KARKIDAKA KANJI – An integral part of Monsoon Regime

Ayurveda By CCRAS Ministry of AYUSH

Karkidakam, the Malayalam month falls between mid-July and mid-August and
coincides with the monsoons in Kerala. Kerala monsoon is famous for its heavy torrential
rainfall with thunderstorms and wind. The season makes the earth cool and dry after the
scorching summer heat. The Shareerabala (general strength of the body) and Jataragnibala
(capacity of digestion) gets decreased during this season. Owing to this and also due to the
increased moisture in the atmosphere, body will be prone to diseases such as fever, cough,
cold, etc and water borne diseases will also emerge during this season. Unhealthy food habits
and improper activities during this time lead to the imbalance of Doshas and thereby making
the body susceptible to diseases.
Karkidaka Kanji (rice porridge prepared with various medicines) is a recipe that is
traditionally used by Keralites during the Karkidaka season to maintain the digestive activity
and to strengthen the body. Karkidaka Kanji or Marunnu Kanji is a special porridge
medicated with Vatasamaka (medicines which alleviate Vata) and Deepaneeya (medicines
which stimulate the digestion) drugs. The Kanji is considered the simplest way for a
seasonal rejuvenation and aids digestion, improves immunity and prevents the common
ailments of the rainy season.This porridge is usually taken continuously throughout the
month and people of all age group benefits from this.
As this is a conventional practice, there are no strict guidelines regarding the recipe of
KarkidakaKanji. There are local variations across the state. Based on the general health, body
constitution, digestive capacity and any disease condition, the ingredients like Moringa
(Moringa oleifera Lam.) leaves, green-gram, Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa L.) etc. can be
added to the basic recipe given below.
Shashtika Shali (Red rice)-100 gms, Chandrashoora (Garden cress)-10 gm, Dashapushpa
Choorna-10 gm, Trikatu Choorna-5 gm, Dashamoola Choorna-10 gm, Dhanyaka
(coriander)-5 gm, Ajamoda (Ajwain)-5 gm, Methika (Fenugreek)-5 gm, Jeeraka (Cumin)-5
gm, coconut milk jaggery and water in sufficient quantity may be used.
Dashamoola – Bilwa (Aegle marmelos L.), Agnimantha (Clerodoendrum phlomidis L.f.),
Shyonaka (Oroxylum indicum L.), Patala (Stereospermum saveolens Roxb.), Gambhari
(Gmelina arborea Roxb.), Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris L.), Brihati (Solanum indicum L.),
Kantakari (Solanum surattense Burm.), Shaliparni (Desmodium gangeticum L.) and
Prishniparni (Uraria picta Jacq.)
Dashapushpa –Viparitalajjalu (Biophytum candolleanum Wight.), Bhadra (Aerva lanata
L.), Sakralata (Cardiospermum halicacabum L.), Lakshmana (Ipomea serpiaria Roxb.),
Sahadevi (Vernonia cineria L.), Durva (Cynodon dactylon L.), Musali (Curculigo orchioides
Gaertn.), Vishnukranti (Evolvulus alsinoides L.), Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba L.) and Sasasruti
(Emilia sonchifolia DC.)
Method of preparation:
Dasamoola Kashaya is prepared first by boiling 10 gm of powder in 4 glasses of
water and reducing it to 1 glass. The Kashaya is then filtered well. Add 100 gms of shashtika
rice (previously soaked for 5 hours) and continue boiling by adding Jeeraka, Trikatu
choorna, Methika, Ajamoda, Chandrasoora and Dhanyaka. Once the rice gets cooked, add
sufficient quantity of coconut milk and jaggery. Take this porridge at least once daily
throughout the month. In conventional practice, this porridge is taken in the early morning
after Abhyanga Snana. (oil application and hot water bath).
                                                                                 Dr. Meghna P.P 

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