka

Panikoorka's use is documented well throughout the world. It is commonly used in medicine, for decoration, and in recipes.

Pathar Choor (Hindi)

Karpooravalli (Tamil)

Navara (Malayalam)

Indian Borage (English)

Panikoorka can be easily consumed by boiling the leaves in water.

Panikoorka can be easily consumed by boiling the leaves in water.

Methods for Nursing Mothers

Panikoorka is said to improve lactation in nursing mothers. By taking the juice orally, the mother also transfers the health benefits of the plant to the nursing child.

If you are a nursing mother, the extract of the panikoorka leaves can be mixed with rock sugar (kalkandam) and applied to the breast. The infant will ingest the extract when they drink the milk. Some mothers use honey, but this is only recommended for children 12 months or older. You can also apply the leaves to the child's lips.

Cough and Cold Remedies for Children and Adults

  • Colds in Children: For a cough, cold, or chest congestion in infants, offer 2–3 drops of panikoorka leaf juice. You may also use the extract and mix it with rock sugar to give to toddlers.
  • Colds in Adults: For cough relief, take a mix of leaf extract, honey, and lemon juice, and take it two times a day.
  • Topical Application: Fry the leaves in oil and apply the mixture to the head for relief from throat pain and fever.
Panikoorka leaf extract can be consumed for coughs and colds.

Panikoorka leaf extract can be consumed for coughs and colds.

Fevers and Panikoorka

Panikoorka is a famous antipyretic home remedy used to alleviate fevers in children and adults. The leaves are squeezed and the juice is ingested. It is particularly helpful for reducing fevers associated with malaria. Here are the dosing increments for fevers:

  • Babies: 1 teaspoon of leaf extract
  • Adults: 2 tablespoons of leaf extract

Bronchial Asthma and Panikoorka

Panikoorka is found to be hugely effective in children, and acts as a natural expectorant, reducing excess phlegm and chest congestion in both infants and toddlers. Boil the leaves in one cup of water to remedy bronchial asthma. Dosing instructions:

  • Children: 2 tablespoons of the decoction taken orally
  • Adults: 1/4 of a cup of the decoction taken orally

Adults may alternatively consume leaf extract mixed with honey and kalkandam. Asthma patients can also regularly take the extract for respiratory relief.


Put the leaves of the plant inside the steam/vapor for inhalation. If you are using a vaporizer, take the leaf extract in a piece of cotton, and put it in the mouth of the vaporizer.

Panikoorka leaves are used to remedy a variety of ailments.

Panikoorka leaves are used to remedy a variety of ailments.

Common Ailments and Panikoorka


The versatility of the plant offers many options for use and methods of application. For those suffering from arthritis, the leaves of the plant can be boiled in water. This decoction can be taken orally for several days to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Insect Bites, Stings, Allergies

The leaf extract relieves dermal itching, allergies, infections, wounds, etc. For insect bites and scorpion bites, apply the extract directly.

Ulcers, Indigestion, and Diarrhea

Indigestion, gas, and diarrhea, can be alleviated using leaf extract. For adults with gas, mix the extract with honey and heat it until it is warm; take it orally two times a day. The plant may also be used to relieve problems associated with ulcers.

For stomach ailments in children (stomach pain, intestinal worms, etc.), mix the juice with sugar and give it to children three times a day.

Urinary Tract Issues

The leaves are traditionally used for urinary diseases in adults. Take a decoction of the plant several times a day for one week for best results.


Mathew, Angala, Mathew, Babuji, TP, Ajesh. 2016. Ethnomedical survey of medicinal plants having antipyretic effect used by Paliya tribes in Idukki district of Kerala. Journal of Traditional and Folk Practices.

Gaunt, Richard. 2015. Herbs, Home Medicine, and Self-Reliance: A Study on the Current Status of Traditional Home Medicine in Idukki District, Kerala. SIT Study Abroad India: Sustainability and Social Change

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Bindu on May 01, 2019:

How many times can it be given to infants in a day for cough and cold

Das on September 03, 2018:

Hope you clarify how do you say honey can be heated.

Around the world most traditional medicine practices agree that heated honey has a negative affect on the human body. In the case of ayurveda, it is believed that honey heated over 60 degrees celsius (140 degrees fahrenheit) creates “ama”. Ama is a condition of mucus that is brought on by inflammation and toxicity.

Marc on November 24, 2016:

Try it for burns!

pooja on December 02, 2014:

i heared some romour information regarding this has a side reduce d memory power of it correct..?

VioletteRose from Atlanta on February 11, 2014:

This is very useful, thank you so much. I have planted this in my balcony and now I am using the leaves to reduce the cold and flu in my toddler, which is affecting him very frequently nowadays. I was not sure if I could use it for my baby too. Thanks for suggesting so many ways to use this excellent herb, I love its strong flavor!

dhannyya (author) on February 28, 2013:

thank you precy anza for the comment

precy anza from USA on February 25, 2013:

The oregano plant :) I grew up with this herb and seeing the photo, I could just smell it. I had used its leaves many, many times for my cold, cough and asthma when I was a kid. Still grows it today and using it when I find the need. :) Great hub about the herb! Voted up and shared! :)

dhannyya (author) on December 09, 2012:

thank you Pavlo Badovskyy

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on December 08, 2012:

It treats so many different things! Great info!

dhannyya (author) on December 07, 2012:

thank you rajan jolly for encouraging me..thanks for the sharing...i learned taking topics seeing ur hubs...

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 07, 2012:

Hi dhanyya, this is a wonderful herb but it is the first time I'm learning about this. Thanks for sharing such useful information.

Voted up, useful and shared.

dhannyya (author) on December 07, 2012:

thank you shiningirisheyes

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on December 07, 2012:

Boy Dhannyya - I wish I had some Panikoorka leaf oil now. I have been struggling with the aches, fever and cough for a full day.

Sounds like Mother Natures wonder remedy with the many other ailments it helps.

Very interesting