Tuesday, 23 May 2017

8 Top Medicinal Uses & Side Effects Of Chamomile Tea For Skin, Hair & Sleep

Chamomile tea has amazing health benefits. When we went on a trip to Sri Lanka, I had the opportunity to taste different kinds of teas and one tea that became my all time favorite is chamomile. Though I had tasted chamomile tea before, drinking it regularly in Sri Lanka made me appreciate the wonderful healing properties of this amazing tea. It also tastes wonderful. Drinking chamomile tea is one of the best things to do if you are stressed or if you are unable to sleep, it really really relaxes a person so well. Nowadays when I don't get sleep, I just make myself a cup of chamomile tea and usually it makes me relax and helps me sleep. Here are some of the medicinal uses of chamomile tea: 1. Antioxidant Properties: Chamomile tea is full of antioxidants and drinking chamomile tea regularly helps improve immunity. 2. Chamomile Tea For Sleep: Chamomile tea is one of the best drinks to have before going to bed. Like mentioned before, I prefer to sip on unsweetened chamomile tea on days that I am stressed and don't get sleep. I usually feel relaxed within a short time after drinking chamomile tea and fall asleep very quickly. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 3. Chamomile Tea For Stress, Anxiety & Depression: Chamomile tea is one of the best remedies for treating anxiety and mild forms of depression, it greatly relaxes a person. You can read the study that proves it here. 4. Chamomile Tea Anti Inflammatory Properties: Chamomile tea has amazing anti inflammatory properties and and has been used from ancient times for it. It also has anti spasmodic properties and can be had when we are suffering from painful periods. 5. Chamomile Tea For Thyroid Cancer: Another interesting use of chamomile tea is it's amazing ability to reduce thyroid cancer. A study done in Greece has proven beyond doubt that chamomile tea greatly helps prevent thyroid cancer, you can read the study here.  6. Chamomile Tea For Diabetics: Chamomile tea is one of the best herbal teas diabetic patients can consume as it lowers blood sugar levels. It also has a protective effect and prevents diabetic complications. You can read the study that proves it here. 7. Chamomile Tea For Skin: Chamomile tea is very very soothing and can be used even on most sensitive skin. It can be used in face packs and scrubs. Since it has anti inflammatory properties, it is definitely one of the best ingredients for people with acne prone skin. 8. Chamomile Tea For Hair: Chamomile tea can be used to lighten hair very effectively at home without any damage. It is one of the best and safe alternatives for store bought hair lightening bleach. Chamomile Tea Side Effects: Chamomile tea is generally safe but if you are on any anti coagulant medications consult your physician before drinking it on a regular basis. Also if you are due for any surgery mention it to your physician and if you are pregnant never over consume chamomile tea. Where To Get Chamomile tea? In India, few years back, it was only sold in some shops but now you get chamomile tea bags in all the departmental stores. Dried chamomile flowers are not commonly found in India, my co sister got me the dried flowers when she was traveling abroad...


Thursday, 18 May 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Nutrition Of Jamun Fruit | Naval Pazham


We have jamun tree in our farm and all of us love to snack on jamun fruits. The botanical name of jamun tree is called Syzygium Cumini. It is an evergreen tree that can live more than 100 years. Jamun tree is native to India and you can find it plenty here in Tamil Nadu. The fruits are greatly loved and cherished in India and it is called Naval Pazham in Tamil, Jamun in Hindi, Java Plum | Black Plum in English, Neredu Pandu in Telugu, Naaval Pazham in Malayalam, Nerale Hannu in Kannada, Jambu in Gujarati and Jambhul in Marathi. We have two types of jamun, one is big and oval (the one shown in the picture), it is much sweeter and much preferred, we call it samba naga palam. The other is much smaller and round and it is not as sweet and spoils quickly too. Jamun Nutrition: 100 grams of the fruit has around 62 calories, 14 gm of carbohydrate, 0.9 gm fiber, 0.7 gm protein, 0.3 gm fat, 15mg of calcium, 15 mg of phosphorus, 1.2 mg of iron, 18 mg of vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin B. Chemical Composition: The fruits are rich in glucose, fructose, mallic acid and anthocyanin and the seeds are rich in flavonoids. Jamun has many health benefits and medicinal uses but it is mainly known for it's anti diabetic properties. Almost all the parts of the jamun tree has anti diabetic properties. The leaf extract, bark extract, seeds and the fruit all have been proven to possess anti diabetic properties. Here are some of the health benefits and medicinal uses of jamun: 1. Jamun for Diabetics: Both jamun fruit and the seed powder have anti diabetic properties. The seed powder is excellent for reducing the blood sugar levels and you can read the study that proves it here. 2. Jamun Seeds Anti Ulcer Properties: The seeds have anti ulcer properties and the water extract of the seeds or the seed powder can be taken for treating ulcers. 3. Jamun Leaves Anti Allergy: The leaf extract has anti allergy properties and if you have the tree at home, the leaf extract can be given to immediately bring down allergies. You can read the study that proves it here. 4. Jamun Fruits Antioxidant Properties: Jamun fruits have wonderful anti oxidant properties. The ripe fruits tastes wonderful. Here at home, we love to mix the fruits with a bit of chilli powder and salt, tastes divine! Even pregnant women can consume jamun fruit in moderation. 5. Jamun Leaves Anti Hypertensive Properties: Jamun leaves have significant anti hypertensive properties and the leaf extract got by boiling the leaves in water reduces blood pressure levels. You can read the study that proves it here. 6. Jamun For Diarrhea: Jamun has wonderful anti diarrheal properties making it a very handy medicine for treating diarrhea. 7. Anti Cancer Properties: Consuming jamun extract during cancer therapy helps reduce the side effects associated with the therapy. 8. Anti Plaque: Since it has wonderful anti bacterial properties, the leaf decoction can be used as a gargle to treat dental problems like mouth odor, plaque, etc. 9. For Anemia: The fruits are rich in vitamin C and consuming foods rich in vitamin c helps with effective iron absorption. For women who are deficient in iron consuming jamun fruits will greatly help with iron absorption. 10. Anti Pyretic Properties: The seed extract has anti pyretic (fever reducing properties) and since it also has anti viral properties, the seed powder can be taken for treating viral fevers very effectively. We get fresh jamun, jamun juice and jamun seed powder in the markets. I would suggest making your own jamun juice at home for best results as the juice we get from the markets are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Dosage: Jamun seed powder can be taken in the dosage of 2 to 5 grams for treating diarrhea and stomach ulcers. Side Effects: jamun has very very low toxicity and rarely causes any side effects if had in moderation. But over consumption can cause bloating. Jamun fruit is to be sold cheaply everywhere when I was younger but now it is very expensive to buy in the markets, one kilo costs around 220 rupees as the trees are not cultivated much....


Saturday, 13 May 2017

10 Top Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects Of Chia Seeds | Chia Beej For Health, Hair, Skin & Weight Loss


I have a great fondness for sabja seeds and when our local departmental store started selling chia seeds, I immediately bought and started using it regularly like sabja seeds. Though both sabja and chia look the same when they swell up and almost have the same nutritional profile, I was curious to see how different chia seeds tasted from sabja seeds. Surprisingly I liked chia seeds better than sabja seeds, because the pudding which I usually make with sabja seeds was more creamy when I made it with chia seeds. Chia seeds also have wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses like sabja seeds. The plant that produces chia seeds are called Salvia Hispanica and it is native to Mexico. Chia seeds are oval shaped and mottle colored. Chia seeds have an amazing ability to absorb water that is almost 10 to 12 times it's weight and they also develop a gelatinous coating like sabja seeds. Chia seeds are called Chiya Beej in Hindi, Chiya Vithaikal in Tamil, Chia Bijagalu in Kannada, Chia Ginjalu in Telugu, Chia Bija in Punjabi and Gujarati and Chia Bi in Marathi. Chia Seeds Nutrition: 100 grams of chia seeds have around 486 calories, 17 grams of protein, 34 grams of fiber, 31 grams of fat and 42 grams of carbohydrate. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Here are the health benefits of chia seeds: 1. Chia Seeds for Weight Loss: Chia seeds digest slowly and also since it soaks up so much water, it keeps us fuller for really long periods of time. I remember having the pudding mentioned below the first time in between meals and not feeling hungry at all even past my usual lunch time. 2. Chia Seeds For Skin: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and foods rich in antioxidants prevents premature skin ageing as they fight off the free radicals very effectively. 3. Chia seeds For Diabetes: Chia seeds are very good for diabetic patients as they help regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming chia seeds for breakfast is one good way to ensure that there will be steady release of blood sugar levels. 4. Chia Seeds For hair: Chia seeds are very rich in protein, 17 grams for every 100 grams. Any food that is rich in antioxidants and nutrients particularly protein is very very good for hair growth. 5. A Good Egg Substitute: Chia seeds which are gelled by soaking it in water are a good replacement for egg. Chia seeds have a neutral taste and so can be used in any recipe that calls for egg. 6. Chia Seeds For People On a Gluten Free Diet: Chia seeds are gluten free, high in nutrients and very filling making it an amazing ingredient to include in gluten free diets. 7. Rich Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Chia seeds are an amazing source of omega 3 fatty acids but remember like most plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids, it is in the form of alpha linolenic acid and it has to be converted into active forms (EPA &DHA) so our bodies can use it. So though it is high in omega 3 fatty acids, it is still not wise to rely on it solely. 8. Chia Seeds For PCOS: Like mentioned above chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and any food that is high in omega 3 fatty acids is good for people suffering from PCOS. 9. Chia Seeds For Heart Health:Since chia seeds are rich in antioxidants it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation and also lowers cholesterol levels making it a wonderful heart healthy food. 10. Chia Seeds For Sports: Chia has been used as a source for sustained energy by runners and warriors form ancient times and instead of relying on sugary energy drinks, we can consume chia pudding before long runs to energize us throughout the run. Chia Seeds Side Effects: Like any other seed, some people might be allergic to chia seeds. Also consuming raw chia seeds on it's own can cause esophageal blockage for some people. And avoid consuming too much chia seeds as it can lead to bloating and chia seeds contains a compound called phytate which might interfere with nutrient absorption if had in excess. Where Do You Buy Chia Seeds? Chia seeds can be ordered online and in India it is sold in most health food stores. 100 grams costs around 180 rupees. How Much Chia Seeds To Take in A Day? I would suggest starting with a teaspoon of chia seeds and slowly increasing it to 1 to 1.5 tablespoon. How To Eat Chia Seeds? Chia seeds can be had whole, powdered or soaked in water.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

How To Use Kalonji Oil (Black Seed Oil) For Hair Growth | 5 Top Hair Benefits & Uses


Kalonji seeds also called as Nigella seeds | Black Cumin | Black Seeds in English are very popular in India as they have been used from ancient times to treat many diseases. They are used in cooking to season certain dishes in India so it is a well known spice. They look almost like our black sesame seeds but kalonji seeds are more intensively black and the seeds are slightly oval. The botanical name of kalonji seeds are Nigella Sativa and it belongs to the genus Nigella. It is called Karunjeerakam in Tamil, Karinjeerakam in MalayalamNalla Jeelakarra in Telugu, Krishna Jeerige in Kannada, Kalo Jira in Bengali and Kale Til in Marathi. Kalonji oil extracted from the seeds also have wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits, especially they are well known for their hair benefits. Kalonji oil when applied on the hair have these benefits: 1. Massaging with kalonji oil improves blood circulation in the scalp and improved blood circulation helps with hair regrowth. 2. It treats almost all the scalp problems like dandruff, itchiness, etc as it has wonderful anti bacterial properties. 3. Kalonji oil has been considered a good remedy for treating bald spots and to use take little bit of the oil and massage on the bald spots 4. It also conditions the hair and scalp really well and regular use will greatly prevent hair dryness. 5. Kalonji oil when used along with herbs like mentioned below will greatly help treat and prevent grey hair. We get kalonji oil in the markets and they are usually made by drying and then pressing the seeds. You can buy that oil and use it daily for massaging the hair or you can also mix it with any unrefined oil in equal proportions and use it for promoting hair growth. But I like to make an infused hair oil (recipe below) with kalonji seeds and herbs and they work really well for promoting hair growth. Kalonji Oil Side Effects: Kalonji oil is considered safe in normal dosage but it contains glucosides which is toxic above a certain dosage so never over use kalonji oil even externally for long duration's of time. I would suggest using for 2 to 3 months and then give a break of a month before starting again....

Friday, 5 May 2017

5 Top Health Benefits & Nutrition Of Varagu Rice | Kodo Millet For Weight Loss, Diabetes & Wound Healing


Millets have been used in Tamil Nadu from ancient times and varagu called kodo millet in English is one the of the most common millets used. It's usage dates back more than 3000 years and has been recorded in ancient texts and poems. The botanical name of kodo millet is called Paspalum Scrobiculatom and it is called Koden in Hindi, Varagu in Tamil, Arikelu in Telugu, Koovaragu in Malayalam and Arka in Kannada. Kodo millet like other millets have wonderful uses and it will do us plenty of good if we include it our diet regularly. Kodo Millet | Varagu Rice Nutrition: 100 grams of dry grain has around 353 calories. It is a nutrient rich grain and 100 grams of dry grain has around 8.3 grams of protein, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 1.4 grams of fat, 5.2 grams of fiber, 35 mgs of calcium, 188 mgs of phosphorus, 1.7 mgs of iron and .15 mgs of thiamin and 2 mgs of niacin. Here are some of the benefits of kodo millet | varagu rice: 1. High Protein Content: Than relying on protein powders which are filled with color and preservatives, it is good to get our protein requirements naturally. If you are a vegetarian, millets are a great way to get your proteins, 100 grams of varagu has around 8.3 grams of protein. 2. Good For Diabetics: Varagu is rich in fiber and therefore it does not cause drastic spikes of our blood sugar levels making it very good food for diabetic patients. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 3. For Weight Loss: Kodo millet is low in fat, high in fiber and keeps us satiated for a very long time which make it an ideal weight loss food. 4. Gluten Free: Kodo millet is gluten free and it is a great substitute for people who are on gluten free diet. Kodo millet cooks faster, takes on flavors well and tastes wonderful if prepared properly. 5. For Wound Healing: The paste got by mixing kodo millet and water when applied as a poultice on the wounds accelerates wound healing. You can read the study that supports this claim here. Varagu also has a soothing effect on both the stomach and mind. Varagu is rich in phenolic and flavonoid content which suggest the presence of bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds are powerful antioxidants that protect our body from cancer, premature ageing and oxidative stress. Since kodo millet is rich in fiber, it will greatly help prevent constipation too. At home we use millets regularly and I make a simple veg pulao (recipe below) with varagu that everyone in my family likes. It is so easy and quick and also very filling and nutritious. Even my son who is a bit fussy enjoys it, I would kindly suggest including varagu in the diet of children as early as possible. Regular use will keep them healthy and strong.........


Monday, 1 May 2017

7 Top Health Benefits, Uses & Nutrition Of Makhana | Lotus Seeds (Phool Makhana) | Fox Nuts

Makhana | Phool Makhana is the Hindi word for fox nut also called as gorgon nut. It is got from a type of lily plant whose botanical name is Euryale Ferox. The plant produces large leaves that have a unique quilted texture by which we can recognize it anywhere and purple flowers that has sharp spines at the base, you can find the plant commonly in ponds. This plant is usually found in Northern India especially Bihar and other north eastern states. It is also used in other countries like Japan, China and Korea. Roasted makhana is called Thamarai Vithai in Tamil, Makhana in Bengali & Gujarati and Melluni Padmanu in Telugu. To prepare makhana, the seeds of the makhana plant are collected from the ponds, sun dried and then roasted in thick cast iron pan with continuous stirring and once a popping sound is heard they are taken out and hit with a hammer to remove the outer shell and the roasted kernel pops out in expanded form. The popped seeds are called makhana, they are then packaged and sold. Makhana Nutrition: 100 grams of makhana contains 328 calories, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 9.6 grams of protein (makhana is rich in 16 types of amino acids), .1 gram of fat, .002 gms of calcium and .9 g of phosphorus and .0014 g of iron. Here are some of the health benefits of makhana: 1. Makhana For Weight Loss: Makhana is high in fiber and low in fat and is wonderful as a snack for people trying to lose weight. When including in weight loss diet, try to reduce the amount of ghee while roasting to a bare minimum to reduce the over all caloric value of the dish. 2. Makhana Antioxidant Properties: Makhana is rich in antioxidants and consuming it regularly will prevent premature ageing of our skin and hair. 3. Makhana For Diabetics: Makhana has low glycemic index and any food that is high in nutrients and has a low GI is ideal for diabetic patients. 3. Makhana For Pregnancy: Makhana has a soothing effect on the body and can be given to pregnant women, it can be given to them in the form of kheer or as roasted snack in the evening times. 4. Makhana Is Gluten Free: For people who are on gluten free diets, makhana is a great natural ingredient to include in their diets. It is also has very low amount of fats compared to nuts and since it is rich in fiber will prevent constipation too. 5. Makhana Anti Inflammatory Properties: Makhana has wonderful anti inflammatory properties and will be greatly beneficial for people suffering from arthritis. 6. Makhana For High Blood Pressure: Makhana helps regulate blood pressure, it is rich in magnesium and potassium and low in sodium making it a perfect food for pressure patients. Just make sure not to add salt after roasting, instead add powdered herbs to give it a nice flavor. 7. Wonderful Vegan Protein Source: Makhana is rich in protein, and can be taken as a snack by everyone including kids, older people and pregnant women. At home, I love to make roasted makhana and I use a small amount of ghee for frying it to give it a nice flavor. I have given the recipe for it below, you can modify and prepare it according to individual needs by substituting or reducing ghee and including or excluding salt. Side Effects: Makhana has no side effects but if you eat too much, it can cause bloating sensation....


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

8 Top Hair, Skin & Health Benefits Of Spinach juice | Palak Juice


I love spinach and try to include it often in my diet and one of the ways I consume it is in the form of spinach juice. The scientific name of spinach is Spinacia Oleracea, it belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and genus Spinacia. We call it Palak in Hindi, Pasalai Keerai | Palak Keerai in Tamil, Palakura in Telugu, Vasala Cheera in Malayalam, Basale Soppu in Kannada, Palak in Punjabi and Palang Sag in Bengali. Spinach Juice Nutrition: Spinach juice is in vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 along with significant amounts of vitamin C, K and E. It is also rich in minerals like manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium. Here are some of the health benefits of spinach juice: 1. Spinach juice Anti Cancer properties: Spinach juice is rich in flavonoids. Foods high in beta carotene and vitamin A like spinach juice reduces the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. 2. Spinach juice Antioxidant & Anti Inflammatory Properties: Raw spinach is full of antioxidants and consuming it regularly will help improve immunity. Spinach juice also reduces inflammation and is good to take while suffering from any kind of inflammation. 3. Spinach Juice For gastric Problems: Spinach juice is good for wound healing especially stomach ulcers. It also has a soothing effect on the stomach. You can read the study that proves it here. 4. Spinach Juice For Hair: I have been always been advised from my young age to consume spinach so I could have thick hair. Spinach juice is rich in vitamin B, C, E, magnesium, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids all very essential for hair growth and for arresting hair loss. 5. For Skin: Spinach is rich in antioxidants and consuming spinach juice regularly will greatly prevent free radicals which is the main cause for premature skin ageing. Raw spinach juice both when taken internally and applied externally will help. To apply externally take 1 tbsp of besan and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder in a bowl. Add enough spinach juice to form a paste and apply as a face pack. Regular use of this face pack will result in fair and glowing skin and will greatly prevent acne too. 7. For Eye Health: Spinach juice is rich in antioxidants that protects the eyes and especially lutein present in spinach juice prevents age related macular degeneration of the eyes. 7. Spinach For Weight Loss: Spinach juice is low in calories, fat and high in nutrients, perfect for including it in a weight loss diet. Spinach juice made with 100 gms of raw spinach has around 23 calories and less than .4 gm of fat. 8. For Bone Health: Spinach is a good source of vitamin K which is essential for healthy bones. Regularly consuming spinach juice will ensure that we maintain our bone mass and to a great extent will prevent osteoporosis. 9. For Reducing Blood Pressure: Spinach juice is rich in nitrite and increase intake of nitrate rich food increases circulating nitrite and nitric oxide which results in reduction in blood pressure. You can read the research that supports this claim here. 10. Spinach Juice For Immunity: Since it is rich in vitamin C, it will help improve immunity and will greatly help prevent common health problems like cold and cough. Spinach juice can be consumed by diabetic patients and can be given even to children too but make sure to use organic spinach. Side Effects Of Spinach Juice: Raw spinach contains iron inhibiting substance called oxalic acid so it is best to consume cooked spinach for treating anemia. If you are consuming raw spinach juice, I would suggest taking it along with iron absorption enhancers like amla, lemon or orange like in the spinach juice recipe given below. Spinach is rich in purines and if you are suffering from gout and kidney stones avoid consuming spinach in large quantities. If you are taking anticoagulant medications, spinach might interfere with it....