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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.

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Benefits of Yoga


Yoga is an ancient Hindu discipline, aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through the three paths of action, knowledge, and devotion. It involves practicing certain asanas (bodily postures), along with breath control and meditation for achieving good mental, as well as physical health. Raja, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, and Hatha Yoga are the different types of the same. Asanas, breathing exercises known as pranayama, meditation, and chanting are among the many aspects that people get familiar with,while practicing yoga. before starting yoga one should follow the rules of pranayama and yogaayurvedaHealth Benefits

  • Yoga enhances blood circulation, which in turn, helps the various parts of body get oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood. Controlled breathing also promotes a lower respiratory rate. This has a good effect on the lung function and keeps a check on respiratory ailments.
  • It also helps slow down the pulse rate. It helps the heart pump more blood with fewer beats. This is especially beneficial for people who are prone to or affected by hypertension, heart diseases, and stroke.
  • It not only facilitates healthy functioning of the body, but also improves one’s mental health as well. Even people who have recently started practicing yogic asanas and breathing techniques feel the positive effects. This is due to the fact that yogic practices help in reducing catecholamines, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which in turn reduces the effects of stress and calms one’s mind. It also improves one’s ability focus and concentrate.
  • It has been studied that people who go for regular classes have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Apart from these, people noticed a reduction in the intensity of the symptoms of asthma, back pain, arthritis, insomnia, etc. Following this ancient discipline will certainly strengthen one’s immune system. Increased pain tolerance, improved gastrointestinal functions, and cardiovascular endurance are some of the other health benefits of yoga.
  • Flexibility, is perhaps, one of the most important health benefits of practicing asanas. People belonging to any age groups, can improve their flexibility with the help of asanas. These poses help reduce stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue in the body, thereby increasing the range of motion. With increased flexibility, pain in different body joints seem to resolve, and there is a feeling of ease and fluidity throughout your body. It also helps improve one’s posture.
  • Power yoga involves vigorous exercises than the traditional ones and it tremendously helps in toning the muscles. However, even the traditional styles help in improving the muscle strength. Athletes always need to be on their toes, when it comes to strength, endurance, and agility. Yogic practices can certainly help them achieve that.
  • Following yoga during pregnancy can also improve the health of expecting mothers. It not only has a calming effect, but also helps the expecting mother to tone the reproductive organs, pelvis, and the rest of her body to ensure an easier childbirth. Following breathing exercises improves the flow of oxygenated blood, which in turn, has a positive effect on the unborn child.

Other benefits include:

  • Delayed aging process by effective detoxification of the body
  • Decreased fatigue and increased level of energy for most part of the day
  • Improved sleep and more control on body and mind
  • Helps one to be more aware of his/her body and develop greater self-confidence
  • Better control on breathing

The advantages of this ancient discipline are numerous. These were the benefits which have been observed by experts and by those who have incorporated this discipline in their lives. So, follow yogic practices and enjoy living each day healthily and happily!

via Benefits of Yoga.

Shatavar and its Benefits


A very popular herb in India, Shatavar has long been used inshatavari1 Ayurveda, the traditional medical science of the country. The herb is claimed to have numerous health benefits, especially for females.

Shatavar or Indian asparagus (Asparagus racemosus) is a climber with woody stems and leaves that resemble pine needles. Though this plant shares the same genus (Asparagus) with the edible asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis), both are different species. Native to India, Shatavar is a plant that is widely popular in the country, as a herbal medicine. In fact, the benefits of Shatavar have long been identified by the Indians, and it is one of the highly-valued herbs used in ‘Ayurveda’.

It is the roots of these plants that are used for medicinal purposes. shatavari2The Shatavar plant has numerous lengthy, tuberous roots with tapering ends. It is said that even a single plant can produce around hundred roots, which are slightly sweet in taste. The roots are dried and used for treating various medical conditions, especially those relating to the female reproductive system. It is mainly used as a rejuvenating herb for females. The Sanskrit meaning for Shatavar is ‘hundred roots (‘shata’ for hundred and ‘vari’ for roots’). It is also interpreted as, “she who possesses a hundred husbands”, indicating the herb’s use in promoting female reproductive health. The plant is also known as ‘bahusuta’, which means many children. This name also indicates the herb’s efficacy in boosting fertility.

For Female Health

  • Shatavar is claimed to be beneficial for maintaining hormonal balance in females, by regulating the rate of hormonal secretions in the body.
  • It nourishes the female reproductive organs and also enhances fertility. It is used for treating irregularities in ovulation and menstruation.
  • Being a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, Shatavar is said to be useful for reducing inflammation of the reproductive organs during menstruation.
  • The herb is also used for providing relief from menstrual pain and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It also aids in controlling blood loss during menstruation.
  • The herb is said to be good for women with low estrogen levels, as it contains phytoestrogens. Shatavar is used to increase sexual desire and to counter conditions, like vaginal atrophy.
  • According to the exponents of this herb, it can enhance production of breast milk in nursing females. It is one of the popular galactagogues that has been used for a very long time.

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, Shatavar is also said to be useful for relieving morning sickness and fatigue, during pregnancy. It is also claimed to be good for preventing miscarriage and even premature birth. However, the use of Shatavar during pregnancy and lactation is still a much-debated subject. Its effectiveness as a herb is not scientifically proven, but, Shatavar is widely used by Ayurveda practitioners, and is found to be effective to a great extent.

Other Benefits

Gastrointestinal Health: Shatavar has long been used as a digestive tonic. It aids in the process of digestion, and at the same time reduces inflammation caused by conditions, like Crohn’s disease and ulcers.

Stress Relief: Shatavar benefits include its use in combating stress. It is believed that the herb is useful for protecting the body from the damage that can be caused by stress and anxiety.

Male Fertility: When it comes to infertility problems, the use of this herb is not limited to females. Shatavar is recommended for males who have problems like low sperm count and loss of libido.

Nutrition: Shatavar is also known for its nutritive and immunity-boosting properties. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. So the herb is also recommended as a tonic.

Anti-microbial Agent: The herb is also found to be useful for preventing vomiting and diarrhea caused by bacteria like, E. coli and dysentery. Studies show that Shatavar shows a strong antimicrobial activity, and works against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria, like Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, etc.

In short, Shatavar is claimed to have numerous health benefits, and has been used for treating a host of medical conditions, throughout the years. It is also claimed to be effective in inhibiting breast cancer, but studies regarding its anti-cancer activity are still underway. Oil infused with Shatavar is used for relief from disorders of the nerves and joints. The herb is said to be beneficial for treating dementia. There are reports suggesting the blood sugar lowering properties of Shatavar. Shatavar is also used to reduce fever and headaches.

To conclude, very little research is done on Shatavar, its therapeutic properties, and possible side effects. Though the herb is considered safe, it would be advisable to consult a qualified herbal practitioner, and use it as per his/her instructions. You may also seek the opinion of your doctor, before starting any herbal treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

via Shatavari Benefits.