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Herbs To Heal The Postpartum Body

Prathibha, Ayurveda expert at The Himalaya Drug Company suggests a few herbs that help protect and heal a new mother's body.

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ncluding products in your daily routine which contain these essential ingredients will be soothing for a new mother
women are considered to fo

New mothers who struggle with post-delivery weakness can find respite in natural ingredients which help heal the postpartum body, experts say.

Hema Divakar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, says skin may be more sensitive during pregnancy owing to hormonal changes and this can sometimes trigger painful skin conditions.

“You should be careful about what you apply on your body, as it can affect the baby too. Thus, ensure to include the right skin care products in your regimen to prevent pregnancy-related skin problems,” said Divakar.

Prathibha, Ayurveda expert at The Himalaya Drug Company, says Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs and oils that help protect and heal a mother’s body post pregnancy.

Massaging your body leads to greater flexibility and tones the muscles.
Winter cherry or Ashvagandha rejuvenates the body and promotes physical and mental health. Pixabay

“This helps relieve stress and ensures a smooth start to motherhood. Including products in your daily routine which contain these essential ingredients will be soothing for a new mother,” she said.

She suggests a few herbs that help protect and heal a new mother’s body and make motherhood a happy and relaxing journey:

* Country mallow: Massaging your body leads to greater flexibility and tones the muscles, resulting in faster postpartum recovery. Country mallow is used as a primary ingredient in massage oils, which are used to strengthen muscles and repair dry skin.

* Five-leaved chaste tree: This herb helps relieve pain and accelerates the process of healing wounds and rashes.

* Winter cherry: Also known as Ashvagandha, it rejuvenates the body and promotes physical and mental health. Winter Cherry works best in strengthening and firming the skin, while enhancing muscle and joint strength.

* Indian madder: It has antioxidant properties and helps clear the skin, free from blemishes. It also relieves skin-related issues and inflammation.

* Almond: Due to several hormonal changes during pregnancy, the skin becomes extremely sensitive and prone to dryness. Almond oil based products provide the necessary care to keep your skin nourished. Almond oil also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E, which ensure the skin is soft and supple.

* Aloe vera: Aloe vera contains antimicrobial and natural soothing properties that moisturize and help heal rashes. It soothes irritable skin conditions caused during pregnancy and acts as a remedy for stretch marks.

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* Natural zinc: Natural zinc is known to lock in moisture and have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It is helpful in treating rashes caused due to skin irritation and sweat.

* Sesame: Often considered as the most beneficial oil especially for its skin-firming properties, Sesame oil moisturises the skin and prevents infections. (Bollywood Country)

Next Story

Indian Farmers Grow Herbs To Save Farms From Hungry Monkeys

Farmers in India switch to herbs to thwart hungry monkeys

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Indian farmers switch to herb cultivation
Farmers face huge loses due to monkeys attacking their farms in India. Pixabay

A group of farmers from Magroo village in India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh listens intently as agriculture experts hold a workshop to explain how growing herbs instead of traditional crops such as rice, wheat and corn could save their farms from the ravages of monkeys.

For years they have waged a losing battle with growing hordes of the red-faced rhesus macaques. Displaced by shrinking forests and rapidly spreading urban centers, the primates raid farms in several northern Indian states, searching for food and destroying crops worth millions of dollars.

“In the day we roam around with dogs and we use an air gun,” said farmer Babu Ram. “Then they run off quickly, otherwise it is difficult to keep away the monkeys.” But guarding the fields at night poses a challenge, especially for those that aren’t close to his home.

The growing menace has prompted many in the state nestled in the Himalayan mountains to abandon farming – an estimated 40 per cent of the farmland here is fallow as dejected farmers gave up planting crops.

Indian farmers switch to herb cultivation
Farmers in India learning to save their farms from Monkeys through workshops. Pixabay

Agriculture experts are pushing a solution: switching to herbs only protects their crops but also fetches higher profits.

Monkeys do not attack crops such as aloe vera, a herb with medicinal properties. And they fetch better profits due to surging demand for herbs from domestic companies making medicinal and personal care products. India’s booming herbal product industry is worth $4 billion and growing at a fast pace.

“We teach farmers the kind of crop they can grow according to the soil, the water and air in that area, what market exists for it and how he can increase his income by two or three times per acre,” says Arun Chandan, regional director at the National Medicinal Plants Board for North India. “For example, a herb locally called “sarpgandha” gives farmers eight to ten times the profit compared to wheat.”

Some farmers have already greened their fields with the board’s assistance, which provides planting material and training. Farmer Bipin Kumar in Magroo village says the lower Himalayas are particularly suitable for growing herbs. After starting plants such as aloe vera, stevia and lemongrass, he now plans to expand to other herbs.

“I still have a lot of vacant lands which I will cultivate because I am getting a good market, he said. “And I am learning that there are other herbs that I can grow.” He said the herbs survive even in relatively drier soils and do not get damaged by dense fog which is common in the hills.

Experts have shortlisted about 100 herbs that could be grown on the barren farmland where villagers gave up cultivating crops.

So far nearly 4,000 farmers have switched to growing herbs in seven North Indian states – in Himachal Pradesh, the number is 300.

“The ones who are successful are those who have entrepreneurship, who are willing to innovate. For example, they can plant short-term herbs in between other crops,” says Chandan. His organization also links farmers in remote villages with potential buyers to ensure they can market their crops.

Indian farmers switch to herb cultivation
Farmers learn the benefits of growing herbs instead of other crops. Pixabay

The havoc caused by monkeys is not restricted to rural areas – their numbers are growing in towns and even in the capital New Delhi, where they are infamous for snatching food and even mobile phones. In December, advisers gave lawmakers tips on dealing with monkeys often seen around parliament. The experts said to leave the animals alone and don’t make eye contact.

The monkey population has surged since India banned their export for biomedical research in 1978.

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The problem has been exacerbated because many in Hindu-majority India revere and feed the animals that they link to the Hindu deity Hanuman, who takes the form of a monkey.

But the brunt of the marauding monkeys is being felt in villages like Magroo in North India. Faced with growing losses, even older farmers here are now considering changing age-old farming patterns, although it’s hard to alter practices handed down generations.

Growing rice, corn and wheat is second nature to 79-year-old Charan Das, who has worked in the fields since he was a child. But after watching monkeys eat up more and more of his crop, he wants to shift to growing herbs.

“I will have to plant whatever the animals don’t eat,” he says ruefully. “At least then I will get some reward for my work.”

That is the message going out from workshops like the one in Magroo – there is a way to stay ahead of the monkeys. (VOA)