Sunday November 19, 2017

Herbs that Can Protect You from Harmful Monsoon Infections

Herbs can boost your immunity and keep you healthy during monsoon

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Herbal treatment for prevalent infections in monsoon. Pixabay
  • Monsoon brings along with it a lot of contagious infections
  • An effective way to deal with infections is ayurvedic treatment
  • Herbs help us fight both water and airborne infections and they also boost our immune system

New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Monsoons are always loved and welcomed by people after the heat of scorching summer. However, the monsoon brings along with it a number of infections such as cholera, malaria, asthma, dengue fever, diarrhea, typhoid, respiratory tract infections and much more.

One way to fight these infections is ayurvedic treatment, i.e., using herbs. Dr. Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atlantan Wellness Centre says that these herbs can help boost immunity and enable us to fight against water and air-borne diseases which are very common during the monsoon season. He has also shared a list of such herbs which can help us deal with the diseases and infections using ayurvedic treatment.

Ayurvedic treatment. Source: Pixabay

i. Turmeric is known to have a positive effect on our health and we must include it in our everyday diet. This herb will enable us to improve our immunity during monsoon. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. One way of consuming it is adding it in hot milk and have it every night before bed.

ii. Licorice is known to cure respiratory problems since a long time. It serves as a cure for cold, sore throats and related issues.

iii. Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory gingerols and shoals found in ginger root helps to quickly relieve a sore throat. They also help in killing rhinoviruses which give rise to respiratory infections such as cold.

iv. Pepper, a readily available herb, is usually mixed with tonics for treating cough and cold. It also gives relief from nasal congestion and sinusitis. It serves as a cough remedy as it helps to break down the mucus and phlegm depositions in the tract and its irritant property aids in expelling that loosened matter through either sneezing or coughing. This discharges the material from the body which in turn helps you heal from infections.

ALSO READ: Li Ching-Yuen: The 256 year-old Herbalist lived on a diet of Herbs

v. Tulsi or basil is known to contain phyto chemicals such as Eugenol, Ursolic Acid, Bioflavonols like Ocimarin,lutein Ocimumosides and Apigenin, among others. Rosmarinic Acid serves as an effective anti microbial agent which helps to cure respiratory tract infections and to mobilize mucus. This acid also helps to relieve congestion in the chest by enlarging the airways present in the lungs. Drinking 1-2 cups of tea made of Tulsi on a daily basis is a convenient and effective way to improve your immunity system. The tea compensates for the cold entering you from outside environment and therefore helps in regulating your internal temperature.

vi. Triphala is made using 3 herbs (namely harde, Amla, beheda) and is considered a potent antioxidant. This herb enhances capability of digestion in the body which is usually affected during monsoon. Amla, the richest Vitamin C source, not only decreases the gravity of cold but also improves the immunity. Beheda is known to cure a cough, clearing congestion, keeping loose motions in control and curing diarrhea. Harde also aids in digestion and aids in the body’s pulmonary system.

vii. Garlic has numerous properties such as anti protozoal, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal which help in providing relief from coughs and in opening up the lungs by clearing mucus. Its antibacterial and anti-viral property is due to the compound named “Allicin” present in it which is the cause of its flavor which is strong and hot. The compound known as “Ajoene” found in garlic aids in controlling of infections caused by viruses, microbes, and bacteria. It is naturally helps in preventing cancer, to be more precise colon cancer. Moreover, it is also utilized for treatment of pain and cramps in muscles.

vii. Cinnamon possesses a natural warming and anti-bacterial property which helps in the treatment of cough, cold, and sore throat, and a hot cinnamon tea cup can provide a relief from itching, throat irritation, and helps in stopping the arrival of a cold.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter Hkaur1025

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10 Ayurvedic Herbs That Are A Boon to Mankind| Newsgram

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Ayurvedic herbs
Shatavari. Wikimedia

Oct 08, 2017: The supreme tradition of Ayurveda has been considered as universal and eternal. Ayurvedic herbs have been in use since the ancient times. This statement of Charaka sage (one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda in ancient India) is completely true – Life is the combination of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul. Ayurveda is the most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and world beyond. The effect of this is that even today Ayurvedic method has settled in our hearts in some form.

We hear in our everyday life that we are told to take celery when there is abdominal pain or gas. When there is cold and cough, it is said that do not drink cold water, take ginger, basil, black pepper tea. All this is part of Ayurveda directed by the elderly. After all, that time is returning now when not only the leaders of the country but people of the whole world have not only accepted Ayurvedic medicine and its authenticity but also have adopted.

Here is a list of 10 Indian Ayurvedic Herbs:

Gritkumari (Aloe Vera)

Gritkumari/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

This strange looking plant or ayurvedic herb has no end to its beneficial properties. Gritkumari or Aloe Vera helps in diabetes, uterine disease, stomach upset, joint pain, skin malfunction, acne, wrinkles, facial scars, dark circles of eyes, torn ankles. 

Shatavari (Asparagus)

Shatavari
Shatavari/Ayurvedic Herbs. Pixabay

Shatavari is called Asparagus in English and its botanical. It is a medicinal plant (one of the indian ayurvedic herbs known as “reproductive tonic”) found in India, which is used in the treatment of countless diseases. Shatavari is sometimes also translated as “she who possesses 100 husbands.” The plant is known to enhance the fertility of both male and female. It promotes lactation in women.

Bhringraj (False Daisy)

Bhringraj/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Bhringraj is considered a herb for longevity and rejuvenation. It works wonders for hair and cirrhosis. It also rejuvenates memory, teeth, bones, vision, and hearing. This plant is native to India and Southwest America.

Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng)

Ashwagandha plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng has been very important in ancient Indian medicine, Ayurveda. It is a herb that has been used for many centuries. In an effort to stay away from many types of infection, it has also been used by native Americans and Africans. This herb originated in India and it grows best in dry areas. Ashwagandha is very beneficial for those who are always feeling lazy. Laziness ends with its consumption.

Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)

Giloy/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Giloy is known as the ‘root of immortality’. Giloy has been called Amrita due to its richness. Giloy enhances the body’s immune system and eliminates blood loss in the body. Giloy’s intake is also very beneficial in jaundice. 

Methi (Fenugreek)

Methi/Ayurvedic Herbs. Wikimedia

Fenugreek is a very famous herb and due to its unparalleled medicinal properties, it is also used in Ayurveda very popularly. Fenugreek is also found in high quantities of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. Apart from this, it also contains Vitamin B 6. Effective antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antiviral properties are found in fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds are used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. The seeds of fenugreek are known for a sharp flavor and fragrance.

Tulsi (Basil)

Tulsi plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

Basil not only holds religious significance but also has many health benefits. Many scientific researches confirm the properties present in Tulsi. In India, the medicinal properties of Tulsi are highly valued. Chewing leaves of Tulsi with ginger gives relief from a cough and cold. Boil the basil with tea leaves and remove a sore throat.

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Bhrami/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

In addition to the intelligence, memory, Brahmi is used for many health problems. This medicine has great importance in Ayurveda. Brahmi is green and white. All parts of the Brahmi plant are useful. As far as possible, Brahmi should be used freshly. The effect of Brahmi is mainly on the mind. It is a tonic for the brain and also gives peace to it. If there is a decrease in the efficiency of the person after the strenuous work, then the use of Brahmin has a great advantage.

Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)

Arjuna plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

It is a medicinal tree and is found supreme among the medicines used in cardiovascular diseases in Ayurveda. Arjun tree is being used in Ayurveda for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases since ancient times.

Tagar (Valeriana wallichii)

Tagar plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Tagar plant is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine system for sleeping disorders. It is also known as Indian Valerian. It is used in Ayurveda, for treating brain-related disorders such as insomnia, hysteria, nervous unrest, and emotional troubles. 

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Glow Your Skin This Festive Season with These Homemade Face Packs

Makeup expert Shahnaz Husain have listed some DIY face packs

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face packs
Face Pack Treatment. Pixabay

New Delhi, Sep 21, 2017: Nothing can beat the goodness of homemade face masks which are made from natural ingredients like bananas, papayas, oats, aloe vera, honey, turmeric and more. With the festive season around the corner, experts suggest shakes, flower mixes and face packs which can be easily made at home.

Gunjan Gaur, make-up expert at ALPS Cosmetic Clinic and make-up expert Shahnaz Husain, have listed some useful face pack recipes:

* Honey banana face mask: Mash half a ripe banana and milk, one table spoon of sandalwood powder paste and half table spoon of honey. Let it stay on your skin for 20-25 minutes and wash it with lukewarm water. This face mask is beneficial for oily skin as sandalwood helps in cleansing excess sebum and oil from the skin while banana keeps it moisturised.

* Make a cold infusion of Hibiscus flowers, by allowing them to stand overnight in cold water, in a ratio of one to six. Next morning crush the flowers. Strain and keep the water. Mix the flowers with 3 teaspoons oats, two drops tea tree oil and add the water to mix into a paste. This hibiscus pack helps to cleanse, refresh and tone the skin, adding a glow.

* Take honey and yogurt and add a few tablespoons of red wine. Apply this on the face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse with plain water. This softens and moisturizes the skin, removes tan and also adds a glow.

Also Read: Skin Benefits Of Coconut Oil: Beauty Tips using Coconut Oil 

* Avocado pulp can be mixed with aloe vera gel and applied on the face to nourish and moisturise the skin. Wash off with plain water after 20 minutes. Fresh and raw avocado should be used. Avocado contains about 20 vitamins and minerals. It is rich in antioxidants, which help to delay skin ageing.

* Kiwi juice: Peel kiwi and cut into slices. Keep empty container under juice extractor nozzle and process apple, celery and kiwi fruit slices through the juicer. Discard the fibrous pulp.

* Apple Halwa: Peel the apples. Cut into slices and run them into a food processor till the apples are well grinded. In a pan heat ghee, add the apples. Now add sugar and mix, till the sugar melts. The halwa will again become liquidly. Garnish with sliced almond and serve.

* Watermelon smoothie: Blend watermelon, mango, sugar and water together in a blender until smooth. Place ice into glasses and pour smoothie over ice.

* Orange jelly: Natural orange jelly, place the water and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat and stir, until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and stir in until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice. Decorate with blueberries and mint leaves.

* Mix cucumber and ripe papaya pulp with curd and two teaspoons oats. Lemon juice can also be added. Apply on face and neck. Wash it off after half an hour. Helps to remove tan and brighten the skin.

* For oily skin, soak one tablespoon moong dal in water for a few hours. Make a paste and add one tablespoon tomato pulp. Apply on face with a light massage. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. the pack reduces oiliness and brightens the skin. (IANS)

 

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Monsoon Bliss: Drenched in Rain Kutch is a Must Visit (Environmental Feature)

The monsoon brings out a different facet of Kutch, the brown transforms into green

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Kutch
Rann Utsav in Kutch. Pixabay

Bhuj, Sep 09, 2017: White, fluffy clouds hanging low over green hills, little pools of still water teeming with migratory birds and an omnipresent cool breeze — the semi-arid region of Kutch in Gujarat transforms into a completely different avatar during the monsoon.

And although winter — the time detailed as “ideal” to visit this region — shows you a side of hers that’s truly unique, Kutch makes for a pretty picture during the rains, perfect for a rejuvenating holiday.

Nestling on the country’s western border, close to the Arabian Sea, Kutch had recently been in the news for the cyclonic storm-induced thundershowers that lasted five days. Before that, and like the rest of the state, floods had also hit the region in July.

“Heavy showers are normal during the monsoon,” local taxi driver and long-time Bhuj resident Anwar Khatri said, indicating that the heavy rainfall was not out-of-the-ordinary. “But in the last three-four years, we have had very scanty rainfall. The monsoon brings out a different facet of Kutch, the brown transforms into green.”

Kutch occupies an important geographical location when it comes to birds, said ornithologist Jugal Kishor Tiwari, since it falls on their migration route. His organisation, Centre for Desert and Ocean (CEDO), works on wildlife conservation and promotes nature tourism.

And although the winter is a brilliant time to spot a host of migratory birds, one can indulge in some bird-watching during the monsoon as well. CEDO, which is based out of Moti Virani village, some 400 km from Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, organises tailor-made tours of such nature.

A visit to Kutch would however be incomplete without witnessing its rich treasure trove of handicrafts. Ajrakh (block printing), camel leather craft, Bandhni, different forms of weaving, bellmetal craft, Kutch embroidery — the list is endless — and nothing beats the wonder of watching an artisan work on his or her craft.

After the devastating earthquake in 2001, several NGOs took up the initiative of supporting artisans and their art, even reviving some, and helping them find suitable markets to showcase and sell their products beyond the state’s and the nation’s borders.

There are many such NGOs within a radius of 10-15 kilometres from Bhuj — the point you will either fly down to or reach by train — and one can visit their campuses to see some of these exquisite crafts take shape and understand the story behind them from the artisans themselves. Some names to look out for would be Shrujan, Khamir, and LLDC (Living and Learning Design Centre).

About eight kilometres from Bhuj is a village called Bhujodi, which has the Ashapura Crafts Park set up for artisans to display and sell their work. Again, one can meet weavers, tie-dye artists, block printers and others here. Needless to say, it will leave you wanting for more shopping bags to fill!

From the well-known to the lesser known — a monsoon visit to Kutch would also remain wanting without a trip to one of its pristine beaches. Mandvi is the closest to Bhuj and there are many resorts close by with their own private beach enclosures. The high point of the beaches here — Pingleshwar, about 98 km from Bhuj, a hidden gem — is witnessing the marine life. Jelly fish and hermit crabs are a common sight and the multi-coloured sea weeds look extraordinary.

Also Read: History of Rigvedic river Saraswati

If the children are more in the mood for some fun and frolic, Mandvi has ample opportunity for water sports as well — which may be restricted when the weather is grey. But a ride on a camel would more than compensate for that!

With the temperature hovering on the pleasant side of the scale and a constant breeze, one can also opt for some historical sight-seeing. The Aina Mahal, with its blue tiles, Venetian-style chandeliers and walls studded with mirrors, is a must-visit. Next door is the 19th century Prag Mahal, a brilliant example of Italian-Gothic architecture.

As you travel around the place and move on the fringes of the main town of Bhuj, it is difficult to miss the vast expanses of agricultural land with acres after acres of pomegranate plantations, palm groves and cotton fields — all this thanks to drip-irrigation, which has brought about a sea-change in the region’s crop pattern. With the green hills in the backdrop, it’s a sight to behold. Soak it in, for, with the changing season, Kutch will soon reveal a different face. (IANS)