All posts by ashtangayurveda

“Date” – the healthiest fruit


Dates have a wide range of health and nutritional value  that is why is considered the healthiest fruit on the earth. They are an excellent source of natural fiber that are essential to the body’s good bowel movement. The natural sugar found in dates is the perfect alternative to ordinary sugar. It is easy to digest and reduces hunger. By its composition, dates rights are natural multi-vitamin “pills” which can be used by children and adults. There is almost no disease that cannot be cured by dates: from anemia high blood pressure cholesterol to all kinds of cancer and so on.

Excellent source of iron, as well.

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Excellent source of iron

Anemic patients should eat more of dates, because they are an excellent source of iron. 100 gr of dates contain about 0.90 g of iron, which is about 11% of the recommended daily value. The iron determines capacity of oxygen in the blood. The biggest demand for iron have children going through puberty and pregnant women.

Vitamins for the eyes

Considering that contains lutein and zeaxanthin, dates are called “vitamins for the eyes.” Lutein and zeaxanthin are especially important for eyes, because the promote epithelial cells for good vision and can prevent damage to the macula, which occurs in old age.

Stops diarrhoea

Dates contain potassium which is useful in inhibiting diarrhoea. In addition, dates help to gut flora as quickly renew.

The cure for constipation

Cure for constipation Just as stopping diarrhoea, dates can help the food faster and easier to digest in the body. It is necessary to take a couple of dates and put them in clean water overnight. During the night, dates will release their juice, which is an excellent laxative, which will stimulate the sluggish bowels.

Makes childbirth easier 

Eating dates 4 weeks before the childbirth can ease labor pains and reduce bleeding. Women who ate dates before childbirth, gave birth more easily and more quickly, than those women who did not use this fruit. Moreover, dates help women to produce enough milk for the baby.

Regulates body weight

Due to the high share of nutrients, if you take on empty stomach dates, it will regulate the bowel movements and give body the necessary sugar. Dates do not have cholesterol, but have a lot of sugar, so you would gain weight if you take excessively. A kilogram of dates contains nearly 3,000 calories which is the minimum daily requirement of man who is active all day.

Reduces cholesterol

Dates have the ability to reduce the level of the unwanted LDL cholesterol in the body . So this is an excellent food for people with high cholesterol, which causes fatty deposits in the arteries that lead to the formation of blood clots and other heart diseases.

Strengthen the heart

People with weak hearts can use this incredible fruit. During the night soak dates with seeds in water. In the morning, remove the seeds from them; grind them in a blender along the water they have been in during the night. This medicine should be taken several times a day in order to strengthen the heart.

Reduce blood pressure

Dates are very suitable food for people who suffer from high blood pressure. They contain very little sodium and are rich in potassium. Standard portions of five or six of dates give about 80 milligrams of magnesium, an essential mineral that contributes to the spread of blood vessels. Research shows that 370 milligrams of magnesium a day can lower blood pressure.

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Protects from stroke

One of the key benefits of this wonder fruit is its ability to regulate the healthy nervous system, thanks to the rich content of potassium. Studies have shown that a higher intake of potassium (400 mg) can reduce the risk of stroke by 40 percent.

Brain food

Dates contain phosphorus, and it plays an important role as food for the brain. For this reason it is recommended in the diet of people who are engaged in intellectual work.

Energy stimulant

Dates are a great energy booster as they contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose. The maximum energy output from of date you could get if you mix them with milk. This nutritious meal has very few calories and a lot of energy value.

Increases sexual stamina

Handful dates soak in goat milk and let it stay overnight. In the morning, grind them with milk; add honey and cardamom (kind of spice) and drink. This syrup can drink both men and women, because it strengthens the body and increases energy levels.

Baby food

Sugar in dates is a type of sugar that is most easily absorbed and digested, so it is suitable for newborns. Dates should be chewed or soaked in water before giving the child, to make them easier for eating. Modern dietary institute recommends that children suffering from a natural nervous or hyperactivity should be given dates.

The ideal food for those who are fasting

Since we know dates contain a high percentage of sugar that is easily absorbed, then it is clear that the dates and water are best food for people who are fasting.

Strengthen tooth enamel

Dates contain fluoride, which is an essential mineral in the fight against tooth decay, it prevents further tooth decay. Dates can be given to little baby whose teeth are growing, to lick it . This will reduce the pain in babies in the gums.

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Siddhasana


Siddhasana or  Muktasana, Accomplished or Expert Pose

How to Perform Siddhasana

Sit with your legs stretched in front of you. Bend your left knee and place your left heel on your perineum. Bend your right knee and place your right heel over your left heel.

Sit straight, relax your shoulders and place your hands facing upwards in the Anjali Mudra on your heels.

Benefits of Siddhasana

This sitting yoga pose stimulates the root chakra, the first chakra and with it the Kundalini energy.

Siddhasana is said to stimulate sexual energy. Additionally it is good for the reproductive organs and the gynecological system.

The accomplished yoga posture is used in meditation as it helps the mind to focus. It is a pose that benefits your nervous system and helps regulating your blood pressure.

Focus Point

When in the pose, you should be able to feel a slight pressure on your perineum.

Tips and Help

Whenever you feel tired in the pose and feel strain in your legs, exchange them by putting the right foot below the left one or the other way around.

When to Avoid Siddhasana

If you have knee problems, pain and weakness in the knees or if your ligaments are worn or torn, you should avoid this position. If you are in doubt, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist and let your yoga teacher know about it.

via Siddhasana – Muktasana – Stimulate Sexual Energy.

Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula) – Uses and Benefits


Haritaki

Botanical Name: Terminalia Chebula,

Family Name: Combretaceae

Popular Name(s): Black Myrobalan, Chebulic Myrobalan, Hardh, Ink Tree, Harar, Hardad, Indian Gall Nut

Parts Used: Fruit, Root, Bark.

Habitat: Grown throughout India

Description

The deciduous Haritaki tree grows at an altitude of 1,800 meters. The round tree is crowned and branches spread out, with a diameter of 1.5 to 2.5 meters. The long ovate leaves are acute, in opposite pairs about 10 to 20 cm long. The flowers are dull white with spikes and can be found at the end of the branches. The fruit is hard and yellowish green in color. Each fruit has a single seed that is light yellow in color. The tree can be found in the sub Himalayan tracks, from Ravi to West Bengal and in the deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Maharashtra. It is known as haritaki, abhaya and pathya in Sanskrit; harad in Hindi; hirada in Marathi; alalekaayi in Kannada; kadukkai in Tamil; horitoky in Bengali; xilikha in Assamese and karakkaya in Telugu.

Uses & Benefits of Haritaki

  • Haritaki has laxative, rejuvenative, purgative, astringent and dry properties.
  • The paste of its fruit is effective in reducing swelling, hastening the healing process and cleansing the wounds and ulcers.
  • The paste gives relief to the eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis.
  • Gargling with haritaki decoction helps in stomatitis, oral ulcers and sore throat.
  • It serves as a good astringent for loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.
  • The herb is used in preparing ‘Triphala’ that is used for hair wash, brush teeth in pyorrhea and treat bleeding gums.
  • Regular consumption of haritaki powder, fried in ghee, promotes longevity and boosts energy.
  • It responds well to gastrointestinal ailments, tumors, ascites, piles, enlargement of liver-spleen, worms and colitis.
  • Powdered haritaki, mixed with jaggery, works well in gout.
  • Its powder, when mixed with honey and ghee, is an effective remedy for anemia.
  • Haritaki is combined with sunthi powder and given with hot water to lighten asthma and hiccups.
  • Its decoction, when taken along with honey, is of great help in hepatitis and obesity.
  • The herb improves memory and is salutary in dysuria and urinary stones.
  • Haritaki helps in improving appetite and helps in digestion.
  • It is a good nervine and helps in nervous weakness and nervous irritability and promotes the receiving power of the five senses.
  • Since it is anti-inflammatory and astringent, it is helpful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea and vaginal discharges like leucorrhea.

Caution

  • Haritaki should be sparingly used by lean individuals and pregnant women.
  • It should be avoided in severe debility, mental depression, while fasting and vitiated pitta conditions.

via Haritaki – Uses & Benefits of Haritaki, Terminalia Chebula.

Ginger – The herb that cures


Ginger has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years. It has been recorded in early Ayurvedic treatises and Chinese texts. Ginger has a wide variety of herbal uses, many of which have been scientifically proven. Ginger is called ardrakam in Sanskrit and its anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet properties have attracted considerable interest among researchers.

Medicinal Uses

  • Ginger can be chewed after meals in conditions like indigestion, gastritis, flatulence, gastrointestinal infection, and parasites. This protective action of ginger is attributable to the excessive secretion of saliva.
  • If you feel heavy and bloated after consumption of non-vegetarian and fried fatty food, you can try this remedy – take half a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, one teaspoonful each of lime juice and fresh mint juice mixed in a teaspoonful of honey.
  • If you have painful periods, take a small piece of fresh ginger, pound it, and boil in a cup of water for a few minutes, sweetened with sugar and take this thrice daily.
  • Ginger acts as good medicine for throat problems. Chewing a piece of fresh ginger along with clove and a crystal of common salt acts as an excellent remedy for pharyngitis, loss of voice due to shouting or singing; paralyzed muscles of tongue and fauces, colds, rhinitis, enlarged uvulva, tonsillitis, etc.
  • If you are suffering from dropsy and scanty urination, take a teaspoonful of ginger juice with a glass of tender coconut water.
  • For those who suffer from dental sensitiveness or toothache caused by eating sour fruits, ginger gives good relief. Burn it and mix with common salt. This can be used as toothpowder.
  • If you are suffering from diarrhoea and dysentry, fresh ginger fried in ghee can be taken with buttermilk twice of thrice daily.
  • Half a teaspoonful of ginger juice can be taken with half boiled egg and honey once daily at bedtime for a month. This tones up the sex centers and is very useful in curing impotency, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, etc.

Ginger can be used to:

  • Stimulate digestion, and to enhance absorption of other treatments.
  • As a diaphoretic and anti-pyretic for fevers and common cold.
  • As a diffusive stimulant to reinforce the action of other digestive, diaphoretic, and expectorant herbs.
  • To treat and prevent nausea and vomiting. It has also been found to be effective in the treatment of vertigo. It is preferable to give ginger as early as possible during the disease period since the vomiting back of ginger can act as kind of “aversion therapy.”
  • To treat digestive problems, particularly colic, flatulent, peptic ulcers and gastro-intestinal infections and infestations.
  • As an anti-platelet agent for decreasing cardio-vascular risk.
  • To treat migraine headaches, especially in conjunction with other herbal therapies.
  • Topical application for acute inflammatory conditions, like a ginger compress for acute mastitis.
  • Please Note
  • Ginger should not be used in conditions such as obstinate skin diseases, anaemia, dysuria, haemorrhage, burning sensation in the body, and during summer season.
  • Use of ginger should be matched to the person’s condition and constitution, that is, ginger will be most effective for “cold” patients with “cold” conditions as the action of ginger is described as “vata kapha haram” in the classical text.
  • Ginger should be used cautiously in people receiving potent anti-coagulant and anti-platelet drugs or in circumstances where prolonged bleeding time might be disadvantageous.

via Ginger – The herb of many uses including medicinal | Tattva’s Herbs Blog.

Amla (Indian gooseberry) and its benefits


This tiny berry is believed to be the most powerful rejuvenating agent known to man. Read on.

Amla is the most potent natural source of Vitamin C. In fact, this tiny fruit has as much Vitamin C as two oranges. Vitamin C, when taken in the form of supplements, is not always easily absorbed. But when you eat an amla berry, the Vitamin C present is easily assimilated by body. So the next time you think of reaching for a supplement, think again and reach for an amla berry instead.

Vitamin C is an excellent anti-oxidant and as amla is so rich in Vitamin C, it has strong anti-oxidant properties and helps combat free radicals. Free radicals are unstable ions in the body, responsible for ageing and cell degeneration. Amla stabilises these free radicals and is believed to be the most powerful rejuvenating agent known to man. Just like most berries, it is low in sugar and has a high fibre content, making it an ideal daily fruit for almost anyone. However, if you have a heart condition, you may want to check with your doctor before taking amla regularly. This is because amla stimulates the heart.

Iron and various other minerals are not always easily absorbed by the body. You require a certain combination of meals to reap maximum benefits from the food you eat. Unless you are a nutritionist or regularly consult one, chances are that you eat normal, regular food and try to stick to a healthy diet as far as possible. Although numerous people do manage to get adequate amounts of all essential minerals due to various combinations of food, just as many, don’t. Amla is a fruit that enhances food absorption and thus helps you get the most out of the food you eat. It helps the body digest food better and assimilate minerals like iron. Another excellent digestive is ginger, but ginger tends to heat the body. Amla does not heat the body, and is gentler on the entire system. Regular intake of amla almost always results in a stronger, healthier digestive system and in improved overall immunity.

Amla also helps boost protein metabolism, so if you exercise and work out regularly you will benefit greatly from regular amla intake. Similarly, people who have a tendency to gain weight easily tend to have poor metabolism. The better your metabolism, the better the body’s ability to burn fat and keep you slim. As amla enhances metabolism, it helps you lose weight faster.

 Packed with antioxidant properties, amla has the potential to keep cancer at bay. Research into this particular property of the fruit, has found that it had the potential to prevent cancer by helping the body fight the harmful effects of chemicals that are carcinogenic. It also helps to inhibit the further growth of cancer affected cells. Apart from this, Amla extract can reduce the harmful effects of radiation and chemotherapy without reducing their beneficial effects as an anti cancer treatment. Here are food habits that can prevent cancer.

Regular use of pain killers, antibiotics and medication, regular intake of alcohol, all cause toxin build-up in the liver. Amla helps strengthen the liver, and rid the body of these toxins. It thus helps purify and clean the blood. This is why amla is good for the skin, and if taken in combination with neem, it can help clear out pimples that are caused due to impure blood. In addition to the skin, amla is also great for the hair. It nourishes hair roots and is believed to prevent premature greying. Thus one often sees amla-based shampoos and oils. In addition, amla helps lower cholesterol, enhance vision, and strengthen the lungs and the respiratory system. It also strengthens the body’s central nervous system. It is a gentle laxative and helps cure constipation. These are just some of the reasons to include an amla in your daily diet. Do you need any more?

via Benefits of Amla.

Benefits of Tulsi


Tulsi also known as basil leaves, is a fairly common plant in Indian households. Considered holy by many religions, the tulsi plant is revered for its divine properties.

Besides praying to the plant, a number of people advice including the leaves and roots of the plant in various medical decoctions.

With immense benefits right from clear skin to dissolving kidney stones, tulsi is tonic for the entire body. Here are the top 10 benefits of tulsi.

Cures a fever: Tulsi has very potent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties that are great for resolving fevers. It has the potential to cure any fever right from those caused due to common infections to those caused due to malaria as well. In ayurveda, it is strongly advised that a person suffering from fever should have a decoction made of tulsi leaves.In case of a fever boil a few leaves of tulsi with powdered cardamom in half a litre of water    ( The proportion of tulsi to cardamom powder should be in the ratio 1:0.3). Let it reduce to half its total volume. Mix this decoction with sugar and milk. Sip every two to three hours. This remedy is especially good for children.

Beats diabetes: leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene.  Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin. Lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes effectively. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.

Protects the heart: Tulsi has a powerful anti-oxidant component called Eugenol. This compound helps protect the heart by keeping one’s blood pressure under control and lowering his/her cholesterol levels. Chewing a few leaves of tulsi on an empty stomach everyday can both prevent and protect any heart ailments.

Beats stress: According to a study conducted by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, tulsi helps to maintain the normal levels of the stress hormone – cortisol in the body.  The leaf also has powerful adaptogen properties (also known as anti-stress agents). It helps sooth the nerves, regulates blood circulation and beats free radicals that are produced during an episode of stress. People who have high stress jobs can chew about 12 leaves of tulsi twice a day to beat stress naturally.

Dissolves kidney stones:
The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the kidneys. Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main reasons for kidney stones is the presence of excess uric acid in the blood), helps cleanse the kidneys, the presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones. To relieve kidney stones one must have the juice of tulsi leaves with honey, every day for six months to help wash out the stone from the kidney.

Beats cancer: With strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties tulsi has been found to help stop the progression of breast cancer and oral cancer (caused due to chewing tobacco). This is because its compounds restrict the flow of blood to the tumour by attacking the blood vessels supplying it. Have the extract of tulsi every day to keep these conditions at bay.

Helps to quit smoking: Tulsi is known to have very strong anti- stress compounds and is great to help one quit smoking. It helps by lowering the stress that may be involved in trying to quit smoking, or stress that leads to the urge to smoke. It also has a cooling effect on the throat just like menthol drops and helps control the urge to smoke by allowing the person to chew on something. Ayurveda relies heavily on tulsi leaves as a smoking cessation device. Keep some leaves with you and chew it whenever the urge to smoke arises. Another plus is that the antioxidant property of the leaves will help fight all the damage that arises out of years of smoking.

Keeps your skin and hair healthy and glowing: The holy basil has powerful purifying properties. When eaten raw, it purifies the blood giving the skin a beautiful glow, and prevents the appearance of acne and blemishes. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are very effective in preventing breakouts on acne prone skin. Ayurvedic doctors say that this herb can cure difficult skin conditions like those caused due to ring worms and even leucoderma. Apart from all this, it helps in reducing itchiness of the scalp and helps to reduce hair fall. Mix the powder in coconut oil and apply regularly to the scalp to prevent hair fall. Eating tulsi leaves, drinking the juice, or adding its paste to a face pack can help cure skin and hair conditions.

Heals respiratory conditions:
Tulsi has immunomodulatory (helps to modulate the immune system), antitussive (suppresses the cough center, reducing the amount of cough) and expectorant properties (helps expel phlegm from the chest), that make it a great relief for coughs, cold, and other respiratory disorders including chronic and acute bronchitis. Another great property of this leaf is that it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help to beat the infection causing the respiratory problem. It also relieves congestion since it contains potent components like camphene, eugenol and cineole in its essential oils. Its anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties also help to treat allergic respiratory disorders.

Cures a headache: Tulsi helps to relieve headaches caused due to sinusitis, allergies, cold or even migraines. This is because it has pain relieving and decongestant properties,  that help relieve the pain and resolve the root cause of the condition. If you are suffering from a headache, make a bowl of water that has been boiled with crushed tulsi leaves or tulsi extract. Cool the water till it is room temperature or bearably hot. Place a small towel in it, wring out the excess water and place this on your forehead to treat a headache. Alternatively you could dip a towel in plain warm water and add a few drops of tulsi extract to the towel for immediate relief.

These are just some benefits of the plant, other benefits include treatment for common colds, itchiness of the skin, treatment for insect bites, curing common conditions of the eye and as a herbal remedy for bad breath. So the text time you feel ill, try having a few leaves of tulsi. To know more about the health benefits of various everyday ingredients, check out our natural remedies page.

via: Top 10 health benefits of tulsi

Benefits of Stevia


Stevia leaves were introduced to Europe, in 1899. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay have been known to use the herb for a period of 1,500 years. This herb is a remarkable substitute for sugar, due to its non-synthetic and zero-calorific values. Stevia or Stevia rebaudiana is undoubtedly the big player, when it comes to alternative sweeteners.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stevia has such sweet compounds which do not have any carcinogenic activity. Stevia contains most of the essential minerals and vitamins required for good health. Stevia has been known for its health benefits, for a long time. Some of them are listed below:

Sugar Level:

Popularly known as the sweet leaf or the honey leaf, stevia is an effective regulator of blood sugar. It helps lower elevated sugar levels, while having zero effect on normal sugar levels. It is thus an effective medicine for diabetics and people suffering from hypoglycemia.

Upset Stomach:

A concentrated form of stevia acts as a soothing and healing tonic for stomach disorders, like gas or acidity.

Dental Care:

Bleeding gums can be taken care of by stevia-based toothpaste and mouthwash. It has the ability to curb and eliminate the conditions favorable to bacterial growth.

Common Ailments:

Lower incidence of ailments, such as cold and flu, have been found among regular users of this medicinal herb.

Skin Care:

Stevia has also shown its magical healing quality pertaining to various skin problems like acne, seborrhea, dermatitis, and eczema. A concentrated form of the herb can also be used as a natural cosmetic. The solution is beneficial when applied to the face, leaving it soft and glowing. It can be used to smoothen out wrinkles. In comparison to other medicines, stevia concentrate has been more successful in yielding positive and rapid results, in cases of lip sores, cuts or scratches, and blemishes.

Hair Care:

Herbal soaps and shampoos containing the stevia concentrate are beneficial, in treating dandruff and scalp problems, when used daily. And what are the aftereffects? Lustrous and healthy hair!

Although there are several benefits of stevia, it is always recommended to seek a qualified physician’s advice before you use stevia products. But, on the brighter side, it has been used widely and tests have shown completely non-toxic results.

Other Benefits

Stevia is widely used in Japan as a sugar substitute, owing to the ban on artificial sweeteners, for more than 20 years. It is used as an ingredient in 30 to 40 percent of food items. Stevia has proven effective not only with respect to human health, but also in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. A stevia-based fertilizer, produced from its stems and leaves, showed significant results in preventing and curing plant diseases. The harvest showed an increase in quantity and, amazingly, crops retained their freshness for a longer period; while, at the same time, turning out more fragrant and tastier. Also, a good-quality organic manure can be produced, if stevia is combined with manure or kitchen refuse.

Due to its incredible natural qualities and uses in various products, stevia can be regarded as a boon to the world. It is a great supplement for those who have a craving for the ‘sweet stuff’. What else does a person need, when his taste buds can enjoy the sweetness, without being concerned about the extra calories, and he can be full of energy all day long!

via Benefits of Stevia.