Showing posts with label indian herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indian herbs. Show all posts

Jul 9, 2014

Health Benefits of Alfalfa Seeds

Alfalfa is a perennial flowering plant and is widely known for its medicinal properties. It is widely used throughout the world and is popularly known as ‘lucerne’ in some countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. Different parts of the herb like leaves, seeds, sprouts, etc. are used to make medicines. Alfalfa is widely used for curing kidney ailments and increasing urine flow. It has also proved effective in controlling cholesterol, asthma and diabetes. It is also consumed as a source of Vitamins, and minerals like calcium and iron.

Alfalfa is often referred as the miracle herb. Its leaves prevent the absorption in the guts and thereby, help in reducing the cholesterol level and the plaque formation inside the arteries. Hence, it reduces the chances of heart diseases and strokes. It also produces white blood cells which help in improving our body’s immune system.

Alfalfa, when consumed regularly, also helps in strengthening the bones. It contains Vitamin K, which prevent bone loss, which happens due to vitamin deficiency.

Common Name : Alfalfa
Botanical Name : Medicago Sativa
Forms : Tablet~Powder~Capsules~


Alfalfa is very rich in nutrients. It is a great source of vitamins, minerals and is widely used for household remedies. Few benefits are listed below.
  1. It helps in curing kidney problems
  2. It is effective in relieving fluid retention and swelling.
  3. It is useful for healing arthritis 
  4. It is useful in curing auto-immune disorders
  5. It helps in nourishing the digestive, skeletal, glandular and urinary system.
  6. It helps in cleaning the blood, liver and bowel
  7. It is very useful in lowering cholesterol levels
  8. It helps to prevent strokes
  9. It helps in countering whooping cough
  10. It is commonly used for controlling diabetes
  11. It is used in treating urinary tract infections
  12. It is an effective remedy for patients suffering from Kidney stones
  13. It prevents tooth decay
Natural Treatment for Hair Loss and Balding
The juice of alfalfa, in combination with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juice, taken daily, assists in the growth of hair to an amazing extent. The combination of these juices is rich in elements which are especially helpful for the growth of hair and the prevention of hair loss.

Side-effect Of Alfalfa
Alfalfa is often recommended, but for anyone who is allergic to the herb, it can be harmful even in small quantities. Long-term intake of alfalfa has some side effects on human body.
  1. It might make some people’s skin sensitive to direct sunlight.
  2. It is not advisable for pregnant women as it contains stachydrine and homostachydrine which promote menstruation and can result into miscarriage.
  3. Alfalfa lowers blood sugar level. So, a diabetic needs to be cautious about taking it in large amount.
  4. Alfalfa sometimes makes the immune system – over active, as a result chances of auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, etc. increases.
Serving Ideas For Alfalfa
  • Add alfalfa sprouts to salads.
  • While making sandwich, add some alfalfa sprouts along with other vegetables.
Where and How to Buy Alfalfa
Alfalfa is available in capsules, which you may take daily as a nutritional supplement. One or two capsules a day is recommended. You can also find bulk alfalfa leaves or seeds at some health food stores which are great for making a nourishing tea.

Apr 3, 2014

Amla Juice Benefits For Hair

Amla has been considered as a hair tonic and so amla juice also plays an important role in making your hair healthier and stronger. It is an effective natural remedy for several hair problems. Some of its benefits in hair care are as follows.

Strengthens Hair:
Amla juice strengthens your hair follicles, thus encouraging hair growth. You can apply a mixture of amla and lemon juice on your scalp and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. This will strengthen your hair from roots and make it shinier.

Prevents Premature Graying:
Amla juice is very beneficial for those suffering from premature graying of hair. This is because it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C which prevent premature graying of hair.

Treatment of Dandruff:
Dandruff is a common problem these days and having amla juice is an effective way of getting rid of it. Regular consumption of this juice prevents accumulation of dandruff on your scalp.

Improves Pigmentation:
Amla juice helps to improve pigmentation and color of hair and makes it darker and thicker. It is used as an effective ingredient in hair dyes and other hair care products. It is great for the treatment of hair discoloration and graying hair.

Good Conditioner:
Amla juice acts as a great conditioner for dry and rough hair. You can mix some amla juice with henna and apply it on your hair. This will counteract the drying nature of henna, thus providing you with healthy and conditioned hair. You can also use it as a hair wash to add extra shine and bounce.

Scalp Cleanser:
You can mix amla juice with an egg, beat it and massage your hair with it. Amla juice will mask the smell of eggs and provide you with shiny, silky and squeaky clean nourished scalp.

Prevents Hair Problems:
Besides strengthening your hair, regular consumption of amla juice helps to deal with several hair problems like hair loss, split ends and frizzy hair.

Hence amla juice offers countless benefits for your skin, hair and health by enriching your body with vital nutrients.

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Amla or Indian Gooseberry Health Benefits

Amla or Indian gooseberry is popular since decades due to its nutritional benefits. In India, this fruit is used in making pickles, chutneys, jams and murabbas. Amla juice is a healthy drink as it is a storehouse of vitamin C and other nutrients which provide an array of health and beauty benefits. Amla fruit is greatly renowned and amla juice is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Amla juice comprises of many minerals and vitamins such as carotene, phosphorus, calcium, iron and vitamin B complex; and hence, is a powerful antioxidant. It protects against oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals. It fortifies our liver, strengthens your lung, nourishes your brain, improves muscle tone, improves your urinary system and balances stomach acids. In fact, according to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla juice promotes longevity. It is regarded as the juice of immortality or the magic potion which keeps you young and fit. Drinking amla juice twice a day can do wonders for your body and skin. It not only improves the appearance of your skin but also helps maintain proper body functions. It also makes your hair grow stronger.

Amla Benefits
  • Twenty times as much vitamin C as orange juice.This vitamin improves the tannins that are required to shield heat and light. During summer season, this juice keeps your skin cool by sorting out heat from the body. It also acts as a shield against radiation by protecting you against the harmful UV rays.
  • Solve the problem of Mouth ulcers & Good for Oral HealthDaily intake of amla juice wards off bad breath and strengthens teeth. Gargling with a mixture of water and amla juice can provide relief from painful mouth ulcers.
  • Reduce arthritis pain .The anti-inflammatory properties in amla juice help in reducing the swelling in the joints caused by arthritis. By reducing inflammation, it also protects and eases the tissues of the digestive tract.
  • Relieve stress & therefore cure sleep disorders like the insomnia.Amla juice is effective in curing insomnia. All you need to do is take fresh amla juice with a mixture of coarse powder of nutmeg; and experience a sound and peaceful sleep.
  • Improving eyesight.Regular intake of amla juice helps in improving eyesight and nearsightedness as well as controls the onset of cataracts. It also minimizes intraocular tension. It counters problems like reddening, itching and watering of eyes.
  • Controls Diabetes
    Amla juice taken with turmeric powder and honey helps in controlling diabetes.
  • Relieves Asthma And BronchitisDrinking amla juice with honey twice daily can relieve asthma and bronchitis complications. It also reduces the incidence of chronic cough, allergic asthma and tuberculosis.
  • Burns FatAmla juice can cure obesity by increasing protein levels which in turn helps in reducing unwanted fat. It has the ability to create a positive nitrogen balance. It reduces the cholesterol levels, thus minimizing the risk of heart attacks.
  • Relieves Constipation And PilesAmla juice helps in relieving constipation caused due to piles. It also regulates the bowel movements and cures chronic constipation.
  • Treatment of Gastric DisordersAmla juice is great treatment for gastric disorders and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in abdomen).It is a good remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. Besides piles and constipation, it helps maintain healthy liver functions. Amla juice is effective in treating peptic ulcers and acidity. If you have acidity problems, you can take amla juice with pure ghee everyday twice a day.
  • Blood PurifierAmla juice acts as a blood purifier by flushing out toxins from the body. Regular intake of this juice purifies your blood as well as helps increase hemoglobin and red blood cell counts.Amla strengthens the lungs, the respiratory system and the central nervous system of our body.
How to Prepare Amla Juice?
It is quite simple to prepare amla juice at home. Though it is usually sweetened by adding sugar, you can also add a little jaggery or brown sugar, salt and pepper to the drink to get a different taste. You can also flavor it with a little cardamom powder.

Ingredients:

1 cup Amla (Indian Gooseberry), cut into pieces
1cup sugar
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cardamom powder (optional) for a glass of amla juice

Procedure:
  • Wash and dry the amlas and place them in a bowl.
  • Adding 1 ½ cup of water to the pressure cooker, place the bowl in it. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and light the stove.
  • Switch off the stove after one whistle. Remove the bowl from the stove when there is no pressure in the cooker.
  • Now gently touch the gooseberry to see if it has cooled down. Press the amlas with in between your fingers to break them into pieces and remove the seeds.
  • Grind sugar into fine powder.
  • Grind the amla pieces. If you find it difficult to grind them, add some sugar powder and then grind them.
  • To prepare the amla juice concentrate, mix the amla paste with sugar powder and salt.
  • You can place this concentrate in a freezer safe box and store it in the freezer.
  • You can add 2 to 3 spoons of this concentrate to a glass of water whenever you require amla juice. You can add some cardamom powder and stir well.
  • This juice concentrate can be stored in the freezer for 8 months or more. However, it changes color in course of time.
  • Since amlas are slightly bitter in taste, you can initially cook them in water. This will make them soft as well as ward off the bitter taste.
Preservation of Amla Juice:
To preserve amla juice, ensure that the quantity of the juice is equal to the capacity of the jar. For instance, 500 grams of amla juice should be stored in a 500 grams capacity glass or a plastic container. Add 2 tablespoons of sodium lactate and mix well. This juice can be preserved in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 months. Sodium lactate is easily available at a chemist or any store that sells food chemicals.

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Wheat Grass Benefits

Wheatgrass is a kind of grass. Wheatgrass is primarily used as a concentrated source of nutrients. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids.

Wheatgrass juice is a popular health drink. It is thought to benefit health only when fresh and taken on an empty stomach immediately after extraction.

Wheat Grass Benefits
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland, correcting obesity.
  • Is a powerful detoxifier, and liver and blood protector.
  • Improves Hemoglobin level
  • Increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure.
  • Externally applied to the skin can help eliminate itching almost immediately.
  • Contains beneficial enzymes. Whether you have a cut finger you want to heal or you desire to lose five pounds…enzymes must do the actual work. The life and abilities of the enzymes found naturally in our bodies can be extended if we help them from the outside by adding exogenous enzymes, like the ones found in wheatgrass juice. Don’t cook it. We can only get the benefits of the many enzymes found in grass by eating it uncooked. Cooking destroys 100 percent of the enzymes in food.
  • Will soothe sunburned skin and act as a disinfectant. Rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, it will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy, scaly, scalp conditions.
  • Works as a sleep aide. Merely place a tray of living wheatgrass near the head of your bed. It will enhance the oxygen in the air and generate healthful negative ions to help you sleep more soundly.
  • Sweetens the breath and firms up and tightens gums. Just gargle with the juice.
  • Turns gray hair to its natural color again and greatly increases energy levels when consumed daily.
  • Is a beauty treatment that slows down the aging process when the juice is consumed. Wheatgrass will cleanse your blood and help rejuvenate aging cells, slowing the aging process way down, making you feel more alive right away. It will help tighten loose and sagging skin.
How does it work?
Wheatgrass contains chemicals that might have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (swelling) activity, which is why some people think it might be helpful for ulcerative colitis. It also contains a chemical that seems to kill bacterial infections.

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Mar 18, 2014

Garlic Benefits and Advantages


Garlic have been known to have many health benefits. Over the years garlic has been consumed alot as a natural substitute for medicine. Lets discuss some of them.
  • Garlic is very good for many heart and blood conditions which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart diseases, heart attack and even hardening of the arteries.
  • Garlic can be used to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
  • Garlic has been tried  and tested for treating diabetes, hay fever, and travellers' diarrhea.
  • It has been commonly used to treat cold, flu, bronchitis, headaches, fever, coughs, sinus, congestion and also help improve the immunity system of the body.
  • It has also been used to treat tick bites, preventing and treating bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Other usage of garlic includes treatment to stomach aches, asthma, gout, rheumatism, hemorrhoids and shortness of breaths.
  • In ancient history it has also been used for treating snake bites.
  • Garlic is also a good stress buster. It fights against fatigue and helps in maintaining healthy liver function of the body.
  • Garlic has also been used topically. It can be applied directly on the skin to treat fungal infections, warts and corns, ringworm infection and athlete's foot.
  • Garlic is an important ingredient in cooking, off late there is evidence that its use in preparing meats is mostly because it acts as an anti-septic agent and kills any chances of food poisoning.
  • Science proves that there is also evidence of garlic working against deadly diseases like e-coli.

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Jan 14, 2014

Lower High Cholesterol Naturally with Herbs and Home Remedies

There are some wonderful herbs and natural herbal supplements which can be used for lowering the cholesterol naturally.

Some of the best herbs for high cholesterol are:

Artichoke Plant – The leaves of the artichoke contain a special type of fiber that will help to block the absorption of cholesterol in your body, and it helps to decrease the production of the nasty LDL cholesterol particles. You can stop your body from creating and absorbing the harmful lipoproteins, but it is not recommended to take this herb if you have problems with your gall bladder.

Celery – Celery is a vegetable that has its place in just about every dish that you can make, but the leaves and stalk both have a very specific effect on cholesterol. You can seriously lower your LDL cholesterol by eating lots of celery, so fill your lunch box with celery sticks instead of potato chips if you want to deal with your cholesterol effectively.

Skullcap – Skullcap is a unique plant that has been used for a number of herbal remedies, but a Japanese study showed that the plant can help to increase your body’s natural production of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. This means that taking skullcap will help your body to more naturally get rid of the cholesterol on its own.

Soy – Japanese love all things soy, and this is one of the main reasons that they have one of the lowest cholesterol levels in the world. The FDA has stated that nearly any food containing soy products can help to decrease cholesterol, but it is food like tofu and soy protein that will be the most effective at helping you to control your cholesterol levels.

Turmeric – Those who like a bit of Indian or Arabian cooking will know exactly what turmeric is, but this orange root is more than just a good taste in your meal. The root can actually help to decrease the cholesterol levels in your body, thus helping to decrease the risk of serious heart problems. Eating more chicken curry is a great idea, thanks to the health benefits of this amazing herb.

Ginger – Ginger is an herb that is used in many an Asian dish to add a bit of flavor and tang, but it will help to cut back on your cholesterol levels as well as make your food taste great. You can take ginger tea to help fight sore throats and control cholesterol, or you can add it to your food to obtain the same cholesterol lowering effects.

In addition to all the cholesterol lowering herbs, there are a number of cholesterol lowering supplements that you can take as well.

If you are looking for ways of lowering cholesterol naturally, these herbs may be exactly what you need. They are all made with natural ingredients, thus sparing you many of the side effects of medication. There will be no side effects, but you might be surprised to find that there are many great supplements that can help you to deal with your high cholesterol levels:

Niacin – Niacin is a B-vitamin (B3) that is given as a supplement to deal with cholesterol, and it has proven to be one of the most effective. In fact, many doctors prescribe it along with medications, as the effects it has are more effective than most medications. What it does is increase the levels of the good cholesterol in your body, thus helping it to naturally fight the bad cholesterol on its own. There are a few negative side effects like pain, muscle breakdown, and a few others, so it is important that your use of the supplement is closely monitored by a doctor.

Soluble Fiber – Soluble fiber is one of the most important things that you can give your body, as it is one of the things that will help to win the “War on Cholesterol Terrorism”. What it does is absorb a good deal of the bile that turns into cholesterol, and it helps to send the bile out the digestive systems waste disposal rather than spread through the body. It acts like a sponge, and thus is one of the most effective cholesterol prevention options. You can usually find soluble fiber in most whole grains and vegetables, but taking it in supplement form will make it even more effective.

Plant Stanols – Plant stanols can usually be found in certain types of margarine, and this compound can help to cut down your cholesterol levels by as much as 10%. This doesn’t sound like much, but it can be very effective if combined with other supplements or medications. They are not usually used in the place of medications, however, but are simply an addition to the medications used. Herbal medicines have been around for millennia, as the ancient peoples of the world found that there were many plants, roots, and leaves that had amazing healing effects on the body. The herbal medicines below are all great cholesterol lowering herbs, and you may find that they can be very effective if taken in the right form:

Chicory Root –
Chicory root is often used to make a coffee-like brew, but the Chinese have used this root for years as a treatment for high cholesterol. The reason the herb works is that it helps to regulate the body’s natural metabolism of the cholesterol, thus stopping the high production of LDL cholesterol.

Fenugreek – Fenugreek is an herb that has been used for millennia as an aid to digestion, but it can help to cut back on the sugar in your blood and reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body.

Hawthorn Berry – Hawthorn berries help the stomach to work properly, and it will also have a positive effect on your spleen and liver. It will help to boost your body’s natural circulation, and will help to lower the levels of cholesterol in your body.

Holy Basil -- This herb may sound absolutely divine, but the effects are much more mundane. The herb is native to the Indian subcontinent and Suriname, and it is one of the natural herbal remedies that help to control cholesterol levels. It can also help to reduce your blood sugar, and will counteract stress.

Green tea--
 it is one of the few drinks that doctors will recommend patients due to its incredibly high antioxidant content. The polyphenols (the antioxidants) in the green tea help to prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing (hardening into plaque) on the walls of your arteries, thus preventing atherosclerosis and heart problems. However, does green tea help to lower cholesterol levels? The answer is: yes, but not as much as you might like.

Cinnamon is one of the many natural remedies that have been used to treat cholesterol. Cinnamon, when taken in small amounts, can help to lower your triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and even your blood sugar. It won’t do anything to increase your HDL cholesterol, but it will reduce the bad stuff and help to keep your cholesterol levels regulated.

Make sure to take the spice in moderation, as it is very strong and can have serious side effects if you take too much.

Cholesterol Lowering Herbs:
Garlic-  is one of the most unique of the herbs in the world, as it has many amazing properties. Garlic doesn’t only make your food taste absolutely divine, but it also helps to kill a lot of the fungi and bacteria in your body thanks to its production of allicin. It can help to relieve some of your digestive problem, and it also reduces the risk of your blood forming dangerous clots. For those with high cholesterol, the prevention of blood clots is great, as the clots caused by the cholesterol near the brain and heart can be fatal.

However, when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally, the jury is still out on whether or not garlic is one of the effective cholesterol lowering herbs. Studies have shown that garlic can help to reduce cholesterol, both triglycerides and total cholesterol. HDL cholesterol usually remained unchanged despite the garlic, while LDL cholesterol was only slightly lowered.

In addition, some researchers found that the dose of garlic was directly related to the reduction of cholesterol, i.e.; the more you take the more your cholesterol goes down. Some long term studies found that garlic only had a temporary effect on cholesterol levels. In the end, it has been concluded that garlic can help to lower cholesterol, but it will not be the most effective of the cholesterol lowering herbs. It is recommended that garlic consumed along with other supplements and herbs, as the more you consume, the more effective it will be. Garlic is also very strong, and it is recommended that you check with your doctor before taking any garlic supplements or eating more than a few cloves of garlic per day. Garlic can harm your liver and make your breath quite unpleasant, so make sure that you know what you are doing if you are going to take garlic to lower cholesterol.

Apple Cider Vinegar--contains a lot of pectin, and pectin is one of the many things that can help to lower cholesterol. The way apple cider vinegar works to lower your cholesterol is by filling your stomach with soluble fibers. As you can read above, soluble fiber helps to absorb all the cholesterol and prevents it from spreading around your body. When the fiber bonds with the cholesterol, your body sees it as something that needs to be eliminated rather than circulated around the body. Your digestive system then proceeds to send it out the waste chute, and your cholesterol is lowered effectively. Another amazing thing about this soluble fiber found in apple cider vinegar is that it helps you to feel more full, as the soluble fiber absorbs water and fills your stomach. This means you will be much less tempted to eat, and the reduced desire to eat decreases your chances of snacking or stuffing the wrong high cholesterol foods in your mouth.

Apple cider vinegar is also believed to help neutralize the cholesterol in your body, as it contains lots of amino acids that stimulate the body to naturally get rid of the LDL cholesterol on its own. Even just taking one tablespoon of this amazing vinegar a day is enough to help you control your cholesterol.

Flax Seed-- is another one of the amazing cholesterol lowering herbs, and you will find that the benefits are three fold: First, flax seed is rich with lignans. Lignans help to promote a healthy digestive tract, decrease blood cholesterol, and prevent heart problems. Second, flax seed has lots of fiber, which is one of the main nutrients that help to fight the production and absorption of cholesterol by your body. Third, flax seed contains lots of Omega 3 fatty acids, which is one of the best things you can take to help prevent cholesterol from building up on the walls of your arteries. It can help to cut down on the LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and lower your total cholesterol. These simple seeds pack a punch, and you may find that taking flax seed to lower cholesterol is the way to go.

Red Yeast Rice- is an amazing Chinese herb that has been used both for its medicinal and food coloring properties for more than 1,000 years. It works just like a statin works, and helps to prevent the liver from producing cholesterol. (If you want to learn more about red yeast rice, check out the Red Yeast Rice Cholesterol page to get all the information on this useful Chinese supplement)

Jan 13, 2014

Health Benefits of Thyme

Thyme has been used for centuries, not only as a herb, but for medicinal purposes too.  Fragrant and delicious thyme has a number of uses in the kitchen too. Learn more about the health benefits of thyme and add more thyme to your diet.

Rich in nutrients
Thyme is packed with flavonoids that have antioxidant capacity. It is also a good source of manganese and vitamin K, which allow for antioxidant protection. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress, which increase the risk of cancer and heart disease and accelerate the aging process.

Anti-inflammatory benefits
Several different studies have found that thyme contains anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent chronic inflammation of the body. 

A healthy heart
The antioxidant protection of thyme combined with its anti-inflammatory effects help to prevent cardiovascular disease as chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of heart disease. 

Fight off bacteria
Thyme has antibacterial properties which are proven to help fight a variety of bacteria and fungi, includinge.coli. Lab studies found that thyme oil extract showed fighting power against antibiotic-resistant strains of several different types of bacteria.

Breathe easy
Thyme helps to improve respiratory health and has been used for centuries to treat chest and respiratory conditions like coughs and bronchitis. Try making your own thyme tea by steeping a few leaves in hot water and allowing to brew. Drink the tea to help treat respiratory conditions and a cold.

Get some iron
Thyme is a great source of iron, providing nearly 20% of the recommended daily allowance for an adult in only 2,8 grams. Iron is essential for energy production and iron deficiency may cause anemia, fatigue and make the body more susceptible to infection.

Feel it in your bones
Thyme can also help to improve bone health as it is an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of iron, calcium and manganese which are all essential to promoting proper bone growth, maintaining strong, healthy bones and preventing bone disease.

Skin health
Thyme acts as an effective fighting agent against the bacteria that causes skin acne. Herbs like thyme are thought to be gentler on the skin than other products because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
So add some thyme to your life and reap a range of rewards.


Thyme Nutritional Profile and Recommended Daily Allowance:
Thyme leaves offer significant levels of quality phyto-nutrients profile. Just 100 g of fresh leaves provides (% of Recommended daily allowance) 38% of dietary fiber, 27% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), 266% of vitamin C, 158% of vitamin A, 218% of iron, 40% of calcium, 40% of magnesium and 75% of manganese but no cholesterol.

Selection and storage
Both fresh and dried forms of thyme herb are available in the herb store. Buy fresh thyme whenever possible since it is superior in nutrients and rich in flavor. The leaves of fresh thyme should feature fresh and be a light green, and free from any dark spots or yellowing. Fresh thyme should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. Dried thyme can be kept in a tightly sealed glass container and stored in a cool, dark, and dry place where it will keep fresh for up to six months.

Culinary uses
Thyme herb imparts intense flavor to the recipes and should be added sparingly. In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, thyme herb is generally added at the last moment in the cooking recipes. This is because, prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils.

Here are some serving methods:
Thyme herb tea is a popular health drink.
Thyme has been used in the preparation of season soups, and sauces.
The herb is one of the ingredients in bouquet garni along with bay leaf, parsley, and celery.
Thyme, along with other spicy items, has been used to marinate and stuffing to chicken, fish and meat recipes.

How to make Aloe Vera gel?


Video on how to make Aloe Vera Gel at Home and Use for Various Skin Disorders.


Basil Herb, Holy Basil, Tulsi Health Benefits


Basil herb is diaphoteric, anti periodic, stimulating, expectorant and anti-catarrhal. It is used in malaria, catarrh, bronchitis and gastric disorders. It also lowers blood sugar levels and its powder is used for mouth ulcers. Basil herb is widely worshiped in India. It is an aromatic herb and is often used in potpourri and sachets. The cosmetic industry uses basil oil in lotion, shampoo, perfume, and soap. It is also used in some skin ointments and promoted as a treatment for acne.

Herbal Uses of Basil


Basil Used as Culinary: Basil is a powerful herb with a fragrant aroma and adaptable taste. Its pleasant taste will allow you to add it to many recipes as a pleasant accent. This herb is a key ingredient for tomato sauces and pesto recipes. A favorite use of pesto in French cooking is in soups. Italians favor pesto mixed with olive oil and used as a sauce for spaghetti. Basil and tomatoes are a natural combination. Use this combination with Pizza. Another great recipe is to cut a crusty roll in half and add salt, olive oil, a few leaves of basil and slices of fresh tomatoes. Dress a tomato and mozzarella salad with shredded basil, salt and olive oil. Basil goes well with sweet peppers, fish dishes, meat dishes, wine-garlic sauces, chicken, in butter as a steak condiment, eggs, and shellfish. Fresh leaves are a great accouterments to any salad, cheese or stuffing recipe.

Stress Reduction: Adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath helps reduce stress and facilitate relaxation.

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Less stress, more calm. Natural stress relief.

One of the most cherished healing herbs of  India, Tulsi (Holy Basil) has been used for centuries to  promote immunity and stress resilience, enhance calm and clarity.

General Cooking- Dried basil can be easily added to practically any dish. Basil is used around the world in many different cuisines with good reason. It adds a depth and flavor that is not rivaled by other herbs.

Calming the Stomach- It is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Coughing and Colds- Basil leaf help to alleviate coughing and colds. Chew fresh leaves to calm coughing or make a calming tea of dried basil to help sooth illness.

Facial Steam for Headache: A facial steam with dried basil leaf can help alleviate a headache. Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaf to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot. Carefully lean over the pot, cover head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes until headache starts to subside.

Stings and Bites: If you are bitten or stung by an insect, chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and draw out the venom.

Ear Infections: The Basil essential oil is antibacterial, and drops of basil oil may relieve ear infections.

Blood sugar: There is some evidence that Basil can help level out blood sugar if consumed regularly and drank as a juice or tea.
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Ashwagandha is a Vital Herb in Ayurvedic Healing


Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar.

Ashwagandha is tonic, abortifacient, astringent, deobstruent, nervine, aphrodisiac and sedative. It is official Indian Pharmacoepeia and is popularly known as Indian Ginseng. It gives vitality and vigour and helps in building greater endurance. Ashwagandha has been used in diseases such as rheumatism, leprosy and arthritis. Used to treat general debility, arthritis, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depressed immunity, infertility and memory loss. It increases the iron content in the blood.

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Feb 17, 2012

Stress Herbs: Herbs that Reduce Stress & Anxiety


Taking herbs for stress relief is one of the easiest, cheapest and healthiest ways to help your body and your mind in the fight against stress.

You can eat the herbs with your food, dried, fresh, in teas, stews, on pizzas, in salads, soups, curries and stir fries every day. There are also herbal supplements you can take in pill form available in the market.

Probably the nicest and most de-stressing way to get your anti-stress herbs is to grow them in a pot or in your garden. Then you also have a real connection with nature.

Here are herbs that have to be proven effective at reducing stress and anxiety:
Red Clover - Trifolium Pratense
Red clover contains strong concentrations of natural plant estrogen called phytoestrogens. This is a hormone that occurs both in men and women, and recent studies have begun to suggest that additional estrogen can alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia, which are not all that different from the symptoms experienced under very high stress.

Red clover also reduces cholesterol, acts on the arteries and the blood, and does lots of other good things for people who suffer from stress and could be considered candidates for a future heart attack.

Licorice Root
It contains a natural hormone alternative to cortisone, which can help the body handle stressful situations, and can help to normalize blood sugar levels as well as your adrenal glands, providing you with the energy necessary to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Some claim licorice stimulates cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, thereby calming the mind.
As a soothing tonic, drink it warm as in a tea.

Chamomile - Matricaria Chamomilla
The ancient Egyptians dedicated the chamomile herb to the sun because it cured so many things, including fever, aging, and the problems associated with overindulging in rich foods, drugs, and alcohol. In the middle ages, chamomile was the preferred remedy to stave off delirium tremens and to cure children of nightmares.

A lot of stress problems these days also have components of overindulgence and taking in too many substances of one kind, or the other - and we pay the price in physical stress on the body. The kind of long term stress that modern people experience is clearly a form of overheating the circuitry, so chamomile comes in handy there too. Proven to have a relaxing and restorative effect, a good all round anti-stress herbal remedy.

Passion flower
It is considered a mild sedative and can help promote sleep. Passion flower also treats anxiety, insomnia, depression and nervousness.

The parts of the passion flower plant that grow above the ground can be dried and steeped for tea. Otherwise, passion flower is available as a tincture, capsule and even as a juice.

Tarragon - Artemisia Dracunculus
With its name from the Arabic word "tarkhun", which means "little dragon", Tarragon is a fine herbal friend against stress. Amongst its many good qualities is pain relief, which leads to relaxation and feeling more peaceful without being tranquilized.

Tarragon promotes calmness, balance in appetite and it also contains minerals which can be in short supply in a modern industrial diet.

This herbal remedy has been used for thousands of years for calming hyperactive children - which makes it a very good herb for stress relief.

Kava Kava
A herb from the South Pacific, is a powerful muscle relaxer and analgesic. Kava Kava is also effective at treating depression and anxiety associated with menopause.

Kava Kava is very easily found as a capsule in the supplement section of any grocery store.

Dill - Anethum Graveolens
Does your stomach flip when you're stressed? One of the bad side effects of having too much adrenaline for too long in our systems is that our digestive system shuts down and starts working erratically. This is why highly stressed people get stomach ulcers.

Dill has been used since ancient times to soothe upset stomachs, relax the stomach, relieve digestion cramps so if you carry your stress in your stomach, Dill is the first choice of herb to help with stress.

The name dill is derived from the Saxon verb dilla, to lull, because of its tranquillizing properties, and its causing children to sleep. Perfect!

St. John’s Wort-Hypericum Formosum
It has been used medicinally since Hippocrates time. Even during the Renaissance and Victorian periods it was used for the treatment of mental disorders. Though it presents itself as an unassuming, flowering perennial, St. John’s Wort was shown to be more effective than Prozac, according to a recent study, in treating major depressive disorders.

St. John’s Wort is most often taken as a capsule or tablet. It is often combined with valerian root when insomnia or restlessness are accompanying symptoms.

Rosemary - Rosmarini Officinalis
Greek scholars used to wear rosemary in their hair to help them think clearly and study well - Rosemary has many beneficial effects on the mind, and the body.

As an anti-stress herb, Rosemary relaxes the muscles in the body and that's one of the most important things in the fight against stress which is always associated with tension. With more relaxation in the muscles, you get better blood flow into the brain and eyes as well, so that's where the mental clarity comes in as well.

Apart from all of that, Rosemary is stuffed with minerals and vitamins, and cheaply available everywhere, so if you can only afford one herb against stress, this might be it for you.

Lavender
This is the workhorse of herbs. It is effective at reducing irritability and anxiety, promoting relaxation, a sense of calm and sleep. It is also a powerful anti-bacterial agent, and can work to balance hormones and stimulate the immune system. All of that from one little herb.

While lavender can be consumed in a tea, it may work best as an essential oil that is breathed in by way of a diffuser or, in the case of stress and sleeplessness, an eye pillow.

Sage - Salvia Officinalis
This herb got its name from the Latin "salvare" - which means to save. Sage is a classic example of why herbs can score over man-made cocktails of chemicals, because as time goes by, research is discovering more and more benefits of this seemingly simple herb, which the ancients knew about all along.

Sage has been scientifically proven to enhance memory and clear the mind; it is also a powerful antioxidant, and many other things besides.

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Feb 6, 2012

Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic Medicine raises Alzheimer’s hope


- Ashwagandha extracts reverse symptoms in mice, Indian scientists claim
New Delhi, Jan. 31: Ashwagandha, a plant used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, cleaned out abnormal protein deposits in the brain and reversed damage and behavioural changes observed in Alzheimer’s disease when tested on mice, a team of Indian scientists announced today.

The scientists have shown through experiments on mice that extracts of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) can reverse within 30 days the abnormal accumulation of a protein, called beta-amyloid plaque, in the brain that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) at Manesar in Haryana fed genetically-engineered mice, which had symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease, a daily oral dose of a cocktail of chemicals called withanosides and withanolides, extracted from Ashwagandha.

The extracts appeared to boost the synthesis of a special protein in the liver that acts as a chaperone and helps remove amyloid plaque from the brain. The scientists said a component of this protein slips into the bloodstream and draws the accumulated amyloid plaque out of the brain into the bloodstream for eventual disposal and excretion from the body. The findings appear today in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s like vacuum cleaning the brain to get rid of unwanted amyloid plaque,” said Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, a senior neuroscientist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who initiated the study eight years ago while she was director of the NBRC.

In their experiments, the scientists observed the elimination or reduction of amyloid plaque within the brain and an improvement or a complete reversal of behavioural deficiencies in the model mice, depending on the age of the animals.

Suvarna Alladi, a neurologist at the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, who is not associated with the study, said all current therapy against Alzheimer’s disease directly target the brain. “This is a novel strategy. They’re targeting the liver to remove amyloid plaque from the brain. But this is also essentially an anti-amyloid therapy which currently appears to be a promising way ahead against Alzheimer’s disease.”

Neurologists estimate that India has about four million people with dementia, the majority with Alzheimer’s disease. Current treatment involves pharmaceutical compounds designed to prevent the accumulation or the synthesis of amyloid plaque. “But the best available therapy today does not cure Alzheimer’s disease,” Alladi said.
While the use of Ashwagandha has been advocated for centuries in traditional medicine, the NBRC study is the first to show that its extracts reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

“The results appeared so stunning that we requested an independent laboratory in Canada to validate them,” Ravindranath told The Telegraph. Neurologist Edith Hamel at McGill University in Montreal and fellow researcher Jessica Mills repeated the experiments with a different model mouse and obtained similar results.
The NBRC team, including Neha Sehgal, Alok Gupta, Rupanagudi Khader Valli, and Shanker Datt Joshi collaborated with Delhi University plant chemistry experts Subhash Jain and Pankaj Khanna who extracted the withanosides and withanolides from the plant.

The researchers caution that the Ashwagandha extract is not ready for human trials yet. Ravindranath points out that the dose given to mice was very high — about one gram per kilogram bodyweight of the animal.
“The evidence with mice looks good. If this holds up in future studies, we should go into human trials,” said Manjari Tripathi, a neurologist at AIIMS, New Delhi.

“This is a desperate hunt for a devastating disease that robs its victims of memory and thinking capacity. There may also be other herbs waiting to be assessed through rigorous scientific research.”

Source: The Telegraph

Jan 27, 2012

Hibiscus : The Fun Facts

Not many know that hibiscus-the flower, is used for a number of purposes other than the bouquets and decoration. The flower in itself is found in a four vibrant colors namely- red, yellow, pink and white. This flower is processed and used as a food additive for providing a red tinge to the dish. Other than this, hibiscus flower and colors happen to serve various other purposes. Have a look:
1- Dried Hibiscus petals are used for garnishing the food in certain areas,specially, Mexico. In fact, the natives of Mexico treat hibiscus as a vegetable and consume it by making delicious dishes out of it.
2- Hibiscus flower is regarded divine as per the Indian mythology hence, it used for worshiping in temples and people dedicate its offerings to their gods.
3- Being a wonderful hair stimulator, hibiscus is extensively used as a herbal ingredient in various hair conditioners and shampoos.
4-Hibiscus tea is a a favored beverage among people as it is herbal and has therapeutic effects on body.
5-Handmade papers use hibiscus as an indispensable constituent in its manufacturing.
6-There are immense medicinal and curative properties of hibiscus flower. It is commonly used for treating dandruff and blood pressure. Apart from that, hibiscus extracts are useful in curing respiration problems, indigestion and loss of appetite etc.
7-The most popular use of hibiscus is as a food color. Just like the cochineal extract, hibiscus's inherent red-blue color is used in food products after boiling the dried hibiscus petals in water.
8- Since hibiscus contains vitamin c, many a times it is used for adding a tangy flavor to various foods and drinks.
Thus, after the above mentioned facts it is rather evident that not only is hibiscus a beautiful flower, but also an extremely useful product too.

Dec 13, 2011

Herbs for Winter Health

To some winter means coughs and colds and other stressful winter bugs. There are ways to decrease your risk of becoming ill as well as to feel better if you do get sick. Even though antibiotics are often prescribed for winter illnesses, they are rarely the answer and they do not treat viral infections. With colds and flu we are often seeking relief from congestion and pain, as well as something to sooth the throat. Let's look at some herbs with those properties and how to use them.

Try natural home remedies to relieve the stress of winter infections - they do work!


1. Calendula
Use calendula as a salve to heal wind-chapped winter skin, calm inflammation, speed up healing and fight eczema.

It has wonderful antiseptic properties. You can use freshly picked, open calendula flowers to make an effective infusion for the immune system.


2. Rosemary
Use rosemary, mint thyme and calendula to steam colds and flu away.
Combine with lemon peel, lemon balm, calendula, lavender and thyme and use as an antiseptic .

Add rosemary to bath to stimulate circulation to skin.

Try a few drops of rosemary in a diffuser to keep the flu bugs out of your bedroom.


3. Sage
Of all the best winter herbs for health, I recommend sage for treating coughs and colds.
Use as a gargle for sore throats - infuse three teaspoons of sage leaves in 250 ml boiling water. Leave to steep for 15 minutes, strain and cool. Gargle three times a day.


4. Heart's Ease
Are you surprised to see this as one of the best health herbs for winter? Try chewing Viola tricolour to relieve headaches, you will be surprised at the effect of this lovely herb. You can also make an infusion as a tea for lowering fevers, cleansing toxins, or as an anti-inflammatory expectorant for coughs.
You can use both the leaves and the flowers of this gorgeous plant.


5. Parsley
Parsley is a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and E which build the immune system. Make sure you have some growing in your garden (or in a pot) to give your body the winter edge against infections.
Nibble some every day, sprinkle on salads or blend with apple or tomato for a delicious fresh juice.

* Always pick the outer leaves as new growth comes from the center. You can also extend the plant's life by snipping off the flowering heads.


6. Thyme
If you have a cough or a cold , treat it with thyme.
It is also a great anti-oxidant and tonic to build up the immune system. So don't wait for winter ailments to strike, make yourself some thyme tea and enjoy regularly. Make an infusion and sip.

You can also use thyme in salads and dressings and in your winter casseroles and stews.

Other Decongestant Herbs
One way to loosen and expel mucus is by inhaling vapors.

thyme has a long history of treating bronchitis and other upper respiratory tract infections (see Thyma-flu below). Inhale the steam frequently throughout the day to relieve congestion. Eucalyptus essential oil is also a strong decongestant. Put a few drops of this essential oil on the surface of the simmering water to release the vapors.

You can also use a balm on your chest both for pain and congestion that contains essential oils of eucalyptus, camphor, menthol, sage and peppermint.

Pain Relieving Herbs
For pain such as muscle aches associated with a cold try soaking in a hot bath with a muslin bag filled with herbs. Useful herbs here would include oregano, marjoram, lavender, mint or sage. After soaking in the herbal bath, drink a tea from ginger and lemon. Pain can also prevent one from getting a good night sleep. A few drops of lavender essential oil sprinkled on your pillow or an herbal dream pillow tucked into your pillow case can help you relax to get more sleep.

A typical cold lasts 7 days to two weeks and adults get about 2-4 colds per year (more in children). We don't develop immunity to the cold because there are more than 100 different viruses that cause this. You can limit your risk of catching a cold by improving your immune system. Stress weakens the immune system and can lead to illnesses. Daily exercise such as walking can help control stress. Also try teas made from herbs such as catnip, chamomile, hops, lavender and lemon balm.

Immune building herbs you can use include garlic and whole foods including fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals such as flavonoids and sterols act as antioxidants that can modulate the immune system as well as provide a host of other benefits including decreasing inflammation. Garlic not only stimulates the immune system but acts as an antibacterial and antiviral.

Ayurveda Online Store: Buy Recommended Products


Feb 4, 2011

Benefits of Neem

Benefits Of Neem

The benefits and value of neem tree and all its parts, does not require any introduction, its uses in curing and preventing many diseases not only in humans but also in animals have been known to mankind for long. It is also used to protect plants from pests and insects, neem is also used to stimulate the growth of plants as it is considered to be a natural manure without any toxic effects.

Neem Uses and Benefits

Neem needs no introduction in today's world. A very famous herb of India with worldwide fame and having magical properties known for its miraculous medicinal values from past 5000 years. Neem is known as free tree of India as it is found almost everywhere in India. It is considered as a magic tree, which has properties that not only relieves but also cures from illness.

Margosa tree attains a maximum height of 40 to 50 fts. It is an evergreen tree whose branches spread all over. It is a very densely crowned tree, which may reach to a diameter of 30 to 40 fts. The trunk is relatively straight. Bark is thick and rough with whitish to reddish brown in appearance.

Benefits of the Neem Tree

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Neem herb - Systemic purifier

Neem or Azadirachta Indica is a large, evergreen tree and has strong health maintaining properties. It has been used as a tonic and astringent that promotes wound healing. Neem's traditional use is based on its detoxifying benefits that help maintain healthy circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems.

Natural Treatment

Psoriasis, Eczema & Acne

All the parts of the plant and active principles and extracts possess a lot of significant pharmacological properties. Neem is bitter and alterative. It is used as a poultice in boils, is antiseptic, demulcent, a tonic in catarrhal affections, stomachic, stimulant. It is useful in snake bite, scorpion sting, hypoglycemic.

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Medicinal Usages

The twig of this tree is largely used as a tooth brush in different regions of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is an oldest tradition used effectively in dental care. The oil extracted from the seeds and kernel of the Neem tree is used in the manufacturing of cosmetics such as soaps, shampoos, balms, and creams. It has the potentiality to use as a great carbon dioxide sink.

Horticulture Usages

This tree offers a great resource for environment-friendly biopesticides. Limonoids found in the leaves, seeds and bark are used as an effective insect-growth controlling substance. The uniqueness lies with its ability to alter the life-processing behavior of the insect in such a fashion that the insect becomes unable to feed, breed or undergo through metamorphosis process.

Neem fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, bark and roots have such uses as general antiseptics, antimicrobials, treatment of urinary disorders, diarrhoea, fever and bronchitis, skin diseases, septic sores, infected burns, hypertension and inflammatory diseases.

Economic Benefits of Neem Production

There have not been very many studies dealing with economics of neem trees. There are many tangible and intangible costs and returns from the cultivation of neem tree and processing of neem products which need to be estimated through experiments and surveys.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/benefits-of-neem-465633.html
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