Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Wild Turmeric, Curcuma Aromatica, Medical Herb

Wild turmeric or Kasturi manjal
Wild turmeric or Cochin turmeric or Kasturi manjal or Yellow zedoary is a wild plant which has got many health benefits.
Botanical name: Curcuma aromatica Salisb.
Family: Zingiberaceae
In other languages: Kasturi manjal(Malayalam); Wild turmeric, Cochin turmeric, Yellow zedoary(English); Aranyaharida, Vanaharida, Kastooriharida(Sanskrit); Jungali haldi, Ban haldi(Hindi).

Wild turmeric can be called as the beauty in the wild as it is a key component in most of the ayurvedic beauty care products. Wild turmeric powder, used in skin care treatments and in face packs, improves complexion, helps to fight with diseases like ring worms, eczema, scabies and fungal infections and keeps skin cool. It can detoxify the pollutants and the same way nourish and tone the skin.

The antioxidant property of wild turmeric protects the skin against air pollution and the vagaries of tropical climate. This property also aids in slowing down the ageing of skin, keeping skin youthful and wrinkle-free for longer years. It also helps repair damage to skin tissues and prevents diseases linked to skin bacteria.

Its antiseptic properties are used as an additive in cosmetics and medicines to help soothe and cleanse irritated skin. It is also used for relieving pain and for its ant-inflammatory effect.

Wild turmeric is available in market in fresh, dried tuber and in powder form. Though there are no classical ayurvedic combinations with this drug as an ingredient, it is traditionally used in India as a beauty care herb.Turmeric is also available in capsule form now, and is better to take it under medical supervision. 

 Though Curcuma longa and Curcuma aromatica belong to the same group, the latter leaves no stain after application.

As a face pack- Use wild turmeric powder as a face cleanser. Mix chickpea flour or rice flour and this powder in equal proportions and store in an airtight bottle. Add a little yogurt, milk or soy milk to a teaspoon of this powder to make a paste. Apply the paste to face evenly and wait for sometime to become a semi-dry condition. Wash the paste off with water. In India this is used by women instead of facial cleanser to exfoliate and brighten skin.

To cure acne, pimple- Take sufficient quantity of aromatica powder and mix it with honey till it becomes a soft paste. Apply on face as a thin coating. Keep it for one hour and wash with warm water.

To prevent growth of facial hair- If applied regularly, the growth of very thin facial hair(especially for girls) can be prevented. Men can also applied for enhancing the glow on their skin, as it would not cause them any damage.

For glowing skin- Add a pinch of aromatica powder to a moisturizer or other cosmetic products and apply on the body before a bath. It will add glow to the skin and also protects from skin diseases. It is best to use it at night and wash off in the morning with a gentle cleanser.

As a medical herb-  Wild turmeric got strong antibiotic properties. In Chinese medicine it is believed to cure cancer. Wild turmeric can lower the high cholesterol levels, reduce the aggregation of platelets and can reduce inflammation.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Natural Alternative to Soap

Green Gram
Bathing will wash off tiredness and laziness, there by refreshing us and keeps off from various diseases. Bathing eliminates heat, sweat, dirt, itching and thirst. It strengthens heart and improves blood circulation. It also said to increase appetite, life span and sexual desire.

Lot of factors have to be kept in mind when we have a bath, mainly the the usage of soap and water. The quality of soap and water, ingredients in the soap etc plays important role in removing toxins from our skin. Soaps can be easily replaced by using the mixture of various natural products.

We can avoid soap by preparing a powder of rice, yellow dal, green gram powder, lodhra and manjishta and neem. It can be used daily. This helps in softening and glowing of the skin, also helps in preventing the ageing too. The skin looks young and gets nourishment through proper vasodialation and removal of free radicals from the body.

Powder of methi seeds, moong dal, kulthi seeds and sarshapa seeds also can be used for applying over the body, which helps in removing fats from the skin. This also helps in exfoliating the dead tissues over the body and enhances the circulation. Applying ramacham and thalli also is very useful.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Home Remedies for Skin, Skin Care

 Turmeric is known as 'Kanchani' in Ayurveda as it gives skin a glow of gold. Mix turmeric with milk and apply on face. It increases fairness and glow of skin.

A mixture of milk green gram powder can be used as a scrub to remove dead skin.

Honey is a well known antibiotic. Mix honey with equal quantity of milk and mix well to make a paste. Apply this mixture to your face. It is good for those having dry skin, acne, pimples.

Cucumber is a natural cleanser and moisturizer. When cucumber juice is mixed with milk and used to clean the skin and to increase the moisture level. It is best for dry skin as milk reduces dryness of skin.

Lemon has astringent properties. As it is slightly acidic, it cleanses the skin too. When lemon juice is mixed with egg white and milk powder in equal proportion, it makes a perfect face pack. This face pack cleanses bleaches(increases fairness) and tightens the skin. It helps to remove wrinkles and increases glow of skin. 

Mix papaya pulp with rose water and apply on dry skin as face pack. Keep it till it is semi-dry, then wash with water. This moisturizes the skin and gives it a fresh and shining look.

The latex of papaya can be applied on the pimples, keep it till it is dry and then wash with warm water. This can be done daily on a very oily skin.

For white patches on the face, neck and back, apply a paste of sweet basil one hour before bath.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Papaya in Pregnancy

Is it safe to eat papaya in pregnancy? A common belief among peoples in most part of the world that eating papaya is dangerous while pregnant. Studies have found that the consumption of ripe papaya during pregnancy poses no significant danger while unripe or semi-ripe papaya could induce spasmodic contraction of the uterine muscles similar to oxytocin and prostaglandin F, harming the fetus.

According to Ayurveda, the Kapha dosha is responsible for the stability and growth of the fetus. Unripe papaya reduces Kapha and enhances Vata and Pitha, and hence is harmful to pregnancy, especially in earlier stages. Unripe papaya, rich with pungent properties, could act as an emmenagogue(herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus; some stimulate menstruation), and induce bleeding. This could cause abortion.

The pungent properties have systemic effect of an anticoagulant. The penetrative property found in seeds and latex also provokes bleeding, making unripe papaya, which has a lot of latex, an emmengogue. (However, the same property makes it effective against amenorrhoea which is the absence of a menstrual period).

However, consumption of papaya enhances production of breast milk and hence it can be given to nursing mothers as salad or juice. It can also be given to a mother who is debilitated due to labour. The recommended quantity is 100-150ml of the juice once in two days. It also helps purify breast milk during lactation.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sleep Disorders-Insomnia Simple Tips for Good Sleep

The mental and physical relaxation with closed eyes is called sleep. Infants need about 16 hours a day, teenagers need about 9 hours a day and for adults , 7-8 hours of sleep at night seems to be best amount of sleep. For leading a healthy life one should go to bed early and wake up early. Now due to the modern trend of life sleep disorder is common among peoples. This leads to stress, depression, indigestion, reduces memory power, and even leads to obesity. This causes daytime drowsiness, which will affect the whole life. Risk of motor vehicle accidents is increased among those people because of fatigue.

Simple tips for good sleep
  • Don't watch movies or hear songs that are violent before retiring to bed.
  • Drinking a cup of warm milk before going to bed helps bring on a peaceful sleep. Warm milk will make you active and cold may cause indigestion.
  • Buffalo's milk is an excellent inducer of sleep.
  • Massaging the soles mildly will improve the sleep.
  • Create a pleasant atmosphere where you sleep.
  • Listen to melodious soft music before going to bed. Fast music aggravates the mood and disables sound sleep.
  • Doing meditation before going to bed induces good sleep and is also good for mental health.
  • Cherries are good for mental fatigue and stress, both of which can contribute to insomnia. Eating 10-15 cherries daily may help relieve this and help you sleep.
  • A hot bath or shower at bedtime helps to promote sound sleep.
  • A cup of chamomile tea at bedtime is truly beneficial for inducing sleep.
  • One of the simplest and the most effective ways to induce sleep is to rub some oil on the scalp and the soles of the feet before going to bed. You can use sesame oil, brahmi oil, or jatamamsi oil, and massage gently for a few minutes. Slightly warming the oil before applying is more effective.
  • A fine paste of nutmeg powder mixed with an equal amount of ghee can be applied around your eyes and on your forehead before bed to get a good sleep.
  • Disturbed sleep are often due to worries and anxieties that keep the mind agitated at night. As said above meditation before going to sleep is very effective. Sit comfortably on the bed and put attention on the "third eye"( the area on your forehead between your eyebrows). Follow the breath in and out then lie on the back. Watch the breath and concentrate on third eye so that we will sleep like a child.
Happiness and misery, nourishment and emaciation, strength and debility. virility and impotence, knowledge and ignorance, life and death are all dependent on sleep. Good sleep results in immense happiness and longevity, whereas improper sleep either less or in excess destroys life and happiness.