Authors Posts by Nahid Ameen

Nahid Ameen

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Houseplant that Purifies the Air from Pollutants. – NASA Approved Indoor Plants for Clean Air

Plants can be used to effectively cleanse the indoor air of an average home of many of the common chemical contaminants due to their incredible ability to absorb and sequester toxic chemicals. A study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) concluded that typical houseplants such as bamboo palms and spider plants not only make indoor spaces more attractive, they also help to purify and cleanse the air. In 1989, Dr. B.C. Wolverton, Anne Johnson, and Keith Bounds conducted the study which was formerly planned to find ways to purify the air for extended stays in orbiting space stations.

Though NASA found that some of the plants were better than others for absorbing the typical pollutants formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, all of the plants had properties that were useful in improving overall indoor air quality. Moreover, NASA distinguished that some plants are better than others in treating certain chemicals. For example, the best plants for treating and cleansing the air contaminated with benzene is English ivy, Gerbera daisies, pot mums, peace lily, bamboo palm, and Mother-in-law’s Tongue. To treat trichloroethylene, the peace lily, Gerbera daisy, and bamboo palm were proved very effective. To filter formaldehyde, the bamboo palm, Mother-in-law’s tongue, dracaena warneckei, peace lily, dracaenamarginata, golden pathos, and green spider plant works amazingly. After conducting the study, NASA and ALCA compiled a list of the most effective plants for treating indoor air pollution.

Considering a typical home of under 2,000 square feet, the study endorses using at least fifteen medium-sized houseplants to help improve air quality. For better results and good effects, the plants must be grown in six-inch containers or larger. Most chemical sequestering occurs in the roots and stems of plants, so potted plants are needed, rather than cut flowers.

Note – Only 19 plants were studied by NASA. Additionally, it proved that almost any plant grown indoors will have a beneficial effect on chemical levels in the air. Because in 19 those plants, 17 were effective at removing chemicals, and 15 were very effective. Nevertheless, plants adapted to lower light areas (such as under forest canopies) may be most useful. These plants are ultra-efficient at capturing light, which also means that they must be very efficient in processing the gasses necessary for photosynthesis. Because of this, they have greater potential to absorb other gases, including the potentially harmful ones. 

  1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium’  – Heartleaf philodendron

Heartleaf philodendron which is also known as the Sweetheart Plant due to its shiny and heart-shaped leaves. It grows easily and quickly.

  1. Philodendron domesticum, – Elephant ear philodendron

Elephant ear philodendron is an amazing plant to cleanse and purify the formaldehyde. These plants are cheap and easy to take care of as they can survive easily.

  1. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana’ – Cornstalk dracaena

Cornstalk dracaena sometimes called as a corn plant. They have shiny and glossy leaves with yellow stripes. This plant adds value to the home lawns and garden. It is also known as an indoor plant.

  1. Hedera helix – English ivy

English ivy is an evergreen, quick to grow the plant. This plants when placed indoor make the home attractive and beautiful.

  1. Chlorophytum comosum – Spider plant

The spider plant is also known as airplane plant or ribbon plant is a flowering plant. It is low maintenance and fast-growing.

  1. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig’ – Janet Craig dracaena

This plant has a cane line stems and can be placed indoor home to give a welcoming feeling to the home. It grows fast and the plant should never be overwatered.

  1. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii’ – Warneck dracaena

Warneck dracaena is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. It has white stripes on the edges of the leaves.

  1. Ficus benjamina – Weeping fig

Weeping fig is a very special indoor flowering houseplant.

  1. Epipiremnum aureum – Golden pothos

Golden pothos is famous because of its beautiful long stems which can grow to 8 ft or more. These plants have excellent tolerance to the light.

  1. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’ – Peace lily

Peace lily also called a Spath plant is popular because of the large leaves and it commonly blossoms in spring.

 

VIDEO:
 

Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil – Ayurvedic Properties of One of the Most Versatile Essential Oils

Are you suffering from stress, anxiety, tension, acne, pain, or breathing problem? You’ll be surprised to hear that there is ONE solution for all these sufferings, which is the Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender is one of the most versatile of all essential oils. The benefits of this oil were learned 2500 years ago. It easily a very powerful essential oil. It is an inexpensive oil full of health benefits. Therapeutic grade essential oil is highly regarded for skin conditions, along with having a relaxing effect on the body and mind. Besides treating all the above-mentioned sufferings, it extensively aids to treat sleeping problems and enhance blood circulation in the human body. Moreover, it can be used as a deodorant and an amazing cleanser for household items.

In modern Ayurveda, it is also known as an antibacterial essential oil. The lavender essential oil has health benefits but it also comes handy when needed in the home as a bug repellent due to its pungent smell. Below mentioned are the details about the Lavender essential oil:

  • Botanical Name: Lavendula Officinalis
  • Dosha: PK↓, V (Neutral)
  • Taste: Pungent
  • Energy: Slightly Cooling
  • Actions: Carminative, diuretic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, analgesic, galactagogue, stimulant, and balancing.

Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

  • Stimulates Wound Healing

This essential oil helps to speed up the process of wound healing. It stimulates the healing process of minor cuts, burns, and bruises.

  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Lavender Essential Oil has powerful anxiolytic abilities as it contains terpenoids like linalool and linalyl acetate. When applied in the right way it helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

  • Treats Respiratory Disorders

Problems like asthma, flu, cough, sinus congestion, throat infection, tonsillitis, colds, and whooping cough can be treated by using Lavender Essential Oil. It aids to loosen up the phlegm and relieve congestion related to any of the respiratory problems.

  • Improves Sleep

Due to its calming properties, this essential oil when applied on your pillowcase and bedsheets ensure a good night’s sleep. It also helps to treat insomnia.

  • Anti-bacterial and Anti-Viral Properties

Lavender Essential Oil properties like anti-bacterial and anti-viral, making it perfect to fight against diseases like typhoid, TB, and diphtheria.

  • Fights Acne

Young people, as well as adults whenever get acne to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. But Lavender Essential Oil has anti-bacterial properties which help to fight stubborn acne and reduces the acne scar. A quick tip is to add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil into your skin creams.

  • Relives Pain

Lavender Essential Oil is amazing when it comes to reliving pains like muscles pain, sprains, backache, or lumbago. A good regular Lavender Essential Oil massage can do wonders to relieve pain.

  • Improves Blood Circulation

The Lavender Essential Oil reduces hypertension which aids to lower blood pressure. This gives amazing benefits to coronary conditions.

  • Hair Care

When Lavender Essential Oil is mixed with any carrier oil (like coconut or grapeseed oil) it has immense benefits on your hair. When it is massaged on the scalp daily, it can improve alopecia areata and hair loss.

  • Bug Repellent

Due to the pungent smell of Lavender Essential Oil, it is an excellent bug repellent. It can repel any type of bug-like moths, midges, or mosquitoes.

  • Helps in Digestion

The Lavender Essential Oil promotes the production of gastric juices and bile, which aids in the digestion of food. Good stomach digestion makes the symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, colic, and nausea go away.

  • Anticancer Potential

Lavender Essential Oil has powerful properties due to which it is sometimes used as a complementary treatment to treat cancer.

  • Supports Brain Function

When applied to the temples of the head and back of the neck, the Lavender Essential Oil can support the nervous system. You can also inhale Lavender Essential Oil directly from the bottle and it will alleviate the stress symptoms quickly by supporting the nervous system and improving cognitive impairment.

A few other benefits of Lavender Essential Oil are:

  • Reduces Headaches
  • Stimulates Urine Flow
  • Helps against Eczema and Dermatitis
  • Helps to Naturally Treat Diabetes

At home, Lavender Essential Oil has the following benefits:

  • Natural Perfume and Aroma
  • Natural and Toxic-free Air Freshener
  • Natural and Chemical-free Lip Balm
  • Flavor Enhancer in Healthy Recipes

How To Use Lavender 

It is very crucial to mention “How to use Lavender Essential Oil”, as for each benefit there is a different way of Lavender application. Remember, Lavender Essential Oil has versatile properties which make it gentle enough to apply directly to the skin.

  • Calming: Take a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil and rub it on the feet for a calming and relaxing effect on the body.
  • Sleep Aid: Rub a drop of Lavender on your palms and inhale. You can also diffuse a few drops of the oil before you go to bed in order to achieve a good night’s rest.
  • Bee Sting/Insect Bite: Place a drop of Lavender on a bee sting or insect bite in order to stop itching and reduce swelling.
  • Minor Burns: Put 2-3 drops of Lavender on a minor burn to decrease pain.
  • Cuts: Drop Lavender on a cut to stop bleeding, clean the wound, and kill bacteria.
  • Eczema/Dermatitis: Mix several drops of Lavender with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, or sesame seed oil. Use topically on eczema or dermatitis.

When Lavender Essential Oil is considered not safe?

When the Lavender Essential Oil is consumed orally, it is not safe and can be a threat to human life. If the people using Lavender Essential Oil notices any of the below-mentioned issues, it is advised to stop the use of Lavender Essential Oil immediately. The issues can be:

  • Stomach issues
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Pain in joints

These are just the benefits of only one essential oil. Imagine what amazing benefits do other essential oils have. If you are curious to learn more about essential oils, here is my ebook which is available at a discounted price for now. Grab yours now, before its too late!

Happy Learning!

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Benefits of Seed Cycling for Women’s Hormonal Health

Hormones play a very vital role in the basic function of the human body. It affects the human body and helps the human body to keep the balance between emotions and moods. More importantly, it helps to control the reproduction system. It is extremely important for women to keep their hormone levels balanced and healthy. In this modern age, it is very easy to find medicines to treat hormones. But following natural and organic method is always beneficial for the overall health. In Ayurveda, we have a term known as “Seed Cycling”. As the name suggests, seed cycling means the cycle of seeds in which you use inculcate different seeds into your diet to balance your hormones and keep them healthy. Seed cycling is a supernatural and healthy way to balance hormones. The seeds used in the cycle are flax and pumpkin seeds, and sesame and sunflower seeds. These particular seeds help to cleanse the body and provide it with the essential vitamins and minerals.

Two Basic Hormones

These two hormones are responsible to control and normalize the menstrual cycle.

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone

In the first of your menstrual cycle, the estrogen levels are high and in the second half of your menstrual cycle, the progesterone levels are high while estrogen levels start decreasing gradually. Few of the issues can be seen if the estrogen and progesterone levels are not kept in balance. Some of the prominent issues are mood swings, menstrual cramps, acne, irregular cycles, and any emotional or physical stress to the body. They may differ from person to person and each individual shows different symptoms.

Rules to Seed Cycling

To start following seeding cycle you need to track your menstrual period. If the menstrual period is regular, you can follow the phases easily but if you have irregular or no menstrual period then follow the moon cycle. It’ll be the same as the regular periods phase but you start your phase-1 on the first day of new moon and phase-2 after the moon is full which is nearly after 14 days.

Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases, which are:

  • The menstrual phase
  • The follicular phase
  • The ovulatory phase
  • The luteal phase

In the first two phases (the menstrual and follicular) the body needs estrogen. So, taking flax and pumpkin seed in this phase helps the body to produce estrogen. In the last two phases (the ovulatory and luteal) sesame and sunflower seeds boost the production of progesterone in the body. Sesame and sunflower seeds contain a high amount of vitamin E and selenium which helps to boost progesterone production.

How to do seed cycling?

So, you have finally decided to incorporate seed cycling into your diet? Good!

Below are the two phases of your cycle in which the days will be divided:

Day 1 – 14 (While waiting for Ovulation)

Day 1 is the first day of your menstrual cycle. In this phase the estrogen levels are high and your body needs estrogen. This is also known as the follicular phase.

Consume the following daily

  • 1 Tablespoon of ORGANIC, RAW and GROUND FLAX seeds.
  • 1 Tablespoon of ORGANIC, RAW and GROUND PUMPKIN seeds.

Day 15 – 28 (While waiting for Periods)

Day 15 means the start of the ovulation phase in which the body changes from estrogen to progesterone phase and needs high progesterone. This is also known as the luteal phase.

Consume the following daily

  • 1 Tablespoon of ORGANIC, RAW and GROUND SESAME seeds.
  • 1 Tablespoon of ORGANIC, RAW and GROUND SUNFLOWER seeds.

Conclusion

Following seed cycling is easy and you will be amazed to see the results in just a little time. Every human body responds differently to the same treatment. Some might see effective results in a month, for some it’ll probably take 3 or more months. Keep the patience and follow it religiously!

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My introduction to Bakhoor was at a neighbor’s home who loved using Bakhoor and gave me a piece to burn around the house. The benefits of Aromatherapy – especially natural Aromatherapy goes beyond creating a fragrant space but also to enhance mood and uplift dull spirit or atmosphere. One sniff of Bakhoor and I was forever drawn to a scent that seemed sweet and sacred. Since that day I have always been in search of high quality Bakhoor.

I purchase Bakhoor from this place called Modah in Mississauga, Ontario. You can get good quality bakhoor, bakhoor burning and Arabic fragrance oil here. However Bakhoor and Bakhoor burners are easily available on Amazon as well.

What is Bakhoor or Bukhoor?

Bakhoor or Bukhoor is a fragrant woodchip or baked clay (bricks) that is made from Oud or Oudh also popularly known as Agarwood or Aloeawood.  Oudh is submerged in fragrant oils and other natural ingredients are immersed together to make  a scented chip. The natural ingredients include may be sandalwood, musk, resin, ambergris or any other scent according to one’s personal liking. Bakhoor is used as a fragrance to perfume the house or clothing.

How is Bakhoor or Bukhoor Used?

Bakhoor is burned in charcoal or incense burners. The aromatic smell enhances and boosts the positive energy at home, stores or any sacred space.

Buy round charcoal discs, lighter or blow torch, a mini tong and aluminum foils to put on the bakhoor burner. Steps on how to use the burner to smoke bakhoor is written below.

Caution: Please DO NOT BURN BAKHOOR if children are around.

Benefits of using Bakhoor or Bukhoor:

There are several benefits of using Bakhoor. I’m listing few of them below:

  • To increase sweet or aromatic fragrance in the house.
  • To form romantic atmosphere in bedrooms.
  • To enhance and boost positive energy. Some traditions believe the scent of Bakhoor can stir away bad spirit or energy.
  • Used in shops and stores to draw customers towards shop.
  • Used in festivals and special events like weddings and religious ceremonies.
  • To welcome guest with lovely cordiality gestures.
  • Used after cooking to get rid of any off putting scents in the kitchen.
  • Used in old medications.
  • Used to get rid of bad smells for example cigarette smell.
  • Used to relax the mood.

How Bakhoor or Bukhoor is made?

Natural ingredients such as Oudh, sandalwood, musk, resin, ambergris are immersed with the fragranced oil on a woodchip to make a scented chip known as Bakhoor. Some makers use handmade method while other uses baking method to make Bakhoor.

Where to get Bakhoor or Bukhoor from?

Bakhoor can be found in Yemen, Oman, and other Arab and Gulf countries. Each maker has different Bakhoor recipe which makes their fragrance difference from other makers. One of the best handmade Bakhoor is in Aden-Yemen.

Try the Bakhoor below from Amazon.ca

How to Store Bakhoor or Bukhoor?

If you get your hands on homemade Bakhoor or Bukhoor – ensure you store it is a glass bottle, in a cool and dark place. I hear that the perfume only grows better and sweeter as time passes by inside the glass container.

How to burn Bakhoor or Bukhoor?

There are two main techniques to burn a Bakhoor.

  1. Burning Bakhoor using traditional charcoal burning
  2. Burning Bakhoor using modern electric burners

Bakhoor, Mabkhara (Bakhoor Burner), tongs and charcoal discs are needed before initiate the burning process. Following are the steps to follow in burning a Bakhoor as it is an easy task and anybody can follow it without difficulty.

  • Put charcoal disc in incense burner or in the Mabkhara.
  • Use lighter on the charcoal disc.
  • Charcoal disc will create a gray powder which means it is hot and ready.
  • Put Bakhoor on the charcoal disc.
  • An amazing aromatic Bakhoor scent will spread around.

Link to non-electrical Bakhoor burner

Link to electric bakhoor burner

Interesting Ways I Have Used Bakhoor?

 

  1. I have used Bakhoor in the kitchen after cooking for guests, before their arrival.
  2. I have used Bakhoor in my washroom.
  3. I burned Bakhoor in my bedroom and closet. I have had to be very cautious.
  4. I also used Bakhoor to perfume my hair with the smoke. I held the hair away from me with one hand and moved the bakhoor burners (when Bakhoor smoke came out) close to the hair.
  5. I have also burned bakhoor before prayers.

Tell me if you have ever used Bakhoor? What are some other ways you have used Bakhoor? What is your favourite brand of Bakhoor? Do you know someone who makes their own Bakhoor? Or can you make your own?

Let me comment and share this blog on your social media.

Also check out my Ayurvedic Aromatherapy e-Course on the website.

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There are 50 different types of hormones secreted and circulated by the human body at any given time. The word “Hormone” comes from the Greek for “to excite or arouse.” Hormones are the body’s chemical messenger. All multi cellular organisms in the body produce hormones of one kind or another. The network that make and release hormones are the endocrine cells (mostly glands). The hormones enter the blood system and circulate throughout the body and activate target cells.

Organs and Glands that Produce Hormones

The glands in the endocrine system that produces hormones are pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and the thymus. The organs that produce hormones are pancreas, heart, kidneys, ovaries, testicles, and intestines.

What Hormones Do?

These chemical substances control and regulate the following

  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Growth and development
  • Contraction of smooth and cardiac muscles
  • Defence mechanism
  • Homeostasis
  • Energy balance
  • Water, nutrient, sugar and electrolyte balance in the blood

Where is the Thyroid Gland Located?

“The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple, wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). It has the shape of a butterfly: two wings (lobes) attached to one another by a middle part called the isthmus.” = Medicine.net

What Hormones are produced by the Thyroid Gland?

Thyroid gland uses iodine (a mineral) to make its hormones such as, thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin. Note that 20% of the body’s triiodothyronine is made by the thyroid gland; the other 80% comes from thyroxine converted by organs such as the liver or kidneys.Thyroid gland produces calcitonin from C-cells and the hormone is known to play an important role in regulating calcium levels in the body.

It is the pituitary gland that produces the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to make its hormones. The hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) that tells the pituitary gland to produce TSH. Hence, it is important to understand that the thyroid gland is regulated by feedback mechanism of the brain. The feedback loop is called, hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis.”

What does the Thyroid Gland do?

The hormones produced by the thyroid gland ensures

  1. Regulated the body’s metabolic rate.
  2. Heart function
  3. Digestive function
  4. Muscle control
  5. Brain development
  6. Balances mood
  7. Proper bone health maintenance

Types of Thyroid Disorders or Diseases

  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid
  • Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid
  • Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Thyroid nodules – abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid gland
  • Thyroid cancer – cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland.
  • Thyrotoxicosis – too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. 
  • Grave’s disease – autoimmune thyroid disease. The thyroid gland is stimulated by auto-antibodies, which make it overactive, resulting in increased thyroid hormone production.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis/Hashimoto’s disease) – an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. 

Symptoms of Thyroid Gland Disorder:

The following are the most notes symptoms of thyroid issues

  • Fatigue
  • Poor circulation (cold hands and feet)
  • Apathy
  • Hair loss
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Weight gain
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor concentration and inability to retain information
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland
  • Depression

Causes of Thyroid Gland Disorders

  • Iodine deficiency
  • Pituitary disorder
  • Autoimmune condition
  • Weather changes – Studies show that people with normal thyroid function tend to have higher TSH levels in the colder month because the body is trying to cope with the cold by increasing hormones to generate more heat. These people may be diagnosed with hypothyroidism but it may be just the weather effecting their TSH levels.
  • Pregnancy
  • Side effect of medication
  • Radiation

Natural Remedies to Support the Thyroid Gland

Avoid Dietary Disruptors: Avoid or reduce intake of gluten containing grains such wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats manufactured in wheat processing facility can cause thyroid conditions. Eating too many uncooked or raw cruciferous vegetables can disrupt the thyroid function. It also recommended avoiding A1 casein protein that is found in commercial dairy based products as it may lead to thyroid malfunctions.

Add Dietary Helpers: Lack of iodine can also cause some of the thyroid conditions therefore using iodized salt is beneficial and can act as a protective mechanism. Algae and various seaweeds such as, kelp, nori, kombu, wakame etc. are some of the best sources of iodine. Read m previous blog about the benefits of seaweeds in your diet. Adding selenium rich foods such as nuts, seeds will assist in avoiding Hashimoto’s condition. Tyrosine rich foods are also essential for Thyroid gland such as, oats, watercress, spinach, sesame seeds, fava beans, cabbage, pumpkin seeds etc.

Add Herbs and Spices: Add circulatory spices such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon to combat cold hand and feet. These spices are beneficial for the thyroid health. Ayurvedic herbs such as, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Guggulu are extremely popular to improve thyroid health. One of the issues we often face is NOT all herbs are good for everyone. One must seek advise from their local Herbalist or a ND to find out what would be the best herbs for their thyroid condition.

Avoid Autoimmune Response Triggers: Work with you primary health care practitioner and your Natural Health Care Practitioner to find out what triggers your autoimmune response in order to avoid those triggers. For autoimmune conditions try eliminating the usual suspects such as, wheat, gluten, dairy to begin with.

Avoid Fluoride: Excessive fluoride in your body may lead to many health hazards including iodine deficiency which in turn can cause thyroid dysfunction. Avoid fluoride in water and toothpastes I use the filter below and if you are following you may know that I make and sell my own toothpowder.

Castor Oil Packs for Swelling: Applying warm castor oil pack on the thyroid gland will reduce the swelling of the gland. To do this one must apply castor oil over the thyroid gland, put a flannel cloth over it and apply mini heating pad on top of it.

Sunshine or D3: Sunshine has many benefits than just Vitamin D production in the body. Studies have shown that sunshine can positively affect or can be protective against autoimmune condition. For thyroid related autoimmune conditions exposing the thyroid gland to sunshine for a small period of time can assist with lessen trigger response. Vitamin D3 supplementation is required when sunshine is missing.

Reduce Plastic (including BPA) Exposure: Plastic and BPA containing plastic disrupts our natural hormone balance. These toxic materials can cause thyroid diseases as well. Read my previous blog on how to reduce plastic materials from our lives. BPA is also in can’s can contains canned foods Note when reducing plastic start from the kitchen and then move on to toiletries, cosmetics and personal care products.

Reduce Exposure to Heavy Metals: It is hard to avoid heavy metal exposure in this modern world. If you can’t reduce exposure then increase foods that are high in Vitamin C in your diet as well as add cilantro and parsley leaves in your diet. Both these herbs are considered heavy metal detoxifiers by naturopathic doctors.

Pranayama or Breathing Exercise for Thyroid: One of the best Pranayam to stimulate the thyroid gland is “Kapal Bhati” or the breath of fire, where the focus is on forced exhalation. One should always work up the stamina to increase the length of their pranayama. Start with a set of 20 and work up to 100 breath of fire. Ujjayi Pranayam or “ocean breath” is also highly beneficial for thyroid health which can be performed by making oceanic sound in your throat. Last but not the least “Anulom Viloom” or alternative nostril breathing is essential to reduce stress and improve thyroid health. Read my blog on Benefits of Pranayam.

Yoga Asana & Stretches to Improve Thyroid Functions: Neck stretches and rotations are absolute key to improve overall thyroid function. I am linking a website here that I really liked to perform neck stretches. Lion’s pose (Singhasana) is also known to directly impact the thyroid gland. More challenging are the shoulder stand, supported head stand, wheel pose (or upward bow pose), plough pose and boat pose. Whereas, less challenging poses are fish pose, bridge pose, cobra pose and upward dog pose. Before attempting any Yoga Asana it is important to contact a health care practitioner and certified Yoga teacher.

Above are some of my recommendations for improving Thyroid Gland Function or keeping it in balance. It is important to keep a Basal Body Temperature track to find out if you thyroid is working well. Ask you ND or alternative health care practitioner to do a physical thyroid examination for swelling and an iodine test to rule our iodine deficiency thyroid gland disorders. Many MDs and NDs send patients with Hashimoto’s condition to a compounding pharmacy to desiccated thyroid gland.

As you are aware I am a Clinical Herbalist with background in Nutrition, Yoga and Ayurveda. For live consultation in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Canada or skype consultation click here to book an appointment.  

If you have seen improvement in you thyroid condition by following any remedy please share with us and leave a comment. Share this blog in your social media so others can benefit from these remedies.

Disclaimer: I have added Amazon.ca product links for a few products I like. These are my Amazon.ca affiliate links.

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Top-12-Eco-Friendly-Products-in-the-Kitchen-to-Reduce-Plastic-and-is-a-MUST-for-EVERYONE

“Right now 8 million tons of plastics end up in the ocean every year.

I am a huge fan of the BBC series Planet Earth and Blue Planet. David Attenborough is someone I respect, admire and follow. He and his team know about the health of our planet and the sea. So when I hear a data from them that impacts the earth or ocean world it deeply moves me and makes me feel responsible. This is 21st century – you must learn to reuse, recycle and reduce!

We all know plastic can have a huge negative impact on other species as well as us – humans. On Episode 7 of Blue Planet II, David Attenborough shows us how the Albatross population can suffer from plastic in their feed (feed that they get from the ocean). It was heart wrenching to the impact on the Albatross population. These are plastics that were dumped as a waste product in the ocean by us – the human’s.

In some parts of the ocean it’s estimated that there are now over half a million pieces of plastic for every square kilometers. Our modern lives are having far-reaching effects on life in the oceans.  But around the world, there are people now devoting their lives to saving some of the most threatened sea creatures. “

My dearest reader – let’s make some effort towards joining them! Even if you start with a few changes it will have a huge impact in the world. And we all know from an Ayurvedic or Yogic perspective it is important to aim for Sattva and what more can be more Sattvic than to reduce waste, reduce harm to the planet and its dwellers? Ayurveda and Yoga always promotes good health and well being not only for humans but animals and plant kingdoms.

Note that, plastic also have huge impact on our reproductive health – including estrogen dominance, cancer (breast and prostrate), anxiety, early puberty, loss of body hair and fertility etc. Plastic has impact on women, children and men at various ages.

A little disclaimer before suggesting some products, I buy many of my products from either Amazon.ca or Etsy.ca. I will be providing links from my Amazon vendor account. You can purchase these products anywhere else but I just wanted to share what I choose. And if you are crafty you can make many of these products yourself to save money. I will also provide a few YouTube links.

Let’s find some sustainable swaps so you can be more eco-friendly

  1. Cloth or Paper Based Shopping Bags: Imagine how many times a week you visit the grocery store or a local mom and pop shop of a quick pick up. How many plastic bags do you accumulate in a week? I am also an offender but learning from others and friends to remember to bring my own shopping bag whenever I go out. You may need this anywhere. If cloth bag is not an option for you there are paper bags that you can store and reuse many times. The following are the ones I found most useful
    There are also reusable grocery tote bags that are foldable and easy to carry. They are lightweight, washable and durable. I just pop them in my purse or pocket before I leave home. They are made with polyester and are reinforced with double stitches which make them hold heavy things safely. The squared bottom holds products in place. Check them out here.
  1. Beeswax Wrap instead of Plastic Wraps: Keep your food fresh and covered without using any plastic wrap, plastic food storage bags! These Beeswax wrap is something I absolutely adore. Both my close friends Laura and Colleen reave about the quality of the products when they also got their own! Wrap foods that are fresh produce especially fruits and vegetables, cover for left overs or left over dry foods such as sandwiches. Beeswax wraps work like a charm, they allow air circulation and are natural anti-bacterial therefore food does not spoil quickly. Beeswax is safe and all natural. They are washable and therefore can be reused for almost over a year. Since it’s a natural product it will crinkle easily but gently handwash and dry them. And YES! Its biodegradable!
    If you want to make them at home here is a link of a YouTuber called Simply Klaire who teaches you how to make your own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FhFnwNkXE8

  1. Reusable Produce Bags:Leave the plastic behind when walking through the produce aisle at a grocery store. Why buy fresh or organic foods and add plastic to it? These produce bags are not biodegradable and made with toxic crude oil. By using produce bags we can have an impact on reduce non-renewable energy that is required to produce and ship the plastic bags. The reusable produce bags are durable, reusable and require very little space in your kitchen. 
  1. Stainless Steel Lunchboxes: There is NO EXCUSE for not using stainless steel or glass containers as lunch boxes. Why take lunch at work in plastic and reheat in the microwave? Instead for dry lunches take the stainless steel container or glass containers for lunches that need to be reheated. There are also insulated thermal food containers. Two other options are using HotLogic or a mini crock pot.
  1. Stainless Steel Water Bottles: I am a proud owner of S’well bottle as I worked for a distribution company that sold these infamous eco-friendly bottles. There are many designs, shapes and sizes of S’well Bottles available in the market. Even CostCo carries them. They keep hot beverage hot for 12 hours and cold beverages cool for 24 hours. Coffee cups, water bottles etc. are made with plastic. If you love Starbucks just take your S’Well bottle with you and they will fill it up with your favourite beverage. I heard if you bring your own there is a slight discount in some coffee stores.
  1. Stainless Steel or Glass Straws: I am not really a straw person unless you give me a huge “green smoothie” to drink. The ONLY drawback is you need to purchase one with straw brushes and wash them properly. If you are someone who have children who loves using straws or you yourself prefer using straws please do get one of these! They have a huge environmental impact. I prefer the glass ones as they are transparent so the debris will be clearly seen.

  1. Glassware for Storage Container: This is something I religiously follow. All my herb and spice containers are made from glass. All products I create for Conscious Health are put into glass jars. This is important as storing spices, herbs, grains, legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds in plastic will only increase plastic in your life. Start with one category of food such as, spices and then slowly change to other ones. Glass or ceramic bottles keep food fresh for long.
  1. Stand-Up Leakproof Silicone Reusable Storage Bag: It is now easy to replace am air tight zip sealed or locked plastic bags that are used in the kitchen with Silicone storage bags. They are ideal for food preservation, meal prep, storage, and sandwich bags. I bought these from Amazon last month and they are super user friendly for weekend meal prepping. I can buy large quantities of various vegetables and fruits, then peel and chop them and in the end combine them for various dishes such as, stir fries and keep them in the fridge. According to the Amazon store these eco-friendly silicone bags can be washed and re-used for up to 30 years. It is made from food safe material that is BPA, BPF, PVC, BPS & Latex Free. YAY. I also wash them inside my dishwasher.

  • Microfiber Cleaning Clothes: Can we really replace our kitchen towels? The answer is YES! OUI!! No harsh cleansing chemicals are required when usingMicrofiber cleaning cloths. It can eliminate lint, streaks and other food strains. These clothes hold up to 7 times in weight in liquid, dirt or grime. In addition to the Microfiber cloth link I am also providing a link of a Etsy Seller – Anne Riggs who makes handmade kitchen towel with cloth that you can roll up and they are snappable! See what I mean by that when you click below.

Etsy Shop Link: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/AnneRiggsDesigns

  1. Tea Infuser: What can I say? I am a Herbalist and a Herbalist’s favourite tool for self and their clients is a Tea Infuser. Avoid purchasing empty tea bags or making an effort to boil the tea and using a strainer. Instead – put your herbs inside the tea infuser, pour hot water in your cup and walk away while the tea steeps! And of course they are reusable. The one I am sending link to is stainless steel with silicone edges to avoid burning your fingers. A must have to tea lovers.
  1. Silicone Baking Mat: Say goodbye to aluminum foils and parchment papers. They are not reusable and sometimes pricy if you want to get the eco-friendly version. So try this Silicone baking mat that is oven safe (up to 480 F) and requires no oil or oil spray for baking. They are also super easy to clean
  1. Reusable Cutlery Set: For those who chooses frequent takeout meals. Please say “no” to plastic cutlery, napkins and chopsticks. There are reusable cutlery set available that are great for traveling, camping and if you do frequent take outs. These sets are made from bamboo, stainless steel or titanium. They come as a set in a bag or box that is super easy to carry. And of course it is eco-friendly when you bring your own napkin.

  1. Handkerchief: Say no to “Tissues” or “Kleenex” and use your own handkerchief. Especially if you buy cotton! It is NOT ONLY eco-friendly but its skin friendly and makes you not look for tissues when you are in desperate need.

I am not sharing all the links to encourage you to buy everything but for you to see what are some of the best options. If it seems too many changes to begin with then start small. If you want to make ONE change then go for the shopping bag. These plastics are not worth it. I also understand that it is not possible to get rid of all of your plastics in a day but one step would reduce your carbon footprint and work towards benefiting the planet.

Please write a comment on how you contribute towards this planet’s health? What are your top choices to becoming eco friendly? Are there tips that you too want to share with us?

My upcoming blog is about eco-friendly product swaps for self-care (especially Women’s health). Stay tuned!

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Ayurvedic Medicated Ghee/Ghritam – A Superior Anupan or Carrier

Ghee is precious Ayurvedic food also used as a healthy fat in modern wellness regime. I have written about the Benefits of Ghee and How to make Homemade Ghee in my previous blogs.  Today I want to write about my experience with medicated ghee. Many Ayurvedic practitioners make ghee in the traditional ways where they chant ancient “mantras” to accompany each stage of the ghee making process.

Ghee is clarified butter that is used in cooking or adding on top of our meals. We can cook Khichari and use ghee as the cooking oil.  Or we can add the ghee on top of the khichari before eating. Ghee is a precious food used in the Indian subcontinent and used for cooking, skin application, therapeutic treatments as well as in massage therapy.

Ghee in itself is precious Ayurvedic medicine. It is rich in fatty acids (conjugated linoleic acid, butyric acid) and fat-soluble vitamins. It also has the ability to support the digestive system, weight loss (in addition to a low-carb diet), reduces inflammation, provides support to vision and brain health, assists in building strong bones and lubricates the connective tissue (makes the body more flexible).

According to the traditional Ayurvedic Medicinal practice ghee is “yogavahi”, “anupan” or a catalytic substance that carries the therapeutic ingredients of medicines directly into the seven “dhatus” (tissues) of the body.

Medicated Ghee is ghee that has been infused with herbs or essential oils. Herbs themselves contain essential oil and fat-soluble nutrients that can have medicinal properties. There are many oil-based herbal preparations in Ayurveda and Western Herbal Medicine and Ghee in Ayurveda is the superior “Anupan” or “carrier of the medicine.” If you read my book “Medicinal Spice Cabinet” you will learn about over 100 spices and herbs that can be found in our kitchens (globally), how to use them as remedies and which carriers (Anupan) to use for different Dosha’s.

The ayurvedic practice believes that ghee is one of the best “oily” carriers due to its power to assimilate effectively the properties of the herbs without losing its own beneficial properties. Ghee also accelerates the bioavailability of the nutrients in the herbs. Therefore you get both benefits from the ghee and fat-soluble nutrients from the herbs. When buying a medicated ghee note that the ghee is the preservative for the medicinal herbs which keeps the nutrients available for a long period of time without reducing the potency of the herb. This is a great way to extend the shelf life of an herb. If prepared correctly the concentrated dosage of the herb can be derived from the medicated ghee. The process of making medicated ghee is lengthy and all the steps need to be watched closely. Medicated Ghee or Herbal Ghee not only optimizes nutrient absorption it also completes nutrient delivery in all the Dhatu’s or bodily tissues.

To summarize the benefits of Medicated Ghee or Herbal Ghee I am laying out the above in point format

1.     Ghee as an “Anupan” increases the bioavailability of the herbs and spices.

2.     One gets a double benefit from a medicated ghee – nourishing fatty acids benefits from the ghee itself and the medicinal potency from the herbs.

3.     The “delivery” of the nutrients from the herb to the “dhatu” or “tissue” is also maximized when using ghee. Ghee is an ideal delivery system for a targeted organ.

4.     Ghee works as a preservation substance for the herbs. Ghee as a preservative has the capacity to store the medicinal properties of the herbs for an extended period of time without affecting the potency.

5.     Ghee can derive the phytochemicals and volatile oils from the herb.

6.     Proper preparation of medicated ghee can ensure all the plant constituents are extracted from the herb into the ghee. Therefore, one can get a concentrated dosage of the medicinal properties of the herbs through the ghee.

Medicated ghee or herbal ghee is most beneficial for Vata dosha (as oil/fats are most beneficial for Vata) however it is also good for Pitta for its cooling effect. Medicated Ghee made with bitter herbs can be useful for Kapha Dosha. It depends on the person, their condition and herbs available. See a practitioner before you select a Herbal Ghee or Medicated Ghee for yourself. Learn carefully about the dosage and when to take the medicated ghee.

Some of the single herb ghee’s are Shatavari ghee, Ashwagandha ghee, Brahmi ghee, Arjuna ghee, and Turmeric ghee.

There are various Ayurvedic Ghritam formulations such as Triphala ghee, Tikta ghee, Sukumara ghee, Kalyanaka ghee, Mahatiktaka ghee, Amrithaprasa ghee, Indukanta ghee, and Panchagavya ghee, etc.

I have personally tried Shatavari and Turmeric ghee. I have not taken formulation ghee as I believe a medicated herbal formulation should depend on the person’s health condition.

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Benefits of Various Fasting

 

I have been aware of fasting as a religious practice since my childhood, and it comes naturally to me. During Ramadan, we fast for 30 days from sunrise till sunset without any food or water. When I migrated to Canada – many commented that fasting like this cannot be healthy. I even heard that from fellow Nutritionists who thought water fasting is fine however dry fasting did not sound right.

Today “fasting” as a healing practice is a hot button topic. Almost as popular as CBD oil!!

Fasting is a natural healing treatment that has been used for centuries to aid and support good health and even to fast track healing of multiple diseases. While pharmaceuticals and sometimes even nutraceuticals aim to correct or treat the symptoms of a particular disease, fasting unleashes the body`s hidden powder to heal from the inside out. Fasting can target the root cause of many health conditions as it enables the body`s ability to create healthy cells and destroy the damaged cells.

With fasting, a whole new world of healing potential opens up for your body.  Our body’s intelligence is capable of healing itself –  when given a chance to do so.

The Benefits of Fasting

Fasting relieves the liver and the digestive system from processing food, which requires a lot of energy. When this energy is not required, it is then used for other thing mentioned below.

  • Cleansing the body’s metabolic wastes, as well as toxins.
  • Fasting decreases body inflammation and pain.
  • Fasting assists with weight loss and helps to keep it off as well.
  • Fasting strengthens the digestive fire or Agni (HCl and enzymes) from an Ayurvedic perspective.
  • Fasting helps tighten and tones the skin as well as increase skin glow
  • Fasting promotes new cell growth which has an anti-aging effect.
  • Fasting boosts the immune system and the body’s natural defense mechanism.
  • Fasting can balance hormones and strengthens glandular health.
  • Fasting will balance blood sugar, therefore is a healing method for diabetes.
  • Fasting improves blood pressure and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Fasting improves mental clarity and enhances your mood.
  • Fasting increases energy and vitality.
  • Fasting can assist with reaching a meditative state sooner.

 

 

 

Ayurveda and Fasting:

From an Ayurvedic perspective, one must take into consideration their age, location, time of the year or day of the week, dosha type/body type etc. before starting a fast. According to Ayurvedic practice, “Spring” is the best time to fast or cleanse the body. It is believed that the body’s self-cleansing power is kindled when the sun starts to shine more.

 Kapha body types have a tendency towards weight gain and stronger physique. Fasting and movement are mostly beneficial for Kapha type. When fasting, Kapha body types can easily get rid of metabolic wastes, toxins, and body fats. Kapha’s also tolerate fasting quite well.

Excessive or extreme fasts are not suitable to most Vata types or Vata-Pitta types unless they are experiencing weight gain. Mono diet is best for Vata types.

A two to three-day juice fasting or a mono-diet may be ideal for Pitta body types.

An Ayurvedic practitioner can design a fasting regime for you according to your body type. It is important to have a customized fasting regime to increase the effectiveness of the fasting.

How Long should you Fast?

  • It would be easy, to begin with, IM. I finish my dinner by 5 or 6 pm and do not eat or drink the next day until 10 am. This makes it a 16 hour fast. You can start with 12 then work up to 16 hours of fasting.
  • You can then progress into one-day water fast. Or a dry fast from sunrise to sunset.
  • You could also do a 3-day fast once a month regularly. Depending on your health, medical condition, location, and your health care practitioner`s advice this can be water fast. I have done dry fasting for 24 hours during the winter months.
  • There is also a one-week fast you can do seasonally for cleansing.

Always take advice from your primary health care practitioner.

I would ONLY continue fasting as long as there is no stress on the body such as dizziness, fatigue, hunger pain, and low energy. You should not force the body.

Cautions of Fasting

  • Due to the lack of nutrients and sugar, fasting can cause irritability, hunger pain, and headaches.
  • Fasting may interfere with social engagements that involve eating.
  • After fasting is completed, some people may experience overeating to compensate.
  • Fasting may affect people with gut conditions such as IBS and IBD.
  • Fasting should not be performed if you are hypoglycemic or diabetes since blood sugar can become dangerously low.
  • Fasting can disrupt menstruation and fertility in women who are malnourished or follow restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting can balance hormones.
  • Fasting should not be performed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Fasting can cause dehydration and low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting in some people.
  • Fasting may not be suitable for people with certain health conditions such as chronic kidney disease, gout, and heartburn.

 

References

Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 2005, Jul.;99(6):8750-7587.

Usefulness of routine periodic fasting to lower risk of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Horne BD, May HT, Anderson JL. The American journal of cardiology, 2008, Jul.;102(7):0002-9149.

Cardioprotective effect of intermittent fasting is associated with an elevation of adiponectin levels in rats. Wan R, Ahmet I, Brown M. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 2009, May.;21(5):1873-4847.

Late-onset intermittent fasting dietary restriction as a potential intervention to retard age-associated brain function impairments in male rats. Singh R, Lakhanpal D, Kumar S. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 2011, Aug.;34(4):1574-4647.

Faris MA et al. Intermittent fasting during Ramadan attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy subjects. Nutr Res. 2012 Dec;32(12):947-55

 

Harris L et al. Short-term intermittent energy restriction interventions for weight management: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2018 Jan;19(1):1-13.

 

Mehrdad Alirezaei, et al. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy. 2010 Aug 16; 6(6): 702–710.  

 

 

 

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Types of Fasting and General Fasting Tips of Success

 

Fasting is an ancient healing method. Fasting unleashes the body’s own healing power with time and nothing to digest for a period of time. It provides the organ’s such as liver, kidneys and the lymph nodes to release waste. My previous blog on fasting provided information on the benefits of fasting and what to be cautious of. This blog is all about different types of fasting and some beneficial tips on how to successfully get into a fasting regime.

Types of Fasting

1. Dry Fasting

 

This type of fasting may seem extreme to some as it means to abstain from both food and water for certain periods of time. For centuries, dry fasting has been practiced for religious and spiritual purposes. This is known as being absolute fasting. An example of this would be Ramadan, where Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for a month. Dry fasting puts the cells into a stressful environment where the healthiest ones survive. In fact, a study on a group of people during Ramadan had significantly less pro-inflammatory cytokines, blood pressure, body weight, and fat percentage. In dry fasting, the body does not eliminate toxins through urine, bowel, and sweat or through elimination organs such as liver, kidneys, and skin. Instead, the toxins are burned inside of the cells. The body destroys or cleans our damaged cells and regenerates new cells. This is like the `survival of the fittest` as only the healthiest of the cells survives during dry fasting. Although the production of stem cells reduces in the body with age, with dry fasting stem cells are released into the blood more than usual. It has been said that cysts and benign tumors dissolve during dry fasting as the body eliminates its unhealthy cells for its own survival.

2. Liquid Fasting

 

Water Fasting

 

Liquid fasting is when the body is given only liquids during the fast. One of the best ways to experience success is through fasting by only drinking water for a period of time. This is one of the oldest and simplest forms of fasting as it provides the most health benefits in a short period of time including, lowering blood pressure and balancing blood sugar. During a water fast, the process of autophagy occurs – an internal recycling program where old cells/debris/toxins are cleaned out through lysosomes. A water fast is done for about 24 hours up to 72 hours, with no food and only drinking water, about 2-3 liters per day. When completed, slowly introduce food in the form of smoothies and small meals, working your way up to larger meals. Water fasting can protect against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart condition etc.

 

Juice Fasting

 

Today “Juice Cleanse” is a popular way to detox the body. Vegetable and fruit juices are prepared in mixes to create trendy juice cleanses. During juice fasting, the body is abstaining from solid foods and receiving a huge supply of micro nutrient support. Any type of fruit or vegetable juice can be consumed during this fast. During the time of juice fasting, the body’s digestive system gets a rest even though the body gets vitamins, minerals and antioxidant. Juice fasting can assist with weight loss, increased energy and enhancing mood.

 

3.Intermittent Fasting (IM):

 

This type of fasting alternates between periods of fasting and periods of eating. The fasting period is either 16:8 (16 hours fasting, including overnight, with 8 hours of eating), or 5:2 (fasting for 2 days, eating for 5 days). This type of fasting removes the body’s reliance on using carbohydrates for fuel and instead promotes the breakdown of fat for fuel. It also triggers changes in various hormones such as insulin and growth hormone. When you eat multiple meals a day, insulin is released each time to deal with blood sugar spikes. But when you go long periods of time without eating, such as intermittent fasting, this triggers fat burning instead. In terms of growth hormone, it is also involved in fat burning and muscle protection. Studies show that intermittent fasting can extend life expectancy, reduce inflammation and fat, and improving cognitive function.

Understanding Autophagy:

Food restriction or fasting is known to upregulate autophagy in various organs including the liver. Autophagy, the method by which your body cleans out damaged cells and toxins, helps you regenerate newer, healthier cells. Autophagy is a defense mechanism against many things such as infections and neurodegenerative diseases, and studies show that autophagosome numbers are increased in cortical neurons after food restriction or fasting.

I will be writing more about Autophagy, its benefits and how to turn up the body’s autophagy state in my upcoming blog.

General Tips for Success

In order to combat the negative impact of fasting, one must prepare the body for fasting.

Here are some tips on how to prepare the body:

1. Start with a generally clean diet and eliminate junk food, sugar, white flour, canned foods, and cured meats.

2. Increase your intake of vegetables by eating a minimum of one cup with every meal.

3. Do not snack between meals. Drink water or herbal tea if desired.

4. Start with intermittent fasting.

5. Be aware of your food sensitivities or allergies and ensure to remove them for a week before starting your fast.

6. You must speak with your primary medical care practitioner if you are taking medicine, on a certain diet, or have a chronic health condition.

References

Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 2005, Jul.;99(6):8750-7587.

Usefulness of routine periodic fasting to lower risk of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Horne BD, May HT, Anderson JL. The American journal of cardiology, 2008, Jul.;102(7):0002-9149.

Cardioprotective effect of intermittent fasting is associated with an elevation of adiponectin levels in rats. Wan R, Ahmet I, Brown M. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 2009, May.;21(5):1873-4847.

Late-onset intermittent fasting dietary restriction as a potential intervention to retard age-associated brain function impairments in male rats. Singh R, Lakhanpal D, Kumar S. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 2011, Aug.;34(4):1574-4647.

Faris MA et al. Intermittent fasting during Ramadan attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy subjects. Nutr Res. 2012 Dec;32(12):947-55

 

Harris L et al. Short-term intermittent energy restriction interventions for weight management: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2018 Jan;19(1):1-13.

 

Mehrdad Alirezaei, et al. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy. 2010 Aug 16; 6(6): 702–710.  

 

 

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Healthy Recipes for Vision Health

Recipes for Vision Health

As promised last week here are the two recipes for impeccable vision health.
Vision Health Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

 Spinach (1/2 cup)
 Carrots (1/4 cup)
 Blueberries (1/4 cup)
 Baby Kale (1/2 cup)
 Mangoes (1/4 cup)
 Bilberries (1/4 cup) or Amla Juice (3 tbsp.)

Methods:

1. Dice and chop the spinach, mango, carrots, and kale.
2. In a high-speed blender add 1 cup of water and rest of the ingredients including
blueberries and bilberries/amla juice.
3. Blend until smooth. Pour in a glass and drink fresh.

Ayurvedic Vision Health Herbal Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

 Dried Amla Berry, powder – ½ tsp,
 Dried Calendula or Marigold, petals – 1 Tsp.
 Saffron, 2-3 strands
 Turmeric – ¼ tsp.
 Black or Nigella Seed – 2 pinches
 Orange Juice – ½ cup
 Ginger Juice – ½ Tsp.

Methods:

1. Boil 2 cups of water and add amla, calendula, saffron, turmeric and nigella seeds.
2. Brew them for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Strain the liquid in a mug and add the orange and ginger juice.
4. Drink warm.

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