Tag Archives: medicinal plant

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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Tips to Lose Weight


quick-weight-loss-tips

Most people aren’t worried about losing weight during the holiday season. Instead, this tends to be the one time of year when we give ourselves a break from obsessing about going down a pant size, and instead focus on maintaining weight.

But countering indulgence with some healthy habits may just help tip the scales in the other direction, without much effort on your part at all. Here are some tips that may help you lose weight this holiday season.

  • Cut liquid calories. Cutting back on a glass of wine with dinner or that cold beer after a long day can reduce your overall daily intake by about 100 calories, making way for another few bites of that Christmas pie. Instead of soda or fruit juice, drink water with lemon, or herbal tea.
  • Try a salad starter. One study, found that women who started meals with a salad ate 10 percent fewer calories over the course of a day, without consciously dieting.
  • Go nuts. Eating a handful of peanuts daily may help you keep weight off. In fact, people who ate peanuts or mixed nuts daily were more likely to keep from gaining weight than those who didn’t consume high-fat snacks, according to a 2001 study in the International Journal of Obesity. Maybe those roasted chestnuts aren’t such a bad idea.
  • Just stand up. If you’re planning to entertain this holiday season, sitting probably isn’t a luxury you\’ll experience often, but the rest of us can use a reminder to get off the couch. The average person burns about 40 more calories per hour by standing than they do by sitting.
  • Sleep soundly. A lack of sleep is often associated with weight gain, as well as metabolic problems, according to a study published this year in the journal Lancet. Be sure to get adequate shut eye around the holidays to help keep your metabolism healthy.

via 5 Tips to Help You Lose Weight This Holiday Season | Fac Medicine – Faculty of Medicine – School of Medicine.

Natural Ways to Increase Immunity


Getting sick is something most of us don’t want or have time for, its something we can’t plan, and is often uncomfortable. Even with a healthy diet a cold or a flu virus can strike without warning. We are exposed to millions of viruses and bacteria everyday that may not affect us because of our immune system. The immune system fights these pathogens and identifies them to defend against them in the future. A healthy immune system is capable of dealing with the constant bacterial and viral load, it’s our armor that protects us from disease.

Some of the basic functions of the immune system are to create a barrier against pathogens and microorganisms, prevent dangerous bacteria and viruses to multiply, and trigger the destruction of damaged cells.

Cells of the innate immune system include mast...
Cells of the innate immune system include mast cells and natural killer cells, the phagocytes (monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells), and the granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils). Each cell type is equipped with different mechanisms that allow it to attack and eliminate pathogens from the body. The innate immune cells demonstrate the immune system’s versatility. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a number of factors that can weaken the immune system and seriously threaten our health. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, RA, MS, and others have sudden and unexplained onset with chronic symptoms that limit quality of life. Other more common factors that weaken our immune system are stressors, lack of physical activity, fast food or junk food, exposure to toxins, and pollution.

Because a healthy immune system is crucial for good health, like a knight with armor that protects us from external and internal diseases, scientists researched the foods, supplements, and behaviors that increase the presence of T-cells or white cells, the cells responsible for fighting disease.

Garlic– It reduces cold and flu and can even prevent it. It does this by increasing the number of immune cells NK and gamma-Delta T. You can swallow a whole garlic first thing in the morning when you are sick or you can use it to season almost any dish.

Astragalus root and herb– A powerful antiviral and immune booster, it’s rich in flavonoids and amino acids, increases activity of T-cells, and can help prevent colds and respiratory infections. It’s recommended to be taken as tea or extract.

Iron– An essential mineral for immunity, it fights inflammatory processes. Any iron deficiencies impair the immune system and increase the susceptibility to viral and bacterial infection. It’s recommended to extract iron from vegetables, fruits, nuts, or seafood. Some examples are spinach, beets, beans, nuts, almonds, and oysters. Too much iron is not good either, use caution.

Olive leaf– Has antioxidants and is a bacteria-buster. Use it for cooking and in salads, it promotes healthy bacteria that destroys harmful bacteria. In several studies the extract of olive leaf was enough for treating common microbes such as Helicobacter pylori and staphylococcus aureus.

Oregano– Has antioxidant powers, can kill salmonella and staphylococcus, it will boost your immune system. Try to use the fresh herb as tea or oil.

Probiotics and yogurt– Will improve the immune system of your stomach and promote healthy bacteria, they are a natural killer of bad breath and digestive tract problems. Kefir and yogurt are great sources.

Carrots– An excellent source of beta carotene, will increase the number of NK cells and other T helper cells.

Vitamin C– Will prevent and cure colds, flu, and other inflammatory processes. Kale, lemons, tomatoes, strawberries, berries, and pineapple contain vitamin C that stimulates growth of tissues and cells.

Ginger tea– It’s loaded with virus-fighting substances, antibacterial and antiviral, it’s one of the most effective natural treatments, even small doses in extract or tea shown its effectiveness. It will suppress cold and will help you avoid stomachaches due to anti-inflammatory properties.

Yoga– Exercise positively stimulates our immune systems, in clinical trials it has been shown to increase immune cells and decrease number of infections and colds suffered each year.

Cold showers– Effectively boosts testosterone, an immunity booster and protector, and white T-cells according to recent studies

via 11 Natural Ways to Increase Your Immunity – PositiveMed.

Til oil (Sesame oil) and its benefits


Sesame Oil (ごま油)
Sesame Oil (ごま油) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The history of  plant of til is very old, about five hundred years old when there were few variety of plants found on the earth. This plant has many medicinal properties. Its seeds are rich source of magnesium and calcium which are very useful for human body. The oil extracted from its seeds is very much health beneficial in many aspects.

According to Ayurveda some health problems which are cured by  Til oil (Sesame oil) are as below:

Controls blood sugar: sesame oil is very effective in type II diabetes. The sesame oil should be taken orally to cure diabetes. This should be used for cooking food for diabetic patients. It reduces the glucose level in blood and reduces the blood pressure as well.

Hypertension: due to the antioxidants properties of Til oil (Sesame oil), both systolic and diastolic blood pressure are reduced. This oil also decreases the oxidation activities that worsen the condition of the hypertensive patients.

Kidney damage: due to its antioxidant properties til oil considerably controls and reduces the damage of kidneys which is caused by the fluctuating oxidation levels in human body. Til oil (Sesame oil) should be used to cook the food for this damage.

DNA damage: sometime DNA gets damaged due to radiations specially spleen and intestines. It mostly effect those people who are working in radiation chambers. As compare to other antioxidants it is studied that Til oil (Sesame oil) has proved to be 20 time more efficient in treating DNA damage.

Cancer control: The cancer cells grow very rapidly as compare to other body cells. Til oil (Sesame oil) contains certain properties which slow down the growth of these cancer cells. Colon cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, and cancer of pancreas and prostate are the main cancers where his oil has shown good results to restrict them.

Multiple sclerosis: Due to some reasons the immunity of our nervous system become weak. The properties of Til oil (Sesame oil) help in regenerating the immunity and prevents nervous breakdown which occurs in this condition.

Infant massage: It is now proven that Til oil (Sesame oil) is  the best oil for the massage of body of young, old and infants. Til oil (Sesame oil) helps in strengthening the bones and is good for growth and development of babies. Due to rich source of minerals it is much better than other oil for massage.

Uses of Tinospora cordifolia (giloy)


Bot. name: Tinospora cordifolia
Hindi name: GILOY

It belongs to the family of Menispermaceae and is a vigorous climber. Its English name is Gulancha Tinospora. There are about 40 species of Giloy which are found throughout the world,comprising parts of Africa, Southern Eastern Asia, and Australia. Out of 40 species only 4 species have been found in India. Nowadays market is full of giloy tablets as well.

MEDICINAL USES

  • It is very beneficial to increase platelet count , so 40-50 ml. of giloy juice promotes platelets cell formation in case of DENGUE  FEVER and other conditions of THROMBOCYTOPENIA.
  • In piles its juice is given with butter milk.
  • Its juice is considered very effective in removing both exogenous and endogenous toxins. It also cleans out the brain toxins that disturbs mental function.
  • Giloy is effective in respiratory troubles particularly in asthma.
  • In Diabetes its juice is taken in high quantity regularly.
  • Steam of its leaves and root can be used in excessive bleeding during menstruation . 5gms of its leaves are crushed together and its juice is extracted. Its juice is taken in 2 to 3ml with half cup of water and is given to the patient till its condition improves.
  • It is used in malaria and other fevers too with honey. The stem of the plant with pippli (piper longum) is taken.
  • During indigestion the juice is taken or the paste of the leaves is given with butter milk.
  • It can be used in chronic fever, gout, vomiting, cardiac debility, skin diseases, anemia, cough, jaundice, seminal weakness and leprosy etc.

Dosage

  • Powder : 1-2 gm. up to maximum 5gm.
  • Decoction :50-100 ml
  • Extract : 1-2 ml