Tuesday, 15 August 2017

5 Top Remedies To Remove Hyperpigmentation On Face & Skin Permanently


Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin it's color and they are produced by melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation is the result of excessive production of melanin resulting in dark spots, age spots, freckles, melasma and liver spots. Hyperpigmentation can appear in very small areas like dark spots or it can also appear in large areas. Some of the common causes of hyperpigmentation are 1. Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin pigmentation, when we expose our skin to sunlight for a long time it stimulates excessive production of melanin. 2. Skin Inflammation: When our skin gets inflamed due to skin conditions like acne, it stimulates more melanin production resulting in skin discoloration. 3. Ageing: When we age, melanin becomes less diffuse and our body slowly loses it's control over the production of melanin and we get what is called age spots. Hyperpigmentation Treatments: Some of the treatments available for hyperpigmentation are photo facial which is light based treatment that improves collagen production and reduces dark and brown spots. Chemical peels in which chemicals are applied to skin to peel off the existing skin layer. The regenerated skin layer is smooth and is supposed to be free of hyperpigmentation. Laser peels in which laser is used to lighten the dark area and finally there is topical skin lightening creams and potions. But these treatment should be done under expert guidance else it could cause more harm than good. Finally there are natural home remedies that is made with natural skin lightening ingredients. Some of the most commonly used skin lightening ingredients are licorice powder, Aloe Vera, turmeric powder, potato juice, lemon juice, rice water and sandalwood. I have given some of the remedies using these ingredients down, use them regularly to see good results. The time it takes for the pigmentation to fade will vary from person to person and we have to be regular with the treatments else we will not see results......


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Nilavembu Kashayam (Nilavembu Kudineer) Recipe Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects


Nilvembu also called Kalmegh in Hindi is an amazing herb that has wonderful medicinal uses. It's botanical name is Andographis Paniculata and you can read about it here. Nilavembu has anti pyretic properties and has been used in traditional medicine for long time to treat all kinds of fevers. It also reduces blood sugar levels and is good for diabetic patients. Here in Tamil Nadu, nilavembu kashayam | nilavembu kudineer is very very famous as it widely used for treating dengue and chikungunya fever. Though it is called nilavembu powder | choornanam, it is not just made with just nilavembu herb. It is an amazing Siddha formulation that is a mixture of 9 herbs and nilavembu is just one herb in the mixture. The 9 herbs used in nilavembu kashayam are Nilavembu | Kalmegh (Andrographis Paniculata), Sukku | Dry Ginger, Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanioides), Korai Kilangu | Nagar Motha, Milagu (Pepper), Sandhanam (Sandalwood), Vilamichai Ver (Plectranthus Vettiveroides) and Parpadagam (Mullugo Cerviana). Here are the medicinal uses of nilavembu kudineer: 1. For Fever:  Nilavembu powder has anti pyretic properties and helps reduce all kinds of fevers though it is famously used mainly for treating dengue and chikungunya. 2. For Reducing Inflammation: nilavembu kashayam has anti inflammatory properties and treats all the inflammation really well. You can read the study that proves it here. 3. Reduces Pain (Analgesic Properties): Nilavembu kashayam also called nilavembu kudineer has amazing analgesic properties and greatly reduces body pain when we are suffering from fever. 4. Anti Bacterial & Anti Viral Properties: Nilavembu kudineer has both anti bacterial and anti viral properties so it can be used for treating viral fevers very effectively. 5. Improves Immunity & Detoxes The Body: Nilavembu kashayam is great for improving immunity and helps detoxify the body naturally. One of my uncles mentioned that after he took nilavembu kashayam, he has never got a cold or flu till date. 6. For Diabetes: Nilavembu kashayam is good for diabetic patients as it lowers blood sugar levels but I would kindly suggest taking it under medical supervision as taking both nilavembu kashayam and diabetic medications together might lower blood sugar levels drastically. Nilavembu kashayam is especially useful for dengue fever and chikungunya as it helps reduce the fever and the pain greatly due to it's anti inflammatory and anti pyretic properties. But please remember, since nilavembu kudineer chooranam is a Siddha formulation, the dosage and duration is very important. Nilavembu Kashayam Dosage: For babies less than 5 years: 1 to 1.5 tsp, for children between the age of 5 to 12 years 1 to 1.5 tbsp, above 12 years : 40 to 50 ml. For prevention take it in the mentioned dosage once in empty stomach for 5 days. If you have fever, you can take it 3 times a days for 2 to 3 days but I would suggest consulting a doctor immediately. This formulation is not recommended for babies below 1 year. Nilavembu kashayam during pregnancy and breast feeding is best taken under medical supervision. Nilavembu Kashayam Side Effects: Nilavembu kashayam as the name suggest is bitter and if you overdose, it might cause stomach irritation and diarrhea. If you are suffering from sever ulcers, it is best to take it under medical supervision. You can get nilavembu kudineer chooranam | nilavembu powder easily in Tamil Nadu, even departmental stores stock them. You can also order it online...


Friday, 11 August 2017

How To Use Licorice Powder (Yashtimadhu) For Skin Whitening


Licorice also called as liquorice is the root of the plant called Glycyrrhiza Glabra. It is very famous all over the world for it's healing properties. Licorice is called Mulethi in Hindi, Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit,  Adhimadhuram in Tamil, Ati Madhuramu in Telugu, Ati Madhura in Kannada and Jesthamadh in Marathi. Licorice powder has been used extensively in both traditional medicine and home remedies from ancient times. Along with health benefits, it has amazing skin care benefits too. The main active compounds of licorice that has a positive effect on our skin are Glabridin, Liquiritin and Isoliquertin. Licorice has skin lightening properties and you will find licorice in all skin lightening creams. When I mention skin whitening, what I really mean is lighten scars, dark spots and pigmentation. Every skin color is beautiful but it will be more beautiful if it is even toned and licorice helps achieve it easily by lightening all skin blemishes. Here are the skin benefits of licorice powder: 1. The flavonoid liquirtin present in licorice have skin lightening properties and helps lightens scars and blemishes. 2. Licorice have anti inflammatory properties and helps reduce skin inflammation. 3. The active component glabridin in licorice powder greatly helps reduce the effect of sun damage. Applying licorice based extract on the skin after prolonged sun exposure helps us get back our original skin color. 4. Licorice extract is also a good remedy for treating melasma. It lightens the dark patches caused by melasma really well and it is also a good home remedy for skin pigmentation. 5. Licorice powder when used as a face pack improves skin hydration and makes the skin look plumper and brighter. I have given 3 face packs that I have tried over the years using licorice powder. All these face packs works really well in lightening scars, pigmentation and dark spots. I have used sandalwood powder, turmeric, honey and lemon juice in these three face packs and all these ingredients also have skin lightening properties. Choose any one of these three face packs and use regularly at least weekly twice to see results...


Thursday, 10 August 2017

8 Top Medicinal Uses Of Kokum (Garcinia Indica) For Skin, Hair & Health


Kokum whose botanical name is Garcinia indica is quite popular in India. Though it is mostly used as a spice to flavor curries, it has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. Kokum belongs to the mangosteen family and there are more than 200 species. In India, they are mostly found in western ghats and Andaman Islands. It is called Wild Mangosteen In English, Kokum in Hindi, Punarpuli in Kannada, Bhirand in Konkani, Kokum in Marathi, Kokam in Gujarati, Tintali in Oriya, Murgal in Tamil, Chinta in Telugu and Kattampi in Malayalam. The fruits are red in color and they are used to make the famous kokum sharbat (kokum juice) which is very popular in India as a body coolant drink. The ripe fruits are more commonly available in North India and we get only the dried fruits in South India. The outer covering of the fruit is dried, packaged and sold and when it is dried it turns black. It has a sour taste and sweet aroma and is usually added to curries for sourness. Traditionally, kokum is used as a body coolant, for treating heat strokes and as an appetizer to improve digestion. Kokum is generally confused with kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia), both are different and you can read about kudampuli here. Chemical Constituents: The main chemical constituents found in kokum are flavonoids, citric acid,  hydroxycitric acid, garcinol and anthocayanins. Kokum Medicinal Uses: 1. Anti Depressant Properties: Kokum extract has a positive effect on our nervous system and helps reduce anxiety and depression. Given our stressful lives, anxiety and depression are getting more common and natural ingredients like kokum helps treat it safely. You can read the study that proves it here. 2. Antioxidant Properties: Kokum sherbet has been known to improve immunity and prevent diseases that is because kokum is very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant rich foods like kokum if consumed regularly will keep us healthy. 3. For Parkinson's Disease: Kokum has neuro protective properties and will greatly help treat nerve related problems. Antioxidants play an important role in Parkinson's disease. Since kokum is rich in antioxidants, consuming it's extract regularly will greatly help people suffering from Parkinson's disease. You can read the study that proves it here. 4. For Type 2 Diabetes: Oxidative stress is one of the major factors in type 2 diabetes and oxidative stress depletes glutathione which in turn leads to diabetic complications. But consuming antioxidant rich foods like kokum reduces oxidative stress and helps restore the level of glutathione thus preventing diabetic complications. 5. Anti Cancer: Garcinol extracted from the rind of the fruit have amazing anti cancer properties. The amazing anti cancer properties of garcinol is due to it's antioxidant, anti ageing and anti inflammatory properties. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 6. As a Body Coolant: Kokum has a cooling effect on the body and kokum sharbat if had during scorching summers actually reduces body heat and greatly prevents heat strokes. Also if you get fresh fruits, you can rub it on prickly heat rashes that is very common during summers, it is an amazing remedy for it. 7. Anti Ulcer: Garcinol present in kokum has amazing free radical scavenging properties and it also has anti ulcer properties. You can read the study that proves it here. If you are suffering from acidity consume kokum sharbat made at home regularly. 8. For Weight Loss: Some of the plants in the genus Garcinia has been widely used for aiding weight loss. Especially Garcinia Cambogia is widely used for weight loss and now kokum also is used as a weight loss supplement. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) present in garcinia extracts is reported to reduce blood lipids, suppress appetite thereby naturally aiding weight loss. But the weight loss benefits have not been proven 100 % clinically on a large scale. Kokum Side Effects: Kokum generally agrees with everyone but don't over consume kokum. Pregnant women and breast feeding mothers can consume kokum sharbat (kokum juice) in moderation. How is Kokum Oil Made? Kokum oil is made from the seed kernels of the fruit. The seeds are roasted and the kernels are separated from the seed shells. The kernels are then ground to a fine paste and then the ground paste is pressed to extract kokum oil. To make pure kokum oil, the extracted oil is boiled in large vats with little water, the impurities settle down and the pure kokum oil which floats on top is skimmed off. Pure kokum oil has all the benefits of kokum butter mentioned below. How Is Kokum Butter Made? The pure kokum oil thus extracted is churned for 6 to 8 hours to solidify and then it is poured into containers to set completely. Traditional kokum butter is made this way but refined kokum butter is made by adding lot of chemicals. Though expensive, I would suggest buying only unrefined kokum butter. Kokum butter is used extensively in cosmetics and can be used in place of any natural butters. It has amazing skin and hair benefits, it does not clog pores so it great for acne prone skin, reduces dryness of the skin, is rich in antioxidants, helps keep the skin supple and it is also a great hair conditioner. Where to Buy Kokum? You can buy dried kokum in health shops in India. You get ready made kokum sharbat easily in India but I would suggest making your own, it is so easy...


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

DIY How To Make Beetroot Lip Balm at Home For Pink Lips | Dark Lips Remedy

This homemade beetroot lip balm using fresh beetroot juice is amazing and will rival any store bought lip balm. I have always enjoyed making my own lip balms and usually I make them with pure unrefined oils and beeswax as a base. I have always wanted to try tinted lip balms and my friend suggested using food colors but I didn't want to use food coloring instead I opted for natural food extracts and this time I chose beetroot juice. Beetroot juice not only adds a wonderful pink color to the lip balm, it also lightens dark lips. Beetroot juice is rich in nutrients and regular application gives the lips a natural pink color. Adding natural color reduces the shelf life of the lip balm and we have to refrigerate it to prevent it from getting spoilt. But after looking at the beautiful pink color after adding beetroot juice, I felt it was so worth it. The ingredients used in this lip balm are unrefined coconut oil, beetroot juice, organic beeswax and essential oil. Using this beetroot lip balm regularly has these 5 amazing benefits for lips: 1. Both coconut oil and beetroot juice in the lip balm lighten dark lips but you have to use it regularly to see results. 2. Beeswax, coconut oil and beetroot juice keeps the lip moisturized and smooth. 3. This beetroot lip balm prevents lip chapping if used regularly. 4. Beetroot juice improves the lip color and makes lips pink naturally. 5. It makes the lips super glossy and beautiful! Since this lip balm is made with natural ingredients, you can use it everyday for long periods of time. I would suggest making small batches of this lip balm, use it for a week or two and make a new batch again. That way the lip balm will remain fresh and will not loose the wonderful smell of essential oil added to it.

Monday, 7 August 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Dark Chocolate For Skin, Health & Weight Loss


Statistics tells us that an average person consumes around 5 to 10 kilos of chocolate per year (people in some countries eat more and some less) and that is a lot of chocolate! We have always been advised to stay away from chocolate but what if there is a type of chocolate that can actually do a lot of good to us. The chocolate I am referring to is dark chocolate, it has loads of health benefits and medicinal uses. Dark chocolate is made from cocoa beans | cacao which are actually the seeds of a plant called Theobrama Cacao. There are 3 varieties of chocolate that is commonly available, one is milk chocolate, the second is semi sweet chocolate and the third is dark chocolate. A chocolate is considered dark, if it has 70 % cocoa solids or more. Semisweet chocolate usually contains 30 % cocoa solids and white chocolate contains around 10 % cocoa solids. Dark chocolate contains the least amount of sugar and more of cocoa solids than any type of chocolate which makes it healthy compared to other chocolates. Foods and drinks made from cocoa beans have been consumed from ancient times and has wonderful healing properties. Dark Chocolate Nutrition: 100 grams of dark chocolate contains around 531 calories, 55.5 carbohydrates, 28.5 grams of fat, 13.3 grams of protein and 1.7 grams of fiber. Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals, 100 grams have around 36mg of magnesium, 114mg of potassium, 1.9 mg of iron. It is also rich in selenium, calcium, zinc, manganese and vitamin K. Antioxidants & Flavonoids In Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods as it is rich in flavonoids particularly falvanols. Flavanols are the reason behind the bitterness of cocoa. Commercial chocolate producers to mask the bitterness, highly process it and add in sugar and other flavors. That is why dark chocolate contains 5 times more flavanols than regular chocolate as there are less additives. The main flavanols found in dark chocolate are epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins and out of these three, procyanidins account for the majority of antioxidant activity. Dark Chocolate Medicinal Uses: 1. Prevents Premature Ageing: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and foods that are high in antioxidants fights off free radicals which are the main reason for premature ageing of skin and hair. 2. Cardiovascular Benefits: Cocoa is rich in flavonoids especially flavan-3-ols which has wonderful cardiovascular benefits. Though dark chocolate is rich in lipids, it is mostly stearic acid which does not elevate the serum lipid levels like other saturated fatty acids. 3. Anti Inflammatory Properties: Since dark chocolate have high amount of flavonoids which reduces inflammation, consuming dark chocolate in small doses regularly will reduce inflammation and you can read the study that proves it here. 4. Reduces Blood Pressure: The link between blood pressure and cocoa consumption has been proven clinically beyond doubt. Dark chocolate reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The efficiency depends of the amount of flavnoids present in the dark chocolate, you can read the study that supports this claim here. 5. Improves Insulin Resistance: Kuna Indians of San Blas islands are one of the major consumers of cocoa and not surprisingly they have very low rates of both hypertension and diabetes that is because flavonoids improves insulin sensitivity. The effect on insulin resistance improves when dark chocolate is consumed for long duration's of time. 6. Prevents Cancer: A bar of chocolate preventing cancer can seem little far fetching but chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are the two main factors leading to the formation of cancer. Since dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has anti inflammatory properties, it does prevent carcinogenesis. 7. Positive impact On Central Nervous System: Falvonoids present in dark chocolate has a positive effect on our nervous system, it has a protective effect and increases blood flow. It prevents neuronal injury and neuro inflammation and can help improve our long term memory as well. 8. For Weight Loss: Though it is a popular advise to stop having chocolate when we are on a diet to lose weight, dark chocolate if had in small amounts will not lead to weight gain. Also the smell of chocolate actually suppresses appetite. 9. Improves Immunity: Any food that is rich in antioxidants will help improve immunity and since dark chocolate is very high in antioxidants it greatly improves immunity. 10. For Skin Protection: Dark chocolate which has high amount of flavonoids have skin protecting properties and protects the skin from UV damage. Both external application and internal consumption will help. I have given some of the ways I use dark chocolate for skin care below. Dark Chocolate Side Effects: Like any other food consuming large quantity of dark chocolate will have side effects like headache, heartburn, etc. When buying dark chocolate always try to buy chocolate that contains 70 % cocoa solids or more. If you are a regular chocolate lover, you might find it difficult to consume bitter dark chocolate but you will get used to it very soon. I am not a chocolate lover but few years back I took a sudden liking to dark chocolate and I treat myself to a small piece of good quality dark chocolate often........


Sunday, 6 August 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Benefits Of Saffron (Kesar) For Skin, Hair & Health


Saffron called as Kesar in Hindi is one of the most expensive spices in the whole world and has been in use from ancient times. Saffron imparts a golden yellow color to the dishes and has been mainly used a natural colorant but it also has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. Saffron is called kungumapoo in Tamil, Kumkum puvvu in Telugu, Kumkumapoovu in Malayalam, Kesari in Kannada, Kesar in Punjabi, Keshar in Marathi, Zafran in Punjabi and Urdu. Saffron is got from saffron flowers whose botanical name is Crocus Sativus. Saffron flower is light purple in color but the thread like stamen is a beautiful crimson red. It takes very careful picking of about 36000 saffron flowers to get 1 pound of stigmas and over 2 lakh stigmas to get just 500 grams of pure high quality saffron which makes it very expensive. Saffron was first cultivated in Greece but now Iran accounts for almost 90 % of the world production. Saffron has been used in both traditional ayurvedic medicine and in home remedies, it has been used as a sedative, as an expectorant for treating cough, to improve skin color and it is also regularly given to pregnant women. Saffron Chemical Constituents: Saffron contains more than 150 volatile compounds. The yellow color of saffron is mainly due to the presence of carotenoid compounds crocin and crocetin. The unique taste and smell of saffron is due to the presence of compounds called safranal and picrocrocin. In the dried saffron threads, safranal accounts for almost 70 % of the volatile compounds present in it. Saffron Nutrition: 100 grams of saffron has around 310 calories, 6 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein and 65 grams of carbohydrates. Saffron is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6 and calcium. Saffron Medicinal uses: 1. Anti Cancer Properties: Saffron has wonderful anti cancer properties. Crocin, safranal and picrocrocin present in saffron greatly prevents the growth of cancer cells. Out of these three compounds, crocin has the most anti cancer effect. 2. Natural Aphrodisiac: Saffron has been believed to be a natural aphrodisiac and this traditional belief has been backed by research. The main constituents of saffron are safranal and crocin and though safranal does not have aphrodisiac properties, crocin has significant aphrodisiac properties and you can read the study that supports this claim here. 3. Antidote For Poisoning: Saffron has a protective effect and acts as a natural poison antidote. Crocin and safranal present in saffron has a protective effect and reduces the effect of poison in our body, you can read the study here. 4. Antioxidant & Anti Inflammatory Properties: Saffron extract has wonderful antioxidant properties and it also helps reduce inflammation as it has anti inflammatory properties too. Since it has high antioxidant properties, it has radical scavenging properties thus greatly preventing premature ageing. 5. For Depression: Saffron has been believed to have anti depressant properties and usually saffron milk is given as a remedy for it and this traditional remedy has been backed by research. Saffron greatly helps people suffering from mild to moderate depression and even just 4 weeks of supplementation will help. This is due to its neuroprotective, antioxidant, serotonergic and anti inflammatory properties. 6. For Anxiety and Schizophrenia: Saffron has neuro protective effect and greatly helps with mental diseases like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's and schizophrenia. Safranal and crocin greatly helps reduce anxiety, you can read the study that supports this claim here. It also greatly helps with learning and improves our memory. 7. Reduces Blood Pressure: Saffron reduces blood pressure and the effect is dosage dependent. Out of the two major constituents in saffron, safranal has the most effect in reducing blood pressure. You can read the study here. 8. Macular Degeneration: Saffron supplementation has been highly recommended for good eyesight and this traditional use has been proven through research. Just 3 months of regular supplementation with saffron has shown to improve the retinal function. 9. For Weight Loss: As consumption of high fat processed foods increases, the risk of getting diseases like coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, sleep problems and liver diseases also increases. Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a liver disease the commonly affects overweight people. Crocin present in saffron greatly helps prevents non alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese people. Along with eating healthy, if we supplement with saffron we can prevent liver diseases caused due to obesity. 10. For Diabetes: Saffron has a positive effect on diabetic patients and regular intake will greatly help prevent some of the complications of diabetes like oxidative stress, encephalopathy, cardio vascular damage, nerve damage etc. Due to it's antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, saffron prevents many of the diabetic complications. Along with the above uses saffron has been used for skin care for centuries as it helps improve the skin complexion. Also it is a traditional Indian custom to give saffron to pregnant ladies as it greatly helps in digestion, has a calming effect and also keeps the pregnant women healthy and it is also believed to improve the complexion of new born babies. How To Buy & Store Saffron? Since saffron is expensive, always test  a small amount before buying it in bulk. To test, take one saffron strand and put it water, if it is fake, the saffron thread will lose it's crimson red color whereas original saffron will not. Saffron Dosage: Usually just a pinch or two of saffron is added to milk and that is the amount of saffron I took when I was pregnant too. Saffron Side Effects: If taken in normal dosage like mentioned below, it will not cause any side effects. But consuming large dosages for long duration's of time might have side effects like dryness of the mouth, nausea, headache, etc....