Authors Posts by Nahid Ameen

Nahid Ameen

108 POSTS 13 COMMENTS

0 210

Neem is an amazing Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years for inflammation, infections, antioxidant support, dental health, and skin health. It is a tall tree (Azadirachta indica) in the Mahogany family native to India and Burma but now also in the Caribbean and South America. There are millions of neem trees in India and surrounding countries, found in areas like road-sides and backyards. Neem oil is obtained from the seeds within the fruit. The kernel contains up to 50% oil. More than 100 constituents have been isolated from the neem tree, and all the parts are used medicinally: leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, twigs, roots and bark.

Dosha: PK-

Taste: Bitter, pungent, astringent

Energetics: Cooling

Traditionally, neem is a valuable herb used medicinally by local populations. This practice has continued into modern times.

  • Neem oil and tea was applied on babies and toddlers for illnesses, cuts, rashes, eczema
  • Neem leaves were boiled in water and used for washing wounds
  • Neem leaves were given for children’s intestinal worms, malaria, and fever
  • Neem is added to soaps
  • Neem is added to shampoos for controlling dandruff, scalp issues, and healthy hair
  • Neem is added to toothpastes and tooth powders for its antibacterial effects to support teeth and gum health
  • Neem twigs have been used for centuries to clean teeth as natural toothbrushes.
  • Neem is added to skin care products for psoriasis, eczema, and acne
  • Neem is taken internally as a supplement

Dental Health

Studies in Germany have shown that neem extract prevents tooth decay and is anti-inflammatory on the gums. It helps reduce the risk of periodontal disease and studies show it inhibits bacteria that’s involved in creating cavities. Neem is now added to more toothpastes and you can do an infusion of neem leaves to use as mouthwash. I love neem so much that I made my own Tooth Powder with Neem

First Aid

Neem is antibacterial, antiviral, and healing agent, thus it is great to have as a first aid option.

  • Cuts and wounds – Apply oil, or wash with neem soap. It increases blood flow and helps heal.
  • Burns – Apply oil or cream to decrease pain, kill bacteria, and stimulate immunity for healing
  • Sprains and bruises – Apply leaf tea, cream, or oil. It heals and increases blood flow
  • Ear ache – Apply directly to the ear canal to decreases inflammation and kill bacteria
  • Fever – Drink leaf tea to reduce fever

Infectious Diseases

Neem has shown in studies to inhibit various microorganisms that cause diseases. It is antimicrobial against food-borne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus/pyogenes, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, and Salmonella, as well as various gram-negative bacteria. It kills sandflies causing Leishmaniasis. It inhibits the malaria parasite and chloroquinine-resistant malaria and reduce transmission of malaria. It is used to treat cholera and diarrhea especially traditionally in India. It inhibits Dengue virus. It reduces Chagas disease which affects millions of people in developing countries.

Skin and Hair

Neem has many skin benefits and applications. You can use neem oil, soap, cream or bath for healing eczema and psoriasis, while reducing inflammation. Neem lotion is good for dry skin and wrinkles. Neem in shampoos and hair products helps reduce dandruff, scaly flakes, and heal scalp issues. Neem is used in mosquito repellants and kills lice. Neem soap or cream is used to reduce acne and reduce acne-causing bacteria. You can do a neem powder paste for your hair as a hair mask to promote hair growth and quality.

Digestion

Neem is a bitter herb! Bitters have many digestive benefits, including stimulating digestive juice secretions, detoxifying the body, are antimicrobial, and support the liver. Neem is also anti-inflammatory and helps against inflammatory bowel disease and ulcers.

Blood Cleansing

Neem is a bitter herb, and like other bitters, it is known to support the liver detoxification pathways. It cleanses the blood and skin through its cooling properties (cooling pitta skin inflammation), removing toxins, providing antioxidant support, and supporting the immune system.  

Cancer

There are many studies showing anti-cancer effects of neem preparations and extracts. It works on various aspects of cancer such as antioxidant defenses, inhibition of proliferation, modulating various cell signaling pathways, tumour suppressor genes (e.g., p53, pTEN), angiogenesis (VEGF), transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB), and apoptosis factors (e.g., bcl2, bax).

I encourage you to get more neem into your life! Whether it is through herbal supplements or external uses, I’m sure you can benefit from its healing properties.

 

References:

Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems Report, National Research Council 1992 

Udeinya IJ, et al. Fractions of an antimalarial neem-leaf extract have activities superior to chloroquine, and are gametocytocidal. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2006. 100(1):17-22.

Mahfuzul Hoque MD, et al. Antibacterial activity of guava (Psidium guajava L.) and Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) extracts against foodborne pathogens and spoilage bacteria. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2007. 4(4):481-8

Prashant GM, et al. 2007. The effect of mango and neem extract on four organisms causing dental caries: Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus salivavius, Streptococcus mitis, and Streptococcus sanguis: an in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res. 18(4):148-51.

Abdel-Ghaffar F, Al-Quraishy S, Al-Rasheid KA, Mehlhorn H. 2011. Efficacy of a single treatment of head lice with a neem seed extract: an in vivo and in vitro study on nits and motile stages. Parasitol Res.

Harish Kumar G, et al. 2009. Nimbolide a limonoid from Azadirachta indica inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of human choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells. Invest New Drugs. 27(3):246-52.

2 414

“Stop and smell the roses”

What emotions do you get when you inhale the floral scent of roses? What memories, thoughts, and feelings are triggered?

Many aromatic plants such as roses contain essential oils, which are volatile oils that enter the body and trigger various effects. They are commonly inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Inhalation of essential oils carries the molecules to the limbic system in the brain which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus which are involved in various behaviours such as memories, arousal, emotions, learning, desires, and appetite.

Rose is a symbol of love and romance.

Rose has a long history of use. It is thought that the first methods of distillation of essential oils in the Middle East were done on rose. The plant produces:

  • Rose essential oil
  • Rosewater
  • Dried flowers which are used in grocery products
  • Rose hips which are the berries under the petals. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, polyphenols, carotenoids and tannins. The vitamin C content of rose hips is higher than citrus fruits.
  • Rosehip oil
  • Rose concrete and rose absolute

Rose is not an easy oil to diffuse and requires a lot of raw material harvested at the right time. About 4000 pounds of roses yields 1 pound of essential oil. This makes it an expensive oil.

There are different varieties of rose from around the world that are used to make the oil. Commercial rose oil usually comes from two rose species: damascena (Damask rose) and centifolia. Bulgaria and Turkey are the main producers of R. damascena essential oil.

In Ayurveda, rose products were used as astringents, cooling agents, mild laxatives, and antibacterials among many other uses. Rose oil is also commonly added to the skin, diluted in a carrier oil (Eg. almond, jojoba, sesame oil etc) or as part of skin care products and massage oils.

Botanical Name: Rosa damascena

Dosha: VPK-

Taste: Bitter, pungent, astringent, sweet

Energy: Cooling, wet

Actions: Alterative, emmenagogue, refrigerant, nervine, carminative, laxative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, antidepressant, hepatic

Usage: Used in perfumes, skin care products, as a compress, added to baths, inhaled, used in massage oils, as a spray

Constituents: These vary based on the species and growth conditions. Main ingredients are: citronellol, citral, carvone, eugenol, phenyl geraniol, linalool, a-pinene, b-pinene, a-terpinene, limonene.

Nervous System Benefits

  • Rose essential oil helps to reduce anger and depression
  • Rose essential oil helps reduce headaches
  • Rose essential oil awakens the mind and boosts confidence
  • Rose essential oil has anti-seizure effects, probably due to the flavonoids that have affinity to the GABAergic system in the brain.
  • Rose essential oil shows protection against induced neuronal cell death. It also protects against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity.

Circulation Benefits

  • Rose essential oil increases blood circulation and is vasorelaxant
  • Rose essential oil benefits cardiac issues through massage. It increases heart rate and contractility and inhibits ACE enzyme

Aphrodisiac

  • Rose has been used for a long time as an aphrodisiac
  • Rose is common in perfumes. It is a symbol of love and romance. The scent stimulates desires, evokes romantic feelings, and boosts libido.
  • Rose promotes harmony and elevates the mind by creating a sense of well-being
  • Rose essential oil has shown in studies to increase sperm count, increase the diameter of seminiferous tubules, and protect against testicular damage

Reproductive System and Hormones

  • Rose essential oil stimulates hormonal secretions which can then trigger menstruation for those who are suffering from irregular cycles.
  • Rose essential oil eases cramps, nausea, and fatigue, relieving pain of PMS. One study with rose essential oil showed daily massage caused improved psychological, physical, social, and reduced PMS symptoms.
  • Rose essential oil increases salivary estrogen concentration and has been used during menopause to reduce symptoms

Skin Benefits

  • Rose is common in face creams especially for mature skin as it helps against wrinkles as well as dry skin. It is also an antioxidant that counteracts free radical damage that ages skin.
  • It is astringent so it is used in skincare for inflamed skin
  • It is moisturizing and helps reduce sunspots
  • It reduces scarring and improves healing of skin and stretch marks

Antimicrobial Effects

  • Rose essential oil is antibacterial due to ingredients such as citral, nerol, and farnesol. It has shown activity against many bacteria.
  • Rose essential oil is good for small injuries to prevent infection and improve healing
  • It has citronellol (also in citronella) which is a mosquito repellant.
  • It has methyl eugenol which is a local antiseptic and anesthetic
  • Rose essential oil is antiviral due to citronellol, geraniol, and kaempferol and has activity against Candida

There are many natural skin care products that have rose essential oil. The popular Weleda products have a rose renewing facial care line. Andalou has a rose line that uses rose stem cells and rosehip oil. Dr. Hauschka has had the Rose Day Cream since the 1960s. Of course you can also buy rose essential oil and rosehip oil in many health food stores. You can also make your own products using these oils!

Whipped Body Butter for Vata Dry Skin

  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup avocado oil
  • 10 drops rose essential oil

In a double boiler, gently melt the shea butter and coconut oil. Add avocado oil. Remove, add to a bowl and let it cool down until it is not liquid anymore. Mix in the rose oil. With a hand mixer, whip it until it is fluffy. Store in a cool place (otherwise it may melt again).

Pitta Cleansing Paste

  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • Water
  • 6 drops rose essential oil

In a bowl, add flour and slowly mix in water stirring until a paste is formed. Add rose oil and mix. Rub onto the face and the wash away with water.

Simple Kapha Massage Oil

  • ¼ cup mustard seed oil
  • 12 drops rose essential oil

In a storage jar/container, mix the oils. Massage the body regularly.

And I have some exciting news!

I am currently working on an Ayurvedic Aromatherapy e-course that is detailed and comprehensive. It is organized into 12 modules that teaches you everything you need to know about Aromatherapy, and Ayurveda uses essential oils to balance doshas. You get a Materia Medica on dozens of essential oil, properties, and usages. You get all the health benefits of each essential oil organized per body system, based on research. You also get lots of DIY recipes with essential oils. This is a wonderful resource to have (for life!).

 

References

Hafiz Majid Rasheed et al. Chemical Composition and Vasorelaxant and Antispasmodic Effects of Essential Oil from Rosa indica L. PetalsEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 279247.

Shinohara K et al. Effects of essential oil exposure on salivary estrogen concentration in perimenopausal women. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2017 Jan;37(8):567-572.

Mahboubi M. Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications. J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Oct 30;6(1):10-6.

 

0 525

Spring is a beautiful time of the year, with new growth and new life. But it is also a time of allergies! Many susceptible people are affected by allergens and triggers for asthma. There are many over-the-counter antihistamines and anti-allergy medications, but these offer quick relief without addressing the cause, therefore your allergies and asthma will continue occurring. There are also many natural ingredients that also work and changing your lifestyle and dietary habits can strengthen your body and reduce your allergies and asthma.

Allergies

In Ayurveda, allergies are caused by allergens that aggravate a specific dosha, causing symptoms and imbalance in various body systems. If you are vata, you may experience vata-type allergies which would be different that a kapha allergy. Once you have identified the correct dosha, you can balance your dosha with the appropriate foods and lifestyle.

In Kapha type allergies one may experience high mucus production, cough, sinus, congestion, cold and water retention. Avoiding all types of dairy containing food such as milk, cream, yogurt, kefir, cheese etc. would be important. Try the Fab and Glowing Kapha Detox Program.

It is also easy to identify Pitta type allergies which causes flare ups such as, rashes, itching, heartburn, acidity, vomiting and stomach upset. Avoiding citrus fruits, fermented foods and nightshades such as potato, tomato and eggplant is highly beneficial. Check out the Fab and Glowing Pitta Detox Program.

Vata dosha allergy symptoms are sneezing, wheezing, headache and twitching etc. Avoiding nuts and beans would be beneficial at this time. Even sprouted beans or lentils may be harmful – so be careful before consumption. The Fab and Glowing Vata Detox Program will guide you towards the right direction.

The Fab and Glowing Ayurvedic Detox Program is created if you don’t know what to eat or how to balance your dosha or if you need a simple guide with recipes and meal plans. 

The Ayurvedic recommendations include:

  1. Detoxify your body
  2. Improve digestion and elimination
  3. Balance the dosha with diet and lifestyle changes – avoid triggers and remove food allergens
  4. Strengthen the immune system

Aromatherapy is used in Ayurveda to balance your dosha and improve many health conditions. Essential oils are concentrated aromatic constituents in plants. They can come from flowers, woods, resins, barks, leaves, and roots. They enter the body in various ways, such as inhalation or through skin and make their way to various tissues. Inhalation of essential oils takes them straight to the brain (limbic system) to affect emotions, memory, appetite, and behaviours. For allergies and asthma, inhalation is a great way of directly affecting the respiratory system. Essential oils can be inhaled through a diffuser, a bath, though steam inhalation, or massage oils. If you apply them onto the skin, make sure you dilute them in a carrier oil. Essential oils that help against allergies include:

  • If you have a vata imbalance – Chamomile, lavender, clary sage
  • If you have a pitta imbalance – Lavender, lemongrass, rose
  • If you have a kapha imbalance – Eucalyptus, elecampane, patchouli, hyssop

To learn more about Ayurvedic Aromatherapy or how to safely apply Essential Oils you can see read my blog about  Ayurvedic Essential Oil.

Other therapies that can assist

  1. Apply neem oil topically for rashes or itchiness.
  2. Cilantro leaf juice – drink small amount of cilantro juice is cooling and could subdue allergic symptoms.
  3. Apply Nasya treatment to clean the nasal passageway.

For a complete treatment plan please learn about the Consultation packages I offer.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways, with narrowing of the airways that causes asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, and mucus production. It is a hypersensitivity disorder in which the airways are susceptible and sensitive to triggers, which causes a release of histamine in the body. The narrowing airways either become inflamed, plugged with mucus, and constrict, or the muscles in the airway walls tighten and spasm. Allergies and asthma are connected because many people who have asthma, also have allergies. Also, many allergic triggers also trigger asthma.

There are natural remedies that strengthen the body and reduce these symptoms. In Ayurveda, asthma is an indication of increased kapha dosha production of mucus. Some general tips to reduce asthma include:

  • Avoid triggers
  • Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Practice yoga and meditation to reduce stress and improve breathing
  • Improve digestion to reduce food sensitivities or undigested particles that can trigger immune reactions
  • Support the immune system

Essential oils can help with asthma. You can diffuse them or apply to the skin when they are diluted in a carrier oil.

-Peppermint oil – It is a decongestant (have you inhaled peppermint when your sinuses are clogged? It opens up your sinuses!). It is also antispasmodic.

-Eucalyptus – It decongests the airways and contains eucalyptol which breaks up phlegm. Eucalyptus is common in chest rubs because of its powerful decongestant effect.

-Chamomile – It is antispasmodic and relaxes the body. It can be diluted and rubbed on your chest

-Frankincense – It is a great anti-inflammatory agent and an expectorant (reduces mucus)

-Clove oil – It is antispasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. You can also inhale this or use in a chest rub.

-Lavender – It is a sedative and anti-inflammatory

 

Herbs and Spices

Here are some herbs and spices that can help with allergies and asthma:  

  • Licorice – Has mucilage that is soothing and healing to the mucus membranes, and is also an expectorant to reduce excess mucus. In fact, one study showed it reduced inflammatory cell accumulation in the lungs.
  • Nettle – Reduces histamine, is anti-inflammatory, and is a nutrient-dense herb with iron, chlorophyll, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
  • Butterbur – This plant has shown benefits in studies for both allergies and asthma. It has a compound called petasin that blocks leukotrienes that cause inflammation. It reduces symptoms and is a bronchodilator.
  • Ginkgo biloba – It is an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory herb.
  • Ginger – This is a super-spice which is anti-inflammatory, reduces airway constriction, and relaxes smooth muscles. Make am anti-inflammatory tea of fresh ginger, turmeric, and minced garlic to reduce kapha mucus and inflammation.
  • Trikatu is an Ayurvedic blend of 3 pungent spices: ginger, black pepper, and long pepper. This helps reduce kapha symptoms such as mucus, cold and congestion.

If you have allergies or asthma, you don’t have to suffer! Commit to a dietary and lifestyle change, get clean, and healthy! For Ayurvedic or Herbal Health Consultation book here.

Written by: Laura Zagar CNP and Nahid Ameen CNP

Reference:

Light Miller and Bryan Miller. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. 1995: Lotus Press.

1 592

There is an important Ayurvedic herb that I want to talk to about, and that is Gotu Kola! Cantella asiatica has been thought of as a promoter for longevity and used by South East Asian cultures for millennia. It grows in the Himalayas and was used by yogis for meditation, as it has been said to develop the crown chakra (at the top of the head) and is a very spiritual herb. In Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine it was used for many health issues. In fact, a study in 2018 that examined the indigenous uses of plants as medicine in Northern Bengal of India, found that among the 100 plant species used locally, gotu kola was the most widely used, and for conditions such as diabetes, pain, jaundice, typhoid, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, and dysentery.

Dosha – VPK =

Taste: bitter, sweet, astringent

Energetics: cooling

Parts used: aerial parts

Ingredients

Gotu kola has carotenoids, B vitamins, vitamin C, protein, minerals, flavonoids, volatile oils, tannins, polyphenols. It also has asiaticoside and madecassoside which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. It also contains Asiatic acid and saponins. These ingredients make gotu kola good for inflammation, memory, wound healing, and promote collagen. 

Skin

Gotu Kola is known for skin healing and skin issues. Ayurveda used it for wounds, burns, scratches, eczema and skin inflammation. It promotes collagen and healing of scar tissue. Research has shown it improves wounds, burns, and psoriasis by increasing collagen synthesis, hyaluronic acid content, and inhibiting inflammation and scar formation. Studies on people also showed beneficial effects on cellulite. Madecassoside is prescribed in Asia for wound healing and scars.

Nervous System and Memory

Gotu kola was used in Ayurveda as a nerve tonic. In fact it has shown in many studies to be neuroprotective and enhance memory. It promotes enhanced scores on intelligence tests. It improves memory and cognitive function. Gotu kola promotes axonal regeneration following nerve damage. Madecassoside and Asiatic acid are agents that decrease neuroinflammation. Gotu kola has shown promising results in Alzheimer’s disease studies as well.

Adrenals

Gotu Kola has shown anti-stress and reduction of anxiety properties in humans.

Cardiovascular

Gotu kola helps reduce arterial plaque and Asiaticoside is anti-inflammatory and inhibits early events of atherosclerosis.

Digestion

Gotu kola helps protect against stomach ulcers and protects the mucosal lining of the stomach, where ulcers form.  

How to take Gotu Kola

You can eat gotu kola as a leafy green mixed with other greens in salads (such as Gotu Kola Sambola from Sri Lanka) or cooked into various recipes. You can make a tea, or blend some leaves into a smoothie. You can also blend gotu kola leaves alone into a smoothie and then use a strainer to separate the juice and drink it this way.

You can also find Gotu Kola in the form of pills, powders, tinctures, teas, and the dry herb, or even grow your own! There are many ways you can benefit from taking this wonderful herb!

 

 

References

Antony Joseph Raj et al. Indigenous uses of ethnomedicinal plants among forest-dependent communities of Northern Bengal, India. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2018; 14: 8.

Wiesława Bylka et al. Centella asiatica in cosmetologyPostepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013 Feb; 30(1): 46–49.

Liu M et al. Anti-rheumatoid arthritic effect of madecassoside on type II collagen-induced arthritis in mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008 Nov;8(11):1561-6.

Xu Y et al. Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) extract enhances phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element binding protein in neuroblastoma cells expressing amyloid beta peptide. J Alzheimers Dis. 2008 Apr;13(3):341-9.

Ahmad Rather M et al. Asiatic acid nullified aluminium toxicity in in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2018 Jan 1;10:287-299.

Hossain S et al. Medicinal value of asiaticoside for Alzheimer’s disease as assessed using single-molecule-detection fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, laser-scanning microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and in silico docking. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 Apr 14;15:118.

Soumyanath A et al. Centella asiatica accelerates nerve regeneration upon oral administration and contains multiple active fractions increasing neurite elongation in-vitro. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;57(9):1221-9.

Sasmita AO et al. Madecassoside activates anti‑neuroinflammatory mechanisms by inhibiting lipopolysaccharide‑induced microglial inflammation. Int J Mol Med. 2018 Feb 9.

Wattanathorn J et al. Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 5;116(2):325-32.

Sirichoat A et al. Effects of Asiatic Acid on Spatial Working Memory and Cell Proliferation in the Adult Rat Hippocampus. Nutrients. 2015 Oct 5;7(10):8413-23.

Belcaro G et al. Pycnogenol® and Centella asiatica to prevent asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression in clinical events. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2017 Feb;65(1):24

Jing L et al. Anti inflammatory effect of asiaticoside on human umbilical vein endothelial cells induced by ox-LDL. Cytotechnology. 2018 Feb 19.

 

2 2918

I want to introduce you to our Turmeric e-book! After months of research and writing, we have put together a comprehensive guide on everything related to Turmeric!

Turmeric, The Ayurvedic Golden Gem: Culinary & Healing Recipes. Medicinal Uses to Improve Health, Over 70 Unique Culinary and DIY Recipes

 

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been using turmeric for millennia for its health benefits and culinary uses. Turmeric is consumed daily in many South East Asian countries combined with other spices in many dishes. It is no wonder that epidemiological studies show that those cultures have much lower rates of certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s than people in North America.   

Health Benefits

We have organized all the research for you! Turmeric has many active constituents, essential oils, and nutrients but curcumin is the most studied active ingredient. This has shown in studies to help with inflammation, cardiovascular health, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disorders, skin health (such as eczema), bacteria and viruses and so much more! Curcumin is able to modulate many molecules and pathways in the body, by up-regulating or down-regulating them.

For example, more and more people nowadays have inflammation and disorders related to inflammation. Curcumin supplements have become popular in health food stores for this reason. Curcumin targets various pro-inflammatory cytokines, pathways, and even the COX-2 enzyme (which is also targeted by NSAIDs like Advil). This way it is able to lower inflammation in therapeutic doses. 

We have more than 100 research studies describing all its health benefits and mechanisms of action of turmeric and curcumin

Turmeric Cookbook

This turmeric cookbook gives you over 70 recipes that include unique food recipes organized in categories. We have desserts, snacks, main meals, drinks and more.

DIY products

This is a turmeric book with plenty of recipes for healing skin. WE show you how to use turmeric for cuts and wounds, face masks, tooth powder, dye, food colouring agent, also grow your own turmeric and make your own powder.

Turmeric history and usage

We describe the Ayurvedic history on how turmeric is used throughout the centuries and different varieties. Did you know there are black turmeric and white turmeric? We also describe ways to improve absorption of turmeric when consumed. This book also goes into detail about the Ayurvedic properties and constituents in turmeric.

Turmeric Supplements and Food Products

I’m sure you have seen curcumin supplements in stores. They are increasingly popular for inflammation especially. We have searched through these and have detailed descriptions of some of the top ones to help you choose curcumin supplements ad understand the differences between them.

We also describe unique organic food products available for you to add to your diet. Many are from family owned companies who care about quality. We describe many grocery products that have turmeric, such as turmeric ghee, turmeric drinks/teas, turmeric paste and many more.

Click on the turmeric picture to download the Amazon kindle version! It is easily viewed on computers, tablets, and phones with a kindle app.

This turmeric cookbook is a very useful guide to keep and refer to whenever you need!!

We hope you enjoy it and kindly leave a review.

 

1 838

Spiced Double Chocolate Chip Cookie – Grain Free & Paleo

A twist on this classic cookie recipe! Inspired by a cookbook I bought online – Grain Free Desserts by Jennifer McGruther. I love many of her recipes! I added my spice mix as I can’t have a recipe without them! You can also use a drop of culinary essential oil – make sure they are edible quality. I have used cane sugar but you can substitute with date paste, stevia or honey! You can substitute eggs with flax or chia in water as well as use a teaspoon of coconut yogurt to make this vegan! The possibilities are endless. But not to overdo this time – I have just added the chai spice mix.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie – Grain Free

Ingredients

  • Almond flour – 1.5 cups
  • Coconut flour – 1 tbsp.
  • Cacao powder – 1.5 tbsp.
  • Cane or Coconut sugar – ¼ cup
  • Himalayan rock salt – ½ tsp.
  • Baking soda, aluminum free – ½ tsp.
  • Vanilla powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Chai spice mix or cardamom – 1/8 tsp.
  • Eggs, whole, beaten – 2 (substitute with soaked flax or chia in water)
  • Coconut oil or Vegan Butter, melted – ¼ cup
  • Chocolate chips, dairy free – ¼ cup or add more if you like

Instructions:

  1. Add parchment paper on a cookie sheet and get it ready.
  2. Pre heat the oven for 375 F.
  3. Powder the sugar using a coffee grinder for a smooth cookie mix.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredient in a bowl – almond flour, coconut flour, cacao, sugar, salt, vanilla powder, baking soda and chai spice mix. Ensure they are mixed very well.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and set it aside.
  6. Beat two eggs and slowly incorporate with the dry ingredients.
  7. Put coconut oil on your palms and pour the rest on the cookie dough. Mix well so that everything in incorporated together.
  8. Add in the chocolate chips and mix well.
  9. Make small balls with your palms and flatten them.
  10. Place them in a tray and keep distance between the doughs as they tend to rise andexpand.
  11. You will get approximately 12-14 cookies from this batch depending on the size of your dough.

Eat, Share and Comment! If you want more recipes like this please let me know. It would be a nice treat when you on a strict diet. I believe if you get dozen cookies from this mix – each cookie will have approximately 150 calories!

1 1045

Although Broccoli was never a favourite I totally changed that by cooking some of the best tasting recipes with Broccoli. Amazing for weightloss, cancer prevention, blood sugar managing and antioxidant content broccoli is ever so popular. High is Vitamin K, C, Chromium and Folate Broccoli is amazing as a fertility increasing food as well. Try out this recipe and tell me how you like it!

Equipment needed:

A chopper or a grater

Ingredients

3 small broccoli heads plus the stems

¼ cup of gluten free bread crumbs

2 eggs

¼ cup daiya or other vegan cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of hingvastak

Directions:

Take a baking tray or sheet and add parchment paper on top of it.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and put the try inside the oven.

Use a chopper to grate the broccoli heads and the stems.

Transfer them in a bowl, add salt and mix it well. Keep this for 10 minutes until water from broccoli starts to ooze out.

Take a muslin cloth or a nut milk bag and squeeze out all the water from the broccoli.

Place the broccoli in a bowl and start adding all of the ingredients to it. If you like it spicy – add some cayenne pepper to it as well.

Using your hands mold out tot shaped broccoli for 2 tablespoon of the grated mixture.

Place the raw tot shaped broccoli in the baking tray after bring it out from the over.

Bake for 15 minutes each side.

Enjoy with a home made sauce or dressing.

Top 10 Ayurvedic SuperFoods for Fat-burning, Weight loss and Kapha Dosha Balancing

Eating to Balance Kapha Dosha

The kapha dosha benefits from a diet that contains whole foods and spices which are dry, light, and warming. They should lower mucus production and support digestion and elimination. Foods should be eaten as three small meals with minimal snacking in between. Kapha tastes include bitter, pungent, and astringent.

Tips for Fat-loss for Kapha’s

Along with following a Kapha specific diet the following will give you amazing weight-loss success

  1. Practice yoga for 15 minutes every morning. Include sun salutation in your practice.
  2. Add pranayama to your practice especially Kapal Bhati or breath of fire. Note contraindication before practicing.
  3. Kick start your weight loss with Kapha dosha detox. You can check out the Fab & Glowing detox program here.
  4. In order to improve the digestive power or Agni try the turmeric-ginger pickle recipe and consume this before every meal.
  5. Include the following Top 10 Ayurvedic Food for Fat-burning and Kapha Dosha Balancing in your diet to accelerate weight loss.

Turmeric

 Turmeric is a rhizome in the ginger family that has a long history of use as a food and a healing agent. It is a staple in Ayurveda and Asian cuisine and has become more popular in the West. It contains many constituents such as curcumin, volatile oils, and antioxidants that have many effects on health. Turmeric helps with digestion and weight loss by suppressing body fat accumulation. Try this amazing Ayurvedic Golden Milk Recipe for weight loss. One study showed that curcumin – an important antioxidant in Turmeric decreased body weight, fat mass, lipids, blood sugar, and increased insulin sensitivity. It also stimulated fat breakdown and lipase function. I am in the process of finishing of my new kindle ebook on Turmeric and will share with you once I publish.

Bitter gourd

Bitter gourd (or bitter melon) is a popular ingredient in South East Asian cooking. I have a great stir fry recipe here. Bitter gourd or bitter melon can reduce the weight of white adipose tissue and visceral fat, while reducing leptin production. It can reduce triglycerides, lipids that contribute towards weight gain. In addition to targeting fat, one of the more known benefits of bitter melon is for lowering blood sugar. In fact, there are numerous studies showing decreases insulin resistance, increasing glucose uptake into cells, upregulation of the insulin receptor, and increased beta-cells in the pancreas (which make insulin).

Kokum

Kokum is a plant in the mangosteen family who fruit is used in Southeast Asian countries, and provides a sour taste to food. It is known as Garcinia indica which contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and garcinol just like Garcinia cambogia. Studies on HCA show that it helps in weight loss and suppressing fat accumulation. Kokum can be found dried and used in food similarly to tamarind. You can add it to foods such as curries, vegetables, lentils, okra, fish, chutneys, and pickles. You can try my Easy Dal recipe and add kokum to it or try the mung dal recipe for weight loss with kokum.

 Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very popular spice around the world, added to foods and especially desserts. But other than its pleasant taste, it has many health benefits. It is widely used in India to treat diabetes.

There are many benefits to consuming cinnamon especially for weight loss. Studies have shown  that cinnamon lowers triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar. It has insulin-like activity and increases the uptake of glucose into cells. It increases our body’s production of antioxidants (glutathione, superoxide dismutase) and contains many constituents and polyphenols which help against the development of degenerative diseases. It was also shown to decrease body weight and visceral fat. A simple cup of cinnamon tea or Kadha or Immune Boosting Tea recipe can assist with both weight loss and immune defense.

Ginger

Ginger is the ultimate thermogenic food that the kapha body type loves for weight loss. Ginger contains many active constituents including gingerol that has many health benefits. Studies show that ginger aids in weight loss by lowering triglycerides and lipids. It also lowers blood sugar and enhances the action of insulin. Gingerol was found to increase our body’s production of antioxidants such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase. These help counteract free radical damage. Try this amazing Turmeric-Ginger Pickle recipe for weight loss.

Honey

Sugar and carbohydrates are usually associated with weight gain, but the Ayurveda tells us that honey is heating and therefore Kapha pacifying. Honey is a much healthier alternative than other sweeteners. Raw, unpasteurized honey contains enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and carotenoids. It is anti-bacterial and wound healing. Studies have found that honey lowers body weight, triglycerides, and leptin levels – a hormone that causes weight gain. If you can getting a sweet craving try my Homemade Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Jam recipe that is made with honey.

Mung beans/Moong dal

The most popular Ayurvedic food for weight loss is a nice bowl of Mung Dal Soup! Mung beans are nutrient-dense legumes, containing folic acid, magnesium, B vitamins, fibre, iron, zinc, and protein. As with many other legumes, it’s best to soak them in water before cooking to decrease phytates and anti-nutrients, and to combine them with spices, as is commonly done in many cultures. Mung beans contain a good amount of fibre (1 cup gives you 7g fibre) and protein, which make you feel full and eat less, as well as balancing your blood sugar. You can try Green Papaya and Moong Dal recipe, Moong Dal for Weight loss or the Oats Khichari recipe from my website for weight loss.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables or any type of saag are amazing bitter foods in Ayurveda for weight loss, fat burning, reducing mucus and balancing Kapha. These foods fall under bitter and astringent, therefore ideal for Kapha dosha balance. They are a MUST for every day meals! Adding leafy greens to you regular diet will completely transform your health. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, collard greens, watercress, arugula, cilantro and parsley leaves are packed with vitamins, minerals as well as small amount of proteins. Try my Sprouts, Baby Kale and Avocado Salad recipe for lunch!

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are a legume whose seeds are used as a spice and leaves are also common in many Asian recipes. It is especially good for kapha and vata doshas and helps remove excess mucus associated with kapha. The seeds contain protein, B vitamins, folate, minerals, iron, flavonoids, diosgenin, volatile oils, and a lot of fibre. In fact the seeds are about 45% fibre (soluble and insoluble) and this fibre is responsible for many of its effects on weight and health. Studies show that fenugreek decreases cholesterol, blood sugar, and decreases insulin resistance. One study also found reduction in body weight, BMI, adipose tissue weight, and leptin in animals (47-50). See my fenugreek sprouts recipe which could be easily used for weight loss.

Ghee

Ayurveda recommends small amount of ghee even for Kapha dosha. Ghee is clarified butter that has the whey, casein, and lactose removed. It is extremely popular in South East Asian cooking and many foods and spices are cooked in ghee. Certain spices actually release their volatile oil and increase in absorption after cooking in ghee. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), antioxidants, and butyric acid. Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid that is also made by our gut bacteria. It is absorbed by colon cells to be used for energy and is also anti-inflammatory. CLA is shown to reduce fat accumulation and leptin levels. Read more about Benefits of Ghee in my previous blog.

The above are the top 10 foods – however ideally In order to help balance kapha, it is recommended to do a detox at  least twice a year. This will help remove toxins and improve your energy, digestion, and mental clarity. I have a wonderful 21-Day  Ayurvedic Detox program for Kapha (vegetarian and non-vegetarian  
options). This program explains your dosha and guides you in a detoxification with food and lifestyle changes. It also provides a detailed meal plan, many recipes, a shopping list to keep you organized, a supplement guide, and so much more. It makes detoxification easy and healthy!

References:

  1. Bharat B. Aggarwal. Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices To Boost Health and Beat Disease. Sterling: 2011.    
  2. Pan Y et al. Curcumin improves glycolipid metabolism through regulating peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ signalling pathway in high-fat diet-induced obese mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Nov 15;4(11):170917.
  3. Preventive effect of a melon extracts rich in superoxide scavenging activity on abdominal and liver fat and adipokine imbalance in high-fat-fed hamsters. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 22;57(14):6461-7
  4. Fachinan R et al. Effectiveness of Antihyperglycemic Effect of Momordica charantia: Implication of T-Cell Cytokines. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:3707046.
  5. Krawinkel MB et al. Bitter gourd reduces elevated fasting plasma glucose levels in an intervention study among prediabetics in Tanzania. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Jan 12;216:1-7.
  6. Vasques CA et al. Hypolipemic effect of Garcinia cambogia in obese women. Phytother Res. 2014 Jun;28(6):887-91.
  7. Zeynep Tuzcu et al. Cinnamon Polyphenol Extract Inhibits Hyperlipidemia and Inflammation by Modulation of Transcription Factors in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017 ;2017:158309
  8. Hua Ping et al. Antidiabetic effects of cinnamon oil in diabetic KK-Ay mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2344
  9. Reza Alizadeh-Navaei et al. Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial. Saudi Med J. 2008 Sep;29(9):1280-4.
  10. Dustmann JH. Antibacterial effect of honey. Apiacta. 1979;14:7
  11. Aljadi AM, Kamaruddin MY. Evaluation of the phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities of two Malaysian floral honeys. Food Chem. 2004;85:513–518.
  12. Jing Gong et al. Effect of fenugreek on hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia in diabetes and prediabetes: A meta-analysis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 24 ; 194:260-268.
  13. Shen P et al. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on fat accumulation, activity, and proteomics analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Food Chem. 2018 May 30; 249:193-201.

 

 

Courtesy of Laura Navrotski

Fenugreek Sprouts for your Salad

Making your own fenugreek sprouts is easy and a tasty addition to any salad! Fenugreek seeds are used as a spice but are actually legumes that can be sprouted like other legumes. Sprouting increases the nutrient content as well as digestibility of the legume. You can use these sprouts raw in salads. You can add up to one cup at a time, depending on your taste. For safety reasons, ensure that you store the sprouts in a safe container in the fridge for a few days.

Fenugreek Nutrients

-Iron – 1 cup provides about 8mg of iron

-Fibre – 100g of seeds provides 25g fibre. In fact, fenugreek is used as a food stabilizer and emulsifying agent due to its fibre, protein, and gum content. Seeds contain insoluble and soluble fibre and the gum portion contains galactose and mannose which are associated with its blood sugar lowering effect.

-Protein – 100g of fenugreek seeds contain 23g protein

-B vitamins, folate

-Many minerals such as calcium, zinc, selenium, manganese, copper

But keep in mind that sprouting the seeds will alter or increase the content of many of these nutrients.

Studies have shown that fenugreek has these benefits:

Promoting milk production while breastfeeding

-Helps with PMS symptoms by balancing hormones

-Lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides

-Helps with digestion and gas, including colic

-Antioxidant and lowers lipid peroxidation which is a factor involved in atherosclerosis

-Helps with inflammation and asthma

Ayurveda

Pungent and bitter. Warming. Balances kapha and vata doshas.

How to Sprout Fenugreek Seeds

  1. Obtain a desired amount of fenugreek seeds (can be purchased in bulk or packaged), you could start with 1/4 cup
  2. Choose a good sized mason jar with a wide lid. Remove the lid, and place a mesh or cheesecloth or muslin cloth over the mouth of the lid, secure tightly with an elastic band.
  3. Place the seeds in the jar, fill with water, secure the mesh on top and leave for 12 hours (or overnight).
  4. After 12 hours, remove the water, rinse carefully under running water, and pour out all the water (through the cloth). Once the water is emptied, place the jar horizontally (or at a little bit of an angle on a plate). You can keep it on the kitchen counter, not in direct sunlight, but not in the dark either
  5. Twice a day (once in the morning, once before bed) rinse the jar under water, through the cloth. Place back on the plate.
  6. After 2 days, sprouts will show. However, leave the sprouts to grow longer, for up to a week.
  7. At the end, remove the sprouts and store in a container in the fridge.

 

Reference:

Sajad Ahmad, WaniPradyumanKumar. Fenugreek: A review on its nutraceutical properties and utilization in various food products. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences. 2016

0 799

Ayurvedic Roasted Turmeric Potatoes

I have been cooking with turmeric a lot lately. It is a wonderful spice that provides many health benefits for inflammation, skin health, nervous system, digestion, as well as being anti-septic and anti-cancer. Actually.. I am writing a Turmeric e-book that will be out soon! All the benefits of turmeric, the history, and the >100  study references behind turmeric will be discussed, as well as >60 recipes of food and body care uses!

Turmeric is pacifying for vata, pitta, and kapha

Turmeric is bitter, pungent, astringent

Turmeric is heating and drying

In the meantime, enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, 3
  • Sesame seed oil, 2 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves, minced. 2
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne, 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika, 1/2 tsp
  • Himalayan salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice, 2 tsp

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F/230C
  2. In a small bowl add the spices and mix with sesame oil
  3. Clean the potatoes and  slice into wedges
  4. Add the potatoes in a bowl and coat them with the mix
  5. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, take them out to flip them, bake another 10 minutes
  7. Check with a fork that the potatoes are cooked.

Connect with us!