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ayurvedic

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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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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

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

Dosha: PK-

Taste: Bitter, pungent, astringent

Energetics: Cooling

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

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

Dental Health

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

First Aid

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

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

Infectious Diseases

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

Skin and Hair

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

Digestion

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

Blood Cleansing

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

Cancer

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

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

 

References:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Courtesy of Laura Navrotski

Fenugreek Sprouts for your Salad

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

Fenugreek Nutrients

-Iron – 1 cup provides about 8mg of iron

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

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

-B vitamins, folate

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

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

Studies have shown that fenugreek has these benefits:

Promoting milk production while breastfeeding

-Helps with PMS symptoms by balancing hormones

-Lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides

-Helps with digestion and gas, including colic

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

-Helps with inflammation and asthma

Ayurveda

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

How to Sprout Fenugreek Seeds

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

 

Reference:

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

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Ayurvedic Roasted Turmeric Potatoes

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

Turmeric is pacifying for vata, pitta, and kapha

Turmeric is bitter, pungent, astringent

Turmeric is heating and drying

In the meantime, enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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