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Tags Posts tagged with "Ayurveda"

Ayurveda

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You are most likely to be infected with cold and flu unless you live in a bubble. But there is always a way. Proper care and smart choices make all the difference to protect yourself from infections even if there is a cold and flu season.

Before we dive into ayurvedic preparation, let’s first understand briefly about the cold and flu season.

What Is Cold and Flu Season?

In terms of symptoms, flu is generally worse than the common cold. According to experts, cold and flu season tend to last for about 12 weeks but it mostly depends on where you live.

Now, there are numerous ways you can treat cold and flu, but the wise thing to do is to prepare for it. What does it mean? Well, when you work towards preventing getting sick or infected, and you use the right methods for the prevention, then you’re most likely to be protected from infections like cold and flu.

Symptoms:

If you have been feeling a few of these mentioned symptoms, then it means you have probably have caught the flu or cold.

  • General tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficult breathing deeply
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or running nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ayurvedic Preparation for Cold and Flu Season

Prathishyay is a term for the common cold in Ayurvedic. Ayurveda strongly recommends the strengthening of the immunity to prevent diseases like flu or cold from its attack. Following are some of the best Ayurvedic Preparation for Cold and Flu Season.

  • Chew on Dry Ginger

Ginger has strong antioxidant and anti-microbial along with pain-relieving properties which helps in relieving sore throat and treating infections in the nasal passage. You can either chew dry ginger or inhale ginger-infused steam that will greatly help in reducing sinus and lung congestion.

  • Do pranayama and stretching

Doing pranayama and stretching is known to relieve chest constriction due to sneezing, or coughing. It is basically, sitting in a relaxed position with a straight back, taking a deep breath, and allowing the breath to fill your upper chest. And release the breath and along with it the tensions and the stresses.

  • Hydration is the key

One of the most common and easiest ayurvedic preparation is to remember to stay hydrated. Whether you like to drink water or lemon/honey-infused water, it’s important to be hydrated by taking your required daily intake. Most people also like sipping watermelon or cucumber juice, make sure that it is made without any preservatives and is fresh. Remember to consume homemade immune-boosting drinks and you’re good to go.

In ending notes, there are a few more ayurvedic preventions you can do such as gargle with salted water, sipping lukewarm water, eating light, and a nourishing meal. All of these not only fight off cold and flu but also build your immune system. This ayurvedic preparation will greatly help and will fight off any existing disease-spreading germs and viruses.

Kadha Recipe

In India when someone has a cold, flu, infection, sore throat or body ache their mother’s or grandmother’s make “Kadha” at home. Kadha means herbal tea – it is a medicinal tea. Although today many herbal teas are available at health food stores, I can assure you this is a great homemade herbal tea replacement where you are only using your humble kitchen healers.  I am sharing with you my favorite Kadha Recipe A Traditional Healing Tea.

I have made Kadha for myself and have seen great results for cold and body pain. It is indeed ‘health in a cup.’ When I make kadha, I sometimes add turmeric and/or reishi mushroom which is not used in the traditional recipe

Read more about it here.

Warming Energy Ball

Made with dates, sesame, fenugreek, and coconut. Add seeds as available. Such as pumpkin, sunflower, or char magaz.

Tips

  • Steam with eucalyptus oil if they get the sniffles or feet massage with warm mustard seed oil before bed. 
  • Putting 1 clove under the tongue can prevent sore throat.
  • Not to drink citrus fruit. Lime or lemon juice should be taken with warm water. 
  • Wearing socks can help with keeping the feet warm. 
  • Cinnamon tea improves circulation and keeps the warm today. 
  • In extremely cold weather add a bay leaf to the cinnamon tea.

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What is Migraine?

Migraine is a medical condition in which a person experiences an extremely severe pounding headache. It can last for hours or sometimes even days. The ponding headache typically starts from the forehead, between the temples, or around the eyes. Migraine headaches get worse with time. A person experiencing migraine is sensitive to any movement, action, bright light, or loud noises. Any such sensation makes the headache worse. A person can also experience nausea, dizziness, neck pain, vomiting, extreme fatigue, and nasal congestion during a migraine. Severe migraines can affect a person’s daily life.

Are Migraine and Headache the same?

People usually confuse migraines with headaches. They think that a severe headache is known as a migraine, but in general, headache is one of the symptoms of migraine. The symptoms of migraine are more intense as compared to headache. Migraine is a medical chronic condition, and the cause is unknown. Headaches on the other hand can be triggered due to stress, depression, or anxiety and typically goes away in few hours.

What causes and trigger Migraine?

A migraine occurs typically in three stages, these are:

Stage 1: Prodrome

This stage involves emotional changes such as depression and anxiety. At this stage, a person will be sensitive to any movement, action, bright light, or loud noises.

Stage 2: Mild to Severe Headache

At this stage, the person may experience other common symptoms like nausea, dizziness, neck pain, vomiting, tiredness, and nasal congestion

Stage 3: Migraine Hangover

At this stage, the person feels extreme fatigue and irritability which may last for another 2 days.

Ayurvedic Treatments to Treat Migraine

In Ayurveda, migraine is known as “Ardhavabhedhaka” and the vital cause of migraine is due to tridoshic condition which causes an imbalance of pitta-vata and gathers Ama toxins. Following ayurvedic treatments are used to treat migraines. Depending on the severity of migraine, we can combine the treatment methods.

 

  • Triphala Churna

Triphala churna is an organic blend of haritaki, bibhitaki, and amla. It helps to improve nasal congestion and blockage.

  • Ksheera Ghrita

Ksheera ghrita is a glass of milk and ghee which is mixed to effectively treat migraine headaches.

  • Sitopaladi Churna

Sitopaladi churna is a combination of mishri, vankshalochana pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. By using sitopaladi churna, increases the lung’s capacity and eliminates cough. It can also be consumed with honey.

  • Dhoomapana

Dhoomapana is used to lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. It calms the nerves the lighten to load on the head.

  • Nasya

This is one of the highly recommended “Panchakarma Therapy” to cure migraines or continued headaches. For better results, do it early in the morning on an empty stomach an hour before having a meal. This treatment provides significant relief from migraines.

Other Treatments to Treat Migraine

  • Yoga
  • Regular Exercise
  • Relaxation Techniques

 

References:

https://familydoctor.org/condition/migraines/

https://www.summahealth.org/flourish/entries/2020/08/migraines-vs-headaches-whats-the-difference

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/148373

https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/migraine-bothering-you-try-these-versatile-ayurvedic-remedies-for-instant-pain-relief

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What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood is an evergreen tree native to India, Philippines, China, Australia, and Indonesia. In botanical terms, Sandalwood is also known as Santalnum album. It is also known as “East Indian sandalwood, santal oil, white or yellow sandalwood oil, or white Saunders oil. It belongs to the family of Santalaceae. It has small flowers which contain many short stalks. Sandalwood belongs to the class of aromatic woods, which are knowns as perfume trees. Famous aromatic wood trees are cedar, cinnamon wood, and rosewood. Sandalwood trees grow about 8 to 12 meters in height and 2.5 meters in girth.

 

Sandalwood Oil

The Sandalwood tree has leathery leaves in pairs. The roots and trees have a yellow aromatic oil, which is known as sandalwood oil. The smell of sandalwood oil is so refreshing, and it persists in the articles, such as furniture or boxes, for years. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the heartwood by the process of steam distillation. The average yield of oil is almost from 3.0% to 6.0%. The sandalwood oil smell is very famous because of its sweet, powerful, and lasting odor. The sandalwood trees grow slowly and almost take 30 years for the heartwood to become frugally beneficial in India.

 

Uses of Sandalwood

Sandalwood in any form, be it solid or in oily form, has numerous uses in our daily lives. It plays a vital role in healing many skin conditions. Some of them are:

  • Sandalwood in self-care products like fragrances, body lotions, massage products, hair care products, sunscreen, shampoo, and acne medications.
  • Sandalwood oil is used as a fragrance in incense, perfumes, cosmetics, and soaps.
  • Sandalwood in cleaning products, like in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners.
  • Sandalwood in pest control products.
  • Sandalwood in aromatherapy. Using sandalwood oil in aromatherapy helps to promote calmness, lower stress, and improves sleep quality.
  • Sandalwood can also be used to enhance flavors in foods.

 

Health Benefits of Sandalwood

Sandalwood has various health benefits. It can be used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, antiphlogistic, carminative, disinfectant, diuretic, hypotensive, and memory-enhancing properties.

  • It is a great antiseptic agent and is safe to use internally and externally. It is used to treat acne, sores, boils, and pimple infections.
  • It is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. It has a very cool soothing effect and provides instant relief to the inflammation in the gastrointestinal, brain, nervous, circulatory, and excretory systems.
  • It is a great natural relaxant and has a wonderful sedative effect against spasms. It is very effective in treating cramps, aches, and colds.
  • Sandalwood oil is amazing to lower blood pressure as it contains hypotensive agents. It can be applied externally and will still help to lower hypertension.
  • Sandalwood fortifies dental health as it has astringent properties. It helps to stop bleeding gums, healing minor wounds, and cleansing of mouth.

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The Power of Microgreens - the Sattvic Food Gem in Ayurveda

What are Microgreen?

Mircrogreens, which are also known as “vegetable confetti”, are baby plants which are harvested between 10 and 14 days from seeding. They are young edible seedlings of beans, herbs, grains, and vegetables. They are sometimes confused with sprouts because they are tiny and perfect. They are easily available from shops and can be grown anywhere even at home using vegetables seeds, grains, or herbs. Microgreens are loaded with nutrients and vitamins, because of which they are also known as the powerhouse of natures multivitamins. They are also known as living foods because they are organic and very close to nature.

Microgreens

How do you grow them? (Hydroponic and in soil)

Mircogreens are an amazing source of nutrients. They are very easy and fun to grow, whether indoors or outdoors. People who are interested in kitchen gardening, grow microgreens in their kitchen window ledges. We can harvest mircogreens in 2-3 weeks. Microgreens can be grown in soil or hydroponic environment. Microgreens which are grown using in soil and hydroponic methods have high nutritional values.

Growing microgreens in soil requires soil and ample amount of sunlight. Sattvic foods, such as peas, sunflower, beets, cilantro, lentils, beans and others are grown in soil. Sattvic foods are very simple and should be grown organically using extremely rich fertile soil.

In Hydroponic method, a good sunlight is needed to grow microgreens. Instead of soil, mineral nutrient solutions in water is used to grow microgreens. This method is excellent for indoor or kitchen gardening. A few microgreens which are grown hydroponically are, lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.

Microgreens

Microgreens

How to add them to your daily diet?

As mentioned earlier, microgreens are powerhouse of natures multivitamin. Adding them into our daily diet will give us daily dose of multivitamins we need. Some of the ways you can incorporate it into your daily diet is:

  • Add microgreens into your salad.
  • Place microgreens (like lettuce) into wraps for extra crunchy flavor.
  • Add microgreens into your smoothies and juices.
  • Garnish or sprinkle into any dish you eat.
  • Add microgreens into your omelet, sandwiches, pizzas, flatbreads, or rolls.

You can easily incorporate microgreens into your daily life because they are taste enhancer and can be added into any food.

Microgreens salad

Types of seeds that can be grown for microgreens

– legumes (chickpea, mung beans, lentils), grains (Buckwheat, Amaranth & Wheat), seeds (sunflower), Brassica family (Broccoli, cabbage, Kale. Radish, Watercress, Arugula, Mustard, Kolrabi etc), Herbs (Cilantro, Basil Sorel, Dill, Anise, Mint, Oregano, Sage), Onion family (Chives, Leeks, Onions and Garlic)

My Top 12 Microgreens

Following are my top 12 microgreens:

  • Alfalfa
  • Broccoli
  • Buckwheat
  • Cabbage
  • Clover
  • Fenugreek
  • Mung
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Sunflower
  • Watercress

These microgreens contain innumerable benefits. Because they are powerhouse of natures multivitamin, it prevents many diseases and helps to manage weight. They also assist to treat mental and physical health. They have antioxidant property, which helps to remove unstable waste molecules known as free radicals from the body. Broccoli contains phenolic antioxidant and high levels of vitamin E. Lettuce contains carotenoid antioxidants and is high in vitamin A. Each microgreen contains specific antioxidant.

Microgreen
A brief description about each microgreen is given below:

  • Alfalfa

This herb is also known as Medicago Sativa. It contains saponins, estrogenic isoflavonoids (e.g., daidzein, genistein), vitamin K, and the amino acid L-canavanine. Alfalfa is highly nutritious and have high nitrogen content in it.

  • Broccoli

A branched, green vegetable which has numerous health benefits because it is highly nutritious. It contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium and helps to prevent cancer, improve digestion, boost immunity and lose weight.

  • Buckwheat

A type of grain, pseudo cereal, is gluten-free and contains minerals, protein, and fiber. It is a superfood and helps to improve heart condition and promote healthy weight loss. It also aids to manage diabetes.

  • Cabbage

An excellent snack because it has very few calories in it. It has layers of leaf and can be eaten raw in salad. It taste very delicious and crispy.

  • Clover

A small fragrant flower herb which has a nutty flavor. They are very easy and quick to grow.

  • Fenugreek

A clover like herb, which contains different alkaloids, flavonoids and saponins. It has powerful blend of flavors and is used in medicine and cooking. It is used as an appetite stimulant, and to treat atherosclerosis, constipation, diabetes, dyspepsia/gastritis, fevers, kidney ailments

  • Mung

Mung are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. They have fewer calories and has numerous health benefits.

  • Mustard

Mustard is a broadleaf, cruciferous, cool-seasoned annual oilseed crop produced mostly for the condiment market.

  • Peas

Peas are not a vegetable but actually belong from the legumes food category. They are low in calories and low in fat. They are very healthy and nutritious to eat.

  • Sunflower

Easily grown in soil only, they are an amazing source of iron and calcium.

  • Watercress

Watercress contains high amount of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Besides this, they are an amazing source of folate, calcium, iron and vitamin E.

Reference: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316075#benefits

Written By: Syeda Saira

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Castor oil is also known as miracle oil because it has highly fortifying properties. For centuries, it is being used in numerous treatments because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is extracted from the bean of a castor plant which originally come from Eastern Africa. It is one of the most ancient oil which is famous for its powerful and amazing therapeutic properties. It is used in many Ayurvedic medicines and can be consumed both internally or externally depending upon the type of treatment. In Ayurveda, it is amazing to relieve Vata and Kapha disorders.

Properties:

Castor oil has the following properties:

  • anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties
  • pungent/bitter or sweet taste
  • heavy to digest
  • hot in nature

Castor Oil for Tridosha:

In Ayurveda, it is amazing to relieve Vata and Kapha disorders by balancing it. It also relieves pitta when combined and processed with herbs which have bitter and sweet taste.

Health Benefit of Castor Oil:

Castor oil posses a great number of health benefits. Some of which are listed below:

  1. Castor Oil improves skin and cures skin diseases.
  2. Castor Oil cleanses body.
  3. Castor Oil helps to rejuvenate skin and makes it look healthy.
  4. Castor Oil improves health, intelligence, memory, immunity, and digestion.
  5. Castor Oil relieves lower back pain.
  6. Castor Oil is great to treat belly bloating.
  7. Castor Oil is best in destroying abdominal tumors.

When can we use Castor Oil externally?

  • Castor oil contains vitamin E which makes it excellent for the skin. When applied directly on the skin it moisturizes it and give the skin a subtle glow. Regular use of it makes the skin fuller and plumper.
  • Another amazing external use of castor oil is for hair. When applied directly on the scalp it nourishes the scalp and boost hair growth. It fights numerous hair related issues like, itchy scalp, dandruff, dry hair, hair fall, and split ends. Besides that, it can also be used to grow brow, lashes and the hairline.
  • As mentioned earlies, castor oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, because of which it is an effective remedy for Arthritis. It helps to improve blood circulation and increases body warmth. It also helps to reduce inflammations and relieves pain. It proves effective to reduce joint pain and backaches.
  • In India, it is a common practice to use castor oil as Kajal over the eyes to improve vision.
  • It can also be used to treat dry cracked feet. Gently massage a few drops of castor oil twice a week and get soft smoot feet.

When can we use Castor Oil internally?

  • Castor oil is a powerful laxative. Therefore, can be consumed internally to relieve constipation and promote healthy digestion. You can add one or two tablespoons in ginger tea and drink it at night.

How to make Castor Oil pack?

Castor oil pack is very effective and can be used to break down cysts, fibroids, and lipomas. To make castor oil pack, use soaked flannel oil and cover it with hot water bottle. It is then placed on the affected area for about an hour. It also helps to reduce inflammation, and joint pain.

Note: FDA approves castor oil and it can be used indefinitely.

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honey

Honey, which is also known as Madhu or Shahad, it is an important food and medicine in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, it belongs to the categories of food which can be eaten daily for good health. However, it has very particular and strong properties and should be taken carefully. It is gold if taken properly under right conditions. It is also known as healing nectar because of it’s strong healing powers.

“Nothing is so troublesome as ama [indigestion] caused by the improper intake of honey.’
– Charaka Samhita

Nature’s gift to the mankind

Honey is an excellent nature’s gift to the mankind. Because of it’s sweet taste, one of the prominent use of honey is as a natural sweetener. Besides that, it has high nutritional value. It can also be used as a natural medicine. Honey has sugar such as fructose, maltose, glucose with added proteins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and fats.

How is honey produced?

Bees collect pollen and nectar from flowers and carry it to the beehive. In their stomachs, these combine with enzymes and proteins to produce honey. In the beehive, the honey is released into the beeswax comb. This process continues until the combs are full. Honey has long history of use since antiquity.

What is raw honey?

Pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized natural sugar made by the bees from the nectar of flowers. Most of the honey consumed today is processed honey that’s been heated and filtered since it was gathered from the hive. Unlike processed honey, raw honey contains incredible nutritional value.

Kinds of Honey

Honey can be found in many forms. The main kinds of honey commonly found are:

  1. Comb Honey
  2. Liquid Honey
  3. Granulated Honey
  4. Creamed Honey
  5. Chunk Honey
1. COMB HONEY

As the name suggests, this kind of honey is taken directly as it is from the bee wax. Once taken, it is stored with the same comb as it is.

2. LIQUID HONEY

To extract liquid honey, the wax cappings are cut and wax combs are processed in an extractor which is known as honey centrifuge extractor.

3. GRANULATED HONEY

This kind of honey is frozen which makes the water elements separated from the honey and leaves the granules of honey behind.

4. CREAMED HONEY

Creamed honey is the combination of liquid honey and granulated honey. 1 part of granulated honey is mixed with 9 parts of liquid honey; it is then stored at 57 degrees until it becomes completely firm.

5. CHUNK HONEY

Chunk honey contains comb honey and liquid honey. A jar is taken and comb honey is placed in it. Liquid honey is then poured over the comb honey in jar, resulting in chunk honey.

Benefits of Honey

When used under right conditions, honey has numerous benefits. Some of them are listed below:

  1. It helps to relieves cough.
  2. It has amazing healing power and helps to heal wounds.
  3. When combined with turmeric, it is an amazing mixture to heal burns externally.
  4. It reduces Kapha dosha.
  5. It helps to remove congestion.
  6. It helps to reduce weight.
  7. It helps to soothes a sore throat.
  8. It removes unwanted toxins from the body.
  9. It helps to get rid of cholesterol and fat.
  10. It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  11. When taken with herbs it increases the potency of herbs.
  12. It is an amazing treatment for diseases like, diarrhea, vomiting, worm infections, etc.
  13. Honey contains iron, manganese, and copper which helps to build hemoglobin in body. Because of which honey aids to treat patients with anemia.
  14. Honey works wonderfully on dry skin to moisturize it.
  15. It helps to treat various eye ailments.

Properties of Honey

  1. It is for Dosha VK
  2. It tastes sweet 
  3. It energetics heating 
  4. It contains vitamins and minerals. It has vitamins B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, chromium, and manganese

The Ayurvedic Rules for Honey

Honey is widely used in Ayurveda. However, there are a few rules to get maximum benefit of using honey. Some of them are:

  • The number one rule is to NEVER heat honey(above 40 °C) because heating honey directly creates toxins which are bad for the body.
  • Honey is an excellent medicine for Kapha types, because of it’s quality lekhana. Lekhana scrape away the toxins, fat, and cholesterol from the body.
  • When taken with herbs it increases their potency making them more effective.
  • Avoid eating ghee and honey in equal proportions by weight (not by volume).
  • Those who have Pitta type or Pitta imbalance should avoid taking honey.
  • Honey should be used/consumed with hot foods.

How to test the purity of honey?

It is advisable to use raw honey to get the maximum benefits. There are a few methods to check the purity of honey.

  • When put in the water, the honey should not spread quickly.
  • When added in the water, the honey should settle at the bottom of the jar.
  • The taste should be sweet and astringent, giving the tongue a drying sensation.

 

Exciting news! Get my e-book “Medicinal Spice Cabinet” which outlines over 100 spices and herbs and how they relate to disease prevention and healing of many common ailments. I want this book to be a reference point for those seeking assistance on a daily basis. When individuals are unsure as to which spices and herbs could assist them, my book is the one they will refer to without hesitation.

 

Written By: Syeda Saira

Homemade Roasted Oatmeal Granola Mix
Homemade Roasted Oatmeal Granola Mix

This blog post shows the recipe for Homemade Roasted Oatmeal Granola Mix. This Oatmeal Granola Mix is gluten-free and better than the store-bought Oatmeal Granola Mix.

Ingredients:

  • Oats, gluten free – 2 cups
  • Coconut, flakes – ½ cup
  • Almonds, slivered – 1 cup
  • Sunflower seeds – ¼ cup
  • Pumpkin seeds – ¼ cup
  • Raisins – 1/3 cup
  • Cinnamon, ground – ½ tbsp.
  • Coconut Sugar, Organic – 3 tbsp.
  • Almond Butter – ½ cup
  • Sea salt – ¼ tsp.
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp.

Instruction:

  1. Preheat the oven for 325 F on the bake setting.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together coconut sugar, nut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  3. Add in the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, oats, and coconut flakes in another bowl– mix well.
  4. Mix the ingredients in two bowls together. Wear gloves and mix them.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and give it a light coating of oil.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and bake for 6 – 8 minutes, take it out, stir it, and put it back in for another 6 – 8 minutes. Watch so doesn’t get burnt. In your oven it maybe 8-10 minutes – so keep a close eye and see how much time is required for your oven.
  7. Remove from oven and set to cool. Once cool transfer to a storage container and add the raisins in and toss.
  8. Store container in the fridge if not using immediately.

Read more recipe by Nahid, here.

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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Tea for Blood Sugar

Tea for Blood Sugar Management

Looking for some warmth during winter season? What about a warming cup of tea that also helps control your blood sugar? I have a healthy Ayurvedic tea recipe that you can enjoy!

Mix the following herbs and spices together. Dried leaves and spices can be stored for a long period of time in a glass jar in a cool dark place. 

Make a total of 100 grams of the following mix:

  • Holy Basil or Tulsi                    – 25
  • Cinnamon or Dalchini (chips)  – 20
  • Gymnema Sylvestre or gurmar- 20
  • Fenugreek or methi                 – 10    
  • Orange Peel                             – 15
  • Ginger or adrak                        – 10      

Why these ingredients? Because each one contributes certain benefits for blood sugar or health.

How to Make the Tea?

Take a teaspoon of the Herbal mix and add it to a cup or use paper tea filters. Add hot water into the cup and cover for 10 minutes so the herbs are infused in water. Enjoy this tea 15 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals. 

Please speak with your doctor if you are any medication.

Benefits of this Tea:

  1. The herbs in the tea will balance erratic blood sugar levels.
  2. The tea will improve circulation and increase metabolism.
  3. It will reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
  4. Taken regularly especially before meals will induce weight loss.
  5. It will reduce stress levels in the body. 

Holy Basil

Holy Basil is an important and sacred Ayurvedic herb that is warming, bitter, and pungent. It is great for vata and kapha. It is not the exact same as common basil, it is more pungent and bitter, with larger leaves. It contains antioxidants apigenin, eugenol, geraniol, linalool, and flavonoids that counteract free radical damage in the body. Studies show it lowers blood sugar, delays the development of insulin resistance, and reduces lipids.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a well-known spice that lowers blood sugar and also contains antioxidants. You should use true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) if possible. Many studies show effects such as:

  • Decreases glucose levels after food
  • Has insulin-like activity
  • Stimulates insulin receptors on fat and muscle cells, which allows sugar to go into cells
  • Reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
  • Is high in polyphenols and other compounds that are antioxidants which reduce free radical damage and increase the body’s endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione
  • Cinnamon added to the diet increases liver glycogen storage

Gymnema sylvestre

This herb is native to India and used in Ayurveda for over 2000 years for diabetes. Studies show that it reduces blood sugar and encourages glucose uptake by upregulating glucose transporter-4. It also lowers triglycerides and cholesterol. It is unique because of two reasons:

  • It reduces the desire for sugar cravings!
  • It may help regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas and enhances production of insulin with continual use.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds and leaves have been used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes. Fenugreek contains many micronutrients but specifically it contains a galactomannan soluble fibre which reduces blood sugar and causes satiety which contributes to weight loss. It also contains 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which increases the body’s production of insulin. Studies show it also reduces cholesterol. Fenugreek also reduces the Glycemic Index of food when eaten together.

Orange Peel

Orange peel contains pectin which is a fibre shown in studies to lower blood sugar, insulin resistance, and cholesterol. In addition, orange peel also offers vitamin C and other antioxidants, as well as a pleasant citrus scent to your tea!

Ginger

Ginger is an amazing warming spice used in many cultures for thousands of years. It has many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous studies show it reduces blood sugar, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Gingerols also increase cellular antioxidants such as glutathione and inhibits the degeneration of pancreatic beta cells (that produce insulin).

Diet is very important in managing your blood sugar or diabetes. In addition to these wonderful herbs and ingredients, you can include bitter melon into your diet as well as fenugreek leaves into your food. Neem is also a great Ayurvedic herb that can be taken as a supplement capsule 15 minutes before meals, twice daily. As you can see, there are lots of natural ingredients you can use to manage your blood sugar!

Caution: If you are on blood-lowering prescription medications, use with caution as it may lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels. 

 

References:

Suanarunsawat T et al. Anti-diabetic and anti-oxidative activity of fixed oil extracted from Ocimum sanctum L. leaves in diabetic rats. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Mar;11(3):832-840.

Paul A Davis et al. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food. 2011 Sep ;14(9):884-9

Shanmugasundaram ER et al. Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Oct;30(3):265-79.

Persaud SJ et al. Gymnema sylvestre stimulates insulin release in vitro by increased membrane permeability. J Endocrinol. 1999 Nov;163(2):207-12.

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

Farzad Shidfaret al. The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on glycemic markers in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Feb 10

Debrup Chakraborty, et al. [6]-Gingerol isolated from ginger attenuates sodium arsenite induced oxidative stress and plays a corrective role in improving insulin signaling in mice. Toxicol Lett. 2012 Jan 10 ;210(1):34-43.

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Magnesium is a mineral we should be paying more attention to! It is part of over 300 biochemical reactions and the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, with 65% of it in our bones and teeth and 35% in our brain, hearth, blood, and cells. But many of us can have low magnesium levels, and this can lead to many common symptoms.

Causes of deficiency

-Intake of coffee, alcohol, smoking
-Long term use of diuretics               
-Birth control pills
-Poor nutrition
-Diarrhea, dehydration                                  
-Hyperthyroid           
-Kidney disease – Since the kidneys are regulators of magnesium homeostasis
-Celiac and IBD (due to impaired absorption of minerals)
-Antibiotics                           
-Stress
-Sweating                                          
-Exercise

As you can see, many things affect magnesium absorption. Food processing in itself reduces magnesium, up to 80% in milling of wheat for example. Phytic acid and oxalic acid found in many greens and grains also reduce magnesium. Absorption also depends on stomach acid level, diet, and our bodily requirements.

Effects of Low Magnesium

Many of us can have any of the following symptoms, but don’t always connect this to magnesium deficiency:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Nausea, GI disorders, constipation
  • Muscle cramps, especially in the legs at night, restless legs
  • Excessive body odour
  • Hypersensitivity to noise, startle reactions
  • Cravings for chocolate
  • Poor coordination
  • Insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability
  • Poor memory

Sources of Magnesium

  • Seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Green beans
  • Spinach and other leafy greens – Magnesium is at the centre of the chlorophyll molecule which is the green pigment found in green vegetables.
  • Figs
  • Avocados
  • Lemons, grapefruit
  • Nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts
  • Apples, bananas
  • Soybeans
  • Seafood
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains – wheat germ and bran, millet, brown rice

Bones

Our society focuses a lot on Calcium for bone health, but magnesium is also very important. Studies have shown that excessive calcium intake, as well as phosphorus, iron, copper, and zinc will lower magnesium absorption. Since 65% of our magnesium is in our bones, it is important for bone and teeth health. It has a structural role for bones, as well as being essential to osteoblasts and osteoclasts (bone cells), and needed for ATP (energy) formation in cells. Magnesium also is required by enzymes that metabolize vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health. Studies show that restricting magnesium intake results in osteoporosis!

Cardiovascular health

Magnesium relaxes smooth muscles found around blood vessels, reducing artery spasms and keeping heart rhythm regular. It also dilates blood vessels to reduce blood pressure. It works with calcium to regulate muscle tone of the heart. It is a cofactor to many enzymes, it is needed for ATP production (cellular energy), regulates ion channels, myocardial contraction, vascular tone, and thrombosis. Magnesium taurate is one form of magnesium specifically for improving cardiac function, contraction, and reducing blood pressure.

Muscles

Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and is a muscle relaxant. It is a great supplement for restless legs, muscle spasms, cramps, and sore muscles. It is also useful for PMS cramps and athletes who suffer from cramps. One form of magnesium: magnesium bisglycinate is a very well absorbed form. Another form, magnesium sulfate, is found in Epsom Salts, and is beneficial as a bath for muscle relaxation.

Digestive Tract

Due to its relaxant function on smooth muscles around the digestive tract, it can cause loose stools especially in the Magnesium Citrate form. It is helpful when you have constipation. Magnesium also activates enzymes involved in metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Relaxation and Nervous System

Magnesium is an anti-stress mineral, popular as a supplement before bed to calm, relax, and help you sleep. It is a natural muscle relaxant. Deficiency of magnesium results in neurological symptoms, as magnesium is important for nervous system health. In terms of supplements, it was shown that Magnesium threonate actually enters the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) and brain, and has effects on learning and memory and is neuroprotective.

To get more magnesium in your diet, Consicous Health has many plenty of foods/recipes with magnesium-rich foods! Check out Cacao, Kale Salad, or Zucchini Noodles

 

References:

Sara Castiglioni et al. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 3022–3033.

Tangvoraphonkchai K, Davenport A. Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2018 May;25(3):251-260.

Jan Philipp Schuchardt and Andreas Hahn. Intestinal Absorption and Factors Influencing Bioavailability of Magnesium-An Update. Curr Nutr Food Sci. 2017 Nov; 13(4): 260–278.

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