Sunday, 25 July 2010

Guduchi kills cancer cells

By Syed Akbar
Tinospora cordifolia, popularly known as Guduchi or Amrit, has been in use in traditional systems of medicine for almost 4,000 years. Ayurveda regards Guduchi as a wonder herb, and thus the name Amrit or
nectar. A number of research studies have been conducted on the medicinal properties of Tinospora and all of
them confirm that it is useful in controlling diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, various allergies, stress and
malarial fevers.
It has also been hailed as a general tonic thanks to its anti-oxidant and anti-stress  properties. Guduchi protects the liver from malfunctions and infections and keeps it functioning well. Ayurveda  practitioners often prescribe Guduchi for stomach pain, and as a blood purifier.
Ayurveda and Unani formulations for fever and urinary problems include Guduchi as one of  the important
ingredients. The stem of Guduchi as also its roots find their way in these formulations.  The leaves are also often used.
Some practitioners claim that Guduchi has special properties that control the growth of a  number of cancers. The treatment varies from one month to six months. The root extract is given to people bitten  by snake or scorpion. As an external herbal application, Guduchi is recommended for skin diseases including filariasis.
However, as is the case with several herbs, Guduchi is not recommended for people with liver and kidney problems, pregnant women and small children. It's better these sections of people avoid Guduchi or its herbal formulations, though it has been hailed as one of the important rasayanas (rejuvenators) mentioned in
ancient Ayurveda texts.
Quick remedies
Guduchi is often considered as the best natural ointment to treat wounds filled with pus. Paste prepared from the Guduchi leaves can be applied externally to treat skin problems.
Oil obtained from Guduchi can be applied on the skin to reduce body pains, particularly those caused by arthritis.
Gently rub the oil on the affected portion and feel the relief within minutes.
For women suffering from endometrial cancer, Ayurveda doctors recommend Guduchi drink twice a day. Take a tablespoon of Guduchi powder and mix it in a small glass of water. Boil it, cool the mixture and filter it. The Guduchi drink is ready for consumption.
Diabetics may also try Guduchi decoction obtained from its stem. But here is a word of  caution. Take it in a small quantity as heavy doses could lower blood sugar levels and cause complications. Take a  few pieces of Guduchi stem and wash them thoroughly. Boil the pieces in a glass of water, filter the extract and preserve it in a clean and neat bottle. Consume two tablespoons of Guduchi decoction twice every day.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Carom seeds: Ajwain removes kidney stones

By Syed Akbar
If the mirchi bhajji from coastal Andhra is famous for its flavour and unique taste, it is thanks to the presence of Ajwain (carom seeds). Finely ground ajwain is stuffed inside mirchi (green chilli) before it is dipped into Bengal gram paste for frying golden yellow.
Ajwain also finds its way into several Indian dishes, including bakery items like ajwain biscuits. Neatly cut and cleaned Ajwain leaves are also used as stuffing agent in ajwain bhajjis, while its seeds go into
preparation of ajwain rotis, parathas and savouries prepared from Bengal gram flour.
Besides its taste and flavour enhancing properties, ajwain is considered in traditional system of medicine as the simple home remedy to remove kidney stones. Ayurveda and Unani practitioners believe that intake of
ajwain seeds with honey will help in breaking down kidney stones into pieces and gradual removal from the body through urine.
Ajwain has a number of medicinal properties and it is considered the best bet for fighting flatulence (gas), abdominal discomfort, and harmful bacteria and fungi and controlling diarrhoea. Some Ayurveda
doctors are of the view that ajwain has aphrodisiac properties and is good for middle-aged men.
Quick Remedies
Those addicted to alcohol may take a teaspoon of ajwain seeds twice a day for deaddiction. Its strong flavour and aromatic compounds present in it help in reducing the craving and urge for alcohol.
A drop of ajwain oil will provide instant relief from earache.
Since many herbal medicine experts feel that ajwain is a good stomach tonic, chewing of ajwain seeds once or twice a day may provide relief from digestive problems, and improve the functioning of stomach.
A little quantity of ajwain with a betel leaf will provide relief from dry cough.
Ajwain along with Saunf is considered a good mouth freshener.
Ajwain oil may be massaged on legs for relief from pain in patients of arthritis.

Beat depression with cardamom

2010By Syed Akbar
Cardamom or elaichi is one of the best flavouring agents in kitchens across the world. It also finds its use in providing distinctive flavour and taste to a number of sweet dishes and desserts.
Besides its major strength, the unique flavour, cardamom has a number of health benefits. But here is a word of caution. Like in the case of many other herbs, cardamom should not be consumed in large proportions. It has its side effects too, including impotency if consumed in heavy doses regularly.
Those who wish to include cardamom in their herbal treatment schedule should make it a point to consume it in small proportions. When consumed in a little quantity, cardamom gives relief from depression, provides clarity to mind and thought and keeps a person stable in actions too. It has anti-cancer properties too.
Cardamom has been used in traditional systems of medicines for several hundreds of years. It is the seeds that give the flavour and benefits of health. Take a few fruits of cardamom. Remove the outer covering (skin). Take out the seeds and finely ground them. Add the powder to normal or herbal tea. Ayurvedic doctors believe that cardamom tea will help fight depression.
Some practitioners of herbal medicine prescribe cardamom as a cure to certain male sexual problems including premature ejaculation. Regular intake of cardamom either directly or through foods will help in improving appetite.
Home remedies
Those with a complaint of erectile dysfunction may drink a glass of milk mixed with a little quantity of finely ground cardamom seeds. Ayurvedic doctors believe that if cardamom milk is consumed everyday before going to bed, it will increase sexual potency.
A little cardamom (a pod or two) will help in controlling nausea. It is also prescribed for mouth ulcers.
Those who are intolerant to gluten (people who develop stomach upset on use of wheat or wheat products) may add a little cardamom powder to rotis or wheat upma to overcome the problem.
Cardamom tea is recommended as a home remedy to treat indigestion and the resultant flatulence.
For women, herbal doctors feel, cardamom tea is the best bet to ward off certain menstruation-related troubles.

Neem controls acne, blackheads

By Syed AkbarNeem has always been hailed as the panacea for a number of ailments ranging from simple skin rashes to dental decay and from piles to fighting cancers. Ancient Indian literature had dealt in detail on the medicinal properties of the neem, its bark, seeds, gum, flowers and fruits and twigs. Practically every part of
the neem tree has medicinal properties to treat one health problem or the other. Neem is a good antiseptic agent and  helps in controlling pimples, and blackheads. It also prevents scarring of the skin after pimples or acne heal.
Though the credit on the neem research should go to ancient Indians, it is strangely  attributed to Westerners. We did not take the ancient neem literature further, while researchers in the West extracted a  number of products and chemicals from the neem tree. They have also patented the neem products.
As many as 135 compounds have been recovered from the neem tree. These compounds work  against several disease-causing agents including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoans, besides  helminth worms. Latest research shows that neem helps in reducing swelling, fever, blood sugar levels, ulcers and  tumours. It can fight malaria too.
Neem is a good natural contraceptive too. It kills sperm and prevents pregnancy.
Coming to acne or pimples, neem oil and neem leaves work wonders. A paste of neem leaves,  if applied on the affected area, provides relief from pustular pimples. A paste obtained from the neem bark
is also useful in fighting pimples.
Quick remedies
Neem oil has been found to be of great help to people with cracks on feet. Many people  tend to develop fissures and cracks on their heels during summer and winter or whenever there's a sudden change in
climatic conditions. Simple application of neem oil to the affected area will provide immediate relief.
Neem leaves have been found to possess anti-septic properties. Just soak some neem leaves  in hot water and mix it with your regular bath water for relief from skin problems, including dandruff and rashes.
Neem oil and paste from neem leaves can be rubbed gently on the scalp to prevent hair  fall and fight fungal
Take a few neem leaves and a little piece of fresh turmeric rhizome. Make a paste out of  them and apply on the affected portion of the skin for relief from insect bites.
When one talks of the neem, will one forget about the benefits it gives to oral health  and dental hygiene. Regular brushing of teeth with a neem twig will prevent tooth decay and kill harmful bacteria in  the mouth.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The beneficial banyan

By Syed Akbar
Banyan tree has always occupied a pride of place in Indian systems of medicine, particularly Ayurveda and Unani. It is also linked to spiritualism and asceticism. The tree is revered for its shade on a hot summer day. Medicinal properties of banyan tree galore, ranging from treating infertility, both male and female, to fighting venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhoea.
Banyan belongs to the Ficus genus and is a close cousin of the fig tree. Fruits,flowers, milk (latex), roots and leaves of banyan tree find use in preparation of traditional herbal medicines.
Both Ayurveda and Unani doctors prescribe banyan preparations to clear bowels, treat ulcers, fever and a variety of skin diseases including leprosy. It has anti-inflammatory properties too. The roots of banyan that hang out from the branches (aerial roots) are used to treat inflammation of liver and check bleeding (styptic property).
Other ailments that can be treated through banyan leaf buds are diarrhoea, bleeding piles and irregular monthly cycles in women.
Home  remedies
If you want relief from chronic dysentery, take a few fresh leaf buds of banyan and soak them in water for a few hours. Remove the leaves, filter the water and drink it. Alternatively, you may try banyan milk (latex) in small quantities as latex if consumed in higher quantities may prove dangerous.
For those suffering from painful bleeding piles, a little quantity of banyan latex mixed in diary milk will provide the much needed relief.
Practitioners of traditional medicine recommend finely ground banyan root powder mixed in milk as remedy for female infertility. They suggest that it should be consumed for three days after monthly periods. This should be repeated every month.
Like the neem twig, a piece of aerial root of banyan can be used to brush the teeth. It fights bacteria and makes the teeth and gums strong and healthy.

Nariyal cure: Coconut water keeps digestive system in healthy condition

By Syed Akbar
On a hot summer day one cannot resist a fresh and tender coconut. Tender coconut milk and 
the thin layer of copra inside the fruit make a natural rehydration formula. Coconut milk (water) keeps the body cool, fights sunstroke, and recharges the body with its natural vitamins, minerals and trace  elements. Coconut water is also good for digestion and fights infection in the body including worms.
According to Ayurveda and Unani practitioners, coconut milk aids in controlling diabetes 
and helps in weight loss while coconut oil helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the  body. Coconut oil contains unique medicinal properties that prevents osteoporosis.
The Coconut Development Board of India proudly refers to an ancient Indian saying 
describing coconut as "unctuous, sweet, increasing semen, promoting digestion and clearing the urinary path".
While fruits and vegetables cannot be fed to infants, coconut milk is recommended by many 
doctors for infants suffering from intestinal disturbances. It is also considered even by modern  medical practitioners as the best source of oral rehydration. Coconut oil if applied on the body keeps off prickly  heat and summer boils. Coconut milk is prescribed for cholera patients too.
Senior dietician Rupali Dutta describes coconut as a "functional food" as it gives several health benefits beyond its nutritional content.
Home Remedies
Suffering from skin rashes or prickly heat? Just take a few tablespoons of pure coconut 
oil and gently rub it on the affected portion. You will get relief soon.
You can beat the heat by applying a few drops of pure coconut oil on the scalp or 
drinking a glass of tender coconut milk.
If you are suffering from stomach-ache or digestion problems, drink a couple of tender 
Regular intake of coconut milk will keep the intestines clean and removes harmful material (toxins) from the body.
Coconut oil in combination with lemon juice is the best natural method of fighting the 
problem of dandruff. Just apply a little mixture of lemon juice and coconut oil and apply it on the scalp.
For those conscious of their hair, a few drops of coconut oil will be of great help. Simply massage the scalp after applying coconut oil. This improves blood circulation and stimulates the hair  follicles. The result is long and healthy hair with no split ends.

The power of Paan: Betel leaf heals wounds

By Syed Akbar
No auspicious ritual is complete in any Indian family without the serving of paan to guests. Distribution of paan (betel leaf) and supari (betel nut) among guests is considered a good omen by people of all communities. Though paan has been traditionally linked to functions in India, betel is a native of Malaysia. It was introduced in India several centuries ago and has gradually become a part of the Indian culture and tradition.
There is a myth associated with paan chewing that it causes throat or tongue cancer. But many scientists have made it clear that paan per se will not cause cancer. If tobacco products are taken along with paan, the tobacco products will trigger oral cancers.
Betel leaf as well as its fruit is used in traditional systems of medicine to treat a number of health problems including relief from headache, stomach-ache, constipation, common cold and boils. Betel is also used in the treatment of wounds as natural chemicals present in it will help in wound healing.
Paan also promotes saliva formation which helps in easy digestion of food. It is a good diuretic, meaning promotes urine. Since it promotes urine, excess water in the body can be removed in case of swelling of legs and hands. 
Ayurvedic and Unani doctors prescribe paan as a natural analgesic (pain relieving agent). Just put a betel leaf on the affected area and it will show results within minutes.
Home Remedies
Boils are really painful. For relief from skin problems particularly boils, just apply a few drops of castor oil on a betel leaf and then warm it. Spread the leaf on the affected portion. Keep it for a couple of hours or allow it to stay overnight.
For those conscious of good health, juice obtained from a few paan leaves mixed with honey will do wonders. Not only does it keep the body healthy, but also helps in fighting infections.
Here is a grandma's recipe to promote lactation in nursing mothers. Just keep betel leaves on the breasts and it increases milk production in lactating mothers.
To keep the mouth fresh and free of bacteria, simply chew a paan leaf. Do not add any tobacco product. A little of limestone will not do any harm, according to practitioners of traditional systems of medicine.

Chandan: Sandalwood kills gonorrhoea germs, other STD bacteria

By Syed Akbar
Chandan. The very name creates around us an aura of divine aroma and blissful fragrance. 
No ritual in several religions is complete without the application of Chandan or burning of Chandan sticks to  invoke the Divine Grace.
Chandan or the Indian sandalwood is a native of the Indian sub-continent and is presently 
confined to the peninsular India. It is an endangered plant species and protected plant. Nevertheless, Chandan has been in use for centuries and ancient Ayurvedic texts refer to its medicinal and curative properties. The sandalwood  gets its unique fragrance thanks to the presence of an essential oil, scientifically called santalol.
Chandan can consumed internally or applied on the body externally. In both ways, it has 
its own curative and healing properties. Chandan has always been considered to be a natural medicine to treat a myriad  of skin diseases, including those transmitted sexually. It is the best bet in treating gonorrhoea.
Modern life has taken a heavy toll of the Indian traditions. Remember those days when 
grandmas used to apply sandal paste to stomach and forehead of crying babies and infants. This would provide  them relief from pain and itching. Another old family recipe is application of sandal paste on face to treat  pimples and blackheads.
The grandma's medicinal recipe still holds good. Application of sandal paste on the 
forehead will give relief from high temperature and resultant headache. It also tones up the skin texture, controlling pimples and blackhead formation.
It's okay with the sandal paste. But when it comes to the use of pure chandan oil, make 
sure that it is diluted. Pure chandan oil is generally not recommended by practitioners of herbal medicine.
Home remedies
Those suffering from the notorious gonorrhoea may take sandal pills (prepared from sandal 
powder and milk). This will give relief from gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease.
Prepare a little quantity of decoction from sandalwood and consume it for relief from 
stomach problems, particularlyindigestion.
Those conscious of beauty may try herbal packs of pure chandan. Apply a little quantity 
of chandan paste on face and gently massage it. You will get a glowing and youthful skin.
A paste of sandalwood and rose water is also recommended for a healthy skin. This will 
keep off summer skin eruptions. It is also good to treat freckles, those melanin concentrated spots on the  face and other parts of the body.
For immediate relief from eczema, you may apply a little sandal paste mixed with camphor. 
Sandal paste with coconut oil will also work.

Kheera fights fatigue, jaundice

By Syed Akbar
Many of us dismiss kheera as just a vegetable that can be eaten raw. Kheera is more than a vegetable. It has a number of health benefits. This vegetable has been in use for at least 2000 years and its medicinal properties have been well documented by physicians of yore. Unani, Ayurveda and Siddha and of late, Naturopathy have long recognised its
importance in maintaining human health.
All types of cucumber are good for health. In this part, let's deal with kheera or a long green variety of cucumber. Cucumber contains lots of water and any amount of its consumption will not lead to overweight. In fact, it will make the belly full and thus prevent us from eating other types of food rich in calories. For the weight conscious, cucumber is the best bite.
Thanks to plenty of water content, kheera is in high demand during summer. A kheera or two will give back the water content we lose due to sweating on a hot summer day. It also replenishes the micronutrients lost through sweat.
Research studies from different parts of the world show that kheera is good for the digestive system. It helps in easy digestion and assimilation and keeps the gastric system good. In recent times, kheera has been increasingly used in beauty parlours to treat scars, skin tan,
and removal of black marks below the eyes. Some recommend kheera for skin stretch marks.
One important health benefit many do not know is that kheera is the best bet in treating jaundice. It also prevents haemorrhages, promotes urine and cleans urinary system.
Home remedies
Those feeling tired and want to overcome fatigue, may consume a kheera or two. Application of a little quantity of salt (not much) will provide the much needed water and sodium to the body in a dehydrated state.
For relief from headache, cut kheera into thin round pieces and put them on the head. You may also keep the kheera rings on the eyes for a feeling of relaxation.
Kheera juice is often recommended by practitioners of herbal medicine as a general tonic to keep the body functioning well.
Kheera is also suggested for relief from jaundice and its associated complications.
A paste of kheera will help in fighting burns and wounds. Cut kheera into small pieces and grind them. Apply the paste on the affected portion of the skin for relief. It is also good for scars.
Regular intake of kheera will give you sound sleep. It is particularly good for people with complaint of sleeplessness or insomnia.