When Life gives you Lemons….Lemon and its health benefits!

When Life gives you Lemons….Lemon and its health benefits!

Came across the idiom : When life gives you lemons, make lemonade !

Contrary to the  definition of lemons  ( A defective product, or anything that doesn’t work very well; something which breaks constantly, particularly a car ), the lemon fruit is full of usefulness. It has a wide variety of use as a herbal medicine in home remedies and also used extensively in Ayurvedic medication.

Juicy, acidic, and flavorful lemon is the most widely used citrus fruit .Lemon It is the smallest among citrus fruits yet contains more health benefiting nutrients than oranges . Available in all seasons and grown worldwide – its usage as  a scrub for enhancing beauty , as a toxin remover when consumed internally in various forms and recipes is well known . A multi-purpose fruit and medicinal herb.

  • Lemons help maintain Body pH balance – as its acidic by nature but turns Alkaline when consumed.Hence a great food for Pitta “Body Type” 
  • Lemon is a natural energizer and also helps in digestive disorders.
  • Relieves Tooth ache, respiratory problems
  • Helps reduce sore throat
  • Flushes out toxins from the body and acts as blood purifier
  • Cut Lemon into 2 parts and dip in sugar and use as a face scrub
  • Helps reduce fever.
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Tulasi ( Holy Basil ) home remedies

Tulasi ( Holy Basil ) home remedies

Tulsi

So as promised, here are some details on this wonderful and timeless medicinal herb ! Wiki details on Tulasi – Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Ocimum sanctumHoly basil, or tulasī, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native to the Indian Subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. Tulsi is considered as a goddess in Hinduism and sometimes referred as wife of Lord Vishnu. She is often called as Vishnupriya – the beloved of Vishnu. Tulasi leaves is an essential part in the worship of God Vishnu (Narayana) and his Avatars including God Krishna.The legend behind Tulsi Vivah and its rites are mentioned in the scripture Padma Purana. It is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity. Tulasi extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for a variety of ailments. Traditionally, tulasi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee (clarified butter). Essential oil extracted from tulasi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics. Tulasi or Holy basil as its commonly known, has been part of Grandma’s favorite herbs for all kinds of minor to major ailments. Some common home remedies using Tulasi as a standalone or in combination with other things are listed below. Like most other Ayurvedic medications/herbs, there are no side effects of using it – though sometimes the effectiveness (depending on the severity of the health condition) might vary.  Being widely available , its not only a cheap but highly effective herb for a multi-tude of ailments.

  • Chew a few leaves of Holy basil daily – as an natural mouth freshener and oral disinfectant. Its freshness can last for a very long time. Also, Holy Basil is known to destroy more than 99% of the germs and bacteria in the mouth. If taken regularly, it can also cure/prevent ulcers in the mouth.
  • Its also known to have very good anti- stress compounds, which help in reducing labor pain, treating gastroenteritis, cholera, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rheumatism, nausea, septic, urinary and genital infections, destroying worms in the stomach.
  • Wash eyes daily with a few leaves of basil soaked in water, to help prevent/cure conjunctivitis, boils and many other problems of the eyes which are caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infections. A cheap and effective eye and face wash 🙂
  • Quite effective in dental cavities, plaque, tartar, and bad breath prevention.
  • The astringent properties in it, helps control  blood pressure and lowering his/her cholesterol levels.
  • Having regular dose of  Tulasi leaves juice combined with honey in the right proportion helps prevent/cure kidney stones.
  • Holy Basil helps boot immunity when consumed in moderate amount on a regular basis.
  • Tulsi is a effective germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic herb,  that helps preventing or curing fever,Common Cold,Coughs,Headaches etc.
  • Make a nice herbal tea with a few Tulasi leaves combined with honey and ginger for those cold winter days 🙂 Helps in obesity too..

A muti-use herb that has been used for generations in Indian medicine system as a general tonic. A ‘must-have’ plant in most Hindu traditional homes. There are more than a dozen varieties of this herb, which grows in Indian sub-continent alone. Some of the common variants of Tulasi/Holy Basil are as shown below – more on these varieties and their unique medicinal properties in future articles – stay tuned !

How to brew your green Tea?

How to brew your green Tea?

Green tea is surely the ‘go-to’ health beverage for every health food junkie, from rookies to pros! Green tea sippers swear Green Tea, Conoor, TNby its weight reducing, cancer preventing and acne free beautiful skin giving (and several other) benefits.

There is no doubt that green tea is packed with immense health benefits! However, are you doing it the right way?

Here are some tips on brewing green tea correctly:

Green Tea Leaves or tea bags?
Certainly leaves! Leaves contain whole tea leaves or largest pieces which keep their antioxidants and nutrients intact. Converting them in tea bags requires chopping in fine bits which can lead to loss of nutrients.

How to brew green tea correctly?
1. Green tea has delicate flavor. Hence it should never be made with boiling water which can destroy its flavor as well as nutritive value. Use hot water instead at a temperature of 82-89° C.
2. Take the water off heat and add green tea leaves- 1 pinch per person.
3. Cover the pot and allow the tea to steep. The pot should be big enough for the tea leaves to expand in water and steep. Brew for 2- 3 minutes.

Health benefits of Brinjal aka Eggplant

Health benefits of Brinjal aka Eggplant

Brinjal, eggplant, aubergine- call it what you want; the humble brinjal indeed has many shades of purple to it (literally)!

Organic brinjals From Jeevan and Roopa Rego's kitchen Graden
Organic brinjals From Jeevan and Roopa Rego’s kitchen Graden

A vegetarian delight and perhaps the most misunderstood vegetable of all, brinjal has faced sarcasm, criticism and outright demonization especially from Ayurveda practitioners.

It is a fact that brinjal can trigger serious flare-ups in those with eczema, skin allergies, abdominal bloating and certain cases of arthritis. However, it has also a horde of unique health benefits which are too good to be ignored.

Brinjal for diabetes

Brinjal has plenty of fiber and is low on sugars/carbohydrates. Hence, it helps in regulating bloods sugar levels by slowing down absorption of carbohydrates.

Genetics in Āyurveda: Creating the Perfect Child

Modern science is now exploring circumstances that change how genes are creating the perfect childregulated and expressed. A stressed depleted individual will transfer different gene tendencies than a healthy and happy parent. Āyurvedic teachings take new depth within the science of epigenetics.

The modern understanding of genetics started in 1866 by Gregor Mendel and his research only began to be fully understood around 1915. Today, much is understood on a biological level, but many mechanisms of genetics, such as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, are still not fully understood and new research changes the models regularly.

Recent research is indicating that nutrition and other lifestyle factors have the ability to change how a gene expresses its various potentials. The health of the sperm is affected by the weeks prior to conceiving. The nourishment given to the foetus is based on the present health condition of the mother and the food she eats during pregnancy.

Caraka Saṁhitā talks about gene selection in the Śārīrasthāna:

The reproductive material of the [1] mother and [2] father, the [3] nourishment, and the [4] soul’s past actions are the four [factors] which all have four elements given to the foetus. The mother and father’s karma creates which of these becomes predominant to cause the looks of the child, along with the nature of the past existence. [II.26-27]

Ayurvedic-geneticsĀyurveda is using four primary factors and taking into account the epigenetic impact of nutrition and the character of the incarnating soul. This makes sixteen factors, as each of the four sources has their particular four elemental (1) make up of which any of the sixteen parts can dominate and express themselves. It is interesting to note that Mendel worked with a chart of four parts, though it took only the mother and father’s genetics into account.

Āyurveda says the ‘distinguishing strength’ of karma chooses which genes will express themselves. This is similar to Augustin Sageret’s concept of ‘dominance’, which explains how certain characteristics of a parent are more likely to appear in the offspring and ancestral characteristics not found in the parents can appear in the offspring.

Both my parents have brown eyes.

My paternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother had blue eyes. Āyurveda does not consider it chance that I received blue eyes, while my brothers both have brown eyes.

Āyurveda’s genetic philosophy takes into account both the physical, mental and spiritual components of gene determination and gene expression. Charaka discusses physical cleansing and tonifying before conceiving and the food and activities to create a healthy child [VIII.4]. The mental aspect is approached through visualization of the desired child and mantra. Charaka engages the spiritual component by recommending ritual (pūjā) to gain blessings, transform karma, and attract a good natured soul to support the highest potential gene transfer from the parents to the child.

All these aspects of gene transfer are supported or hindered by nutrition and situations during pregnancy. Modern research is now studying how epigenetic variations at the early stage of embryogenesis effects gene expression. Charaka mentions that the sounds heard by the mother during pregnancy will impact the mental disposition of the child.

The factors causing the mental disposition are explained in Śārīrasthāna,

The disposition of the mind which determines a soul’s regular actions are determined by [1] the mental disposition of the mother and father, [2] that which is heard repeatedly by the pregnant woman, [3] that arising from the soul, and the [4] the mental nature of the soul’s past habits/practices.[VIII.16]

The soul that enters at the time of fertilization plays a crucial role in the physical and mental nature of the child a couple will create. The couple may be healthy, cleansed and toned and play spiritual music the whole pregnancy, but this is only half of what creates the nature of the child.

We get what our karma creates.

In Vedic Astrology, the nature of one’s children is related to the nature of one’s consciousness (chitta) seen in the fifth house. We are creating what our mind dwells upon, in our life and in our children. What one is continually thinking about is indicative of the nature of the child they will create.

The Śārīrasthāna of Caraka Saṁhitā says,

A woman produces a child that resembles her thoughts during embryogenesis. [II.25b]

A woman (strī) produces (prasūtā) a child (jantu) that resembles (sadṛśa) her thoughts/inclinations/mood/mind (manas) during the production (upapatti) of the foetus (garbha) (2).

The mental state during the time period of conception (3) and during the pregnancy impacts the nature of the soul that incarnates into the womb. Modern epigenetic research would say that stress measured by cortisol levels impacts gene expression in the early stage of embryogenesis. Either way it is said, it’s important to be calm, happy and centered when creating a child. It is not only the moment of copulation, but the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical landscape before and during the creation of a child that influences it’s nature.

The soul which enters the womb is attracted by the resonance of the parent’s mind with the resonance of the soul’s past actions.

The practice given by Charaka is for the mother to visualize the desired child and eat, dress and live in the way that represents the culture wanted in the nature of the child [VIII. 10-14]. This lifestyle supports the visualization and is aimed at attracting a soul desired by the parents.

The child of musicians is more likely to be a musician because the parents were more likely to be in the resonance of music while attracting a soul, conceiving and pregnancy. But if there were financial stresses and the parent’s minds were more focused on MAKING MONEY, then they happen to birth a little financial analyst instead. In this way, the thoughts and desires arising from the past karmas of the parents attracts a soul of like nature.

Our mindfield (chitta) and the desires growing there show what springs forth from us, in our life and in our offspring. Presently, it is popular in India to try and control the child’s destiny by a caesarean birth with an astrologer’s date and time. But a caesarean birth has its own issues in the imprinting of the consciousness.

Everything in our life is just a reflection of our own growth and consciousness – therefore we must clean the dirt from ourselves not from the mirror. The real recipe for an incredible child is the inner cultivation of ourselves.

Notes:
(1) Śārīrasthāna II.31 states the transmigrating soul carries the four elements (earth, water, fire, air), and moves according to its past actions (karma-atmakatva). The next few verses elaborate more on this topic.
(2) This verse has often been taken to mean that the child looks like what a woman is thinking at the exact moment of ‘copulation’ leading to conception. There are two words often used to refer to conception; niṣeka which means ejaculation and ādhāna which means placing, depositing which is often associated more with fertilization. The term used in this verse is garbha-upapatti which literally means production of the foetus. This can be interpreted as the time period when the parents are working towards conceiving a child as well as conception and the time period while the foetus is growing in the womb.
(3) The semantics of the English term ‘conception’ is debated and not used in scientific literature as it does not differentiate: the fertilization of the ovum (sperm meeting egg) or the merging of the sperm’s nucleus with the egg’s to make a zygote (taking about 30 hours), or the implantation of the resulting cell mass (blastocyst) onto the wall of the uterus (1-2 days later).

Ginger

This amazing root  is native to India, where  the ancient  Ayurveda’s  used it to preserve  food,  as  a  digestive  aid, and as a spiritual and physical cleanser, it would be consumed in order to be sweet-smelling and purified for the gods. The Greeks  wrapped the root in a piece  of bread  and  ate it after a heavy metal to prevent indigestion, that is the origin of gingerbread.

ginger2

Ginger is a pungent, sweet herb with warming/drying qualities, it also acts as a stimulant, diaphoretic, antidepressant, and expectorant. Ginger stimulates all tissues of the body, and is highly recommended in cases when illness is due to poor assimilation.

gingerThis ancestral root is recommended for colds, coughs, flu, indigestion, vomiting, belching, abdominal pains, motion sickness, laryngitis, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches, impotence, diarrhea, heart diseases and memory loss, and it can be taken as food or tea, a gargle and a compress, and also as a message oil.
Ginger also gives baked goods, smoothies and fruit a fresh, slightly pungent taste.