Herbal Way to Keep Indigestion at Bay

Indigestion is a very common problem of digestive system. It’s important to remember that all of us experience indigestion at one time or another. A good digestion helps in good absorption and efficient supply of nutrients. Nutrients cannot be absorbed effectively when there is indigestion. This leads to lowered immunity and abnormal body function. Low immunity and abnormal body functions pave way for diseases.

Ayurveda acharyas always consider indigestion as the root cause for diseases. According to principles of ayurveda indigestion leads to production of a sticky body toxin called ama. This body toxin blocks the small micro channels of body and obstructs the passage of nutrients and waste. Thus the body toxin ama lowers body immunity and the body becomes susceptible to diseases.

What is the easiest way to keep indigestion at bay?

The text books of ayurvedic pharmacology recommend a formulation, which is a combination of eight herbs, to prevent indigestion. These herbs are easily available on kitchen shelves and can be used to prepare this formulation. Here is the list of these herbs .The ingredient herbs have to be taken in equal quantity by weight to prepare this formulation.

Ingredients and their benefits:

1.Black pepper

Black pepper is being used since ages in almost all systems of medicine. In traditional system of medicine, it is used in treatment of digestive disorders like indigestion and flatulence. Ayurvedic system of medicine recommends black pepper to increase digestion, kindle appetite and reduce flatulence. It is also used in home remedies for common cold. Black pepper acts on heavy sticky substances like kapha and ama the body toxin. Black pepper has body warming properties. Hence Chinese used this spice to treat “cold stomach”. Cold stomach surfaces with the symptoms like abdomen pain, diarrhea, vomiting etc. Herbalists recommend this spice to stimulate digestion, improve blood circulation, and warm the body. Black pepper is used in soups as starters to increase appetite.

2.Indian Long pepper

It is also known as pippali or Piper Longum. This spice is usually used in Indian cuisine. Long pepper is an important ingredient in Ayurvedic and Unani preparartions. It improves digestion, relieves excess intestinal gas and also helps in respiratory problems. Long pepper contains a substance called piperin. Piperine increases thermogenesis and also improves the bioavailability of the nutritive substances. Scientists have found that piperine relieves inflammation, pain , asthma and improves digestion. The traditional medicine system in Mexico uses long pepper to treat stomach ache due to indigestion.

3.Dry ginger

Ayurveda vaidyas eulogize Ginger as “vishwabheshaja” or universal remedy. It relieves pain, reduces swelling and helps to stop diarrhea. Its medicinal properties help to expel body toxins. It effectively prevents nausea vomiting, head ache, chest pain, indigestion, flatulence and bloating. It stimulates appetite and eases digestion. Dry ginger is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat indigestion, vomiting and nausea.

4.White Cumin seeds or white Jeera

This is known as Jeeraka in ayurveda. Its name has been coined aptly for its carminative properties. Cumin seeds reduce inflammation, rouse appetite and help in easy digestion of food. It helps to relieve stomach ache and discomfort due to over eating. Texts of ayurveda laud cumin seeds for their galactogogue properties. That is they help to increase the production of breast milk in humans.

5.Black Cumin seeds

The botanical name of this spice is Nigella sativa .It is also known as Nigella seeds. In many regions of South India Nigella seeds are used as a home remedy for digestive disorders. It relieves constipation, bloating of the tummy and aids digestion. These seeds have medicinal properties which help in killing intestinal parasites. Like white cumin seeds, black cumin seeds also exhibit galactogogue properties.

6.Ajwain seeds or carom seeds

Ajwain seeds are used in India, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It relieves flatulence, dyspepsia (loss of taste) and stomach cramps which arise due to indigestion. Water boiled with ajwain seeds is a useful cure for nausea and vomiting. Seeds of ajwain help to relieve acidity. This spice is used in preparation of Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. They have antimicrobial properties.

7.Hing- asafetida

Asafetida is solidified resin of a plant. It is known for its strong smell. Asafitida is bitter to taste and is regularly used in Indian cuisine. Uses of asafetida are multifaceted. It is used to treat indigestion, acidity, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. In Indian medicine system, it is often used to treat psychological conditions like depression. Various researches have shown that the resin of asafetida has properties of lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.

8.Rock salt

The Sanskrit name of rock salt is “Saindhav lavan” .It is also known as “Halite”, which is a mineral of Sodium chloride. This salt enhances the taste of formulation and also supplies minerals which are required during indigestion. Our body requires salt for its proper functioning. Salt enhances water absorption and helps in movement of nutrients between tissue fluid and cells. Apart from these functions rock salt stabilizes blood pressure and also acts as an anti-oxidant.

Method of preparation:

Mix all the above mentioned ingredients and powder them with the help of a mortar and pestle. Or else it can be coarsely powdered first and then blended to a smooth powder in a blender. The blended mixture should be sieved with the help of a thin cotton cloth to get a fine powder. The coarse powder left on the cloth can be powdered again to get a smooth powder. The fine powder thus obtained has to be stored in an airtight container. This remains unaffected for six months.

How to use this herbal formulation:

Add ¼ tea spoon or 2-3 grams of powder and equal quantity of ghee (clarified butter). Mix this well with a small quantity (1/2 table spoon) of hot cooked rice and eat in the beginning of a meal. This formulation eases the digestion, prevents indigestion, flatulence, heaviness of stomach and bloating.
A word of Caution

Persons who suffer from piles and ulcers of digestive system have to use it under strict medical supervision. Its use in pregnancy is not advised. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients refrain from using this formulation.

Neem – The best Ayurveda Home remedy for dandruff

Dandruff is an embarrassing condition. Dandruff causes hair loss, itchy scalp and ugly flaking of scalp skin. These flakes when fall on body skin can irritate skin to cause boils or eruptions. Let us know what causes dandruff.

In a normal scalp skin the new cells of scalp skin push the older ones to the surface of scalp. The dead and old cells are shed almost in an invisible way. But in few conditions like dry skin, irritated oily skin, inappropriate shampooing, psoriasis, Eczema, sensitivity to hair products, fungus etc  , the process of replacing dead skin becomes unusually rapid and the dead cells are shed in form of dry flakes.  These flakes of dead skin are known as dandruff.

According to text books of ayurveda dandruff is caused due to vitiation of kapha and vayu. Vitiated kapha and vayu make the scalp skin dry. Vitiated kapha causes itching of scalp. Thus dried scalp skin comes out in flakes.

Ayurveda acharyas suggest very easy ayurveda remedies for dandruff. The herb which helps in controlling dandruff is neem . Neem is known as “Nimba” in ayurveda . Neem due to its anti microbial properties helps to control dandruff effectively.

Here is an effective ayurvedic home remedy for dandruff

Collect two fists full of fresh neem leaves. Soak it in a cup of hot water. Leave it overnight. Next day blend this in mixer and apply it to scalp. Leave this for 20 minutes; wash it off with luke warm water. Repeat this twice in a week. This helps to control dandruff. This ayurvedic remedy helps to reduce dandruff, hair loss and increase the shine of hair.

Author: Dr.Savitha Suri

Health Benefits of Lady Finger or OKRA

Okra or lady finger is a vegetable which is elongated, slender and green in colour. It belongs to mallow family. Okra has various medicinal uses.

The health benefits and medicinal uses of lady finger are as follows

  1. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin D. It is also a store house of amino acids, proteins, folic acid and flavonoids .
  2. It helps to stabilize blood sugar by reducing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from intestinal tract. It can be added in ayurveda diabetes diet.
  3. The mucilage of ladies finger helps to bind cholesterol and reduce its level in blood. It also helps to reduce toxin level in liver.
  4. Okra reduces incidences of constipation by its bulk increasing qualities. It is the best ayurvedic remedy for constipation
  5. Okra increases intestinal flora or friendly bacteria. Intestinal flora aids in synthesis of Vitamin B Complex.
  6. Okra has a very good medicinal property of healing ulcers. It neutralizes acid and forms a protective coat in digestive tract.
  7. The high beta carotene component in Okra or ladies finger lowers the risks of cataract.
  8. The insoluble fibers keep the intestines healthy and reduce the risk of colon cancer. It also protects the heart.
  9. This vegetable is considered as a remedy for spermatorrhea  in men and leucorrhoea in women. It boosts sexual functions and acts as an herbal remedy for erectile dysfunction.

Article By.Dr.Savitha Suri.

Ayurveda Herbal Remedies for erectile dysfunction

Acharya charaka has explained various treatment methods to treat Impotence or Erectile dysfunction which arise due to different causes. These treatment methods have been elaborated in “Chikitsa sthana”.

When impotence occurs due to reduction in quality and quantity of semen it is known as “Bhijopaghataja Klaibya”. When man suffers from undernourishment or malnourishment, the lack of nutrients in body, cause this type of sexual dysfunction. Ayurveda acharyas recommend replenishing these nutrients through ayurvedic herbal preparations.

When man suffers from sexually transmitted diseases, trauma etc the tissues of his reproductive organs may suffer injury.  These injuries may lead to erectile dysfunction. This is known as “dhwajabhanga klaibya”. In this condition the injured part has to be treated with herbal pastes, herbal oils and the chronic diseases have to be addressed.

When erectile dysfunction is age related (“jaraja klaibya”), and then remedial measures have to be undertaken with rejuvenating herbs and herbal preparations.

Excessive indulgence in sexual activities like masturbation, repeated intercourses etc can also cause erectile dysfunction. Increased ejaculation of semen or shukra leads to ED. This is known as “shukra kshyaja klaibya”. In this condition herbs which increase quality and quantity of semen have to be incorporated in treatment.

The herbs like ashwagandha (withania somnifera) , shatavari, bala(Sida cardifolia), atibala, amalaki (emblica officinalis), draksha (grapes), kapikacchu (mucuna pruriens), shweta musli, etc are useful in these types of erectile dysfunctions. These herbs can be processed with sugar, ghee or milk to make the preparations more palatable and fortified. Honey is liberally added to enhance the medicinal properties of these preparations.  Various herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction like “Ashwagandha ksheerapaka”, “vaajikarana milk”  vajikarana Ghrita etc can be prepared at home using the herbs which are easily available.

Erectile dysfunction due to Tissue Injury

According to texts of ayurveda injury to male genital organ can cause erectile dysfunction. This injury may be due to trauma, infections, chronic diseases or imbalance of doshas . Thus when there is a failure to achieve proper supply of blood to male organ system, the erectile dysfunction sets in.  This type of sexual dysfunction is known as “Dhwajabhanga claibya” in ayurveda. The reasons for this type of erectile dysfunction are explained in texts of ayurveda as follows.

Acidic Foods: Increased consumption of foods which are sour, saline and opposite in nature disturb natural balance of doshas.  Intake of deep fried foods and fast foods which increase acidity also imbalance the body functions.

These foods create and acidic environment in body. When a body’s internal environment is acidic, it creates a convenient atmosphere for viruses and bacteria. These micro organisms enter the body and begin to flourish. This process lowers the body immunity, reduces body energy level, cause tiredness, frequent illness etc. Thus lowered body energy weakens the muscles of male genital organ causing erectile dysfunction

Irregular consumption of food: When food is not taken timely, it causes indigestion. According to principles of ayurveda indigestion causes accumulation of metabolic toxin “ama”. This sticky toxin blocks the movement of vital forces and imbalances transmission of nerve signals. This leads to sexual dysfunction in men.

Foods which are heavy to digest:  Frequent consumption of heavy meal which cause indigestion and accumulation of body fat lead to obesity. This condition also causes accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels. It is a known fact that increased cholesterol is the culprit behind erectile dysfunction.

Chronic diseases: Diseases like tuberculosis which cause emaciation can also damage male sexual function. In chronic diseases the tissues of body and male reproductive system are damaged due to undernourishment. This damage imbalances men health.

Trauma during intercourse: During intercourse male genital organ can suffer injuries. Improper lubrication, scratches, bites etc can damage tissues.

Apart from these unhygienic practices,  having sexual relationship with diseased partner, trauma to genital area in accidents etc can also cause the above mentioned type of erectile dysfunction.

This is a copyrighted article. Author Dr.Savitha Suri

For beautiful skin – 7 tips to choose skin care products

Women usually put their efforts to look beautiful and prevent signs of early aging. They use various lotions, lipsticks, creams in their daily skin care regimen. But many of them do not realize that it is equally important to know the product well, before using. It is essential to make sure that the product suits your skin and body. Sometimes the damage caused may be irreversible. Here are seven useful tips to make your skin look beautiful by choosing the right product.

  1. Skin reflects the health of body. The chemical contents of beauty product may get absorbed by skin and driven into body system. These contents may harm your body in long run. Hence select natural products as far as possible for a beautiful skin.
  2. Consult a qualified professional before buying the skin care products.
  3. Test the product by applying it on a small patch of skin behind your ear. Do this for 15 days. If you find any changes on skin do not use that cream or lotion.
  4. Always go through the contents of label displayed on product. Enquire about the contents with your physician.
  5. Check the date of expiry. Never use the product beyond this date.
  6. Chose a product which has very few ingredients. More the number of ingredients more toxins will enter your body.
  7.  Few skin and hair care products may contain carcinogenic ingredients like Phthalates, Parabens, Talc, Fragrance, Farmaldehyde, Petrolatum, 1,4 dioxane. Be cautious while selecting the skin or hair products which contain the above mentioned ingredients.

Juicy watermelons for good health

It’s summer and the heat is on. The rising mercury levels indicate arrival of summer. The seasonal fruit of summer is watermelon. Juicy pulp of this fruit cools body, quenches thirst and satiates taste buds. The main constituent (92%) of this fruit is water. But the remaining small portion of nutrients plays a big role in nourishing our body. Here are few health benefits of watermelon.

1.    Watermelons are store houses of vitamins.  These vitamins are very essential to maintain the health of body tissues.  Organs like skin, Eyes, bones and brain are benefited when this fruit is consumed.
2.    Researchers and scientists say that the water melon is a rich source of an amino acid called citrulline . Citrulline gets converted to arginine. Arginine is a precursor for nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels.  Thus dilated blood vessels increase blood flow to injured tissues and hasten the healing process.  This property also helps men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.  Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction are benefited by regular consumption of this fruit.
3.    The juicy melons are rich in potassium. Potassium helps to control blood pressure. As there is a link between erectile dysfunction and blood pressure, men are doubly benefited by use of this fruit. Thus watermelon can be best natural remedy for erectile dysfunction.
4.    The rich dietary fiber content in this fruit help in relieving the constipation. The soluble fibers aid in reduction of blood cholesterol. A plateful of Watermelon chunks can be used as desert and as well as herbal remedy for constipation.
5.    Antioxidants are another treasure which we can harness from this fruit. These antioxidants lend a hand in preventing cancer.
6.    Watermelon reduces acidity and provides alkaline environment to body tissues.

Home remedies with watermelon
1.    In summer drink a glass of watermelon juice daily with a dash of salt.  This quenches thirsts, replenishes water and salts which we have lost through sweat.  Thus maintains water electrolyte balance.
2.    Eat a bowl full of watermelon pulp before break-fast and lunch.  The fiber content of this fruit fills the stomach and satiates hunger signals. Thus the consumption of regular diet reduces and helps towards achieving weight loss.
3.    Wash the face thoroughly with soap or face wash. Pat dry skin and apply watermelon juice evenly on skin. Wash it off after 20 minutes. The beneficial constituents of watermelon help to close skin pores, heal acne- pimples and repair skin which is damaged due to sunrays. The juice tightens the skin and makes it wrinkle free.  Why can’t you try this beneficial herbal face pack often ?
So In summer a bowl of watermelon a day keeps the summer diseases away.

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